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8 Feb 2010 : Column 669W—continued

East Coast Main Line: Conditions of Employment

Mr. Tom Harris: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport whether (a) staff employed to provide catering facilities and (b) other staff on East Coast trains will have their employment conditions protected under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulation in the event of an alternative train operating company providing east coast main line services from Glasgow from May 2011. [315188]

Chris Mole: Management of any staff transfers between train operators is a matter for those train operators.

East Coast Main Line: Rolling Stock

Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate he has made of the likely cost of the refurbishment of the existing rolling stock on the east coast main line; and how many additional years of service he estimates would be delivered by such refurbished rolling stock. [314343]

Chris Mole: The Department for Transport has made an assessment of the likely cost of refurbishment of both the HST-high-speed train-and 225 trains on the east coast main line. A longer life extension would require more work, and so different estimates have been prepared according to the period of life extension. To release these estimates now would compromise the Department's commercial position in the negotiations with the preferred bidder Agility Trains.

First Capital Connect: Franchises

Anne Main: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what provisions in the franchise agreement with First Capital Connect govern the termination of the franchise in respect of persistent service failure through industrial action. [314241]

Chris Mole: A persistent service failure could push the franchisee's performance below the Default Performance Level. Initially, the occurrence of an Event of Default would be subject to remedial action under the terms of the franchise agreement. However, where that Event of Default is continuing and unremedied, and the Secretary of State considers that it is material, the Secretary of State may terminate the agreement.

Highlands and Islands Airports

Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many flights departed from (a) Barra, (b) Benbecula, (c) Campbeltown, (d) Inverness, (e) Islay, (f) Kirkwall, (g) Stornoway, (h) Sumburgh, (i) Tiree and (j) Wick airports in each of the last three years, broken down by aircraft type. [316389]


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Paul Clark: The information requested has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Kemble-Swindon Railway Line

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the latest date is that a decision can be taken in respect of the re-doubling of the Swindon to Kemble railway line before the expiry of the regional funding allocation. [315736]

Chris Mole: Although I would like to see an early decision taken regarding this enhancement, it depends upon a successful outcome of negotiations with Network Rail. Funding is available from the commencement of financial year 2010-11 so a conclusion to the present dialogue by summer this year is desirable.

M25

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the distance to the next clockwise M25/A282 junction is from junctions (a) 29, (b) 30, (c) 31, (d) 1a, (e) 1b and (f) 2. [315413]

Chris Mole: The distances between the clockwise M25/A282 junctions are as follows:

From junction: Miles

29 to 30

5.5

30 to 31

1.2

31 to 1a

2.5

1a to 1b

1.3

1b to 2

0.8


Motor Sports

Mr. Goodwill: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport when he expects to introduce legislative proposals to provide for the transfer of responsibilities for authorising routes for UK rallies from the Royal Automobile Club to the Motor Sports Association. [315997]

Paul Clark [holding answer 5 February 2010]: The Department for Transport will be writing to stakeholders later this month, with a copy of the draft regulations and to explain how we intend to proceed. We are aiming to complete the process in the spring.

Northern Rail

Mr. Crausby: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport whether he has made an assessment of the effectiveness of the Serco-Northern Rail passenger charter; and if he will make a statement. [315534]

Chris Mole: Northern Rail's passengers' charter is similar to those of many other franchised train-operating companies. Average performance over the previous 12 months is used to determine whether compensation should be paid to season ticket holders.

Mr. Crausby: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what steps his Department (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to assess the performance of the Serco-Northern Rail franchise. [315535]


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Chris Mole: The Department for Transport continually monitors many aspects of performance for all of the franchised train operators, including Northern Rail. These include train punctuality and cancellations, train capacity provided, passenger survey results, safety, and financial performance.

The Department monitors actual performance against targets and historic records to identify any trends. The franchise agreements, including Northern Rail's can be found on the Department for Transport website at:

Mr. Crausby: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport whether his Department has made a decision on the proposed extension to the Serco-Northern Rail franchise. [315536]

Chris Mole: The Northern franchise is currently in its contractual 'Continuation Review Period'. During this time operational performance is monitored against contractual targets. Successful delivery during this period may result in the franchise continuing until 15 September 2013.

The Continuation Review Period ends on 2 May 2010. An announcement regarding the extension of the franchise will be made in due course after this date.

