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Bus Services: Concessions

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much his Department has contributed towards concessionary fares on bus services in (a) Test Valley borough, (b) Southampton City and (c) the ceremonial county of Hampshire in each of the last five years. [313787]

Mr. Khan: The Department for Transport has provided concessionary travel special grant funding of:

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The special grant funding is solely to cover the extra costs of providing England-wide travel since April 2008. Communities and Local Government (CLG) continues to provide the bulk of concessionary travel funding to local authorities through Formula Grant. Before 1 April 2008, funding for the statutory minimum bus concession was provided exclusively through the Formula Grant system.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what percentage of bus journeys in (a) Test Valley borough, (b) Southampton City and (c) the ceremonial county of Hampshire were made on concessionary fares in each of the last five years. [313788]

Mr. Khan: Concessionary trip statistics have been collected from bus operators only since 2007-08. Revised figures for 2007-08 are planned for publication, alongside 2008-09 data, not later than June 2010. This date is later than would normally have been the case as a result of the development of new estimation methodologies that are being applied across a broad range of bus statistics.

However, it is not always possible to publish bus patronage statistics for individual Travel Concessionary Authority areas due to commercial confidentiality obligations to local bus operators.

Diesel Vehicles: Exhaust Emissions

Colin Challen: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what steps he is taking to reduce diesel carbon particulates emitted from (a) Government and (b) private sector vehicles. [312851]

Mr. Khan: The Government have supported adoption of stringent European emissions standards for new vehicles. The forthcoming Euro 5 emissions standards for cars and vans, and Euro VI emissions standards for lorry and bus engines, will ensure that diesel particle emissions are reduced by more than 99 per cent. relative to current diesel vehicles.

In addition the Treasury are encouraging the early uptake of Euro 5 vans by means of a vehicle excise duty incentive. They also plan to introduce incentives to encourage the early uptake of Euro VI lorries and buses in due course.

EU Directive 2009/33/EC requires local authorities, operators of public transport services and public bodies to take account of the energy consumption and environmental impacts of vehicles, including particle emissions, in their procurement processes. The Department is currently consulting on implementation of this directive, which is due to come into force in December 2010, and on draft guidance to assist public bodies in complying.

East Coast Railway Line

John Mann: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what changes he expects to be made to East Coast Main Line passenger rail services between Retford and London in May 2010 in respect of (a) daytime service frequency, (b) the number of services from Retford arriving in London before 10 am, (c) the
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latest direct train to leave London for Retford on (i) weekdays and (ii) Saturdays, (d) services at peak commuter hours, (e) services on Saturday evenings and (f) the overall number of services operated. [313552]

Chris Mole: For May 2010, there is no material change to the weekday timetable for trains serving Retford. There may be changes to weekend timings because there are significant engineering works planned for the southern part of the route.

There is a major timetable change planned for May 2011 on the East Coast Main Line. The timetable is currently subject to consultation and further development, by the current operator, East Coast.

The number of services to and from London each day will remain broadly similar to today, although it is planned to have later services from London on Saturdays.

Immobilisation of Vehicles: Local Authorities

Mr. Amess: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport which local authorities in England and Wales use immobilisation as part of their parking enforcement activities; under what legislation this is regulated; and if he will make a statement. [313148]

Mr. Khan: All local authorities that have applied for and been given the power to enforce parking under the Traffic Management Act 2004 have the power to immobilise vehicles. No record is kept centrally of which local authorities use that power.

The provisions and power to immobilise illegally parked vehicles are set out in section 79 of the Traffic Management Act and two sets of regulations made under the Act: The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) General Regulations 2007 (SI 2007 no 3483) and The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007 (SI 2007 no 3482). Under the General Regulations, there is a general power to immobilise vehicles which have been served with a penalty charge notice. A penalty charge notice can only be issued in respect of parking contraventions for the purposes of this power.

The Secretary of State's statutory guidance to local authorities on the civil enforcement of parking contraventions is that immobilisation should be used in limited circumstances, such as where the same vehicle repeatedly breaks parking restrictions and it has not been possible to collect payment for penalties.

Railways: North West

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what plans he has to reduce railway journey times between London and (a) Lancaster, (b) Preston and (c) Crewe. [314180]

Chris Mole: Journey times have already been significantly reduced. The recently modernised and resignalled West Coast Main Line has delivered far more 125 mph operation across the route bringing more capacity and faster journeys for millions of passengers.

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Average journey times from Lancaster and Preston to London were reduced by half an hour to 2 hours 24 minutes and 2 hours 8 minutes respectively. The fastest London to Preston train now completes the journey in a very attractive two hours.

The fastest trains from Crewe now reach London Euston in 90 minutes, a journey time reduction of 15 minutes.

Railways: Standards

Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what has been the average length of delay for trains classified as late in each of the last 10 years in respect of (a) short distance and (b) long distance journeys; and what percentage of delays in each such year have been the responsibility of (i) Network Rail and (ii) a train operating company and (iii) another organisation. [314348]

Chris Mole [holding answer 29 January 2010]: The Department for Transport does not hold information on average length of delay broken down by short distance and long distance journeys.

