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The Highways Agency is responsible for the A31 and A35 through the Dorset area. There are currently no plans for improvements to the A31 within Dorset. However, on the A35 there are proposals to improve the capacity at three roundabouts before the 2012 Olympics. They are as follows:
|Route||Improvement||Estimated cost (£ million)|
Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she received proposals from South West Trains under the Network Modifications (Closures) regime contained in the Railway Act 2005 to close the travel centre at Salisbury station; and when she expects to announce her decision. 
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment she has made of the effects on maritime safety and rescue in and around Northern Ireland waters of the decision of the Irish Republic to close the coast guard stations in Donegal; and if she will make a statement; 
(2) what assessment she has made of the effects on measures against illegal and illicit shipping in and around Northern Ireland waters of the decision of the Irish Republic to close the coast guard stations in Donegal; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Should the Irish authorities decide to close coastguard stations in Donegal, provision of maritime search and rescue services in the waters around Northern Ireland will be unaffected. HM Coastguard will continue to provide 24 hr co-ordination of Search and Rescue in and around Northern Ireland waters from its station in Bangor.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment her Department has made of the potential effect of decreasing the mainline express stock on the Portsmouth to Waterloo mainline outside peak hours. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will assess the merits of moving from a system of local authority grants for the provision of volunteer transport services to a system of contracts. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: It is for local authorities to make decisions on how they procure or support volunteer transport services, taking into account the legislative framework and their local circumstances. Information is available to local authorities about volunteer transport services, including a review commissioned by the Department of voluntary transport and carried out in close association with the Community Transport Association.
Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 25 February 2008]: Prior to 2007, the Department funded both the waterborne freight grant (resource) and water freight facilities grant (capital) schemes from a budget of between £8-12 million.
In April 2007, the mode neutral sustainable distribution fund (SDF) was created to fund rail and water freight grants and road efficiency schemes. £18.5 million of resource and £7 million of capital funding has been available from the SDF this year.
No waterborne freight grants have been awarded by the Department since the scheme's inception in 2004. This is not due to a lack of available budget but to the fact that potential applicants have difficulty in satisfying constraints imposed by the European Commission when
the Government sought State Aids clearance. These require schemes to be viable without grant support within a three-year period.
Tessa Jowell [holding answer 20 February 2008]: In my answer of 26 February 2008, Official Report, column 136W, to the hon. Member I set out the budget for the Humanitarian Assistance Unit in each of the last three years. It is not possible to split this budget up in terms of support for domestic incidents and support for international incidents.
A total of 27 Desert Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles operated by UK forces in Afghanistan have been lost in the past 12 months. This number
reflects the high operational tasking of this system. We continue to refine our operational procedures to minimise the loss rate, but it is inevitable that some losses will occur.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The near-cash budget in nominal terms (equivalent to direct resource DEL plus capital DEL) for each year of the comprehensive spending review (CSR) period is set out in table D14 of the CSR White Paper (Cm 7227), published in October 2007. For ease of reference the table is included as follows:
|Financial year||Budget (£ million)||Change on previous year|
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer of 22 November 2007, Official Report, column 1032W, on Iraq: peacekeeping operations, how many of the media assignments facilitated since April 2007 were for a single media outlet or organisation; and from which exclusive access to information arose. 
Des Browne: Our records indicate that of the 52 media assignments to Iraq since April, 45 were for single individuals or media outlets. The others were group visits. All programmes take account of the operational situation at the time, security requirements and the preferences of the individual journalist or organisation and therefore differ from visit to visit.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the decision to restrict recruiting for certain units in the Territorial Army over the next two financial years remains in place. 
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland with reference to the answer of 29 October 2007, Official Report, column 608W, on territorial waters: Northern Ireland, when he expects to write to the hon. Member for Thurrock; and if he will explain the reason for the delay. 
Under Schedule 3 to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 the foreshore, sea bed and subsoil and their natural resources (except so far as affecting harbours) are reserved matters. Thus, marine nature conservation in the territorial waters is the responsibility of the Secretary of State. However, at operational level, his functions are carried out by the Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland (Environment and Heritage Service).
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales pursuant to the written ministerial statement by the Secretary of State for Defence on 31 January 2008, Official Report, columns 24-26WS, on the Defence Training Review Rationalisation Programme/BORONA programme, how many new net jobs Package 1 of the programme will be created in Wales. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: The precise number of jobs to be created during the construction and operational phases of the project will not be known until current contractual negotiations between the MOD and Metrix have been completed.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what percentage of working days lost by his Departments staff was attributed to stress-related conditions in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what environmental protection matters were discussed at the British-Irish Council Meeting on 14 February; and what agreements were made. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: The British-Irish Council (BIC), held its 10th summit meeting on 14 February at the Royal hospital Kilmainham, in Dublin, Ireland. It is customary for each summit to focus on a single theme. The focus of this summit was on misuse of drugs, which is a workstream led by the Irish Government. The next summit meeting will be held in Edinburgh in September 2008.
The UK leads the Environment Workstream and the last ministerial meeting was held in Northern Ireland on 1 February 2008. At that meeting, it was agreed that BIC should continue to intensify co-operation and
exchange of information between the members on a number of important environmental areas including unavoidable climate change, understanding extreme weather events, integrated coastal zone management and managing radioactive waste. The next ministerial meeting of the BIC Environment will take place in Jersey in 2009.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the Welsh Assembly Government on the use of the additional funding provided by the Department for Children, Schools and Families for (a) Connexions services and (b) the Youth Opportunity and Youth Capital Funds; and if he will make a statement. 
Connexions services are for England only. In Wales, Careers Wales, an independent organisation funded by the Welsh Assembly Government, provides this service. It has six local delivery companies providing a comprehensive careers advice and guidance service to people of all ages, operating across the Welsh regions. Similarly, the Youth Opportunity and Youth Capital Funds programmes also apply to England only. Youth service in Wales is provided through the Welsh Assembly Government via the National Youth Service Strategy, published in March last year.
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