|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what (a) percentage and (b) actual change he expects there to be in numbers of seats on (i) peak and (ii) off peak services from Peterborough to London Kings Cross between December 2007 and January 2009; and if she will make a statement. 
National Express East Coast Limited (NXEC) has no current plans to alter the present Monday-Friday peak or midday off-peak services at either the December 2007, May 2008 or December 2008 timetable changes for services from Peterborough to London Kings Cross.
FCC, in the meantime, at the December 2008 timetable change will see an extra 16 carriages on London to Peterborough and Cambridge routes. This will allow key peak services to provide additional 1,779 and 2,490 seats in the morning and evening peaks respectively.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent estimate she has made of likely levels of overcrowding on the East Coast Mainline Kings Cross to Peterborough line over the next five years; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Tom Harris: Forecasts of future demand to 2014 and of peak crowding were made as part of the preparation for the rail High Level Output Specification. The Governments July 2007 HLOS seeks, among many improvements, additional capacity into Kings Cross sufficient to meet this forecast demand and to ensure peak crowding does not worsen. On 1 November Network Rail intends to publish its Strategic Business Plan setting out how the rail industry proposes to provide this capacity.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 17 October 2007, Official Report, column 1094W, on railways: rolling stock, how many extra rail carriages will be introduced in each stage; and on which lines. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The plan for deployment of the extra carriages in terms of timing, quantity, and route, will be determined in collaboration with the railway industry. This process will start following the imminent publication of Network Rails Strategic Business Plan, and will continue through to 2014.
Mr. Tom Harris: None. Under health and safety law it is for railway duty holders, specifically infrastructure managers, to decide on the safety implications on the use of train whistles at night. The Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), the rail industrys own safety body, defines the industrys approach to the use of train whistles at night. In April 2007, responding to public concern, RSSB amended the relevant standard so that
between 11pm and 7am trains will no longer routinely sound their horns; and between 7am and 11pm, where trains are able to, they will only use the lower tone of the two-tone horn when passing whistle boards.
Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consultations have taken place on increasing rail capacity in line with house building planned for the South East regional area. 
Mr. Tom Harris: Existing and future population patterns were among the issues considered as the department compiled the South Eastern and Southern Regional Planning Assessments for the railway, both of which were published in January 2007. Both documents were produced following extensive discussions with the relevant regional and local authorities.
Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps she plans to take to ensure that the implementation of a renewable transport fuel obligation does not damage rain forests. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) will include a reporting mechanism under which any transport fuel supplier wishing to earn a certificate for the supply in the UK of any litre of renewable transport fuel will be required to complete a report on the carbon savings associated with, and wider sustainability impacts of, the fuel in question. The Renewable Fuels Agency is expected to publish regular reports highlighting the different performance of different transport fuel suppliers, and allowing consumers to compare the extent to which different suppliers make efforts to source sustainable biofuels. We believe that this will create a very strong incentive on transport fuel suppliers to source only the most sustainable biofuels.
We have also announced that we aim, from April 2011, to reward biofuels under the RTFO only if the feedstocks from which they are produced meet appropriate sustainability standards, provided that this is compatible with World Trade Organisation rules and EU Technical Standards requirements, and is consistent with the policy framework being developed by the European Commission as part of the review of the existing EU biofuels legislation. We have recently published an informal policy paper (available via http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/environment/rtfo/secrtfostake/informalpolicypaper) setting out in more detail how we intend to take this commitment forward.
In the meantime, the UK Government are also lobbying the European Commission to ensure that the binding sustainability framework for biofuels that is likely to be included as part of the forthcoming Renewable Energy Directive is as robust as possible.
Ms Rosie Winterton:
This Department is responsible for the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (2002) that prescribe traffic signs and road marking for the use by highway authorities. It is the responsibility of local authorities to install (and remove) traffic signs as necessary to indicate the provision of their local Traffic Regulation Orders. Decisions on what restrictions should
be applied (and signed) are a matter for local discretion. There is no central information either on the number of traffic signs installed or removed by authorities nationally and the cost of these measures.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made on the feasibility study into a new access road for Canvey Island; what assessment she has made of the (a) safety, (b) congestion, (c) regeneration and (d) environmental impacts of providing such an access road; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The feasibility study for an additional access road to Canvey Island is not at present a matter for assessment by the Secretary of State but one for consideration by the local planning and transport authorities. I am aware that the local highway authority, Essex county council, is continuing its investigation of such a proposed road scheme.
