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Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions she has had on (a) improving the MOT fee-setting process and (b) the possible deregulation of fees for MOTs. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department is intending to consult on MOT testing policy including on whether or not there should be any changes in how test fees are set. There have been the usual discussions within Government and informally with stakeholders as part of this process.
Mr. Andrew Turner:
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many motorists in the (a) London, (b) Surrey county council, (c) Hampshire county council and (d) Isle of Wight council area used their vehicles
for (i) less than five miles, (ii) between five and 25 miles and (iii) more than 25 miles in each of the last five years. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The table shows the percentage of car driver trips by residents of London, Surrey and Hampshire which are (a) less than five miles, (b) five to less than 25 miles and (c) 25 miles and over for 2002-06(1), based on data from the National Travel Survey. It is not possible to produce reliable estimates for the Isle of Wight using data from this survey.
(1) Data for several years have been combined in some cases to increase the sample size.
|Car driver trips per person per year by trip length, 2002-06|
|Under five miles||Five to under 25 miles||25 miles and over||All lengths|
Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what funding was made available for motorway noise reduction schemes in each year since 1997; and what funding will be made available for each of the next three years. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Highways Agency has a policy of using quieter surfaces as a matter of course whenever a road needs to be resurfaced. Budgets for noise reduction measures on these schemes are not generally separately identifiable.
Since 1999-2000 the agencys budget has included an annual £5 million ring-fenced allocation to provide noise mitigation measures in the most serious and pressing cases, where practical and cost-effective measures can be provided.
The Highways Agency is currently considering the composition of its investment programmes for each of
the next three years following the outcome of the comprehensive spending review.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department sponsored development of the ITSO specifications for interoperable smart card ticketing. This will enable consumers to benefit from a more consistent interface to public transport and the ability to use one card across many different transport operators and schemes in the UK.
Support has been provided for early implementation by local authorities. The NoWcard scheme in the north west has been rolling out over the past year. Existing schemes in Cheshire, Nottinghamshire and Southampton are in the process of introducing ITSO based smartcards.
All new rail franchises now include a requirement to introduce tickets on smartcards to the ITSO specification. The Government believe that the introduction of ITSO smartcards on the railway will make it easier for passengers to buy their tickets at a time and place to suit them and to offer more flexible ticketing. It also opens up the opportunities to better integrate ticketing between transport modes.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps she is taking to ensure interoperability between the Integrated Transport Smartcard Organisation and Oyster smart cards on the public transport network. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: In May 2006 the Secretary of State and Mayor of London announced that they intended to enable the Oyster network in London to accept ITSO smart cards, as well as to enable mainline railway stations in London to accept Oyster Pay As You Go.
A project is under way to deliver interoperability between Oyster and ITSO in London and to meet rail franchise commitments. When it is completed the entire Transport for London transport network should be able to accept ITSO based smartcards.
More than half of rail journeys are made on a regulated ticket, and around 80 per cent. of passengers buy either a regulated or discounted ticket. Regulated fares are now on average 1.6 per cent. cheaper in real terms than they were in 1995.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions her officials have had with train operating companies on the effect on fares of increases in franchise premia payments. 
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many fires there were on trains in each of the last five years for which data is available; how many of these fires (a) were judged to be a risk to human life when they broke out, (b) resulted in loss of life and (c) were connected with train crashes; and how many lives were lost on each occasion. 
|Train fires 2002-06|
|Number of train fires|
The data is for all railways and tramways in Great Britain, and is based on incidents reported to the Office of Rail Regulation's HM Railway Inspectorate, under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR 95).
For the period covered, there was one reportable fatality. A guard was overcome by smoke attempting to extinguish a fire on board a train, which had been started by arsonists. The incident occurred at Purley on the 5 July 2002.
Collisions between rolling stock.
Derailments of rolling stock.
Trains running into obstructions.
Fires on board trains.
Missile damage to drivers cab windows.
In instances where a train is involved in a collision and a subsequent fire results, the accident is categorized as a collision rather than a fire (e.g. the Ladbroke Grove railway accident 5 October 1999). Therefore information is not available to answer part c of the question.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the criteria are for awarding the East Coast Main Line rail franchise; and how the Grand Central franchise affects the East Coast Main Line franchise. 
The Grand Central Franchise does not have any impact on the level of service to be provided by the InterCity East Coast franchise. Bidders were instructed to take full account of Grand Central rights in constructing their bid.
Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether she or officials from her Department have had meetings with Transport for London in the last six months to discuss new funding arrangements following the Metronet administration and the approval of Crossrail. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Ministers and officials from the Department have met with Transport for London over the past six months to discuss Transport for London funding as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review 2007. This has included discussions on Crossrail and on Metronets administration.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what regular safety inspections and certification procedures are carried out on trains; and whose responsibility it is to ensure that these are carried out so that all rolling stock meets safety standards. 
Under the Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems (Safety) Regulations 2006 railway companies must have their safety management systems certified by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR). Their safety management systems should include procedures for carrying out risk assessments and selecting and implementing control measures including, where appropriate, inspection and certification.
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