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2 Apr 2008 : Column 1034W—continued

Thameslink: Trains

Sir Malcolm Rifkind: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many dual-voltage trains will be available to run on Thameslink following the decision to order 11 new trains; and how many trains will remain on the West London Line. [198246]

Mr. Tom Harris: 109 dual-voltage trains will be available to run on Thameslink, so that there will now be no need to transfer class 377 (Electrostar) trains from the West London Line to Thameslink. However, Southern has now lost the opportunity to use class 465 (Networker) trains, which were to have been transferred from Southeastern, because of gauge clearance problems on Southern routes. In the light of this information, Southern is now having to re-assess the rolling stock allocations for all its suburban routes.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what her policy is on the proposal to transfer trains from the West London Line to Thameslink since the order of 11 new trains for Thameslink. [198247]

Mr. Tom Harris: There will now be no need to transfer class 377 (Electrostar) trains from the West London Line to Thameslink. However, Southern has now lost the opportunity to use class 465 (Networker) trains, which were to have been transferred from Southeastern, because of gauge clearance problems on Southern routes. In the light of this information, Southern is now having to re-assess its rolling stock allocations.

Train Operating Companies: Rolling Stock

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what requests have been received from train operating companies for extra rolling stock which have been (a) agreed to and (b) rejected since 1 January 2005. [190559]

Mr. Tom Harris: There are a number of discussions which have taken place since 2005 which have resulted in contract orders on a number of train operating companies.


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Contract date TOC Number of vehicles Type

May 2005

Chiltern

6

Diesel

June 2005

Southeastern

174

Electric

February 2006

SWT

68

Electric

May 2007

Southern

48

Electric

August 2007

London Midland

148

Electric

December 2007

London Midland

69

Diesel

January 2008

Chiltern

8

Diesel


Transport: Higher Civil Servants

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport to which (a) private companies, (b) other organisations and (c) lobbying organisations in the transport sector former senior officials from her Department have gone to work on leaving the Department in the last five years. [194000]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Before departure, all Senior Civil Service staff are reminded of their obligation under the business appointment rules to seek permission before accepting an outside appointment within two years of leaving Crown Service.

Senior Civil Servants' applications to accept outside appointments in the last five years were to the following organisations:

(a) Private Companies

(b) Other Organisations


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(c) Lobbying Organisations

Tyne and Wear : Metro:

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how much capital funding from the public purse the Tyne and Wear Metro received in each year since 1997; [197650]

(2) how many people were prosecuted for fare evasion on the Tyne and Wear Metro in each year since 1997; [197656]

(3) how many passengers travelled on the Tyne and Wear Metro in each year since 1997. [197832]

Mr. Tom Harris: The figures for passenger journeys and prosecutions are as follows.

Number of Passenger journeys (million) Number of Prosecutions (as advised by Nexus)

1997-98

35.0

1,220

1998-99

33.8

1,015

1999-2000

32.7

1,904

2000-01

32.5

1,877

2001-02

33.4

2,827

2002-03

36.6

2,995

2003-04

37.9

3,477

2004-05

36.8

4,627

2005-06

35.8

5,723

2006-07

37.9

5,738


The prosecutions are mostly for fare evasion but the figures include a small element for other offences, for example relating to trespass and disorder. A precise breakdown is not available.

Since April 1997 the Government have provided the following specific capital funding.

Purpose £ million

1999-2000 to 2003-04

Extension of the Metro to Sunderland

37.465

2000-01

Metrocar refurbishment

0.46

2002-03 to 2004-05

Four Lane Ends Bus/Metro Interchange

7.625

2000-01

CCTV provision

7.2


The Government have also supported investment in the Metro through local transport capital block funding provided to the Tyne and Wear local authorities and the Passenger Transport Executive (Nexus) though the local transport plan (LTP) system and previous arrangements. The proportion of this funding spent on the Metro is a matter for the local LTP partners and information is not held centrally. Nexus has also received grants from the European Commission for Metro capital funding.

In addition the Government have provided an annual subsidy for the Metro in every year since 1997. Up to and including 2004-05 this was provided solely as revenue support although Nexus were able to use
2 Apr 2008 : Column 1037W
this for capital spending on the Metro. In 2005-06 and 2006-07 the annual subsidy has included a specific element of capital grant of £4.180 million and £4.305 million respectively.

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency: Consultants

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent by Vehicle and Operator Services Agency on consultants in each of the last five financial years. [197919]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) was formed in April 2003, since then VOSA's consultancy costs are as follows:

£ million

2003-04

3.0

2004-05

3.4

2005-06

1.4

2006-07

3.0

2007-08

(1)2.4

(1) Year to date

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency: Finance

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the total Vehicle and Operator Services Agency staff salary bill was in each of the last five financial years. [197920]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) was formed in April 2003, since then VOSA's total staff salary bill has been as follows:

£000

2003-04

69,081

2004-05

78,018

2005-06

85,671

2006-07

86,268

2007-08

(1)

(1) Figures not available yet

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency: ICT

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reason laptops and hand-held devices issued within the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency have been recalled; what effect this recall is expected to have on enforcement and other activities; and when it is expected that all laptops and hand-held devices will be reissued to staff. [190238]

Jim Fitzpatrick: In accordance with Government-wide direction, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) implemented the policy that no unencrypted departmental laptops or drives containing personal data should be taken outside secured office premises.

The agency minimised the impact on its enforcement activities through increased use of encrypted mobile compliance devices (MCDs), laptops with printing function disabled, and temporary paper-based enforcement processes.


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The overall impact was a temporary reduction in VOSA's normal enforcement performance of about 20 per cent. The agency completed deployment of encrypted operations laptops on 11 March 2008.

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency: Manpower

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans she has for (a) future numbers of Vehicle and Operator Services Agency inspection staff and (b) their terms of employment. [197917]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) has (a) no plans to alter the number of inspection staff in test stations in the future, however, there are plans to increase the number of staff involved in enforcement activity. There are 30 new frontline posts as a result of re-investing under the Gershon review and 97 posts as a result of additional DFT funding.

(b) The posts will be recruited with staff on newly agreed flexible working patterns to allow the continued roll-out of extended working patterns which was piloted at ports in the south-east.

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether there are plans to alter the (a) number and (b) terms of employment of Vehicle and Operator Services Agency staff who will issue fixed penalty notices. [197924]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) has no plans to alter the (a) number and (b) terms of employment of Vehicle and Operator Services Agency staff that will issue fixed penalty notices. However, VOSA is rolling out revised working patterns for Enforcement staff on a staged basis, with a view to having as many as possible 24/7 shift working contracts over the coming year or two.


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