Should the council decide in principle to promote such a scheme, it would need to obtain the regions agreement to prioritise the scheme for funding within the East of England regional funding allocation for major transport schemes. The council would then need to submit a detailed major scheme business case for the scheme, in line with departmental guidance, for consideration and assessment by the Department.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will place in the Library a copy of the letter which the Highways Agency received from Essex police in support of the 70 mph speed limit at the Asda roundabout approach road A1089 and which is referred to in the letter sent on 21 June 2007 by Francis Cluett, Area Performance Manager, Traffic Operations South East of the Highways Agency to the hon. Member for Thurrock. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The available expenditure data do not enable new road construction to be identified as a separate category. Expenditure prior to 2001-02 solely by the Department for Transport is also not available. The total expenditure on road infrastructure in Great Britain by central and local government from 1995-96 to 2005-06, the latest date for which figures are available, is given in the following table together with the figures on English strategic roads from 2002-03.
|Investment in road infrastructure( 1)|
|Total Great Britain||Strategic roads in England|
|(1) Includes some private investment in road infrastructure, using private public finance contracts.|
(2) Not yet available.
These figures cover new construction, improvements and structural maintenance and exclude routine maintenance.
Central and Local Government expenditure in England, Scotland and Wales
Funds are allocated to the Highways Agency annually for major road projects and to local authorities for specific schemes. Details of schemes are available in the Highways Agencys annual business plans and in local transport plan settlement letters issued to local authorities. These documents are available online and also in the Libraries of the House.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much has been allocated to road (a) building, (b) improvements, (c) pricing and (d) other projects as a result of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) 2007; and which projects are the result of CSR 2007 decisions. 
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much her Department has spent on a possible national road pricing scheme; and how many (a) departmental staff and (b) external consultants have worked on her Department's road pricing policy. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: In response to the first part of the question, I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Member for South Thanet (Dr. Ladyman), the then Minister for Transport, to the hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell (Chris Grayling) on 14 June 2007, Official Report, column 1273W (UIN 141864).
As for numbers of staff and external consultants working on road pricing, I would also refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 14 June 2007, Official Report, column 1273W (UIN 141863). There have been minor fluctuations in these numbers with normal turnover of personnel but they remain a fair representation of the size of the road pricing team.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether her Department plans to take forward lorry road user charging independently of a national road pricing scheme; how much her Department has spent on a possible lorry road user charging scheme; and how many (a) departmental staff and (b) external consultants have worked on proposals for lorry road user charging. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to the hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell (Chris Grayling) by my hon. Friend the Member for South Thanet (Dr. Ladyman), the then Minister for Transport, on 21 June 2007, Official Report, column 2114W (UIN 141858) and by the then Financial Secretary, the hon. Member for Wentworth (John Healey) on 25 June 2007, Official Report, column 521W (UIN141857).
Mr. Clelland: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average age is of rolling stock fleet allocated to (a) each of the current rail franchises and (b) the Tyne and Wear Metro; and what the expected average age is of such rolling stock by 2013 in each case. 
Mr. Tom Harris: Details of the current average age of the UK rolling stock fleet by sector are published by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) in National Rail Trends and available on the ORR website (www.rail-reg.gov.uk). Equivalent figures for 2013 are not available although the Department intends shortly to publish a rolling stock plan. Information about the Tyne and Wear Metro is a matter for Nexus.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on the potential impact of the sale of spectrum access on (a) British ports and (b) British shipping and freight companies. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: None. However, officials from the Department and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency continue to discuss these matters regularly with officials from DBERR (who, with MOD, jointly chair the UK Spectrum Steering Group) and Ofcom, most recently in the context of the Ofcom consultation, Spectrum Framework Review: The Public Sector.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|