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David Tredinnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent representations she has received on train journey times from Nuneaton to London outside the rush hour; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Tom Harris:
A number of representations have been received from passengers, a rail user group, local authorities and MPs whose constituents use Nuneaton station. Concern has been expressed over changes to train services from December 2008. This will mean that, in the off peak, the link with London and other key destinations will be provided by a semi fast service. Reassurances have been given that the station will still
have links with all the present destinations reached from Nuneaton and indeed will have an increased range of journey opportunities.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether new guidance to train operating companies published by the Rail Safety Standards Board on break-glass hammers or safety windows will apply to existing rolling stock. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Rail Safety and Standards Board is initiating the process to amend the existing industry Railway Group Standard (RGS) relating to the use of break-glass hammers or train safety windows, following the publication of its research report into passenger containment in rail accidents. The RGS amendment process provides a public consultation mechanism.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how £144 million will be saved by her Department through standardising and tightening major maintenance contracts, as described in the pre-Budget report and comprehensive spending review. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The major maintenance contracts referred to in Annexe D3.5 of the pre-Budget report and comprehensive spending review are the Highways Agencys contracts for routine maintenance, winter maintenance and asset renewal for the motorways and trunk roads in England. Maintenance accounts for a substantial portion of the Highways Agency annual spend, hence the magnitude of the anticipated efficiency savings.
Since 2000, the Highways Agency has made radical changes to its maintenance contracts, increasing their size, combining functions into a single service provider contract, and adopting a performance based specification. This process has encouraged greater efficiency from suppliers. These measures have already achieved efficiency savings of some £80 million per annum.
The past process of contract evolution has led to different versions of the contract for each maintenance area. Also, service levels have generally been increased in recent years providing, for example, better support for dealing with incidents on the network and reducing the disruptive impact of road works. There is an opportunity now to achieve further savings by applying a standardised contract across the network and by optimising the value for money from these service levels.
Mr. Tom Harris: The Highways Agency does not hold records of the breakdown of motorway and non-motorway trunk road lane km added to the network since 1977, but does hold some information for the years since 1997.
The Highways Agency does not currently have the data since 1997 verified on a scheme by scheme basis or broken down between motorways and non-motorway trunk roads. The Highways Agency is working on this currently and the breakdown of information is expected to be completed following Christmas recess.
The Department provides capital funding to local highway authorities in England (except London), to support the highways maintenance aspects of their local transport plans. The sums allocated for the period 2002-03 to 2006-07 are as follows:
The Department also supports English local authorities (in this case, including London boroughs) that have entered into private finance initiative (PFI) contracts for highways maintenance, including street lighting maintenance schemes, by providing credits to cover the cost of increased capital funding. The total sums disbursed by the Department were as follows:
|Budget/spend (£ million)|
In addition, we have funded a number of major maintenance projects, each of which costs over £5 million. In total, these projects were allocated the following budgets at the start of each year, together with the actual in-year spend of:
Mr. Tom Harris: The 21 projects listed as on hold on the Highways Agency (HA) website comprise eight major schemes (two of which were in the Governments national roads programme and six which were being prepared for programme entry) and 13 Route Management Strategies.
None of the eight schemes were prioritised for funding by the relevant regional bodies in their advice to Government and they were put on hold by the HA following the Regional Funding Allocations announcement in July 2006. Regional Funding Allocations will be reviewed in due course and regional bodies will have an opportunity to revisit their advice on priorities.
The Route Management Strategies set out a long- term assessment of route capability and priorities for service improvements. The Highways Agency is now developing its forward planning on a regional basis through the recent publication of the Regional Network Reports available on the Highways Agency website.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Tackling urban congestion is our priority, and congestion charging has a role in this, backed by investment in public transport. While it is possible that road pricing could have the potential to be extended to include parts of our national networks, that is a decision for the future, informed by the development of local schemes, including London, and clear answers to the technological and system challenges.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps are being taken by her Department in relation to (a) research into, (b) development of and (c) preparation for a national road pricing scheme. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
Sir Rod Eddington has said that, without action, there will be a 30 per cent. increase in congestion on our roads by 2025, increasing costs to business by over £10 billion a year, so it is
important that we explore road pricing seriously. Congestion charging, backed by investment in public transport, has a role in tackling urban congestion. While it is possible that road pricing could have the potential to be extended to include parts of our national networks, that is a decision for the future, informed by the development of local schemes, including London. We need to find clear answers to the technological and system challenges. The Department is working with industry to explore the role that more advanced technologies and systems could play in supporting schemes. Any road pricing system would need to be robust and trusted by road users. It is important that we demonstrate, for example, how we would deliver safeguards on privacy and against fraud before taking any decisions in the future. The Demonstrations Project was announced by the then Secretary of State on 10 May 2006.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many staff have been employed by her Department to work on research, development and preparation for a national road pricing scheme over the last five years. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Over the last five years, dedicated effort on road pricing in the UK began with a team of five in the Department for Transport working on the Road Pricing Feasibility Study, in summer 2003. Since then, the number of Departmental staff wholly engaged on all aspects of road pricing policy, including work with local authorities on proposals for local schemes, has increased to 22 in 2007-08.
Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent on rolling stock for (a) inter-city services, (b) commuter services in London and the south east and (c) local regional rail services in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Tom Harris [holding answer 22 October 2007] : The information is not held in the form requested. However, approximate figures for the capital investment in rolling stock vehicle procurement at a national level in the last 10 years are as follows:
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