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Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what licensing powers currently within her Department's responsibilities she expects to be transferred to the Marine Management Organisation, as proposed in the Marine Bill White Paper; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: While the Code is not a legal document and there are no plans to make it mandatory, it can be used as an example of good practice to support a prosecution for non compliance with regulations.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations she has made to Network Rail on signal failures in the Portsmouth area in 2008; what steps Network Rail has taken to prevent signalling problems during major works at Easter; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Secretary of State for Transport has made no representations to Network Rail on signal failures in the Portsmouth area in 2008. The prevention of signalling problems during major works at Easter is an operational matter for Network Rail as the owner and operator of the national rail network. The hon. Member should contact Network Rails chief executive at the following address for a response to his question:
40 Melton Street
London, NW1 2EE.
Mr. Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she expects refurbished rolling stock to be available for Northern Rail services on its Newcastle to Carlisle line; and when Pacer trains will be decommissioned. 
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Taunton of 5 February 2008, Official Report, columns 1014-15W, on parking tickets, whether the figures provided include parking tickets issued on Government Car and Despatch Agency vehicles under lease to departments other than her Department at the time the ticket was issued. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The figures for the period 1999-2000 to 2006-07 quoted in the earlier reply include parking ticket costs for the entire Government Car and Despatch Agencys fleet, including those vehicles allocated to other Government Departments. Information before 1999-2000 is not readily available and could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Local and central government are currently spending £2.5 billion a year on bus services, including those linking rural areas with nearby towns and cities. This total includes bus service operators grant (BSOG), the costs of mandatory concessionary fares, local authority subsidy of non-commercial services and capital expenditure on bus-related infrastructure schemes.
These resources include funding we have provided to local authorities in the form of rural bus subsidy grant (RBSG). This grant is currently supporting some 2,000 services many of which provide the vital links to nearby towns. A total of around 38 million passenger journeys are made annually on RBSG supported services. This year's allocations total £55.6 million, bringing the grant's total to nearly £450 million since its introduction in 1998.
The Local Transport Bill, now before Parliament, will benefit rural areas and urban areas alike by modernising the regulatory framework for buses, giving local authorities a bigger role where this is necessary and providing strengthened arrangements for partnerships between local authorities and bus operators.
The Bill also contains measures to expand the role of community transport and to enable private hire vehicle operators to provide local bus services, extending the existing taxibus provisions to this sector for the first time. Both these measures are of particular relevance to meeting rural transport needs.
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many external contracts the Rail Accidents Investigation Branch held with public relations companies in each year for which figures are available; and what the cost of those contracts was. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Rail Accident Investigation Branch was set up during 2005 and became fully operational from 17 October 2005. RAIB let a contract with Campaign Productions (Television Productions Ltd.) to produce a DVD for use by TV/media explaining the RAIBs role in investigating certain rail accidents and incidents. In financial year 2006-07, the cost was £13,618.15 and in FY 2007-08, the cost was £363.82.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what her strategy is for increasing (a) passenger and (b) freight capacity on the national rail network; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Department for Transports strategy for increasing passenger and freight capacity through record investment in the railway is set out in the 2007 White Paper, Delivering a Sustainable Railway. A copy of this White Paper is available in the House Library.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the implications for heritage railways of the railways and other guided systems regulations; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) is considering concerns raised by heritage railways about the application of the Railway and Other Guided Transport System (Safety) Regulations 2006. I expect to receive briefing from ORR in late March on progress in resolving these concerns.
Mr. Tom Harris: The Department has not made such an assessment. We are aware of the claims made for the potential benefits of ultra light rail, but in order to assess these properly we would need to see a business case supporting its application in a specific location. Local authorities are welcome to submit innovative proposals to the Department for funding as pilot or demonstration schemes within the major scheme funding regime.
Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many times the Office of Rail Regulation visited railway track around Llansamelet station in 2006-07; and what assessment they made of public safety following those visits. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Office of Rail Regulation made no visits to the railway track around Llansamlet railway station during 2006 or 2007. However, a Railway Inspectorate Contact Officer did visit the station in December 2007 to consider trespass risk.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will make it her policy to bring forward legislation to require Stakeholder Briefing Documents which lay out the specification against which bidders for future franchises are asked to submit their bids to include the results of a consultation exercise in which passengers have been consulted about their requirements, in accordance with the recommendations of the 14th Report of the Transport Committee on Passenger Franchising, Session 2005-06, HC 1354, para 34. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Governments response to the Select Committees report (HC 265, published on 29 January 2007) explained that the Department for Transport already has a policy of consulting with a wide range of statutory and other bodies, including passenger representatives, before inviting tenders for passenger rail franchises. That remains our approach and we have no plans to legislate in this area.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the number of people affected by the decision to terminate trains on the Watford to Brighton line at Clapham Junction from winter 2008; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Tom Harris: A recent survey showed that an average of around 70 passengers (per train operated) would require to change trains at Clapham Junction. Many times that number of people will benefit from the implementation of the full Thameslink service that is made possible by the service change.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will publish the 1994 Standing Advisory Committee on Trunk Road Assessment report on trunk roads and the generation of traffic on the Department for Transport website. 
Mr. Tom Harris: This is currently only available in paper format. We will scan this study and release it on the Department's website in March. We have identified a number of further reports, released before web publishing was the norm, which we will also release in electronic format alongside this SACTRA study.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what account her Department takes of the 1994 Standing Advisory Committee on Trunk Road Assessment report in their assessment of individual new road proposals. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Department has ensured that the findings of the 1994 report are reflected in assessments through advising promoters about appropriate modelling techniques. For the largest proposals, using multi-modal models means analysis takes account of the impacts of generated traffic in assessments. For smaller schemes, the Department has recommended the use of more proportionate but robust approaches.
The specific guidance for road proposals is introduced in TAG Unit 2.9, Variable Demand ModellingAdvice Overview. For the larger studies, the advice is introduced in TAG Unit 1.2.1, Multimodal Studies: Introduction to Guidance on Multi Modal Studies. These are available at:
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the final report of the research study examining accident statistics on the trunk road network will be
published; what assessment she has made of the results of the study for the continued use of stone mastic asphalt surfaces on roads; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Highways Agency publishes an annual report on the safety performance of the trunk road network based on an examination of the road traffic accident statistics contained in a database of personal injury road accidents known as STATS19. This can be found at www.dft.gov.uk. The current report, Accidents on the trunk road network - 2006, was published in October 2007.
The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) research report, 'Early Life Skid Resistance - An Assessment of Accident Risk', pertaining to the use of 'bespoke' proprietary thin surfacings on the trunk roads has been delivered to the Highways Agency to consider its recommendations and conclusions. The report will be available to the public and the highway authorities through TRL from April onwards. Stone mastic asphalt is not used on the trunk road network.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what work her Department is undertaking on the modelling criteria for (a) new and (b) widened roads; what timescale is being applied to this work; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Department expects modelling for schemes to be robust and advice on criteria forms part of the New Approach to Appraisal. For road schemes, the details can be found on the transport analysis website at:
Ms Rosie Winterton: For the South West region, the Government have provided almost £865 million, through the Regional Funding Allocation (RFA), to be spent between 2007-08 and 2015-16 for regionally significant transport schemes, including road investment.
|Scheme||Scheme sponsor||DFT contribution (£ million)|
|Authority||2008-09||2009-10||20010-11||2008-09 to 2010-11|
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