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25 Jun 2007 : Column 527W—continued

Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the tunnelling machine used in the A3 Hindhead improvement can be used in future road improvement schemes. [145693]

Dr. Ladyman: The A3 Hindhead improvement scheme will not be using a tunnel boring machine for tunnel construction. The excavators and associated support equipment that will be used would be suitable for use in future road improvement schemes.

Roads: Safety

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) whether a regulatory impact assessment was produced on the provisions of the Road Safety Act 2006 which repealed Section 75 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976; [145501]

(2) what estimate he has made of the cost to (a) community and voluntary sector groups and (b) county councils of the repeal of Section 75 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976. [145651]

Gillian Merron: A copy of the Regulatory Impact Assessment for Section 53 of Road Safety Act 2006, which provides for repeal of section 75 (1) (b) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1975, has been placed in the Library of the House.

This gives our estimate of the overall costs across all sectors. We however made no specific estimate of the costs for the community and voluntary transport sectors or for county councils.

It should be borne in mind that many private hire vehicle contracts will already be carried out by drivers, vehicles and operators that are already licensed or to whom the contract exemption did not apply. Furthermore, the proportion of licensing cost which will be passed on to those awarding contracts will depend on contracts terms in each case.

ScotRail: Franchises

Ms Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the financial details of the
25 Jun 2007 : Column 528W
procurement process for the Scotrail franchise were made available by the Scottish Rail Authority to the (a) Scottish Executive and (b) Strathclyde Passenger Transport Authority, during the refranchising process. [145567]

Mr. Tom Harris: The Strategic Rail Authority undertook the replacement of the ScotRail franchise on behalf of the Scottish Executive. The SRA's processes incorporated the provision of information to and consultation with both the Scottish Executive and Strathclyde Passenger Transport Authority during the franchising process.

Ms Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the final costs were of the tendering process for the current Scotrail franchise; and on which date the figure was reached for the final cost of the tendering process for the current franchise. [145568]

Mr. Tom Harris: The ScotRail franchise was re-let by the Strategic Rail Authority on behalf of the Scottish Executive, at a cost to the Authority of £3.753 million. The process was completed on 18 October 2004.

Speed Limits: Cameras

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research he has (a) commissioned and (b) reviewed on the relative effectiveness of conspicuous and inconspicuous speed cameras in reducing numbers of speeding motorists. [144104]

Dr. Ladyman [holding answer 20 June 2007]: The Department’s guidance DfT Circular 01/2007 Use of Speed and Red-Light Cameras for Traffic Enforcement: Guidance on Deployment, Visibility and Signing, which is available in the House Library, recommends cameras are positioned conspicuously and at locations where excessive speed represents a road safety problem. The annual independent evaluations of the national safety camera programme show that conspicuous enforcement is proven to reduce speeding and accidents. The Department has not commissioned or reviewed research on the relative effectiveness of conspicuous and covert cameras at reducing the number of speeding motorists, but has always made clear that it remains open to the police to conduct covert enforcement of speed limits. The Department introduced high visibility speed enforcement in 2001 as part of the Government’s decision to make the camera netting-off scheme available nationally.

Train Operating Companies: Subsidies

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what Government subsidy was provided to each train operating company in each year since 1997. [144285]

Mr. Tom Harris: Historic subsidies paid and premiums received to and from franchised train operators were published in the annual report and accounts of the Strategic Rail Authority up to 2004-05.
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Beyond that the information is contained in National Rail Trends. Copies of these documents are in the Library of the House.

Transport: Baggage

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received on (a) air, (b) bus and (c) rail passenger hand baggage policy. [145898]

Gillian Merron: The Secretary of State has received written representations from industry and business representatives, and correspondence from members of the public, drawing his attention to the impact the restriction on the number of items of cabin baggage is having on UK air travellers.

Following the London attacks in July 2005 the Department received a limited amount of correspondence from members of the public about restricting the carriage of luggage on the London Underground and rail networks.

Transport: Greater London

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how much funding for which his Department is responsible was allocated to each London borough in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement; [145214]

(2) how much central government funding was allocated to each London borough for road improvements in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [145216]

Gillian Merron: Capital funding to London boroughs for improvements to transport, including highways, is a matter for the Mayor. The Department gives a block grant to Transport for London, from which borough transport improvements can be funded.

