28 Mar 2007 : Column 1517W

Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 28 March 2007



Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what factors he took into consideration when authorising the budget increase for the A628 Mottram Tintwistle bypass; what the main reasons were for agreeing to the increase; and upon what date he agreed to the increases. [130424]

Dr. Ladyman: I took account of a number of factors in agreeing to an increase in the approved cost estimate for this scheme. In particular, I noted that important causes of the cost increase were, firstly, the decision, arising from the North West’s advice on priorities for major transport schemes, to slip the proposed start date of this scheme to 2012-13; secondly, the use of more realistic forecasts of construction inflation up to the scheme’s new start date; and thirdly, the inclusion of additional works to restrain the amount of traffic passing through the Peak District National Park following the construction of the scheme. I also took account of all the impacts, including the benefits that the scheme will provide. These include relieving the communities of Mottram, Hollingworth and Tintwistle of high volumes of through traffic and providing improved journey times for travellers. In the light of the overall balance of costs and benefits I decided that it was appropriate to agree the increase.

I took this decision on 30 January 2007. However, I recognise that at the higher cost estimate this scheme represents an additional pressure on the funding allocation for major schemes in the North West region. Officials will be discussing this with the North West region shortly and I will take account of any views that they may wish to offer on the provision of funding and timing of delivery of this scheme in the light of the higher cost.

A69: Greenhead

Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what date he paid £103,974.92 to the account of Brims and Company Ltd., mentioned at item 5 in the third interim award of 16 October 1998 in the Greenhead A69 diversion arbitration. [129038]

Dr. Ladyman: Brims and Company Ltd. were contractors working on the A69 Greenhead diversion scheme. The company went into receivership in 1990. Receivers were appointed and an arbitration was brought against the Secretary of State. A settlement figure was agreed and ratified by the arbitrator in November 2002. This was a full and final settlement and explicitly included the payment of interest and costs. The agreed settlement figure was paid to Brims and Company Ltd. shortly thereafter. The settlement was enshrined in a consent award which attracts the confidentiality which is implicit in the arbitration process. The confidence is owed to the administrative receiver of Brims and Company Ltd.

28 Mar 2007 : Column 1518W

Official Cars

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many Ministers were entitled to the services of an official Government car in each year between 1997 and 2006. [130284]

Dr. Ladyman: The Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA) is responsible for providing ministerial transport in line with the Ministerial Code and the Prime Minister’s guidance ‘Travel by Ministers’.

All serving Cabinet Ministers, Ministers of State and Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State since 1997 were entitled to an official Government car.

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which Ministers with an entitlement to an official Government car have chosen to be driven in (a) a Jaguar and (b) a Toyota Prius. [130285]

Dr. Ladyman: Guidance on the use and provision of government cars is set out in Travel by Ministers and the Ministerial Code. It is for individual Ministers to account for their travel arrangements.

Railway Stations

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) rail and (b) tram stations there are in England and Wales; and (c) how many bus stations there are in England. [129161]

Mr. Tom Harris: The information is as follows.

Railways: Electric Cables

Dr. Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what steps he is taking to reduce the amount of cable theft on the railways; [130397]

(2) what assessment he has made of the effects of cable theft on the railways. [130398]

Mr. Tom Harris: The British Transport Police are well aware of the seriousness of cable theft and, working with Network Rail, have initiated a wide range of measures to address the problem.

The effects of cable theft on the railways is an operational matter for Network Rail, as the owner and
28 Mar 2007 : Column 1519W
operator of the national rail network. My hon. Friend may wish to contact Network Rail’s Chief Executive at the following address for a response to her question.

Railways: Freight

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department has undertaken any research on the impact of railfreight interchanges on reducing the number of heavy goods vehicles movements and carbon dioxide emissions. [130478]

Mr. Tom Harris: Each railfreight interchange is unique to its specific location and the impact it has on heavy goods traffic is therefore particular to that individual site. Because of this it has not been possible to produce generic modelling on heavy goods vehicle movements at railfreight interchanges.

