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Office for Disability Issues

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many times the Under-Secretary of State for Transport, the hon. Member for Lincoln (Gillian Merron) attended meetings of the Office for Disability Issues since its establishment. [108987]


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Gillian Merron [holding answer 13 December 2006]: I attend regular meetings of the ministerial group on ‘Improving the life chances of disabled people’, chaired by the Office for Disability Issues. Ministers meet many people as part of the process of policy development and business delivery. All such contacts are conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Ministerial Code.

Oil Handling Facilities

Anne Moffat: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what mechanism is used to consider consent for new oil-handling facilities within harbour authority areas. [109259]

Dr. Ladyman: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 24 July 2006, Official Report, column 747W given to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, North and Leith (Mark Lazarowicz).

Passenger Transport Authorities

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what additional surcharges (a) Stagecoach, (b) Go-Ahead and (c) First Group have made on each passenger transport authority in 2006-07; and if he will make a statement. [101897]

Gillian Merron: The information requested is not held by the Department. Reimbursement paid to bus operators for providing concessionary travel is a matter for individual local authorities. The hon. Member might wish to contact local authorities for information.

Where an operator considers that reimbursement is not adequate an application may be made to the Secretary of State, in accordance with the appropriate provisions in the Transport Act 1985 and the Transport Act 2000, for a determination as to whether the reimbursement arrangements are appropriate in the circumstances of the case, or for release from compulsory participation in a travel concession scheme under the Transport Act 1985. The Secretary of State is currently considering a number of such applications.

Public Appointments

Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which public appointments have been made by his Department to former Ministers who have served in the Government since May 1997. [104580]

Gillian Merron: There has been one public appointment of a former Minister.

Body

National Cycling Strategy Board for England

Former Minister

Steve Norris

Dates

October 2001 to July 2004


Public Expenditure

Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent per capita by his Department in (a) each English region, (b) London, (c) Scotland and (d) Wales in the last period for which figures are available. [107768]


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Gillian Merron: Information on the Department’s identifiable expenditure by region per head for years from 2000-01 is published in the Department’s Annual Report 2006 (Cm 6527), Table A8. This is available in the Libraries of the House.

Public Transport: London

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if his Department will use (a) Transport Direct and (b) other public transport information means for which he is responsible to alert passengers from other parts of the country to the increases due in 2007 to fares on the tube and buses in London and the discounts and availability of Oyster cards. [104953]

Gillian Merron: Transport Direct currently plans journeys based on the time taken rather than the cost of the journey. It does hold fares information for rail travel and for car journeys however no interface currently exists to enable local fares to be accessed via the portal.

Over the past 12 months consultation has been held with a view to establishing a Farexchange standard for the creation and transmission of fares data via a common language. This may enable such information to be provided in the future. Transport for London shows details of fares and the Oyster reductions on its own website, however these are only available in text format and are not linked to journey planning results.

Railways

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many train services were cancelled mid-journey because they were overcrowded in the last 12 months. [108912]

Mr. Tom Harris: The information requested is of an operational nature, and is not held by the Department. When it becomes necessary to cancel a train during its journey, it is understood the recorded cause would relate to the immediate operational reason, rather than to any crowding which may have contributed.

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his Department’s most recent estimate is of the number of rail passengers from Scotland and the North-West whose journeys continue beyond Birmingham. [108398]

Mr. Tom Harris [holding answer 11 December 2006]: The Department is unable to release detailed passenger flow data of the number of rail passengers from Scotland and the North-West whose journeys continue beyond Birmingham as this would compromise the commercial position of train operators. However the New Cross-Country Stakeholder briefing document, published on the Department for Transport website at www.dft.gov.uk. gives examples of the level of passenger flows.

The following is an extract from the New-Cross Country Stakeholder briefing document.

