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Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress he has made on implementation of his commitment to require the Republic of Ireland to meet the full costs of providing aids to navigation on their coast; and how much, and what percentage, of the estimated shortfall in 2009-10 in income from light dues is attributable to activities related to the cost of providing aids to navigation for the Irish Republic. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Her Majesty's Government have been reviewing the current funding arrangements for the Commissioners of Irish Lights with the Government of the Republic of Ireland. Negotiations are in progress and have resulted in agreement over the apportionment of costs between Northern Ireland and the Republic in accordance with the Evidence Review undertaken last year. Maintaining an integrated aids to navigation service around the whole of our coasts benefits both our countries. The two governments are reviewing the benefits enjoyed by each country from this integrated approach, which will inform our continuing work to ensure that a more sustainable funding solution for Irish Lights is put in place.
There is no shortfall in light dues income in 2009-10 that can be directly attributed to activities related to the cost of providing aids to navigation for the Irish Republic. However if we take no action to increase light dues, we expect a shortfall of income against expenditure for the General Lighthouse Fund of some £21 million in 2009-10. We estimate that at current exchange rates the net cost to the fund of providing aids to navigation in the Republic of Ireland for the year will be up to £13 million.
Paul Clark: The Secretary of State for Transport has no plans at present to bring forward legislative proposals that would affect the right of the owners of private land in England to conduct parking business on that land.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the effects on the Scottish economy of a new dedicated high-speed rail line from London to Edinburgh or Glasgow; 
(2) whether he has made an assessment of the effects on (a) UK gross domestic product and (b) the regional economies of (i) the North West and (ii) the North East of a new high-speed line to each of these regions. 
Paul Clark: The national and regional economic effects of high speed rail were assessed in the 2003 Atkins high speed rail study, commissioned by the Strategic Rail Authority. The summary report may be accessed on the Department for Transport's website
Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent steps his Department has taken to improve access for (a) people with disabilities, (b) the elderly and (c) young families with prams to trains and railway stations in the Greater Manchester area. 
Paul Clark: The Government have a strong record on improving the accessibility of our railways. Over 1,100 stations have already been earmarked for access improvements through our £370 million Access for All programme and around 4,900 rail vehicles already meet modern access standards. All trains must be accessible by no later than 1 January 2020.
£1.7 million has been awarded to Greater Manchester PTE, First TransPennine Express and Northern Rail, from the Access for All Small Schemes Fund, to match fund projects with a total value of £3.9 million at over 60 stations serving the Greater Manchester area. Improvements include ramps, accessible toilets, new customer information systems and a range of other access enhancements.
Hazel Grove station has new lifts installed under the Access for All main programme, with a further five stations currently at design stage and targeted to receive an accessible, obstacle free route by 2011 (Manchester Oxford Road, Cheadle Hulme, Blackburn, Marple and Littleborough).
Virgin Trains and TransPennine Express operate fully accessible fleets of trains and Northern Rail has improved the accessibility of its fleet of rail vehicles through refurbishment.
These improvements whilst primarily aimed at improving access for disabled people, also meet the needs of other passengers including older people and those travelling with children in prams.
Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent steps his Department has taken to improve access for (a) people with disabilities, (b) the elderly and (c) young families with prams at Cheadle Hulme Station. 
Cheadle Hulme has been targeted to receive an accessible, obstacle free route to platforms serving passenger trains under the main Access for All programme. Plans have now reached detailed design stage and Network Rail intends to start work on site during summer 2009, with completion expected during 2010.
In addition, Greater Manchester PTE has been awarded £50,000 from the Access for All fund for a £100,000 project to install a new public address system, customer help points and CCTV at Cheadle Hulme station.
Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many train services on average ran on each week day in (a) 2008 and (b) 2009 to date between Manchester and (i) Heald Green, (ii) Bramhall, (iii) Cheadle Hulme, (iv) Gatley, (v) Davenport, (vi) Hazel Grove and (vii) Woodsmoor; 
(2) what the average journey time by train was from Manchester to (a) Heald Green, (b) Bramhall, (c) Cheadle Hulme, (d) Gatley, (e) Davenport, (f) Hazel Grove and (g) Woodsmoor in each year since 1997. 
Paul Clark: The Department for Transport does not hold the information at the level of detail requested. However, Network Rail is the custodian of timetable and performance data for the rail industry, and will be able to provide this information. The hon. Member should contact Network Rail's chief executive at the following address for a response to his questions:
40 Melton Street
My noble Friend, Lord Adonis, has written to Sir David Rowlands at High Speed Two setting out what the Government expect of the company. A copy of this letter is available in the Libraries of the House.
