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Railways: Finance

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has made of funding methods for new trains. [237924]

Paul Clark: The financing solutions for new trains are evaluated on a case by case basis, based on value for money and appropriate transfer of risk.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what factors he took into account before deciding to advise local authorities seeking Government funding for major transport schemes that local contributions of (a) 25 per cent. for new light rail schemes and (b) 10 per cent. for new non-light rail schemes are required; [238314]

(2) what assessment he has made of the likely effect of the requirement for a 25 per cent. local funding contribution for new light rail schemes on the number of future proposals for new light rail schemes. [238315]

Paul Clark: Since the publication of the Transport 10 Year Plan of 2000, the Department for Transport (DFT) has set a requirement for a 25 per cent. contribution from promoters towards the costs of light rail projects. This requirement reflects the cost and complexity of light rail projects and ensures that the promoter is significantly committed to delivering a project of this scale.

We have no reason to believe that this requirement has led to promoters declining to submit proposals for light rail projects. The Department has received requests for funding from eight separate scheme promoters under these arrangements.

In 2006 the Department introduced a policy of requiring a minimum 10 per cent. local contribution to all major schemes, as part of a range of measures designed to increase the incentive upon local authorities to promote high quality schemes and to deliver them to time and budget.

The requirement for a local contribution, by limiting the DFT contribution, also ensures that more transport projects can be progressed via the Regional Funding Allocation process.

Road Traffic

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate his Department has made of road congestion levels in (a) Leeds, (b) North Yorkshire, (c) Milton Keynes, (d) Buckinghamshire, (e) South West London, (f) Suffolk and (g) Essex. [237818]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department monitors congestion, in the form of average person journey times per mile, on key routes during the morning peak (excluding weekends
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and school holidays) in the 10 largest urban areas in England. The figures for London and West Yorkshire are given in the table following.

Person journey times and travel, London and West Yorkshire
Person journey time (minutes per mile) Person miles

Baseline( 1) 2006-07 Percentage change since baseline Percentage change since baseline






West Yorkshire





(1)( )The baseline is a combination of 2004-05 and 2005-06 data. Note that dates shown are academic years (September to August)

Disaggregated figures for south-west London and Leeds are not available. Congestion is not currently monitored centrally in other local authorities, However, the Department's base congestion data are supplied to local authorities, to help them make their own assessments of local congestion. Similarly, congestion estimates for the Strategic Road Network in England are published by the Department, but are not available at a local level.

Road Traffic Offences: Fixed Penalties

Mr. Goodwill: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to be in a position to introduce the graduated fixed penalty and deposit scheme. [238745]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Implementation of the graduated fixed penalty and deposit scheme is a key priority for the Department and we are working hard to ensure that the provisions are brought into force as soon as practicable—and this is likely to be by spring 2009.


Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which Highways Agency Major Schemes projects are in (a) Options and (b) Development stages in the Highways Agency; and what budget is allocated to each of them in (i) 2008-09 and (ii) 2009-10. [239024]

Paul Clark: The following lists give the Highways Agency major schemes in Development and Options phases that had budgets set for the current financial year, 2008-09. The total control budget for 2008-09 set for schemes in Development was £117.3 million and for schemes in Options was £24.4 million.

Table 1—Schemes in Development

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Table 2—Schemes in Options

In July 2008 nine of these schemes were identified for inclusion in the Managed Motorway feasibility study. These schemes, together with a number of new projects, were allocated a budget of £8 million for the study work, to be funded out of the existing Highways Agency budget.

Throughout the course of the year some new schemes have been introduced into the Options phase and others have moved between phases.

The major schemes programme for 2009-10, and associated scheme budgets will be decided in the new year.

Roads: Accidents

Mrs. Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) men and (b) women aged between 17 and 21 years were killed in a road traffic accident in each local authority area in England in the last 10 years. [238330]

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

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Roads: Closures

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to reduce the levy local authorities are able to charge community groups for events which they hold which require road closures. [238407]

Paul Clark: Where a traffic authority closes a road temporarily for a special event, it has the freedom to choose whether or not it recovers its costs from the person promoting the event. If an authority opts to recover costs, the amount of the charge is also at the authority’s discretion provided that, when deciding the charge, the authority has regard to the cost of anything that needs to be done in connection with the closure. We consider such decisions should continue to be made at that local level.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what checks are put in place to ensure that objections to stopping up orders are neither fictitious nor vexatious. [239527]

Paul Clark: It is a statutory requirement that the Secretary of State shall publish a notice of his intention to make an order and following which there is a period of 28 days allowed for any person to object to the making of the Order (Town and Country Planning Act 1990 S252 (1)(c) refers).

The Secretary of State must consider all objections which relate to the order matter of stopping up of the highways concerned and the provision of any new highway under the order. No checks are made about the fictitious nature of objectors, or those which might be anonymously made, although objections which are made on grounds not related to the order matter might be disregarded by the Secretary of State.

Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of the Highways Agency’s (a) administration costs and (b) staff are used on major improvements. [234906]

Paul Clark: The Highways Agency’s staff costs associated with delivering major improvements are capitalised and as such accounted for as programme capital expenditure in line with HMT guidance. The amount of staff capitalised against major projects in the last financial year (2007-08) was £14.578 million which represents 11 per cent. of the Highways Agency’s total staff costs.

It is not possible specifically to attribute other administrative costs (for example office accommodation) to major improvements, however as these costs tend to track staff costs it would be reasonable to assume the same percentage as above.

10 per cent. of average full-time equivalent staff employed were engaged on delivering major improvements.

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will bring forward proposals to include developer works within the scope of the Road Traffic Acts. [238574]

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Paul Clark: Developers carrying out work on the public highway are already subject to a range of legal requirements. They can work on the highways only if they have a licence or permission from the local authority in accordance with the Highways Act 1980. Utility companies providing services to a new development do so as in accordance with the requirements of Part 3 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (NRSWA).

Roads: Urban Areas

Roger Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the recent statement by the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee on shared surface schemes; and if he will call on local authorities to stop introducing such schemes until his Department has completed its proposed research in this area. [235499]

Paul Clark: The Department for Transport is aware of and appreciate the concerns of some disabled people regarding shared surfaces, but there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that such schemes are inherently less safe than conventionally kerbed environments. There is a considerable amount of anecdotal evidence that shared space (which includes shared surfaces) is a valuable technique for improving the public realm.

The Department intends to make evidence-based policy in this area. Our intention is to make shared space work for all road users, including disabled people. It is for this reason that the Department is conducting a comprehensive two-year research project into shared space aimed at informing future policy and guidance.

Rolling Stock

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when his Department expects the number of train carriages announced in the high level output specification to be (a) tendered, (b) ordered and (c) in service. [237797]

Paul Clark: Assuming that discussions with the various train operating companies progress to successful conclusions, the Department for Transport would currently expect:

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects the extra train carriages announced as part of the intercity express programme to be (a) tendered, (b) ordered and (c) in service. [237798]

Paul Clark: The information requested is as follows:

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