Justine Greening: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport pursuant to the answer of 20 January 2010, Official Report, column 344W, on Heathrow airport, on what date the then Secretary of State confirmed the decision to hold the Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport consultation over a 14- week period. 
Paul Clark: In line with guidance, officials adopted a 14-week consultation period as a working assumption as soon as it became clear in 2007 that the consultation would span the Christmas holiday period. The decision was taken by then Secretary of State for Transport, the right hon. Member for Bolton, West (Ruth Kelly), on 1 October 2007 when she wrote to Cabinet colleagues seeking agreement to the consultation. Agreement to the 14-week period was confirmed following the normal cabinet clearance process, which was completed on 12 November 2007.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent estimate Network Rail has made of the cost of re-doubling the Swindon to Kemble railway line; and if he will discuss with hon. Members representing constituencies in Gloucestershire the funding of that project. 
Chris Mole: The study work undertaken by Network Rail to date indicates a cost of £52.4 million for the redoubling of the Swindon-Kemble section of the Great Western route. Department for Transport officials are in detailed discussion with Network Rail to determine the extent to which the task can be undertaken within the funding available from the south-west region. This is capped at £45 million.
We hope to be in a position to give further information on the matter in the near future and would be pleased to arrange a meeting with hon. Members.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will publish the results of his Department's feasibility study of the re-doubling of the Swindon to Kemble railway line. 
Chris Mole: I will make a statement concerning the redoubling of this section of line, along with such supporting material as is necessary, once the present dialogue with Network Rail is concluded.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport when he anticipates a final decision will be made on the re-doubling of the Swindon to Kemble railway line. 
Chris Mole: Talks with Network Rail are currently taking place on the subject of redoubling this section of route. I will review the position at the conclusion of that dialogue and take a decision in due course.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport when the budget from the regional funding allocation in respect of the Swindon to Kemble railway line expires. 
Chris Mole: There is no specific end date to the availability of finance from the south-west region in connection with this project. The region has prioritised the scheme to commence during 2010-11 and to make finance available from that point, provided that there is a satisfactory outcome to the negotiations with Network Rail.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the earliest date is on which work could commence on the re-doubling of the Swindon to Kemble railway line. 
Chris Mole: This depends upon the outcome of negotiations with Network Rail, but if these are successful then preliminary work could commence during 2010.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent discussions he has had with Welsh Assembly Government Ministers on provision for the funding of any shortfall from the regional funding allocation in respect of the re-doubling of the Swindon to Kemble railway line. 
Chris Mole: The Welsh Assembly Government have contributed £100,000 towards the detailed study of re-doubling the line. The Department for Transport is working closely with Network Rail to ensure that it can introduce a scheme that is affordable within the resources available to the south-west region.
Departmental officials are continuing to keep Welsh Assembly Government officials briefed on the progress of Network Rail's study.
Mr. Crausby: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many motorists bought a vehicle excise duty licence with a single payment in each of the last three years. 
Paul Clark: The figures in the following table are the total numbers of 12-month vehicle excise duty licences, issued in the United Kingdom for financial years 2006-07 to 2008-09.
The figures in the following table are the total numbers of six-month vehicle excise duty licences, issued in the United Kingdom for financial years 2006-07 to 2008-09.
Both 12-month and six-month licences must be paid for in full prior to issue. There is no option to part pay for either a 12-month or six-month licence.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport (1) what discussions he has had with the East Riding of Yorkshire council on the proposed park and ride scheme at Bridlington, with particular reference to the expected profitability of such a scheme; and whether he has made an assessment of the potential profitability of such a scheme; 
(2) if he will estimate the financial losses incurred in respect of the operation of the park and ride scheme in Doncaster; and if he will provide guidance to local authorities on the consideration of alternatives to such schemes in circumstances in which they make a financial loss. 
Mr. Khan: The Department for Transport is contributing a maximum sum of £5,428,799 to the construction cost of the Bridlington integrated transport scheme.
Where the Department is providing more than £5 million to a local authority major scheme, the Department takes operating costs and projected revenues of major schemes into account, among many other factors, as part of a value for money assessment.