The percentage of delays for the last seven years for which data are available is shown in the following table for (i) Network Rail, (ii) Train Operating Companies (TOCs) to themselves and (iii) delays to TOCs caused by other TOCs. The Department does not hold these data prior to the last seven years.

MAA percentage share of total industry delay minutes incurred by major passenger operators

(i) Network Rail delay (ii) TOC on self delay (iii) TOC on TOC by victim delay





























NPPR at Period 13.

Network Rail is responsible for performance data for the rail industry. The hon. Gentleman may wish to contact Network Rail's Chief Executive at the following address for such information:

Roads: Coventry

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what steps the Government has taken to maintain roads serving Coventry in the last 12 months. [313926]

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Mr. Khan: Maintenance of local authority roads in Coventry is a matter for Coventry council.

As part of the Local Transport Plan settlement, the Department for Transport provides capital funding for highways maintenance to local highway authorities. In 2008-09, the allocation to Coventry was £1.704 million, and in 2009-10 it is £1.874 million. In addition, the council may use revenue support grant provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government for highways maintenance.

Through the provision of advice, the Department has supported the procurement phase of Coventry's private finance initiative project to renew its street lighting.

The Highways Agency has two trunk roads in the area, parts of which pass through or are very close to the city of Coventry: the A45 between the A46 and M45 and the A46 between the Kenilworth bypass and M6. The following major maintenance schemes have been carried out over the last 12 months:

These schemes are in addition to the ongoing normal routine maintenance programme, which includes such duties as grass cutting, drain and debris clearance and minor carriageway repair; and the winter maintenance programme including gritting and snow clearance, as required.

Roads: Greater Manchester

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport with reference to the Minister of State's announcement of 14 July 2009 of a £45 million cash injection for Greater Manchester's road network, from which budget within his Department this sum will be spent. [313691]

Mr. Khan: The Greater Manchester Highway Retaining Walls major maintenance scheme was recommended for funding by the North West Region from their Regional Funding Allocation. The Department for Transport has provided funding provision for the scheme from its local authority major schemes budget.

The Department will provide £40.5 million and the promoting local authorities will provide £4.5 million.

Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

Lindsay Roy: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what plans he has to improve major arterial roads; and if he will make a statement. [314480]

Chris Mole: In January 2009 the Secretary of State announced a £6 billion programme of investment in the most important sections of the Strategic Road Network in England. In total, this programme consists of 29 schemes that will deliver over 520 additional lane miles on the main network. Copies of the announcement are available in the Library, and can be found online at the Department's website.

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In addition to this, the Highways Agency delivers a range of schemes on regionally significant strategic roads. The most recent of these is the A46 between Newark and Widmerpool in the east midlands. Overall, the Highways Agency will spend £300 million on regional schemes this year.

Beyond the information provided on the Highways Agency national and regional schemes, most local roads that serve an arterial function are managed by local highway authorities. Improvements to these routes can be either funded through the Integrated Transport Block Settlement which the Department allocates to local authorities for schemes costing under £5 million or through the respective Regional Funding Allocation.

Schemes in Scotland and Wales are handled by the Devolved Administrations.

Roads: Snow and Ice

Mark Hunter: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what consideration his Department has given to the effects on the environment of the use of (a) grit and (b) salt to remedy the effects of cold weather conditions on the roads. [312443]

Mr. Khan: The Department for Transport endorses 'Well-maintained Highways', the code of practice for highway maintenance management published by the UK Roads Liaison Group.

The section on winter service in this code includes guidance on the storage and spreading of salt and grit used in severe weather, to ensure that damage to the environment is kept to a minimum.

The use of salt to treat the road network to help prevent the formation of ice and build up of snow is acknowledged as the only viable wide scale treatment option. Notwithstanding this, the Highways Agency has recognised the potential impact of salt on the environment and this was part of its consideration in adopting the "pre-wet" salt application technique, within its new winter vehicle fleet. Due to its greater application accuracy, up to 25 per cent. less salt can be used to treat the network helping to minimise the environmental impact of winter maintenance activities.

Ben Chapman: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what representations his Department has received from (a) local authorities and (b) Royal Mail on the condition of road surfaces following the severe weather conditions in January 2010. [313386]

Mr. Khan: The Department for Transport and Government regional offices have received six formal representations from local authorities about the condition of road surfaces following the severe weather conditions so far this winter. They are from Sheffield city council, North Yorkshire county council, North Tyneside Council, Southend-on-Sea borough council, Herefordshire council and Darlington borough council.

The Department has also received a representation from the Local Government Association.

Another authority, Peterborough city council, has contacted the consultants who have been engaged by the Department to advise authorities on preparation of claims under its emergency capital highway maintenance funding scheme.

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No representations have been received from Royal Mail.

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