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Information on foreign registered HGVs is not routinely collected. However in the 2003 Survey of Foreign HGV Activity it was estimated that foreign registered HGVs travelled 0.9 billion kilometres. A similar survey will be taking place in 2009 to provide an update of this estimate.
Paul Clark: Britains Transport infrastructure: High Speed Two, published in January 2009, said that High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd. would draw on resources from Network Rail and the Department for Transport. The process for recruitment of these resources is a matter for the HS2 company.
Paul Clark: The directors of High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd. are Sir David Rowlands, Alison Munro, Timothy Wellburn and Sir Brian Briscoe (as non-executive). Sir David Rowlands is the interim chairman, and Alison Munro is the chief executive.
Paul Clark: High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd. was set up to carry out detailed work on the feasibility of a new high speed line and to report to Government by the end of the year. Sir David Rowlands was appointed as the interim chairman in order to take forward this work without delay. Sir David has unique experience in the field of high-speed rail and is highly qualified for the role. An open competition will take place to appoint a permanent chairman in due course.
Paul Clark: Department for Transport officials met with the Humber Bridge Board to discuss the revision of the Humber Bridge debt interest rate which came into force on 19 June 2007. A copy of the new loan agreement was placed in the House Libraries at that time.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with Network Rail on improvements to the railway line between Newcastle and Edinburgh to increase its (a) passenger and (b) freight capacity. 
Paul Clark: Department for Transport officials have been in discussion with Network Rail about the Intercity Express Project and the published East Coast Main Line and Freight Route Utilisation Strategies in relation to improvements to passenger and freight capacity, including between Newcastle and Edinburgh.
Paul Clark: It is the responsibility of each local highway authority in England to develop a winter service strategy for its highway network. The Department for Transport is providing, as part of the local transport plan settlement, capital funding of £693 million in 2009-10 for local authority highways maintenance, though this is not ring-fenced to particular activities.
The Highways Agency has completed the first phase of a four year procurement contract worth £45 million, to replace all winter fleet vehicles, including snow ploughs. The first phase has covered the North West, East and part of the South East. In the next 12 months, the Agency will be purchasing 43 dedicated snow ploughs and a further 182 vehicles adapted for the use of snow ploughs. These will cover areas in the North East, the Midlands and part of the South East.
Responsibility for licensing taxi drivers rests with local licensing authorities outside London and Transport for London in London. The relevant legislation requires them to determine whether an applicant for a taxi driver licence is a fit and proper person to hold a licence. As part of this process, it is standard procedure to request a disclosure from the Criminal Records Bureau. The authority will then decide whether any information contained in the disclosure means that the applicant should not be granted a licence.
Under the Notifiable Occupations Scheme, when an individual comes to the notice of the police and identifies their occupation as a taxi driver, the police should notify the appropriate licensing authority of convictions and any other relevant information that indicates that a person poses a risk to public safety. It would then be for the licensing authority to decide whether to revoke or suspend the licence.
Paul Clark: Assuming no further electrification of the rail network, the mix of train types is approximately one third electric, one third self-power (diesel) and one third bi-mode (electric and diesel capability). That ratio will be subject to change depending on future decisions about further electrification.
Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment he has made of the effect of adding an additional hourly service to the Manchester to London railway line on local commuter services in Greater Manchester. 
Paul Clark: The Department for Transport meets train operating companies on a four weekly basis to review delivery of rail services and their ability to meet passenger requirements, particularly noting timetable changes.
Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions her Department has had with the Department for International Development on establishing training programmes in developing countries to enable asylum claimants from those countries to be returned safely. 
Mr. Woolas: Regular discussions, including about training programmes, take place as part of a programme of work funded by the Returns and Reintegration Fund (which is a cross-government fund supported by the Department for International Development, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the UK Border Agency, and with expertise from the Ministry of Justice. It is administered by the FCO.)
The Fund aims to increase the numbers of failed asylum seekers returned to overseas countries and provide reintegration assistance. One of the Funds objectives is to ensure that those who return voluntarily have the best possible chance of making their return a successful one.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Democratic Republic of Congo nationals (a) arrived in the UK as family reunion cases, (b) applied for asylum and (c) were granted asylum in each of the last 12 months. 
Mr. Woolas [holding answer 23 February 2009]: Annual statistics showing the categories under which passengers are granted leave to enter the United Kingdom can be found in chapter 2 of the Home Office publication Control of Immigration: Statistics United Kingdom 2007. This publication may be obtained from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics website:
The following table shows the asylum application and grants of asylum figures for nationals of the Democratic Republic of Congo for the last 12 months that have been published. Figures are provisional and rounded to the nearest five.
Information on asylum is published annually and quarterly. Annual figures on principal asylum applications are available in Table 2.1 and on grants of asylum in Table 3.1 of Asylum Statistics United Kingdom 2007 published on 21 August 2008. Quarterly figures are available in the supplementary web tables published with the Control of Immigration: Quarterly Statistics Summary. The Q4 2008 Quarterly Statistics Summary will be available on 24 February 2009 from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate website at:
|Asylum applications( 1) received in the United Kingdom, excluding dependants, and initial decisions( 2, 3) on applications, October 2007 to September 2008, nationals of Dem. Rep. of Congo|
|Dem. Rep. of Congo||Applications||Decisions|
|Total||Port||In country||Total decisions||of which grants of asylum|
|(1 )Provisional figures rounded to nearest 5.|
(2 )Information is of initial decisions, excluding the outcome of appeals or other subsequent decisions.
(3 )Initial decisions do not necessarily relate to applications made in the same period.
(4 )1 or 2.
Home Office, Migration Statistics
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment has been made of the safety of people returned to the Democratic Republic of Congo under immigration legislation. 
Mr. Woolas [holding answer 23 February 2009]: On 3 December 2008 the Court of Appeal upheld an Asylum and Immigration Tribunal finding that there is no evidence that failed asylum seekers who are returned from the UK to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) face a general risk on return. The UK Border Agency continuously monitors the situation in asylum intake countries and is not aware of any subsequent allegations of ill-treatment of returnees to the DRC.
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