The following tables offer data, derived from rail industry systems, as a reference towards the quantum of daily Cross-Country passenger flows originating at some key origin points:


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Daily average of Cross-Country Weekday Return Journeys originating at Glasgow Central
Number

Preston(1)

62

Birmingham NS(1)

108

Bristol TM(2, 3)

10

Plymouth(2, 3)

9

(1 )Denotes direct services available in New Cross-Country
(2 )Denotes change of train necessary in New Cross-County
(3 )Limited direct journey opportunities available with greater comparative journey duration

Daily average of Cross-Country Weekday Return Journeys originating at Oxenholme
Number

Preston(1)

60

Birmingham NS(1)

21

Bristol TM(2)

10

Plymouth(2)

2

(1 )Denotes direct services available in New Cross-Country
(2 )Denotes change of train necessary in New Cross-County

Daily average of Weekday Return Cross-Country Journeys originating at Exeter St. David’s
Number

Bristol TM(1)

406

Birmingham NS(1)

109

Preston(2)

2

Carlisle(2)

1

(1 )Denotes direct services available in New Cross-Country
(2 )Denotes change of train necessary in New Cross-County

Daily average of Weekday Return Cross-Country Journeys originating at Plymouth
Number

Bristol TM(1)

188

Birmingham NS(2)

78

Preston(2)

10

Carlisle(2)

4

(1 )Denotes direct services available in New Cross-Country
(2 )Denotes change of train necessary in New Cross-County

The sample below serves to illustrate that by swapping the terminating train in each hour at Birmingham from a service which has originated in Manchester to a service which has originated in Scotland, and has run via the English Lakes, the number of instances of people changing trains remains almost balanced.

Daily average of Weekday Cross-Country Journeys commencing at Bristol Temple Meads to combined North-West England and Scottish station groups
Number

Crewe to Glasgow inclusive stations

(1)101

Stoke and Manchester Piccadilly stations only

(2)119

(1 )Route north of Birmingham transferred to Virgin West Coast
(2 )New Cross-Country defined route

The Department recognises the need to assist all passengers when changing trains and acknowledges the challenges Birmingham New Street station can present to rail users. For many journeys where a change is necessary there will be alternatives such as Wolverhampton, which has seen recent investment in new waiting areas, lifts, a footbridge and customer information systems. Other alternatives include Banbury and Cheltenham Spa, where the operational layout of the station dictates that only same-platform
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changes are necessary. Derby is also an appropriate alternative where the need to change platforms is highly unlikely.

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many station platforms have been temporarily closed due to overcrowding in each of the last five years. [108908]

Mr. Tom Harris: The information requested is not held by the Department. Train stations are managed generally by Network Rail and individual train operating companies. Inquiries relating to temporary platform closures should be made to Network Rail and the Association of Train Companies, which represents the interests of the train companies, to ascertain whether the information is available in the format required. The contact details are:

John Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was paid to companies to act as an operator of the last resort on behalf of (a) the Strategic Rail Authority and (b) his Department in each of the last five years; how this fee package was structured; what tender process was used to appoint such companies; and if he will make a statement. [106995]

Mr. Tom Harris: The Department and previously the Strategic Rail Authority have had a contract with one company—First Class Partnerships—relating to the procurement of specialist advice in connection with duties as ‘Operator of Last Resort’. The contract prices and payment schedule are commercially confidential. The latest contract, awarded in July 2004, was let following a competition from one of the Authority’s 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. No train operating company has acted as operators as last resort on behalf of either the SRA or the Department.

Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with Network Rail on the performance of North Kent rail services; and if he will make a statement. [108812]

Mr. Tom Harris: I have frequent meetings with senior industry parties including Network Rail, to examine performance on the Network. Discussion centres on any particular performance problems on the
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Network, and on the action being taking as a result. I also discuss with Network Rail its current plans to ensure continued improvement on the system as a whole.

Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the performance figures were for North Kent rail services for the four week periods covering (a) October and (b) November; what the figures were for the same periods in 2005; and if he will make a statement. [108814]

Mr. Tom Harris: This is an operational matter for Network Rail, as the owner and operator of the national rail network. The hon. Member should contact Network Rail’s Chief Executive at the following address for a response to his question.

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many trains of each train company were cancelled in the last 12 months; how many of those trains were cancelled (a) before reaching their final destination and (b) before departure; and what the reason was for each cancellation. [104408]

Mr. Tom Harris: I refer the hon. Member to my answer given to the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Carmichael), 4 December 2006, Official Report, columns 9-10W.

Renwable Energy

Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much energy consumed by his Department is acquired from renewable sources. [106150]

Gillian Merron: Information on the amount of energy consumed by the Department acquired from renewable sources will shortly be published by the Sustainable Development Commission.


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