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Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to announce a decision on the proposal for a workplace parking levy in Nottingham; and what criteria will apply in reaching that decision. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Government support the sustainable development of ports to meet the needs of port users and the wider economy. The diverse and competitive ports sector in the UK undertakes infrastructure improvements according to market conditions. The ports sector has successfully maintained a consistent share of handling 95 per cent. of UK goods in international trade by volume in competition with other modes of transport. Details of improvements undertaken at ports in the UK are generally available on the websites of individual ports.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his policy is on the provision of funding by the Transport Innovation Fund previously available for proposals to develop public transport strategy in Manchester in light of the recent decision by Greater Manchester authorities not to proceed with the proposed congestion zone. 
Paul Clark: The Department for Transport will continue to engage with local authorities who seek to bring forward packages of transport measures to tackle local congestion problems in line with the Transport Innovation Fund criteria.
Paul Clark: 2009-10 is the first year of implementation of the National Stations Improvement programme. Under this programme, the Government are providing £150 million over five years for the modernisation of around 150 stations. The programme is being led by Network Rail.
The Access for All programme is continuing to install obstacle free, accessible routes into priority stations. 145 stations have been identified for enhancement through to 2015. 24 sites are now finished and Network Rail expect to complete a further 20 during 2009-10. In addition, the Access for All Small Schemes programme has awarded funding of £6.2 million towards a variety of access improvements with a total value of around £37 million at over 500 stations during this financial year.
In addition, Reading station is being re-developed. This is a five year project with a total value of around £800 million and will increase capacity and improve performance on a key railway junction on the Great Western main line. Planning consent is underway and when achieved, enabling works will commence, scheduled for the beginning of 2010.
At Birmingham New Street station the Department for Transport is providing a significant contribution to the £600 million gateway scheme to redevelop this station. Work is scheduled to begin later in 2009 and will deliver significant improvement in passenger handling capacity, access, facilities and environment.
Paul Clark: Between 1996-97 and 2007-08 approximately 46 route miles were electrified, accounting for about 0.5 per cent. of the GB network that is open to passenger traffic. Electrification schemes completed during this period include Heathrow Express and Crewe to Kidsgrove. Rail electrification in Scotland is a devolved matter for the Scottish Executive.
Table 6.1, Transport Statistics Great Britain 2008
Paul Clark: The Office of Rail Regulation (the independent rail safety regulator) has received the information in the following table on the safety of doors on high speed trains operated by First Great Western.
|First Great Western (FGW) door incidents|
Selective Door Operation (SDO), which is operated by the train manager and which prevents doors not at platforms from opening, has now been fitted to the whole First Great Western (FGW) HST fleet as part of the refurbishment undertaken since the beginning of the new FGW franchise.
Following the change in FGW's selective door opening policy in relation to short platforms, there was a spate of door incidents in early 2008. The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) reviewed the industry's investigations into these incidentsincluding the changes that FGW made to its selective door opening policy to deal with these incidents (including the one of May 2008).
The RAIB review concluded that no further investigation by RAIB was necessary at this time, but it would keep the situation under review. Following the changes made by FGW, there have been two subsequent incidents. The RAIB considered both of these and their particular circumstances. One clearly was due to specific distraction, and for the other RAIB is still ascertaining the circumstances and the action proposed by FGW as part of our ongoing monitoring. The RAIB is not aware of any door opening incidents on HSTs operated by other train operators over the last year, but continues to monitor Network Rail's daily log for reports of door incidents.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to improve signs alerting motorists to speed limits and average speed cameras on the A130 Canvey Way in Castle Point. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Signing is the responsibility of local traffic authorities. The Department for Transport's guidance on the use of speed cameras stipulates that drivers should be warned of the presence of cameras and reminded of the speed limit through signing. The guidance states that camera housings should be yellow and recommends that camera signs should be co-located with speed limit signs where permitted and practicable. In addition, all speed limit signing must be lawful and correct and in accordance with the traffic signs regulations and general directions (TSRGD) in order for speed limits to be enforced. The guidance has been placed in the Library of the House and is also available on the Department's website.
Paul Clark: Following the decision in 2005 to give regions a greater role in determining priorities for major transport schemes with indicative allocations, the Government announced in July 2006 plans to fund a programme of major transport schemes in the period to 2015-16. The programme includes the Poole Bridge Regeneration Initiative which is subject to major scheme approval by the Department for Transport. No other major transport scheme proposals in the Bournemouth area have been received by the Department in the last five years.
It is for the South East Dorset authorities (Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch) to determine how capital allocations for integrated transport and highways maintenance are utilised and whether to put forward major transport scheme proposals.
|South East Dorset (Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch)|
Angela Eagle: Global economic developments will have a profound effect on the fiscal positions of most countries. The OECD published its Interim Economic Outlook on 31 March 2009, which forecast the UK deficit to be 9.3 per cent. of GDP in 2009.
Mr. Timms: Treasury Ministers and officials receive representations from a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such representations.
Ian Pearson: RBS and Lloyds Banking Group have entered into legally binding agreements to increase the amount of lending they provide to home owners and businesses. The Government will monitor these arrangements and report to Parliament annually.
Mr. Timms: Treasury Ministers and officials receive representations from a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Governments practice to provide details of all such representations.
Ian Pearson: The Government recognise the importance of saving in providing people with independence throughout their lives, security if things go wrong and comfort in retirement. Budget 2009 announced that the annual ISA investment limits will rise to £10,200, up to £5,100 of which can be held in cash, from April 2010. These new limits will apply from October 2009 for people aged 50 and over.
Ian Pearson: The Government recognise the importance of saving in providing people with independence throughout their lives, security if things go wrong and comfort in retirement. Budget 2009 announced that the annual ISA investment limits will rise to £10,200, up to £5,100 of which can be held in cash, from April 2010. And these new limits will apply from October 2009 for people aged 50 and over.
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