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Cheshire county council is migrating from its existing smartcard scheme to the ITSO standard with an initial rollout by the end of 2006 further stages following incrementally across their scheme. Nottinghamshire and Southampton are expected to complete their migration from existing schemes by April 2008.
Scotland and Wales are also using ITSO-based smartcards for their national bus concession scheme for older and disabled persons. Over 1 million cards have been issued and their entire bus fleets are being equipped with the necessary card readers over the coming months. The bus fleet on the Shetland Islands introduced the ITSO standard during November.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will ensure that his forthcoming economic assessment of the costs and benefits of the
proposed widening of the M6 motorway between junctions 11A and 19 will take into account the economics of (a) stabilisation, (b) mitigation and (c) adaptation in respect of climate change in accordance with the findings of the Stern Review. 
Dr. Ladyman: The appraisal of the M6 (11a to 19) widening is being undertaken in accordance with DfTs standard Transport Analysis Guidance (see www.webtag.org.uk) and therefore will include a monetary estimate of the social cost of carbon resulting from forecast change in carbon emissions over a 60-year period. This monetary estimate of the social cost of carbon will be taken into account in the economic assessment of the scheme in line with the findings of the Stern Review.
Mr. Wills: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) fatalities and (b) serious injuries were caused by accidents involving a minibus driven by a volunteer in each year from 1995 to 2005. 
John Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions (a) he and (b) his officials have had with (i) the Mayor of London and (ii) Transport for London on (A) the relationship between the new London Rail Concession (LRC) and other national rail services in London and (B) the possible impact of the policy on open access on the LRC. 
Mr. Tom Harris: Officials from the Department for Transport (DfT) have had discussions with Transport for London (TfL) regarding the LRC over the last two years. These discussions have covered a number of issues including the arrangements for transferring the franchising of these services from DfT to TfL.
Services operated by the LRC will continue to be part of the national rail network and will, therefore, have the same relationship with other national rail services (such as ticket-purchasing ability and through fares) through the requirements of the passenger licencealthough given planned extensions some changes will occur at specific locations.
John Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions the Strategic Rail Authority has had with bidders for the (a) Integrated Kent franchise and (b) South Western franchise on the impact of the policy of open access on (i) operation of the franchise and (ii) potential (A) subsidy from and (B) revenue to the Government over the course of the franchise. 
Mr. Tom Harris: To date, the only open access operators in the areas served by the Integrated Kent franchise and the South Western franchise have been the operators of occasional special trains, and freight operators. Accordingly, open access was not specifically raised with bidders during the preparation of their bids for these two franchises.
John Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the likely impact of the Office of Rail Regulation's policy on track access rights and open access on the franchise round for East Midlands, West Midlands and Cross Country services. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Office of Rail Regulation is currently engaged in a consultation exercise with potential open access operators, and with Network Rail, to establish whether the aspirations of those operators can be accommodated on the network alongside the services to be operated by the three new franchises.
At present, it is anticipated that the new franchisees will be able to obtain track access rights sufficient to enable them to fulfil the Service Level Commitments described in the Invitations to Tender.
John Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) consulted (a) freight and passenger operators and (b) current or potential holders of track access rights on access to the route covered by the London Rail Concession being tendered by Transport for London (TfL); and what discussions his Department had with TfL and ORR on this issue. 
Mr. Tom Harris: ORR is currently consulting freight and passenger operators and others it considers might be directly affected by the track access option application recently submitted by TfL and Network Rail in relation to access rights for the new East London Line.
