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The Families and Children Study (FACS)

The Department contributes funds to this Department for Work and Pensions panel survey of 7,500 families including 13,500 dependent children. The survey provides information on the travel to school and work behaviours and choices of this group. Further information is available at:

Railways: Franchises

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she intends to publish the results of her Department’s consultation on Enforcement policy: rail franchise agreements and closure conditions. [191707]

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Mr. Tom Harris: The Enforcement Policy: Rail Franchise Agreements and Closure Conditions is being updated following responses to the consultation and in light of the recent enforcement activity concerning First Great Western. The results and the updated policy will be published in due course.

Road Traffic Control

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what work her Department has carried out on traffic calming measures since 2005. [191705]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department for Transport (DfT) provides advice, technical guidance and regulations for the installation of traffic calming. Implementation of traffic calming on local roads is a matter for local authorities.

The Highways Agency is responsible for implementing traffic calming on its road network. Since 2005, the Highways Agency has implemented 61 road schemes incorporating traffic calming elements. A list of all the schemes has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Since 2005, the DfT has made the following regulations relating to traffic calming which are available on the website of the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) at:

Since 2005 we have published a number of guidance documents relating to traffic calming which are available on the DfT website at:

Since 2005, the DfT has funded the Mixed Priority Road Safety Demonstration Project, the Inner City Road Safety Demonstration Project, the Neighbourhood Road Safety Initiative, and the Road Safety Partnership Grant Scheme, in which safety schemes have included some traffic calming measures.

The DfT also contributed to “Traffic Calming Techniques” Institution of Highways and Transportation and County Surveyor’s Society, 2005, available from:

English Heritage and DfT worked together to produce “Streets for All” 2005, available from:

a series of eight regional documents including a chapter about traffic management. The DfT also worked with English Heritage to produce a series of leaflets (including one about traffic calming) on improving streetscape in historic areas. English Heritage plan to publish the leaflets in spring 2008.

Roads: Lighting

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment her Department and its agencies have made of the effectiveness of street lighting in reducing the (a) risk and (b) seriousness of road accidents. [194380]

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Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 14 March 2008]: The provision of street lighting on local roads in England is the responsibility of individual local highway authorities. The Department is currently undertaking research into the relationship between road accidents and the provision of street lighting on the local authority road network. We expect the research to be published in the summer.

The safety benefits of road lighting on the strategic road network (motorways and major A roads in England) operated by the Highways Agency in England were most recently assessed in 2006. That analysis of 11 years of accident data found that road lighting reduced night time personal injury accidents on motorway and major A road links, between junctions, by about 10 per cent.

In August 2007 the Agency published revised standards for new and replacement lighting, so that future provision as a safety measure was cost effective and sensitive to the environment, while maintaining road safety.

The Agency is presently assessing whether road lighting, while providing road user comfort, might encourage higher speeds.

Roads: Safety

Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what measures are being taken to promote road safety on rural and remote roads. [195220]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department publishes guidance and awards grants to assist local authorities in addressing road safety issues.

It has recently launched an £8 million demonstration project looking at rural road safety issues. Working with Devon, Lincolnshire, Northampton and Norfolk county councils, the project will demonstrate good practice for local authorities in developing and implementing area-wide data-led strategies, involving a range of education, enforcement and engineering measures, for achieving road casualty reductions in rural areas.

The Department has also recently provided grant funding through its Partnership Grant Scheme for a number of rural projects including £205,000 to Derbyshire county council to assist with the Derbyshire Motorcycle Audit Demonstration Project, which comprises an infrastructure audit of two sections of road with high motorcyclist casualty rates. The audit findings will be incorporated into engineering, maintenance and education, training and publicity programmes, and shared with other interested parties.

More widely the Department also continues to raise awareness of the dangers of speeding on rural roads through its Think! publicity campaigns.

Roads: Tolls

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to the Financial Statement of 12 March 2008, Official Report, column 294, what discussions she has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the funding of road pricing technology; and if she will make a statement. [195280]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: Budget 2008 announced that sufficient funding would be made available for the Demonstrations Project seeking answers to crucial questions on the practicability of charging for road use by time, distance and place. This reflects decisions made by the Secretary of State on the detailed allocation of the Department’s budget for 2008-09 to 2010-11 set in the Comprehensive Spending Review published by the Treasury last year.


Departmental Older Workers

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many people over the age of 55 have been recruited by his Department in each of the last three years. [191522]

David Cairns: The Scotland Office does not directly recruit staff; all staff are seconded from the Scottish Executive or the Ministry of Justice, as necessary. The Office does not hold personnel records that would allow age to be determined.

Departmental Property

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many residential properties his Department owns; how many of these are vacant; and how many of these have been vacant for longer than (a) three, (b) six and (c) 12 months. [192994]

David Cairns: None.


David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many claims for discrimination, based on (a) sex, (b) race and (c) sexual orientation, were brought by members of his Department and settled (i) in and (ii) out of court in each of the last five years. [194988]

David Cairns: None.

Communities and Local Government


Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what payments (a) her Department and (b) its agencies have made to CMPi in the last 12 months. [194813]

Mr. Dhanda: The following table sets out the payments made by the Department and its agencies to CMPi in the last 12 months.

Payments made 1 March 2007 to 29 February 2008

Communities and Local Government (central)




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Community Centres: Valuation

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 26 February 2008, Official Report, column 1410W, to the hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Grant Shapps) on community centres: valuation, how many properties under the category of hall and premises were on the rating lists in (a) England and (b) each Government Office region in the most recent period for which figures are available. [194831]

John Healey: As at 30 January 2008, there were 16,267 properties described as hall and premises in the 2005 Rating Lists for England.

Government region Number of h all and premises

East Midlands


East of England




North East


North West


South East


South West


West Midlands


Yorkshire and Humberside




Council Housing: Property Transfer

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in how many instances and for which authorities responsibility for historic housing debt has been removed from local authorities following large-scale voluntary housing transfers to registered social landlords; for how many authorities currently engaged in large-scale voluntary transfers such responsibilities will be removed; and what estimate she has made of the cost to her Department of removing responsibility for historic housing debt from all local authorities. [192030]

Mr. Iain Wright: The Department has made 76 payments to the Public Works Loans Board (PWLB) for those authorities whose net capital receipt from the sale of their housing and associated assets was less that the attributable housing debt. Details of authorities we have made payments for are included in the following list.

We expect to make a further 17 payments to the PWLB for schemes that are on the Housing Transfer Programme but where the transfer of housing has yet to be completed. Details of authorities we expect to make payments for are as follows.

No distinction is made between current and historic housing debt. The cost of removing responsibility for assumed local authority housing debt is £17.3 billion.

Local authorities where overhanging debt has been paid on completion of housing transfers

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