As a first stage, High Speed Two will report by the end of the year with a proposed route from London to the West Midlands, setting out any necessary options, including for stations. It will also consider the potential for new lines to serve the north of England and Scotland, providing advice on the potential development of a high speed line beyond the West Midlands, at the level of broad corridors. We have asked the company to consider in particular the potential for HS2 to extend to the conurbations of Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions his Department has had with the European Commission on powers to set sustainability requirements additional to the Renewable Energy Directive. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The UK Government participated in European negotiations on the Renewable Energy Directive that resulted in the inclusion of sustainability requirements relating to direct environmental impacts, and will continue to work with the European Commission, as proposals to account for indirect environmental impacts are being considered.
Member states will not be permitted to impose sustainability requirements additional to those in the Renewable Energy Directive. A provision in the directive (expected to be article 18(8) in the final published version of the directive) prohibits member states from refusing to take into account biofuels which meet the directives sustainability requirements, on other grounds of sustainability.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many schemes to introduce permitting for street works his Department has introduced under the powers contained in the Traffic Management Act 2004. 
Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effect of the £700 million brought forward for transport spending in 2009-10 on (a) the transport budget for 2010-11 and (b) transport projects planned for 2010-11. 
Mr. Hoon: The £700 million fiscal stimulus package for transport, announced in the pre-Budget report, Facing global challenges: Supporting people through difficult times (Cm 7484), has the effect of increasing the Departments capital departmental expenditure limit (CDEL) for 2009-10 by £700 million, funded through a reduction of the same size in the CDEL for 2010-11.
In terms of the impact on transport projects previously planned for 2010-11, the effect of the fiscal stimulus package is to mean that some will start a year earlier. Some of the financial package, however, represents the earlier use than previously planned of funds that had not yet been allocated to specific projects.
Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Minister for the Olympics what assessment her Office has made of the effect of workers being employed on the Olympic village on the availability of labour for construction projects (a) in Cumbria, (b) in Copeland constituency and (c) elsewhere. 
ConstructionSkills, the industry Sector Skills Council, undertakes research into skills requirements and other issues to inform policy development. The Olympic village is an important construction programme, but various other projects and factors, including mobility, also impact on labour availability.
According to ConstructionSkills most recent research around one in ten (9 per cent) of those with a permanent address in the North West are working on sites outside the region. This is half the average amount for UK/Republic of Ireland. 1 per cent of the London workforce originates from the North West.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether any asylum seekers are housed in Castle Point constituency; and what her Departments future plans are to house asylum seekers there. 
Further to that reply information on asylum is published annually and quarterly. Statistics for end of March 2009 will be available in May 2009 from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate website at:
Asylum support accommodation is identified and provided by accommodation providers holding contracts with the UK Border Agency. It is therefore for accommodation providers within a specified region to determine where they provide specific accommodation in consultation with the local authorities and other key stakeholders. The one accommodation provider operating in Essex has confirmed that currently it has no plans to procure accommodation in the Castle Point constituency.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much expenditure was incurred in respect of overseas visits which (a) he, (b) other Ministers in his Department and (c) his Departments senior officials undertook in 2008. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department for Energy and Climate Change was not in existence in F/Y 2007-08. However, since 1999, the Government have published a list of all overseas travel by Cabinet Ministers costing over £500. Information for the financial year 2007-08 was published on 22 July 2008, Official Report, column 102WS and for the first time, included details of overseas visits undertaken by all Ministers. All travel by Ministers is undertaken in accordance with the Ministerial Code.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) what steps he is taking to encourage the distributed energy distribution network use of system charging on a cost reflective basis; 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: In line with a commitment in the Energy White Paper 2007 DECC and Ofgem have agreed a set of proposals to allow larger DE schemes to become licensed suppliers operating on the public network, in a way that is proportionate to their size and impact.
The proposals are set out in a decision letter published by Ofgem on 6 February 2009. The letter includes a statutory consultation notice to implement a new standard licence condition that will mean that DE schemes do not have to be a direct party to costly and complex industry codes where they have alternative arrangements in place.
The letter also sets out guidance for the development and provision of supplier services agreements that will enable DE schemes and small suppliers to operate on the public electricity distribution network, with support from larger suppliers.
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