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22 Oct 2008 : Column 419W—continued

Table 1 of annex B sets out the summary of possible monetised impacts of additional capacity. It is estimated that a third runway at Heathrow would generate monetised net benefits to society of £4.4 billion-£5.2 billion.

The impact assessment also assesses other positive and negative non-monetised impacts.

The economic effects of not delivering additional capacity would be to lose the net benefits as set out in the impact assessment.

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the likely economic and commercial effects of not building a third runway at Heathrow Airport. [228280]


22 Oct 2008 : Column 420W

Jim Fitzpatrick: The economic assessment of the proposals for development at Heathrow is set out at Annex B of the consultation document Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport (November 2007).

Table 1 of Annex B sets out the summary of possible monetised impacts of additional capacity. It is estimated that a third runway at Heathrow would generate monetised net benefits to society of £4.4 to £5.2 billion.

The impact assessment also assesses other positive and negative non-monetised impacts.

The economic effects of not delivering additional capacity would be to lose the net benefits as set out in the impact assessment.

Humber Bridge Board

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much debt was owed by the Humber Bridge Board in each year between 1982 and 2008; and what the rate of interest charged each year was. [228885]

Paul Clark [holding answer 21 October 2008]: Figures for debt outstanding are as follows:

Debt outstanding (£ million)

1982

151.0

1983

168.5

1984

188.1

1985

210.0

1986

234.4

1987

261.6

1988

292.0

1989

326.0

1990

363.8

1991

406.1

1992

453.3

1993

453.3

1994

453.3

1995

453.3

1996

453.3

1997

453.3

1998

359.3

1999

354.3

2000

349.0

2001

349.0

2002

349.0

2003

341.6

2004

337.0

2005

335.6

2006

334.4

2007

333.4

2008

332.8


Prior to 1998, debt was due to both the Public Works Loan Board and to the Secretary of State. It has not been possible, in the time available, to establish the rates that applied in all years up to 1998, but in 1998 the effective rate was 11.62 per cent.

Under the provisions of the Humber Bridge (Debts) Order 1998, the Government agreed to repay loans outstanding with the Public Works Loan Board amounting to £62 million. Interest on the remaining loan of £359.307 million was fixed at 7.75 per cent. p.a. with interest charges being suspended on £240 million of the debt.


22 Oct 2008 : Column 421W

In June 2007, the debt was restructured to give the effect of applying an interest rate of 4.25 per cent. to the whole of the outstanding debt.

Inspections

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many inspectors were employed by his Department in (a) 2007-08 and (b) 1997-98. [228088]

Mr. Hoon: The information requested can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Motor Vehicles: Excise Duties

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 13 October 2008, Official Report, column 894W, on motor vehicles: taxation, how many people are forecast to renew their vehicle tax (a) online and (b) at their local post office in each of the next five years. [227913]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The current forecast based on existing trends of the number of people who will pay their vehicle excise licence (tax discs) via the Post Office¬(r) or the Electronic Vehicle Licensing (EVL) facility are shown in the following table:

Number

2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14

EVL

17,415,468

17,447,553

17,479,639

17,511,723

17,543,809

PostOffice

24,375,011

24,563,761

24,700,268

24,868,406

25,040,472


Motorcycles: Driving Tests

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what date the new motorcycle driving test will be introduced. [228487]

Jim Fitzpatrick: We plan to introduce the new practical motorcycling test with effect from 30 March 2009.

Motorways: Accidents

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research the Government has carried out on the length of time taken to clear a motorway after a collision and reopen it for traffic. [227106]

Paul Clark: The Highways Agency has conducted research aimed at assessing and reducing the duration of incidents occurring on the strategic road network which result in temporary motorway or lane closure.

The Highways Agency has also undertaken research in collaboration with the emergency services to establish a range of typical ‘incident timelines’ allowing the examination of the different phases of incident management. The outputs from this research can be found in the Highways Agency's Research Compendium published on the internet at


22 Oct 2008 : Column 422W

also accessible through the Highways Agency's website at

The Highways Agency has also worked in collaboration with overseas organisations to share best practice on incident management.

Park and Ride Schemes

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what park and ride schemes have been established since 2000, broken down by region. [227112]

Paul Clark: In the period of the first round of local transport plans, from 2001-02 to 2005-06, local transport authorities implemented 86 new park and ride schemes and 112 extensions to existing park and ride schemes.

The following table shows the regional breakdown for new and extended park and ride schemes during this period.

Region Number of new park and ride schemes

East

20

East Midlands

13

North East

15

North West

36

South East

21

South West

34

West Midlands

46

Yorkshire and Humberside

13


This information is not readily available prior to 2001-02, and to reduce the reporting burdens on local authorities has not been collected since 2005-06.

Public Transport: Carbon Emissions

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent steps the Government has taken to encourage bus companies to spend money on environmentally friendly vehicles. [228311]

Paul Clark: The Department for Transport has recently consulted on possible changes to bus subsidies—particularly Bus Service Operators Grant—bringing them more in line with our environmental objectives and improving services for passengers. These changes include steps to incentivise the use of fuel efficient vehicles, including low carbon buses.

We are currently considering the next steps in light of the consultation, and will make an announcement later this year.

Public Transport: Concessions

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with local authorities on provision of free public transport for all children. [228965]

Paul Clark [holding answer 21 October 2008]: We have no plans at present to extend the statutory minimum bus concession to all children, so there have been no formal talks with local authorities about doing so. However, local authorities can use their existing powers
22 Oct 2008 : Column 423W
to offer local concessionary travel to children and many do offer some form of concession. Such discretionary concessions are not funded centrally but by each local authority, from its own resources.

For those still at school, many school bus services are provided under contract. Every local authority already has a statutory duty to prepare and publish a transport policy statement.

From September 2008 the Education and Inspections Act 2006 extends entitlement to free school transport for pupils entitled to free school meals or whose parents are in receipt of maximum working tax credit.

At secondary school age, pupils attending one of their three nearest schools that is between two and six miles from their home, and those attending their nearest school preferred on grounds of religion or belief between two and 15 miles, will be entitled to free school transport.

Railways

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what change there has been in the average length of a train passenger journey in the last five years. [225618]

Paul Clark: The Department for Transport does not have the information requested. However, the Office of Rail Regulation collates passenger data in the ‘National Rail Trends’ document, a copy of which has been placed in the House Library.

Railways: EU Law

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on his Department’s implementation of the EU First Railway package, with specific reference to the implementation of Directive 2001/14. [228005]

Paul Clark: The UK transposed the First Railway Package, which comprised three directives (2001/12/EC, 2001/13/EC and 2001/14/EC), in November and December 2005, principally through two sets of regulations implementing the Directives for Great Britain—the Railways Infrastructure (Access and Management) Regulations 2005 (SI 2005/3049) and the Railway (Licensing of Railway Undertaking) Regulations 2005 (SI 2005/3050).


22 Oct 2008 : Column 424W

Railways: Fares

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average increase in annual rail season ticket costs has been in each year since the cap on regulated fares of RPI plus one per cent. was introduced. [226744]

Paul Clark: The Department for Transport does not hold this information. The Office of Rail Regulation records statistics for regulated and unregulated tickets and publishes these in National Rail Trends, available at


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