No application has yet been received for additional access rights for that part of TfLs concession that will take over the Silverlink Metro services. ORR will consult in accordance with its published policies on any such application that it receives.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many railway stations (a) obtained secure station status, (b) had secure status withdrawn and (c) did not seek secure station status re-accreditation in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many railway stations (a) have obtained secure station status, (b) had secure status withdrawn and (c) did not seek secure station re-accreditation in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Tom Harris: Since the launch of the Secure Stations Scheme in 1998 a total of 434 rail stations, including 78 London underground stations, have been accredited under the scheme. Of these a total of 42 rail stations, including 19 London underground stations, have lapsed and have not, so far, sought re-accreditation. No stations have had their secure status withdrawn since the schemes launch.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what funds were (a) allocated and (b) spent by National Rail on enhancing the general cleanliness, facilities and services of small and medium-sized railway stations in each of the last four years; how many such projects Network Rail undertook in that period; and what representations he has made to Network Rail on this issue. 
Mr. Tom Harris: These are operational matters for Network Rail, the owner and operator of the national rail network. The hon. Member is advised to contact Network Rails Chief Executive at the following address for a response to his questions:
40 Melton Street
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Telford of 21 November 2006, Official Report, column 35W, on railways, what plans his Department has to increase the volume of rail freight, with particular reference to moving freight from the road network. 
Mr. Tom Harris: I refer my hon. Friend to the written statement the then Secretary of State for Transport made to the House on 19 July 2005, Official Report, columns 71-73WS setting out the Governments policy towards rail freight.
Extension of the docklands light railway to Woolwich Arsenal2.5 kms due to complete in 2009
Extension of the docklands light railway to Stratford International6 kms due to complete in 2010
Extension of the Manchester Metro link to Chorlton and Droylsden9 kms due to complete in 2011
A further extension of the Manchester Metro link to Rochdaleproviding an additional 22.5 kms of light rail, is being taken forward with the Chorlton and Droylsden extensions and is due to complete in 2012.
Mr. Tom Harris: First Great Western has undertaken recent passenger counts for its own management purposes. This information is held by FGW. At the request of the Department for Transport, FGW carried out counts in July of the numbers of passengers on the FGW 1718 Swansea services on departure from Cardiff Central. These showed an average load of 179 passengers on this service.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to promote the use of vehicle-activated signs in place of speed cameras (a) as temporary measures at road works and (b) as permanent measures elsewhere. 
Dr. Ladyman: Traffic Authorities have a wide range of measures at their disposal to achieve appropriate vehicle speeds and they are best placed to decide the most suitable approach at a particular location. Vehicle activated signs and safety cameras are used to tackle different speeding problems. Vehicle activated signs are generally used to tackle inappropriate speed and have proven particularly effective when used to warn drivers of approaching hazards on rural roads. Safety cameras are effective in tackling excessive speed (i.e. over the posted speed limit).
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many accidents have been caused by drivers between the ages of 17 and 21 years since November 2002; and if he will make a statement. 
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the outcome was of the 1998 two-year testing period of low noise, crumb rubber aggregate asphalt by the Highways Agency and the Road Transport Laboratory. 
A section of proprietary low-noise surfacing asphalt incorporating approximately 5 per cent. reprocessed waste tyres was laid on a county road by Surrey county council in 1998. However, it failed prematurely and had to be replaced. A further trial, just under one mile long, was subsequently laid on the A244 Hersham bypass in June 1999, also by Surrey
county council. For two years its performance was monitored as part of the Highways Agencys research programme. Following its satisfactory performance, a more heavily trafficked trial site on a short length of the A34 trunk road was offered by the Highways Agency, but the company that supplied the surfacing decided not to proceed.
Dr. Ladyman: The Department focuses its attention on making sure maximum speed limits remain appropriate for UK roads, and has no plans to assess the practicability of a common maximum speed limit in EU member states.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate she has made of the number of people in Norfolk have switched from analogue television to digital television; what proportion that is of the total number of licence holders in the country; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Woodward: We do not have specific figures for Norfolk. However, Ofcom estimate that digital take-up of at least one television set is around 66 per cent. in the east of England. (Ofcom report: The Communications Market, Nations and Regions 2006). Nationwide, the figure is 70.2 per cent. (Ofcom report: Communications Market: Digital Progress Report Digital TV, Q2 2006).
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