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Albert Owen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many Vehicle and Operator Services Agency checks have been undertaken at the ports of (a) Holyhead, (b) Pembroke, (c) Fishguard, (d) Liverpool, (e) Heysham and (f) Stranraer since the checking system came into operation; what the frequency of checks is at each of those ports; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: A list of checks undertaken at the ports of (a) Holyhead, (b) Pembroke, (c) Fishguard, (d) Liverpool, (e) Heysham and (f) Stranraer since the checking system came into operation and the frequency of checks is at each of those ports has been placed in the Libraries of the House.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans (a) his Department and (b) Network Rail has to provide step-free access at each of the former Silverlink rail stations which also have Bakerloo Line platforms. 
Paul Clark: The Department for Transport and Network Rail currently have no plans to provide step-free access to the former Silverlink overground platforms at these stations, which comprise Harrow and Wealdstone, Willesden Junction, and Queens Park. Decisions regarding the provision of step-free access to London Underground services at these stations are the responsibility of Transport for London, contact details for which can be found at
Paul Clark: Detailed information about station facilities is held and maintained by train operators and the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and not by the Department for Transport. However, studies for the Strategic Rail Authority in 2005 showed that approximately 50 per cent. of stations provided step-free access routes to platforms, covering 57 per cent of journeys.
In March 2006 the Railways for All Strategy was launched, which includes £370 million of Access for All funding for station improvements over a 10 year period, in addition to access improvements delivered as part of rail franchises and major investment projects. We anticipate that over 80 per cent. of journeys will start or end at a step-free station by 2015.
Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how much has been spent on capital funding for (a) railway infrastructure and (b) rail rolling stock from (i) the public purse and (ii) the private sector in each year since 1979; 
Paul Clark: The information is not available in the form requested. However, full details of historic Government expenditure on the railway is published in National Rail Trends by the Office of Rail Regulation. Copies are available in the Library of the House and online at
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations his Department has received in the last five years on rail services in Torbay from (a) Torbay local authority and (b) the South West Regional Development Agency. 
Paul Clark: Having searched the Department for Transport's records, one representation was found from Torbay council. This representation was an objection raised during the franchise replacement consultation in 2006, prior to the re-letting of the franchise. The objection related to the proposal therein that the London Waterloo-Torbay service would terminate at Exeter.
A representation was found from the South West Regional Development Agency, also in response to this consultation, offering a number of comments, including an expression of concern at Paignton and Plymouth proposals and their possible impact upon both productivity improvements and economic and housing growth.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the Search and Rescue Strategic Committee last met; and whether it discussed the level of search and rescue cover provided for the South Hams coastline. 
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which (a) individuals and (b) organisations have participated in his Department's consultation exercise on the search and rescue requirements of the southern part of the South Hams coastline. 
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment he has made of congestion levels in the Torbay local authority area based on (a) reports from the Government Office South West and (b) the mid-term progress review of the local transport plan; and what support his Department is providing to Torbay local authority to (i) increase bus usage and (ii) reduce traffic congestion. 
Paul Clark: I refer to my answer of 6 May 2009, Official Report, column 196W, regarding the progress review of Torbay councils local transport plan conducted with the Government Office for the South West. The progress review covers congestion levels in the area.
The Department for Transport is providing the following financial support to Torbay council to help improve their local transport infrastructure and public transport services. This funding will help the authority increase bus patronage and reduce traffic congestion.
|Financial year 2008-09DfT funding to Torbay council|
|(1) Originally paid by DfT, but since 2008-09 has been paid as an area based grant by DCLG.|
This funding is not ring-fenced and Torbay council has discretion to spend allocations in line with their priorities. Revenue expenditure on transport is generally supported through the Department for Communities and Local Governments formula grant.
£4.1 million will be provided in 2009-10 for improvements to the Tweenaway Cross junction;
assessing a Major Scheme Business Case on funding for the proposed A380 South Devon Link Road, a scheme promoted jointly by Devon and Torbay councils;
providing Torbay council with vehicle journey time data to inform their congestion policies;
£589,000 of funding over a number of years through the 2005 Kickstart bus competition to improve bus patronage and encourage modal shift through the South Devon College and Western corridor scheme.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road closures due to road traffic accidents there were in each local authority area in the South West in each of the last five years; and for how long the road or roads affected were closed in each case. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The information held by the Highways Agency relating to road closures due to road traffic accidents, is not in the form requested. The Highways Agency and the Department for Transport do not keep data relating to road closures due to road traffic accidents on local roads, and therefore this information will need to be obtained from the local highway authorities.
The first table provides information about closures by police force area, for the motorway network in the South West over a five year period. The second table lists information by route for the All Purpose Trunk Road network in the South West, also over a five year period.
The information available is for road traffic accidents where the police have requested Highways Agency involvement. No data are held for those occurrences where the police have dealt with an accident alone. Also, the data available for All Purpose Trunk Roads west of Exeter are from autumn 2006 onwards, and from July 2005 for other Highways Agency roads in the south west network.
|Mo torways by police force area from July 2005 o nwards|
|Number of road closures on motorways per year|
|Police Force Area||July 2005 onwards||2006||2007||2008||2009|
|All purpose trunk roads|
|Number of road closures per year|
|Trunk Road Number||July to December 2005||2006||2007||2008||2009|
|(1) Not known|
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