|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Chris Mole: The structural integrity of railway bridges in England is an operational matter for Network Rail as owner and operator of the national network, and the company has its own teams of structures engineers.
The funding and efficiency of the maintenance and renewal activity by Network Rail on its own bridges is determined and monitored by the independent Office of Rail Regulation as part of its determination of the company's outputs and funding for each five-year control period.
Network Rail-owned bridges over railways most commonly carry local authority roads. In England, under the Railway Bridges (Load Bearing Standards) Regulations (England and Wales) Order 1972 (SI 1705/1972), they are statutorily required to be able to carry 24 imperial tons. They are covered by a national programme of assessment and works and a national cost sharing agreement with local authorities relating to the costs of assessment and strengthening.
Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent estimate he has made of the (a) fastest, (b) average and (c) slowest journey times between (i) London and Edinburgh, (ii) Edinburgh and Aberdeen and (iii) London and Aberdeen following the introduction of the new Intercity Express trains; and if he will provide the same information in respect of existing journey times. 
Chris Mole [holding answer 24 November 2009]: The introduction of Super Express Trains would see a more standardised pattern of train services throughout the day, not just the occasional headline train on routes as is the case today, resulting in less variance in the fastest/slowest/average journey times.
|Current journey times|
|Indicative future Super Express journey times|
Anne Main: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the outcomes are of his Department's monitoring of the effects on train services of First Capital Connect train drivers choosing to work only their contracted hours; what assessment he has made of the effects of such action on routes other than the Bedford to Brighton route; how many other routes have been affected to date; what steps he is taking to resolve the situation; and what assessment he has made of the extent to which First Capital Connect can deliver on its franchise requirements while such action persists. 
Chris Mole [holding answer 1 December 2009]: Officials at the Department for Transport are ensuring that the amended timetables that First Capital Connect is operating look to protect the first and last services of the day for all First Capital Connect routes; provide a balanced service during the day; and provide replacement bus services where appropriate. First Capital Connect is obliged to reinstate trains when resources are available and this is happening when possible.
No assessment has been made of the effects of the action on other routes, but there is a notable increase in passengers using First Capital Connect services on the Great Northern route during peak periods. In addition, First Capital Connect has arranged for its tickets to be valid on Southern services between Brighton, Sutton, Wimbledon and intermediate stations to Victoria, as well as on Stagecoach South West Trains services between Wimbledon and Waterloo.
First Capital Connect Thameslink tickets can also be used on the Tramlink services and on London underground and buses on all reasonable routes. Further, on the Great Northern route, First Capital Connect will when necessary arrange for their passengers to be able to use the East Coast services between Peterborough and London.
The Department for Transport is monitoring First Capital Connect's ability to deliver their franchise requirements in accordance with their contractual commitments and we will take appropriate action to ensure compliance.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what information his Department holds on the complaints received by each railway operator about its services in each of the last 10 years. 
Chris Mole: The Department for Transport collects statistics from each train operating company on the complaints it receives about its services. These are then passed to the Office of Rail Regulation for publication in National Rail Trends. These figures are available from the financial year 2002-03. National Rail Trends is available in the Libraries of the House or on the Office of Rail Regulation's website:
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what the cost was of maintaining his Department's website in the 2008-09 financial year; and what the forecast cost is of maintaining websites within his responsibility in the 2009-10 financial year. 
Mr. Hain: The cost of hosting and maintaining the Wales Office website in 2008-09 was £6,054.55, the forecast spend on this for the current financial year is £7,976. The costs in 2008-09 were lower as the first three months had been paid on set up of the new website in January 2008.
Mr. Hain: Wales Office press officers are appointed to work in both London and Cardiff offices, and elsewhere with Ministers, as required. They will be reimbursed for travelling and subsistence expenses incurred in their duties. The sums paid in each of the last two years were:
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many miles (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department travelled by taxi in the course of their official duties in each year since 1997; and at what cost to the public purse in each such year. 
Since June 2007 Ministers in the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons have taken up training courses provided by the National School of Government and Sara Jones Associates Ltd. No training sessions have been attended by special advisers in the Leader of the House of Commons Office since June 2007.
Training is provided to Ministers and Special Advisers as part of their induction and continuing development in order to carry out their respective duties effectively under the Ministerial Code and the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers. Details of training provided to Government Ministers by the National School of Government are publicly available and can be found at:
"The review is expected to cost approximately £1.1 million."
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Solicitor-General if she will request the Director of Public Prosecutions to review the policy of the Crown Prosecution Service on prosecutions for offences of theft from shops. 
The Solicitor-General: There is no discrete CPS policy on prosecutions for shop theft. Decisions on whether to prosecute a person for offences of theft from a shop, in common with all decisions on prosecution, are made in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors which provides general principles to be applied when balancing public interest factors for and against prosecution.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how long on average it took an 18 to 24 year-old on jobseeker's allowance to get a full-time paid job in (a) the UK, (b) England, (c) the North East and (d) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency in the latest period for which figures are available. 
As National Statistician, 1 have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how long on average it took an 18 to 24 year old on job seeker's allowance to get a full-time paid job in (a) the UK (b) England and (c) the North East and (d) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency in the latest period for which figures are available. (301751)
The Office for National Statistics publishes the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) from the Jobcentre Plus administrative system. Although some information is available on whether people leaving JSA did so because they found work, this information does not distinguish part time and full time work, and as its collection is voluntary it does not have sufficient coverage to be reliable.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|