Previous Section Index Home Page

16 Mar 2009 : Column 820W—continued


Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much the Highways Agency has spent on producing, printing and distributing newsletters on the widening of the M1 motorway between junctions 25 and 28. [263389]

Paul Clark: Three newsletters have been produced for this scheme, in October 2007, May 2008 and November 2008. The external costs for printing and distribution to date is £10,341.

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much the Highways Agency has spent on relocating people from their land or houses during the widening of the M1 motorway between junctions 25 and 28. [261873]

Paul Clark: The widening is all within the Highways Agency’s boundary and therefore there is no additional landtake. The cost to date is £329.40 which was to relocate one resident for three nights during piling work.

Further costs in the region of £1,460 will be incurred during the week commencing 9 March 2009. These costs are in relation to providing accommodation for five households overnight to mitigate against any noise disruption as a result of beam lifting work being carried out.

Motor Vehicles: Testing

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many vehicle testing stations (a) have been closed in the last 12 months and (b) are scheduled for closure; what the reason is in each case; and if he will make a statement. [263536]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) has not closed any testing stations in the last 12 months.

In order to remove overcapacity in VOSA's testing services, VOSA has already announced to customers that Bredbury, Steeton and St. Austell Goods Vehicle Testing Stations will be closing during the current year. VOSA continues to review its capacity requirements.

National Networks Strategy Group

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many times the National Networks Strategy Group has met since it was established; and what matters were discussed at each meeting. [262421]

Paul Clark: The National Networks Strategy Group has met four times since it was established on 29 October 2008. The Group has discussed how to make best use of the existing key networks and considered longer term solutions for strategic transport corridors. Some of this work contributed to the 15 January oral statement on “Britain’s Transport Infrastructure”. This announced the £6 billion programme of managed motorway schemes, progress on the electrification of our rail network, and the creation of the company High Speed Two, to report by the end of the year on a new high speed line between London and the West Midlands.

16 Mar 2009 : Column 821W

Railways: Scotland

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many times he has met the Scottish Executive Minister to discuss proposals for a high-speed rail line to Scotland. [262462]

Paul Clark: The Minister of State, Lord Adonis, spoke to the Scottish Executive Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change regarding high speed rail services to Scotland in January. Officials from the Department for Transport meet regularly with Scottish Executive officials to discuss a range of cross-border transport issues, including rail.


Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department spent on new (a) roads and (b) motorways in each year since 1997. [262457]

Paul Clark: The following table shows the available data on expenditure on new construction/improvement and structural maintenance on motorways and trunk roads, and expenditure on new construction/improvement for highways, lighting, road safety and structural maintenance (includes expenditure on patching) on local roads in England for 1997-98 to 2006-07. These data do not enable new road construction to be identified as a separate category.

Motorway and trunk roads( 1) Local roads( 2)































(1) Figures are now collected on a resource accounting basis and cannot be compared with data prior to 2001-02. Until 2001-02, associated costs of investment (including depreciation and capital costs) were not included within these figures.
(2) Local authority expenditure excludes car parks.
(3) Trunk roads in London were transferred to Transport for London in July 2000 and were reclassified as principal roads. Expenditure on these roads from 2000-01 is shown under the “Local roads” heading.
Highways Agency Financial Accounts and local authority returns to Communities and Local Government

The most recent year’s expenditure are published each year in table 7.13 of ‘Transport Statistics Great Britain’, available at:

Roads: Essex

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to bring forward capital spending in road infrastructure in Essex; and if he will make a statement. [263279]

16 Mar 2009 : Column 822W

Paul Clark: We have recently received formal Regional Funding Allocation advice from the East of England setting out its funding priorities to 2018-19. The advice has prioritised capital funding for a number of road infrastructure schemes which fall within Essex. This includes the Sadlers Farm local major road scheme and £60 million towards introducing new traffic management measures to improve safety, reduce delays and tackle congestion along the A12 from London through Essex and Suffolk to the Felixstowe and Harwich Ports.

The Government will now consider the Region's advice carefully and expects to announce its response in the summer.

On the strategic road network, subject to completion of funding arrangements, works are planned to start on widening the M25 between junctions 27 and 30 during 2009-10.

In addition, the Highways Agency has been granted additional funding in 2009-10 to accelerate its capital investment programme across the strategic road network in England by some £400 million. The agency is currently finalising its plans to allocate this additional funding to ensure best use of available resources and value for money.

Finally, through the Community Infrastructure Fund (CIF), the Department for Transport has funded £37.6 million towards road infrastructure improvements. Further CIF schemes in Essex are also now being assessed, with an announcement expected shortly.

Roads: Safety

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Ribble Valley (Mr. Evans) of 6 March 2009, Official Report, column 1874W on roads: safety, if he will make it his policy to place in the Library the results of the first round of road safety partnership grants as soon as they have been completed. [264206]

Jim Fitzpatrick: An assessment of the effectiveness of road safety partnership grants in England is in progress. It will be completed when results from the first round of projects are available.

This first round of road safety partnership grant projects in England is due for completion this spring with evaluation reports due between March 2009 and March 2010. The scheduling of the reporting is influenced by the need to measure and evaluate some of the impacts of projects after they have been completed.

An overview of the key outcomes and lessons learned from some of the projects within the first round of the Road Safety Partnership Grant Scheme is currently underway and a ‘headline impact’ report is planned for publication later this spring.

A copy of this report will be placed in the Library. The policy is that, in general, material related to the evaluation of local projects will be published on the Department for Transport website.

Transport: Noise

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what traffic noise pollution datasets held by his Department supply data broken down by (a) constituency, (b) local authority, (c) county and (d) region. [262455]

16 Mar 2009 : Column 823W

Huw Irranca-Davies: I have been asked to reply.

The traffic noise pollution datasets held by DEFRA are those created to fulfil the first round mapping requirements of Directive 2002/49/EC (Relating to the Assessment and Management of Environmental Noise). The datasets include noise levels from roads in 23 agglomerations in England (listed), and major roads elsewhere in England with greater than six million vehicle passages per annum. The mapping was completed in 2007.

The datasets are not currently broken down by constituency, local authority area, county or region.

List of agglomerations

Women and Equality

Age: Discrimination

Mr. Swire: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what discussions she has had with insurance companies on age discrimination in relation to the Equality Bill. [260837]

Maria Eagle: Insurance companies have been closely involved in the work the Government have been undertaking on age discrimination in relation to the Equality Bill.

They participated in the financial services expert working group along with other experts and age sector organisations, which discussed the use of age in different financial services and issued a report of its conclusions in October 2008.

The Association of British Insurers is also a key member of the Senior Stakeholder Group, which provides advice to the Government Equalities Office and its Ministers on the full range of measures designed to strengthen equality protection and to streamline the law.

16 Mar 2009 : Column 824W

We will continue to have discussions with the insurance industry as we take forward our work on developing proposals in this area, on which there will be further public consultation.

Departmental Internet

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality pursuant to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Welwyn, Hatfield (Grant Shapps) of 28 January 2009, Official Report, column 581W, on the departmental internet, how many hits each of the websites maintained by the Government Equalities Office received in each of the last 12 months. [262834]

Maria Eagle: The Government Equalities Office (GEO) maintains one website. The GEO has been able to count hits at:

since the website was transferred to a new system in July 2008. Statistics since then are as follows:

Month Number of hits



















March (to 9 March 2009)


Next Section Index Home Page