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4 Nov 2008 : Column 244W—continued

Since 2000-01 the amount of rail freight moved has increased by 17 per cent. In the last 18 months the Government have announced record levels of rail freight investment to support continued growth including £200 million towards the development of a strategic freight network and over £150 million of funding towards the provision of infrastructure enhancement for freight through the Productivity Transport Innovation Fund.

Railways: Safety

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what recent steps the Government has taken to publicise the dangers of playing on or near railway tracks to young people; [232224]

(2) what recent steps the Government has taken to prevent children from playing on or near railway tracks. [232225]

Paul Clark: Network Rail's ‘No Messin’!’ campaign seeks to reduce crime and trespass on the railway by young people. It has been developed to appeal to them by using a style and language they will understand. Network Rail's initiative is reinforced by campaigns run by train operators to educate children in schools about the dangers of trespassing on the railway.

These measures are further supported by the British Transport Police who work with the industry to reduce incidents of crime and trespass.

Rapid Transit Systems

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made towards the target of creating 25 new rapid transit lines in major cities and conurbations by 2010 as stated in his Department's Transport 10 Year Plan of 2000; how many new rapid transit lines were created in each year since 2000; and by what percentage light rail passenger journeys have increased since 2000. [232012]

Paul Clark: The Ten Year Plan published in July 2000 set out indicative figures for the number of light rail schemes that might be delivered by 2010. This was neither a target nor a commitment for the Government.

The following light rail lines have been opened since 2000:

Name of scheme Number of new lines


Croydon Tramlink



Manchester Metrolink -Eccles extension



Tyne and Wear Metro -Sunderland extension



Nottingham Express Transit



Docklands Light Railway - London City Airport extension


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The following schemes are in preparation;

Name of scheme Stage reached Number of new lines

Docklands Light Railway -Extension to Woolwich Arsenal

Under construction, due to be completed in 2009.


Manchester Metrolink -Extensions to Rochdale, Oldham, Chorlton and Droylsden

Under construction, project due to be completed in 2012.


Nottingham Express Transit -Extensions to Clifton and Chilwell

Granted Programme Entry. If Full Approval is granted the lines could be completed by 2013.


Manchester Metrolink -Extensions to Ashton, East Didbsury and Manchester Airport

Granted Programme Entry as part of Greater Manchester's Transport Innovation Fund bid.


Manchester Metrolink -Extensions to Trafford, Oldham town centre, Rochdale town centre, and Second city crossing scheme

Schemes which currently have no approval status that Greater Manchester are also progressing as part of their Transport Innovation Fund bid.


Light rail passenger journeys in England increased by 90 per cent. between 1999-2000 and from 98 million to 186 million passenger journeys in 2007-08.

Road Signs and Markings

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department has authorised the erection of road signs which indicate metric rather than imperial measurements. [232445]

Paul Clark [holding answer 3 November 2008]: The Department for Transport has not authorised any signs aimed at general road users that display metric measurements only.

For a traffic sign to be lawful, it must be either prescribed in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD) (2002) or be authorised by the Secretary of State. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the devolved Administrations authorise non-prescribed signs for the roads in their areas.

TSRGD provides for the use of imperial measurements for distance and speed. Certain prescribed traffic signs may show metric units of measurement together with the corresponding imperial units—such as signs indicating maximum height or width restrictions. However, metric is not permitted as a replacement for imperial on such signs.

The Department has authorised the use of driver location signs and a limited number of distance marker posts for the trunk road and motorway network. These indicate an established referencing system, which uses metric units, to enable the emergency services to locate the scene of an incident without any confusion.

Road Traffic

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made in achieving the target of reducing road congestion below 2000 levels as stated in his Department's Transport Ten Year Plan of 2000; against what baseline this target is being measured; and how much road congestion there was in each year since 2000, broken down by region. [232009]

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Paul Clark: The Ten Year Plan gave an indicative figure for congestion on inter-urban trunk roads which was formalised in the SR2002 PSA target: to reduce congestion on the inter-urban road network in England below 2000 levels by 2010. However, subsequently the Government set out the case for new congestion performance targets in The Future of Transport White Paper published in July 2004. A new target was set in SR2004.

