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Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information his Department holds on the number of lamp posts maintained by local authorities in England and in use which are beyond their design life; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Clark: It is for each local authority to decide how to manage its street lighting systems and the Department for Transport does not regularly collect information on street lighting column age. In order to inform the local transport plan capital allocations, in 2006 the Department asked English local authorities outside London to report the number of columns they had aged 40 years or more. At that time, authorities reported 771,900 columns; but this figure has not been independently verified, and may include some columns no longer in use.
The Department encourages local authorities to adopt an asset management approach to maintaining their highways assets, including basing decisions on accurate inventory and condition data rather than notional design lives.
Paul Clark: Provision of disabled parking spaces is covered by Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) legislation. The Department for Transport has published the Inclusive Mobility guidance document to help service providers (such as local authorities and car park operators) to meet their requirements under the DDA. Powers exist for disabled people to challenge service providers who they believe do not meet their DDA requirements.
Paul Clark: The Department for Transport has not made an estimate for benchmarking purposes of the proportion of travel undertaken by rail compared to continental European countries. The Eurostat publication, Key figures on Europe 2009 edition contains a selection of key transport statistics including estimates of rail travel by country. It can be found on the Eurostat website at
It is not our intention to establish a nationally available frequent user railcard. Any new railcard offering discounts, would need to be revenue generative for the industry as otherwise, under the
current system, it would require Government subsidy. There is no current evidence that such a railcard would generate revenue.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent representations his Department has received from train operating companies on the financial viability of extant rail franchises. 
Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many train services on the East Coast Main Line have been cancelled by National Express since it assumed the franchise; how many were cancelled by GNER in each of the last five years of its existence; and if he will make a statement. 
|Franchisee||Reporting period||Full cancellations|
In the last five years of its existence, GNER cancelled an average of 55 trains per month. Since taking over the East Coast franchise, National Express East Coast (NXEC) have cancelled an average of 51 trains per month. This is against a backdrop of an increased number of services. Having established themselves in the franchise, NXEC have significantly improved performance.
Since the start of the NXEC franchise, the PPM Moving Annual Average (MAA) has risen from 81.2 per cent. to 86.9 per cent. In the last four weeks, period ending 31 March 2009, NXEC cancelled 37 trains and achieved a record PPM of 91.9 per cent.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 8 May 2009, Official Report, columns 488-89W, on roads: accidents, how many drivers of each type of vehicle involved in incidents causing cyclists deaths in the last five years had (a) a UK and (b) a non-UK driving licence. 
Paul Clark: In the last six months, Department for Transport officials met Virgin West Coast every four weeks to review the financial, operational and contractual performance of the franchise. In addition, Ministers and senior officials from the Department held separate meetings with Virgin West Coast to discuss implementation of the December 2008 timetable and subsequent performance issues.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) rural farms and
(b) smallholdings each local authority holds; and how many have been vacant for longer than (i) three and (ii) six months. 
The annual report to Parliament on smallholdings in England provides details of the numbers of statutory smallholdings held by local authorities analysed according to size of holding. This information is set out in the following table. DEFRA does not hold
information regarding the number of smallholdings that are vacant or the duration of vacancies, and it would be for individual local authorities to provide these details.
|Analysis of smallholdings by size at 31 March 2007|
|Number of holdings|
|Cou nty/u nitary a uthority||0 to 20 ha||20 to 40 ha||Over 40 ha||Total|
Extract from the 57th annual report to Parliament on smallholdings in England.
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