Additionally, under the Mixed Priority Route Road Safety Demonstration Project, £1 million in grant was allocated to the London borough of Southwark and the London borough of Lambeth for highway works between 2002-03 and 2006-07. Over three years from 2001 to 2003 funding was also provided for the Kerbcraft scheme to equip local volunteers to work with small groups of 5-7 year olds on improving basic roadside skills. The funding was allocated to the London boroughs as shown in the chart as follows.


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Payments to London boroughs running ‘Kerbcraft’ schemes( 1)
£000
2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07

Camden

9

28

27

23

Croydon

9

24

25

27

Enfield

28

27

24

Greenwich

26

29

48

22

27

Haringey

5

28

29

28

Islington

2

26

22

26

Lambeth

32

37

25

21

Lewisham

34

55

39

31

Southwark

2

11

22

Tower Hamlets

10

38

59

46

26

Waltham Forest

4

22

22

19

Westminster

9

29

31

21

(1 )Payment was made after the end of the financial year in which the training was carried out.

The Department has also awarded PFI credits to London boroughs in order to support them to enter into a PFI contract to improve their street lighting. The PFI credits awarded to London boroughs for street lighting schemes in the last five years are:

London borough Month of award PFI c redits awarded (£ million)

London borough of Islington

May 2003

12.2

London borough of Ealing

July 2005

25.3

London borough of Lambeth

November 2005

17.2

London borough of Barnet

March 2006

27.8

London borough of Enfield

March 2006

23.7


Transport: Noise

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to address noise generated by (a) road traffic, (b) trains and (c) aviation. [145597]

Gillian Merron: On aircraft noise, the Government’s objective is to strike a fair balance between the local and national benefits that can be gained from airport expansion and the local environmental costs that might be imposed on people who live nearest to airports.

One of the aims of the 2003 Future of Air Transport White Paper was that the number of people in the UK significantly affected by aircraft noise should be limited and, where possible, reduced. In helping airports deliver this aim, the Civil Aviation Act 2006 strengthened airport operators’ powers to control noise at airports.

The Environmental Noise Directive requires the production of strategic noise maps for large urban areas, major roads, major railways and major airports. The maps will be used to prepare noise action plans during 2008 setting out how environmental noise, including that from transport sources, will be managed. To inform the development of these plans, the Department for Transport will work closely with DEFRA and transport stakeholders in reviewing how transport noise is currently managed and what additional mitigation measures might be needed.

In assessing the impact of new road proposals on the environment, noise annoyance is taken into account in scheme appraisal. Road construction projects will include high standards of environmental mitigation to ensure that, so far as reasonably possible, the impact of noise is minimised in accordance with this policy.

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received on noise nuisance generated by (a) aviation and (b) road traffic. [145598]

Gillian Merron: The Department regularly receives representations regarding noise generated by aviation
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and road traffic. The views are used in developing measures to address noise nuisance from transport.

Transport: Sustainable Development

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the project on the sustainability of land use and transport in outer neighbourhoods has been completed. [145596]

Gillian Merron: This project is due to be completed later this year. A copy of the report from the first phase can be found in the Library of the House.

Vehicles

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the projected change is in the number of vehicles on roads in England up to 2,025, broken down by category of vehicle. [139550]

Dr. Ladyman: The Department’s TEMPRO (Version 5) System forecasts car ownership, alongside other data on trips. However, it does not forecast other vehicle categories. Current projections are that the change in the number of cars between 2003 and 2025 could be 7.9 million or 34 per cent.

Education and Skills

Adoption

Ms Dari Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what average time a child waited in local authority care to be placed (a) with foster parent(s) and (b) with a parent(s) for adoption in each of the last five years. [144432]

Mr. Dhanda: The information requested on the average time a child waited in local authority care to be placed with foster parents is not collected centrally.

Information on the average time between the date it was decided that a looked after child should be placed for adoption and the date this child was actually placed for adoption is shown in the following table.

Looked after children adopted during the year ending 31 March 2006 by average time between the date it was decided that a child should be placed for adoption and the actual date when a child was placed for adoption( 1,2,3) , E ngland
Year ending 31 March Average time between the date it was decided a looked after child should be placed for adoption and the actual date when this child was placed for adoption (year:month)

2002

0:08

2003

0:07

2004

0:08

2005

0:08

2006

0:08

(1) SSDA903 return (Source).
(2) Historical data may differ from older publications. This is mainly due to the implementation of amendments and corrections sent by some local authorities after the publication date of previous materials.
(3) Figures were rounded to the nearest year and to the nearest month.

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