Roads: Halifax

Mrs. Riordan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much capital has been allocated by local authorities to new road projects in Halifax since 1997. [130406]

Gillian Merron: Figures for the Halifax constituency are not specifically available. The following table sets out how much capital spending on integrated transport improvements has been reported by Calderdale metropolitan borough council (which includes Halifax) to my Department from 1997-98 to 2005-06.

Amount (£000)



















Integrated transport improvements are new road and local public transport related projects. The totals exclude investment made in the area by West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority, as this is primarily related to public transport.

South West Trains: Fares

Sir John Butterfill: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received on the proposal by South West Trains to increase (a) off-peak, (b) super off-peak and (c) first class fares; and if he will make a statement. [130416]

Mr. Tom Harris: These fares are unregulated and therefore Stagecoach need not seek the approval of the Department. Unregulated fares are for train operators to set at their discretion.

The Department has received three letters on the subject.

28 Mar 2007 : Column 1520W

Speed Limits: Cameras

Mrs. Riordan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many speed cameras there are in Halifax constituency. [130403]

Dr. Ladyman: The Department does not hold this information, but does have the information for the area covered by the West Yorkshire Safety Camera Partnership, analysed by local authority. The details are shown in the following table.

Local authority Number

Calderdale MBC


City of Bradford MDC


City of Wakefield MDC




Leeds CC


Grand total


Vehicle Emissions

Jane Kennedy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to arrange flexibility of implementation for a Europe-wide agreement on exhaust emissions to allow UK-based car manufacturers to respond fully and positively whilst maintaining their manufacturing operations; and if he will make a statement. [129845]

Dr. Ladyman: Following the European Commission’s announcement of its intention to legislate on new car fuel efficiency, the Government intend to hold a consultation with stakeholders to ensure that impacts are fully assessed, including issues of flexibility and cost-effectiveness, before a final legislative proposal is produced.


Departments: Advertising

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what his Department’s total spending was on advertising and promotional campaigns in each year since 1997; and what the cost of each campaign was, broken down by costs relating to (a) television, (b) radio and (c) print media. [128064]

David Cairns: The Scotland Office was established on 1 July 1999. The Office does not record separate figures for campaigns by television, radio and print. Figures for 1999-2000 are not available; the Office spent the following on advertising:














Most of the expenditure in 2000-01 and 2001-02 relates to electoral registration matters; since 2001, this has been the responsibility of the Electoral Commission.

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much his Department has spent on (a)
28 Mar 2007 : Column 1521W
sponsoring newspaper and publication supplements and (b) funding advertorials in newspapers or publications in the last year for which figures are available; and what the topic of each was. [129949]

David Cairns: Nothing.

Devolution: Scotland

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent devolution issues the Advocate General has considered. [129054]

David Cairns: Since 24 February, 43 devolution issues have been intimated to the Advocate-General. Of these 43 devolution issues, 14 related to civil proceedings and 29 related to criminal proceedings.

Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how he expects the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 to be implemented in Scotland; and if he will make a statement. [129096]

David Cairns: The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 extend to Scotland and I would expect them to be implemented in exactly the same way as in England and Wales.


Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland pursuant to his answer of 7 March 2007, Official Report, column 2028W, on Orkney, how many visits were made by Scottish Office Ministers to (a) Orkney and (b) Shetland in each year from 1983 to 1999. [127331]

David Cairns: I regret that this information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


Afghanistan: Peace Keeping Operations

Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent (a) representations he has received on and (b) assessment he has made of the reliability of .50 ammunition for the heavy machine gun used by UK troops in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. [129324]

Mr. Ingram: We are experiencing no performance problems with any ammunition and a rigorous testing system is in place to assure this.

Reports of stoppages on the 0.5 calibre heavy machine gun were received from Afghanistan last year. Comprehensive technical investigations confirmed that the cause was a weapons system problem, not the ammunition, which was quickly resolved.

In an unrelated investigation, some ammunition was found to have substandard links, which were causing wear to feeding blocks. The decision was swiftly taken to withdraw all of this ammunition from theatre, and the stock was replaced.

Next Section Index Home Page