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Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his proposal for M6 widening between junctions 11A and 19 will be subject to a carbon dioxide assessment over a 60-year period before entering into the Targeted Programme of Improvements. 
Dr. Ladyman: The M6 widening (11a to 19) scheme is being appraised using DFTs recently modified standard Transport Analysis Guidance which requires the change in carbon emissions over a 60-year period to be estimated.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent evaluation he has made of the (a) environmental and (b) economic effects of his Department's plans to widen the M6 between junctions 11A and 19. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Highways Agency is continuing to develop the option to widen the M6 between junctions 11a and 19 following the announcement in July 2006 that further work should focus solely on this rather than the Expressway concept. As part of this development work, further evaluation of the environmental and economic effects of the plans is being undertaken to enable the scheme to be considered for programme entry. Statutory environmental organisations will be consulted in due course as part of this process.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he plans to investigate the feasibility of establishing new railway stations in areas of significant growth in residential housing in the east of England; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Department for Transport will consider any proposals for new stations associated with new developments. Any proposal would require an approved business case and agreement with Network Rail that additional stops on the route could be accommodated. In the majority of cases, it would be expected that third parties would fund the costs.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the connection arrangements will be for West Coast Main Line passengers wishing to travel on to European destinations by Eurostar trains from November 2007. 
Mr. Tom Harris: Virgin Trains are currently in discussions with Eurostar with a view to offering integrated ticketing to West Coast Main Line passengers wishing to travel onto European destinations, and vice versa. There will also be appropriate signage and directions in place for passengers wishing to interchange between Euston and St. Pancras stations, either on foot, by public transport or by taxi.
John Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how his Department has taken account of EU procurement rules in retaining the services of a company to act as an operator of the last resort in the event of franchise failure. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Strategic Rail Authority awarded a contract in July 2004 to procure specialist advice in connection with Operator of Last Resort activity following a competition under one of its framework agreements. The framework agreement was let in full compliance with EU procurement rules. The contract was subsequently transferred to the Department in July 2005 when it assumed the authority's responsibilities.
John Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department employs (a) consultancies and (b) other companies on a regular basis to provide advice on the Department's responsibility when acting as an operator of the last resort in the event of franchise failure. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Department has a retainer-based contract with First Class Partnerships relating to the procurement of specialist advice in connection with the Secretary of State's duties as Operator of Last Resort. It also procures other external specialist advice as and when necessary.
John Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department pays a retainer to companies to act as an operator of the last resort in the event of franchise failure; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Department has a retainer-based contract with one companyFirst Class Partnershipsrelating to the procurement of specialist advice in connection with the Secretary of State's duties as Operator of Last Resort.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what basis he has agreed rail fare increases in the next calendar year; whether such rises were factored into recent franchise negotiations; and if he will link future fare increases to the rate of inflation. 
Mr. Tom Harris: Rail fares are set by train operators, not by Government. Fares which are regulated must be set within the limits laid down by fares regulation, which restricts annual average increases to inflation + 1 per cent. Other fares are a commercial matter for the operator concerned. Bids for franchises will take into account both the restrictions imposed by fares regulation and the bidders views of how the train service can best be developed, priced and marketed.
Mr. Tom Harris: The Department for Transports National Rail Travel Survey has collected data on who uses the railways, where, when and for what purposes. The survey was completed last year and covered rail travel across Great Britain. The results will be available early in 2007 and will enable some socio-economic analysis of rail users.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on how many occasions the (a) A10, (b) A406, (c) A40, (d) M4, (e) M25, (f) A1, (g) A103, (h) A105, (i) A503, (j) A109, (k) A1055, (l) A41, (m) A1010, (n) A504 and (o) A1201 have been closed as a result of (i) accidents involving heavy goods vehicles and (ii) other accidents in each of the last five years. 
|Closures due to accidents involving HGVs||Closures due to other accidents|
| Note: Information is given only for those stretches of road within the GLA boundary except for the M25 where information is given for the whole route including A282, Dartford Crossing and the Heathrow Spur.|
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the total construction cost was of each Design, Build, Finance and Operate road; what the expected total cost of each contract is to public funds; and by what year all such costs are expected to have been paid in each case. 
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the total construction cost was of each Design, Build, Finance and Operate road; what the expected total cost of each contract is to public funds; and by what year all such costs are expected to have been paid in each case. 
Dr. Ladyman: The construction cost of a Design, Build, Finance and Operate (DBFO) contract is the responsibility of the DBFO company. This is an important part of the risk transfer in this type of project, which gives the Department cost certainty in relation to construction costs. However, the Department and the Highways Agency monitor trends in road construction costs and take account of them in planning the forward programme.
Unlike conventional road improvement contracts, the costs associated with DBFO contracts are not just for the construction work but also cover the maintenance and management of the associated road network over a typical period of thirty years. The actual cost of construction is a matter for each DBFO Company.
The following table gives the expected total cost of Unitary Charges for each contract and the year in which the payments end. These payments cover the cost of constructing the road improvements and also maintaining the road network covered by the contract over the contract period.
|Project||Expected total cost (£ million)||Year payments end|
The Secretary of State has asked Mike Nichols, Chairman of the Nichols Group, to review the Highways Agency approach to cost estimating and project management, and to make recommendations, including on how the agency should best assess, monitor and report on risks to its costs estimates. He will report shortly.
Gillian Merron: Lancashire County Councils Major Scheme Business Case for the Heysham to M6 Link, submitted in July 2005, included details of the Western Route as the Next Best Option and online improvements to the existing highway network as the Lower Cost Option. Department for Transport officials have requested additional information from the Council clarifying the work carried out on alternative options.
|Number of accidents involving trains and buses in Essex( 1) : 2001 to 2005|
|Year of accident||(a) Trains( 2)||(b) Buses( 3)|
|(1) Essex including unitary authorities of Southend on Sea and Thurrock. (2) Source: Office of Rail Regulation's HM Railway Inspectorate. (3) Buses (including coaches) involved in personal injury road accidents reported to the police .|
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