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25 July 2006 : Column 1301W—continued


Mr. Gauke: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what administrative functions for which his Department is responsible are outsourced overseas; and what assessment he has made of the merits of outsourcing further such functions overseas. [81556]

Gillian Merron: The Department and its component agencies have no administrative functions outsourced overseas. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has, in the past, looked at outsourcing its customer call centre function. This option was rejected following a full analysis of the economic and social impact and the potential effect on customer service levels.

Parliamentary Questions

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what guidance he issues to officials in his
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Department on the use of publicly available information such as external websites in answers to parliamentary questions. [84411]

Gillian Merron: The approach taken by departmental staff is that where the information requested in parliamentary questions is easily available, such as in the House Libraries or on websites, hon. Members are advised accordingly.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many parliamentary questions tabled to his Department were awaiting a reply on 10 July 2006; which of those had been waiting longer than (a) two and (b) three weeks for a reply; and what the reason for the delay was in each case. [85197]

Gillian Merron: As at 19 July 2006, 35 Department for Transport parliamentary questions which were due to be answered on 10 July 2006 or before were awaiting a reply, one of which has been waiting more than two weeks.

Passenger Transport Executives

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 11 July 2006, Official Report, column 1700W, on the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive, what the equivalent figures are for each of the other Passenger Transport Executive areas. [85913]

Gillian Merron: The total funds allocated by the Department for Transport in the annual settlement and in grants to Passenger Transport Executives in England are shown in the following table. These totals include funding for rail, bus services and local transport. In the case of rail and bus service funding, these allocations are entirely in the form of grant. Local Transport Plan funding covers integrated transport block (for small schemes), maintenance and major projects, and is allocated as a combination of capital grant and supported borrowing. 2005-06 figures are provisional and subject to audit.

£ million
Passenger Transport Executive 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06







West Midlands






Tyne and Wear






West Yorkshire






South Yorkshire







Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) questionnaires, (b) statistical inquiries and (c) investigations have been carried out, wholly or partly at public expense on behalf of or by his Department in each year since 1997; and what the (i) nature, (ii) purpose and (iii) cost was of each. [83164]

Gillian Merron: The information requested is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Rail Fares

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment has been made of the elasticity of demand of rail fares. [84687]

Derek Twigg: Rail fare demand elasticity is assessed and researched jointly by the Department and train operators. The findings are commercially confidential.

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The Department also has a research programme to develop its own understanding of the relationship between fares and other demand factors. The first phase of this work is due to report during 2007.

Rail Freight Interchanges

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what environmental factors are taken into account when deciding where to grant permission for a rail freight interchange. [88609]

Derek Twigg: Granting of planning permission for freight interchanges is a matter for local authorities. Planning guidance is published by the Department for Communities and Local Government and is available on their web site at .

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will visit the proposed site for a rail freight interchange in Park Street, St. Albans. [88727]

Derek Twigg: The possible development of a rail freight interchange is a matter between the private sector developer and the local authority.

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what criteria his Department took into account when deciding there was a need for four rail freight interchanges. [88728]

Derek Twigg: Consideration for the national provision of rail freight interchanges was undertaken by the Strategic Rail Authority. Their Strategic Rail Freight Interchange Policy was published in March 2004. The SRA has since been abolished but a copy of this document and a note of its current status is available on our website at

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent studies have been undertaken on the capacity of the rail systems around London to accommodate freight; and if he will make a statement. [88729]

Derek Twigg: Network Rail will be publishing the Cross London Route Utilisation Strategy (RUS), which deals with the availability of rail capacity around London, towards the end of August 2006. A network-wide Freight RUS is also in the course of preparation, and a consultation draft will be available shortly.


Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has established a working group in his Department to carry out a feasibility study into the potential of additional high speed rail lines. [82316]

Derek Twigg: The Government have a manifesto commitment to look at the feasibility and affordability of a new north-south high-speed link. The Government have committed to take this forward in the development of a long-term strategy for the railways, drawing on Sir Rod Eddington’s advice on the long-term impact of transport decisions on the UK’s productivity, stability and growth. The Department has
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established a working group to look at a range of options for inter-urban rail travel including, but not restricted to, high speed lines. The group’s work will contribute to the long term strategy for the railways to be published in summer 2007.