It is not a condition of funding that park and ride services or any other schemes must make a financial operating surplus. It is the responsibility of the promoting local authority to meet net operating costs including provision of an operating subsidy where necessary or appropriate.
The Department is not aware of the actual operating costs and revenues relating to the operation of the Doncaster A638 park and ride scheme.
Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what assessment he has made of the financial implications for his Department of the cancellation of the European Train Control System early deployment scheme. 
Chris Mole: The Cambrian Early Deployment Scheme has not been cancelled. The lessons learnt from this scheme will be vital to informing the planning of future European Rail Traffic Management System deployments.
Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many miles of new road lanes on (a) newly-built roads and (b) widening projects have been constructed in each year since 1997; and what the estimated cost of such construction has been. 
Chris Mole [holding answer 28 January 2010]: The information requested has been placed in the Libraries of the House. The table provided for local authority major road schemes provides information only from 2000 onwards.
The Department for Transport does not currently hold detailed information centrally on local authority schemes, such as road lengths or whether the scheme is a new build or widening. Our Regional Transport Statistics publication does, however, provide data on road lengths by region in England and is available on the Department for Transport website at:
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will allocate funds to the East Riding of Yorkshire council for the purposes of repairing road surfaces cracked, potholed and damaged as a result of the recent severe weather conditions; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Khan: The Department for Transport has published guidance on its emergency capital highway maintenance funding scheme. Authorities including East Riding of Yorkshire council may submit a claim for emergency funding to repair damage to their roads which they consider was caused by the recent severe weather. The Department will carefully consider claims that are received.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what representations he has received from Gloucestershire county council on increasing its block grant for the purpose of funding road repairs. 
Mr. Khan: Gloucestershire county council received additional funding under the Department for Transport's emergency capital highway maintenance funding scheme for damage caused by flooding in 2001 and 2007. No further representations have been received from the authority for additional funding to carry out repairs to their local highway network.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what advice he has received on the level of compensation payable to motorists in respect of damage to vehicles during the recent severe weather conditions, incurred as a result of the state of repair of roads for which the Highways Agency has responsibility. 
The Highways Agency has a comprehensive road resurfacing programme to reduce the potential for potholes and other surface defects but there is no doubt that the severity of the recent weather conditions has
led to an increase in defects to the road surface. The Highways Agency is confident that the regime for identifying these defects and the resources necessary for undertaking repairs is sufficient to keep England's motorways and trunk roads in a safe and serviceable condition.
There is no automatic right to compensation. The law makes it quite clear that highway authorities cannot be blamed for everything that happens on their roads and provided that they can demonstrate that they took all reasonable steps to ensure that the highway was safe, they will not be found negligent. Unfortunately, incidents do occur but very few are actually attributable to negligence on the part of the highway authority. The majority of claims brought against the Highways Agency are successfully defended.
Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate he has made of the financial implications of deferring the delivery of Thameslink until 2015. 
Chris Mole: The Department for Transport is continually reviewing the costs associated with the Thameslink programme. The current forecast of the total costs for the programme is around £5.5 billion to £6 billion.
The Department is working closely with Network Rail and other industry partners to ensure that the programme can be delivered within its budget.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much funding the local transport authority in (a) Suffolk, (b) Bedfordshire, (c) Cambridgeshire, (d) Essex, (e) Hertfordshire and (f) Norfolk has received from his Department (i) in total, (ii) per mile of road and (iii) per head of population in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Khan: Funding provided to the local transport authorities in Suffolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Norfolk to support local transport is shown in the following tables. From 2000-01 this funding comprises the integrated transport block and highways maintenance for general capital funding for transport and additional capital funding for specific major projects. Also included is funding for maintenance of roads that have been de-trunked, road safety projects, bus services and cycling and walking schemes. Prior to 2000-01 funding was provided in the form of ‘gross approved spending'.
Revenue expenditure on transport is generally supported through the Department for Communities and Local Government's formula grant, and it is not possible to disaggregate this by service.
Funding for concessionary travel has not been included, since this is provided to the district councils in these areas, rather than the upper tier transport authorities.
|(i) In total