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Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps she has taken to promote the use of low emission hybrid engines in public transport vehicles; and if she will make a statement. 
The Government currently provide funding for low carbon technology research and development through the grant programme managed by the Energy Saving Trust. As announced in LCTIS, this funding will in the future be managed by the Technology Strategy Board through their Low Carbon Vehicle Innovation Platform providing up to £30 million per annum. The programme is technology neutral and will be open to developments of hybrid technology in public transport vehicles.
Mr. Tom Harris: These are operational matters for Network Rail as the owner and operator of the national rail network. The right hon. Member should contact Network Rails chief executive at the following address for a response to his question:
40 Melton Street
London, NW1 2DE
Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) which platforms on the North Kent lines between London and Dartford need lengthening to accommodate 12 car trains; and when she expects this work to be completed; 
Mr. Tom Harris: The rail White Paper published in July set out the safety, reliability and capacity improvements the Government want to buy by 2014. The next step in the process is for the industry to consider in more detail how best to deliver those improvements, though the specimen capacity options published in conjunction with the White Paper did identify platform lengthening on two of the three London to Dartford routes as a scheme which could contribute towards achieving the capacity target.
Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the performance of (a) Southeastern Trains and (b) the previous operator for North Kent services between London and Dartford over equivalent periods; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Tom Harris: Southeastern is the current operator of trains in south east London and Kent, including services between London and Dartford. Southeastern took control of this franchise in April 2006. The previous operator was South Eastern Trains.
Since April 2006, average punctuality and reliability on Southeastern's routes improved from 86.7 per cent. to 88.9 per cent. The previous operator, South Eastern Trains, had been responsible for raising average performance from 79.4 per cent. when it took over operations in November 2003.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans she has to increase railway capacity on services between Peterborough and London in terms of the number of (a) new carriages and (b) capacity for more passengers; and when the new carriages will be rolled out. 
Mr. Tom Harris: A fleet of new trains is due to be introduced on the Peterborough to London route as part of the final stage of the Thameslink Programme in December 2015. In the meantime, the December 2008 timetable will see an extra 16 carriages on London to Peterborough and Cambridge routes. This will allow key peak services to provide an additional 1,779 and 2,490 seats in the morning and evening peaks respectively.
Mr. Tom Harris: The Government regulate rail fares where operators are likely to have a high degree of market power. Increases in regulated fares are limited to RPI+1 per cent. and the Secretary of State for Transport recently announced that regulated fares will be capped at this level until at least 2014. Fares that are not subject to regulation are priced at the discretion of train operators. However, the recent White Paper, Delivering a Sustainable Railway, concluded that the fares structure requires simplification for the benefit of passengers and announced its intention to work with the rail industry to implement a simplified fares structure.
Facilities on board trains are a matter for train operators and the rolling stock companies. They are required to comply with relevant safety and accessibility regulations but decisions on other facilities are a matter for them.
The rail industry has continued sustained improvement in punctuality since 2002 and reliability is now back above pre-Hatfield levels. The recent White Paper announced the Government's intention to specify an overall improvement in train reliability (in terms of the public performance measure) of 92.6 per cent. by 2014, compared to a current industry reliability figure of 88.1 per cent. Franchise agreements with train operators contain performance standards that the operators have a contractual obligation to meet and the Department for Transport has sanctions that it can take to ensure that train operators meet their performance obligations.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if officials in her Department will meet representatives of Central Trains to discuss the possibility of providing earlier weekday and weekend services between Peterborough and Stansted Airport. 
Mr. Tom Harris: Responsibility for train services between Peterborough and Stansted Airport will transfer from Central Trains to Arriva Trains Cross Country on 11 November. The issue of service enhancement to and from Stansted Airport was raised with bidders as part of the franchise bidding process.
Jeremy Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what guidance is issued by the Department for Transport to highway authorities on consulting people with disabilities before the construction of traffic calming measures. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Local Transport Note 1/07 Traffic Calming (Department for Transport, 2007) contains guidance on consultation (including consultation with people with disabilities) before the construction of traffic calming measures.
Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many people (a) over and (b) under the age of 25 years holding a full UK driving licence were killed in road accidents whilst driving a car in (i) Jarrow constituency, (ii) South Tyneside, (iii) the North East and (iv) England and Wales in each year since 1997; 
(2) how many people (a) over and (b) under the age of 25 who did not hold a full UK driving licence were killed in a road accident while driving a car in (i) Jarrow constituency, (ii) South Tyneside, (iii) the North East and (iv) the UK in each year since 1997; 
(3) how many people (a) over and (b) under the age of 25 who did not hold a full UK driving licence were injured in a road accident while driving a car in (i) Jarrow constituency, (ii) South Tyneside, (iii) the North East and (iv) the UK in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people were (a) killed and (b) injured in road accidents in (i) Jarrow constituency, (ii) South Tyneside, (iii) the North East and (iv) England and Wales in each year since 1997. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The number of killed and injured casualties resulting from reported personal injury road accidents in (i) Jarrow constituency, (ii) South Tyneside, (iii) the North East and (iv) England and Wales in each year since 1997 is shown in the table.
|Number of casualties|
|Severity||Jarrow||South Tyneside||North East||England and Wales|
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