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many passengers on average used the Cambridge to London rail service during peak hours in each of the last five years; and how many used the service in each year; [82591]

(2) what estimate his Department has made of the expected number of passengers using the rail service between Cambridge and London Liverpool Street during the course of the contract operated by One (a) during peak hours and (b) in total. [82599]

Derek Twigg: Table A shows the number of passengers arriving in the AM peak and departing in the PM evening peak at both London Kings Cross and London Liverpool Street from Cambridge for 2001 to 2005 inclusive.

Table B shows the number of passengers arriving in the AM peak and departing in the PM peak at London Liverpool Street from Cambridge for the years 2004 and 2005.

Table A
Cambridge-London( 1) AM London-Cambridge( 1) PM
















(1) Figures are for arrivals and departures at both London Kings Cross and London Liverpool Street. In 2004 service became ‘One’ Railway and now includes Cambridge trains previously operated by WAGN.

Table B
Cambridge-London Liverpool Street AM London Liverpool Street-Cambridge PM







Prior to the letting of the Greater Anglia franchise, the Department for Transport estimated in its specification for that franchise that the number of passengers using the West Anglia routes in the peak to be just under 20 million in 2001 and just above 21.5 million in 2011. It estimated the number of passengers using the West Anglia routes in the off peak to be 11 million in 2001 and forecast that it would be approximately 14 million by 2011.

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Government have taken to improve rail services between Swindon and Westbury and at intermediate towns to provide transport alternatives for the new housing planned in the area. [84821]

Derek Twigg: Improving rail performance is a key objective for the Department for Transport. Joint action plans are in place between Network Rail and First Great Western to address performance issues, including the Swindon to Westbury route. These are monitored monthly.

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Demand for rail services between Westbury and Swindon is concentrated at peak periods, and the Government have specified direct train services at these times.

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which routes (a) are and (b) are expected by 2014 to be carrying trains which are loaded with passengers to a level that is in excess of capacity. [85566]

Derek Twigg: The Passengers in Excess of Capacity (PIXC) measure only applies to London commuter services.

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) publishes PIXC figures in its National Rail Trends publication, the most recent version of which was published on 5 July 2006.

The document is on the internet at the following address and has been made available in the Library of the House.

Network Rail’s Route Utilisation Strategies forecast passenger demand and identify where this might exceed current peak capacity. Network Rail has recently published an overview of this in its Initial Strategic Business Plan for the period from 2008-09 to 2013-14.

The Department for Transport is now undertaking a network appraisal of passenger demand to inform the development of the High Level Output Specification, assisted by the work done by Network Rail. Increased passenger capacity is one of the three key outputs that will be sought through the HLOS, the others being safety and reliability. The HLOS will set out the railway the Government wish to procure for 2008-09 to 2013-14 and the funds it will make available for this, and will be published in July 2007.

Road Schemes

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what potential carbon dioxide impacts have been included in the Appraisal Summary Tables of local authority road schemes approved through the Local Transport Plans since 2000. [86137]

Dr. Ladyman: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 8 May 2006, Official Report, column 23W. Information on the carbon dioxide impacts of each road scheme approved since 2000 through local transport plans could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

Road Statistics

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the (a) total number of accidents, (b) average daily traffic flow and (c) accident rate per million vehicle kilometres was for the stretch of (i) A14 between Girton and Cambridge, (ii) the A10 between Cambridge and Ely and (iii) the A1307 between Haverhill and Cambridge in each year since 1997. [88733]

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Dr. Ladyman: The number of personal injury road accidents reported to the police, the annual average daily traffic flow and the accident rate per million vehicle kilometres, for the roads requested are given in the following tables.

The number of damage only accidents is not available.

Table 1: Accidents, average daily traffic flow, and accident rate per million vehicle kilometres on the A14 between where it joins the A428 in Girton and the A10 in Cambridge: 1997-2005
Accidents( 1) AADF( 2) Accident rate( 3)















51 ,447






















(1) Personal injury road accidents reported to the police.
(2) Annual average daily traffic flow.
(3) Accident rate per million vehicle km's.

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