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Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of road schemes which have been approved in the last 12 months have been procured using (a) a DBFO contract and (b) another type of private finance initiative. 
Paul Clark: To achieve the annual road condition target, the Highways Agency regularly inspects and reviews the condition of the whole strategic network and carries out discrete maintenance as required. Records show the proportion of the strategic network that underwent discrete maintenance for each of the last eight years is between 4 per cent. and 5 per cent(1). Data for the last two completed financial years (2006-07 and 2007-08) are still being collated, but are expected to be in the range of 4 per cent. to 5 per cent.. Details for each of the last eight years are included in the table.
|Strategic road network maintained|
|(1) Estimated using the Highways Agencys pavement management Systems records.|
(2) Records being collated.
|Government office region|
|South West||South East||East||East Midlands||Yorkshire and the Humber||North West||North East||West Midlands||Strategic road network widened (Miles)|
|n/a = Not available.|
All figures have been rounded to one decimal place. This will account for any slight variation in the totals.
Paul Clark: The 1998 Transport White Paper, A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone, established a programme of de-trunking to allow the Highways Agency to concentrate on the operation of a strategic road network that links the main centres of population and major transport hubs. The programme enables local highway authorities to set priorities for routes that primarily serve local needs, and supports the Governments aim to devolve more responsibilities to local communities.
The financial arrangements that have been established for the programme ensure that local highway authorities receive funding commensurate with the purpose the roads will continue to serve. This is taken as being broadly equivalent to the funds the Highways Agency would have spent on the road if it had continued to be a trunk road, because the de-trunking of a road through this programme is not expected to alter the quantity or nature of traffic using the road.
Mr. Goodwill: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Code of Practice for the Co-ordination of Street Works and Works for Road Purposes and Related Matters introduced in March 2008 under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 in reducing the disruption caused to traffic by such works by (a) utilities and (b) other contractors. 
Paul Clark [holding answer 21 October 2008]: The powers in the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 were amended and supplemented by the Traffic Management Act 2004 to help tackle disruption. The Department has commissioned an evaluation of certain parts of the Traffic Management Act 2004 that is due to be completed in summer 2010.
This will include the impact of strengthened powers introduced in April and May 2008 by Traffic Management Act 2004. These increased local authorities powers to
direct when works by statutory undertakers may take place and where apparatus may not be located. Statutory guidance is provided on these powers in code of practice for the Co-ordination of Street Works and Works for Road Purposes and Related Matters published in July 2007 and updated in March 2008.
Data regarding the Highways Agency renewal and improvements programme for this part of the south-west are only available from July 2005. There has been no spend in the vicinity of Stonehenge since that date.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much the Government (a) has spent and (b) is planning to spend on the pilot projects for a national road pricing scheme announced in the 2008 Budget; what the anticipated start date is for the pilot projects; how many projects will take place; and in what locations. 
Paul Clark: The Government are not running any pilots for a national road pricing scheme, but, as announced to Parliament, they are exploring how charging by the time and place of distance driven could work accurately, reliably and affordably, while safeguarding privacy. Designing an effective mechanism to achieve these aims within any charging scheme presents a significant challenge: We believe that this project will help local authorities in the longer-term development of their plans for combining a local congestion charging scheme with major investment in public transport.
We signed framework agreements in September 2008 with two groups of contractors for this demonstrations project on time, distance and place road pricing technology. We are now procuring individual contracts under those frameworks, and we expect the demonstrations to enter the operational stage early in the new year.
We are working within an overall project budget of £4 million for the financial year 2008-09, but the value of the individual contracts will not be known until December. Total spend over the next two years will depend on how the projects requirements evolve in the light of first and subsequent service contracts.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was claimed in expenses for taxi travel by officials from (a) his Department and (b) its executive agencies in (i) 2006-07, (ii) 2005-06, (iii) 2004-05, (iv) 2003-04 and (v) 2002-03; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: Five of the Department's agencies (HA, GCDA, MCA and VOSA) do not record taxi costs separately from other travel expenditure, and could provide the information only at disproportionate cost. DSA have recorded taxi costs separately since 2003 and VGA since 2005. 2003-04 was the first year DfT(C) accounts were fully separate from the then newly formed ODPM. Information for earlier years could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The available information is included in the following table.
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