The baseline for the SR2004 target was published in February 2006 using new sources of journey time data. Inter-urban journey time reliability performance has since been regularly published against this baseline. The latest provisional data show the current level of performance for the 10 per cent. slowest journeys, which is the PSA measure, to be around the SR2004 baseline level for the year August 2004 to July 2005. This is also the case for all journeys.

Differences in sources used and in measurement mean that it is not possible to produce a consistent series of data from 2000 and report on trunk road congestion in Ten Year Plan terms. Also, data are not readily available at regional level as the current measure is based on routes which extend outside regional boundaries.

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made in achieving the target of undertaking 80 major trunk road schemes to improve safety and traffic flows at junctions by 2010 as stated in his Department's Transport Ten Year Plan of 2000; and what major trunk road schemes were (a) started and (b) completed in each year since 2000. [232010]

Paul Clark: The Ten Year Plan published in July 2000 set out a broad package of measures for improving transport. Over the 10 year period individual projects in the Highways Agency's programmes would flow from the outcome of multi-modal studies and decisions taken through regional transport strategies. Although the plan gave an indicative figure for trunk road schemes this is not a target that the Government monitor performance against.

Two tables have been placed in the Libraries of the House. Table A shows the Highways Agency major trunk road schemes started in each year since 2000 while table B shows schemes opened to traffic in each year since 2000.

Road Traffic: Essex

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the oral answer to the hon. Member for Chelmsford on 21 October 2008, Official Report, column 155, on traffic congestion, which (a) causes of and (b) locations prone to road accidents and collisions on the A12 in Essex will be prioritised for road safety improvement funding; and what funding he plans to make available for such improvements in the next three years. [232041]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Personal injury accidents on the motorway and trunk road network are monitored on a continuous basis by the Highways Agency and reported in its annual safety report. Accidents are reviewed on a
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route basis, and locations with disproportionately more accidents are prioritised for remedial action.

With regards to the A12 in Essex, in the period 2008-09 to 2011-12, the Highways Agency is intending to spend up to around £22 million on major maintenance improvements at Kelvedon and Witham and £2.5 million on an auxiliary lane southbound between Hatfield Peverel and Witham. All of these significant interventions will have some beneficial impact on safety, and other minor safety works are also planned. This work will be subject to availability of funding and prioritisation against other works on the strategic road network within the Eastern region.

Roads: Accidents

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will bring forward legislative proposals to include cats within the provision of section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988; and if he will make a statement. [232487]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 3 November 2008]: There are no legislative proposals to include cats within the provision of section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 which requires a driver to report accidents involving animals such as horses, cattle, asses, mules, sheep, pigs, goats and dogs. This requirement arises from their status as working animals.

There is no obligation to report all animal deaths on roads. The police advise drivers that, if possible, they should make inquiries to ascertain the owner of the cat and advise them of the situation.

4 Nov 2008 : Column 248W

Rolling Stock

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the percentage change in active rolling stock has been since 1997. [232024]

Paul Clark: The Department for Transport does not keep the detailed information required. However, we know that in May 1995, the number of vehicles on lease was 10,401 and, as of today, the number on lease on the rail network is around 11,150, an increase of approximately 7.2 per cent. It should also be noted that a further 1,300 vehicles will be delivered as part of high level output specification (HLOS), of which 423 have already been ordered.

Transport: Expenditure

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much (a) public investment, (b) private capital investment and (c) public resource expenditure was spent on (i) rail, (ii) strategic roads, (iii) London transport, (iv) local transport and (v) other transport in each year since 2000, in (A) nominal and (B) real terms. [232006]

Mr. Hoon: The following table shows the public investment (capital) and public resource spending within the Department for Transport's departmental expenditure limit (DEL) on rail, strategic roads, London, local transport and other transport for each year since 2002-03. (Owing to classification, accounting and boundary changes comparable figures for earlier years are not available.)

£ million (nominal)

2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

Public investment (capital)








Strategic Roads









Local and regional transport







Other transport







Public resource expenditure








Strategic Roads














Local and regional transport







Other transport







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