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7 July 2008 : Column 1190W—continued


Driving Tests: Southend

James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much it cost to run Southend driving test centre in each of the last 10 years (a) in total and (b) per test. [210594]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 20 June 2008]: The total accommodation costs for Southend driving test centre for the last five years are as follows:

£
Amount shown in accounts Year end accrual from previous year Actual total for year

2003

7,881

7,881

2004

8,565

8,565

2005

13,138

13,138

2006

45,613

45,613

2007

22,027

26,997

49,024


Owing to a change in the financial reporting system used by Driving Standards Agency (DSA), figures cannot be provided prior to 2003. The accommodation costs provided do not include further costs of operating a driving test centre such as salaries and travel and subsistence claims. DSA does not keep information about the cost per test of providing services by individual driving test centre.

Driving Under the Influence

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research she has commissioned on the marginal effects in terms of accident prevention of lowering the permitted level of alcohol in the blood when driving. [216489]


7 July 2008 : Column 1191W

Jim Fitzpatrick: An assessment of the possible effect on road traffic casualties of lowering the legal alcohol limit for drivers was made in the Department's consultation paper ‘Combating Drink Driving: Next Steps’ (February 1998), copies of which are in the Libraries of the House.

Lorries: Testing

Mr. Goodwill: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many checks on heavy goods vehicles were carried out by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency in each of the most recent (a) 12 months and (b) four quarters; and what the country of registration was of those vehicles. [216995]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The information requested has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Morning Star

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many copies of the Morning Star publication her Department and each of its agencies subscribes to each week; and at what cost. [215664]

Jim Fitzpatrick: One copy of the Morning Star is received on a daily basis (Monday to Saturday). The total weekly cost is £3.60.

Railway Stations: Security

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what plans the British Transport Police have to enhance their screening capability for passengers; [216414]

(2) what steps will be taken following the London Underground and National Railways Passenger Screening Trials to reduce passenger concerns about the criteria used to select passengers for screening; and if she will make a statement; [216408]

(3) what assessment she has made following the London Underground and National Railways Passenger Screening Trials of the practicality of passenger screening at stations, with particular reference to (a) the numbers who may be screened and (b) the time taken to screen. [216413]

Mr. Tom Harris [holding answer 3 July 2008]: I refer the hon. Member to my written statement of 26 June 2008, Official Report, columns 39-40 WS.

In a press notice issued the same day, the British Transport Police (BTP) noted that “these enhancements build on BTP's existing search measures to screen a proportion of passengers and their bags with minimal delay”. Initial deployments of this enhanced capability have been well received by passengers and by station staff.

Railways: Repairs and Maintenance

Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what percentage of weekends in (a) June 2008 there were and (b) July and August 2008 there are expected to be disruptions to the railway line between (i) Colchester and Walton-on-the-Naze and (ii) Colchester and Clacton-on-Sea as a result of engineering works. [216227]


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Mr. Tom Harris: These are operational matters for Network Rail as the owner and operator of the national rail network. The hon. Member should contact Network Rail's Chief Executive at the following address for a response to his questions:

Railways: Scotland

Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Chipping Barnet of 19 June 2008, Official Report, column 1068W, on Railways: Scotland, what the terms of reference are of Network Rail's development of longer-term options for the railway network; when she expects it to report; and if she will make a statement. [214010]

Mr. Tom Harris [holding answer 26 June 2008]: The Secretary of State invited Network Rail to begin work to develop longer-term options for the railway network including new lines and whether or not these should be conventional or high speed. As part of this, on 23 June 2008 Network Rail announced a strategic review of the case for new rail lines. It will consider five of Network Rail's strategic routes, north and west of London: Chiltern, East Coast, West Coast, Great Western and Midland Main Lines. The study is expected to be complete in July 2009.

Railways: Standards

Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of passenger train services running between (a) Clacton-on-Sea and London Liverpool Street and (b) Walton-on-the-Naze and London Liverpool Street was more than 10 minutes late, in the most recent month for which figures are available. [216228]

Mr. Tom Harris: National Express East Anglia has advised that 7.30 per cent. of services between Clacton-on-Sea and London Liverpool Street arrived more than 10 minutes late between 25 May and 21 June. 5.6 per cent. of services between Walton-on-the-Naze and London Liverpool Street arrived more than 10 minutes late during the same period.

River Thames: Shipping

Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) incidents and (b) accidents involving vessels there were on the River Thames in each month of the last three years. [214784]

Jim Fitzpatrick: According to the records of the Port of London Authority, the numbers of reported navigational incidents (collision, contact or grounding) on the tidal River Thames (the area extending from Teddington Lock in the west to the outer limits of the Thames Estuary in the east) in each month of the last three years were:


7 July 2008 : Column 1193W
2005
Number

June

2

July

2

August

2

Sept

2

October

1

November

4

December

2


2006
Number

January

1

February

1

March

2

April

1

May

1

June

3

July

3

August

3

Sept

4

October

3

November

5

December

1


2007
Number

January

1

February

0

March

1

April

2

May

0

June

0

July

5

August

1

Sept

3

October

4

November

1

December

4


2008
Number

January

4

February

2

March

3

April

0

May

2


Roads: Infrastructure

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research her Department and its agencies are undertaking into the economic effects of bottlenecks in the national road infrastructure, with particular regard to the A417; and if she will make a statement. [215333]

Mr. Tom Harris: The Eddington study, published in December 2006, showed that eliminating existing congestion on the road network would be worth £7-8 billion per annum. As part of the Government's response to the Eddington and Stern reviews, the Secretary of State announced on 30 October 2007 that the Department for Transport's appraisal framework, the New Approach to
7 July 2008 : Column 1194W
Appraisal (NATA), would be refreshed as part of a review of the Government's approach to transport policy. The refresh included a consultation to which the Department published a response on 30 June 2008. The refresh includes work to develop the Department's appraisal of reliability impacts on major roads. The refreshed approaches in NATA will be applied to the appraisal of all major road schemes.

Rolling Stock

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many of the 1,300 extra carriages referred to in the High Level Output Statement are part of the (a) Thameslink programme, (b) Inter City Express programme and (c) proposed new Pendolino carriages for the West Coast Main Line. [212950]

Mr. Tom Harris: The High Level Output Specification (HLOS) programme and the exact detail in delivering the vehicles is an iterative process which is being developed with the train operating companies to deliver the additional 1,300 vehicles.

Some of the vehicles in the Thameslink programme will contribute towards the additional capacity in the HLOS programme. The exact number is still to be determined and depends on a number of factors, including the final contracted delivery profile.

None of the 1,300 extra carriages promised are part of the Inter City Express programme, but 106 are part of the proposed new Pendolino carriages for the West Coast Main Line.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the reasons were for the consultation process adopted in relation to rolling stock companies prior to the publication of her Department's high level output statement. [216763]

Mr. Tom Harris: A range of workshops were held with industry, environmental, business, consumer and stakeholder organisations throughout the development of the rail White Paper and the High Level Output Specification. Rolling stock companies were included within this. The reason for the widespread consultation was to inform our thinking before the White Paper was determined.

Rolling Stock: Competition

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she expects the provisional findings of the Competition Commission inquiry into the rolling stock companies to be made available to (a) her and (b) ministerial colleagues; and on what date the findings will be made public. [216758]

Mr. Tom Harris: The Competition Commission are due to notify their provisional findings during the course of this month. The investigation timetable is set out on their website:


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