Railway Stations: Antisocial Behaviour

Richard Younger-Ross: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport whether he has made an estimate of the number of ultrasonic Mosquito devices used at railway stations; what recent representations he has received on that matter; and if he will make a statement. [316228]

Chris Mole: I understand that devices of this sort have been used at a limited number of stations. This is, however, a matter for station operators rather than the Department for Transport. We have therefore made no estimate of the number currently in use and I am not aware of any representations to the Department on the subject.

Roads: Greater Manchester

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport from what budgets the cost of corrective work to the access route from Station road to the Fallowfield Loop in Reddish will be met. [315415]

Mr. Khan: At this point in time, no budget has been identified to cover the cost of the corrective work to the access route from Station road to the Fallowfield Loop in Reddish.

Manchester city council, Stockport metropolitan borough council, Greater Manchester police and Sustrans are due to meet shortly to explore funding options.

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport which organisation is responsible for the design of the access route from Station road to the Fallowfield Loop in Reddish. [315416]


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Mr. Khan: Sustrans was the organisation responsible for the design and construction of the access route from Station road to the Fallowfield Loop in Reddish.

Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

Mr. Drew: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what plans he has to reduce the necessity for road repairs as a result of poor work by the statutory undertakers. [315973]

Mr. Khan: Our Street Works Summit Report and Action Plan, published on 21 December 2009, set out a number of proposed actions to tackle the unacceptable disruption caused by street works.

In line with the action plan, the Department for Transport will shortly be publishing a revised Specification for the Reinstatement of Openings in Highways, setting out improved standards for street works reinstatements. The Department will also shortly be consulting on a revised code of practice and regulations on inspections, to ensure that poorly performing undertakers are subject to a more rigorous inspection regime.

Roads: Snow and Ice

Mr. Drew: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate he has made of the level of expenditure by his Department on road repairs as a result of recent severe weather conditions; and what percentage of the total budget for 2010 this represents. [315974]

Mr. Khan: I refer my hon. Friend to my answer of 2 February 2010, Official Report, column 179W.

Southeastern

Derek Wyatt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent discussions he has had with Network Rail on re-advertising the Southeastern trains franchise. [316201]

Chris Mole: There have been no such discussions. The Southeastern franchise began in April 2006 and is due to end in April 2014. The period from April 2012 to April 2014 is dependant on Southeastern achieving the required performance in the period between December 2009 and December 2010.

Southeastern: Snow and Ice

Derek Wyatt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what plans there are to compensate Southeastern trains commuters adversely affected by the number of late trains running in January. [316200]

Chris Mole: Customers who were inconvenienced by the adverse weather in January will be compensated in accordance with the National Rail Conditions of Carriage and Southeastern's own published passenger charter.

Additionally, in cases where customers have been particularly affected, Southeastern is considering compensation claims on a case-by-case basis.


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Stonehouse Bristol Road Station

Mr. Drew: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport whether his Department is responsible for the site at the Old Bristol Road railway station at Stonehouse, Gloucestershire; and what recent representations he has received on the re-opening of that station. [315889]

Chris Mole: The site of the former station buildings and former goods yard at the Old Bristol Road railway station is owned by Dunmore Developments Ltd. We are not aware of any recent representations to re-open the station.

Stress

Grant Shapps: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will place in the Library a copy of the advice issued to staff of his Department on stress recognition and management. [314525]

Chris Mole: The current advice issued to staff in the Department for Transport and its agencies on stress recognition and management has been placed in the Library. It should be noted that all advice is regularly reviewed and could be subject to change.

Thameslink Railway Line

Anne Main: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport pursuant to the oral answer of 2 February 2010, Official Report, columns 47-8WH, for what reasons completion of key output 2 of the Thameslink programme has been delayed until December 2016. [316381]

Chris Mole: The Government remain committed to investing at least £5.5 billion to modernise one of Britain's busiest rail routes to deliver a dramatic increase in capacity, with longer trains running 24 times an hour through central London, meaning more seats and improved reliability for passengers.

After further detailed planning, Network Rail has revised the infrastructure work planned at London Bridge for a solution that improves access through the station, reduces disruption to passengers during the construction phase and provides a better value for money solution. As such the Thameslink programme outputs will be delivered from 2016.

Thanet

Dr. Ladyman: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will set out, with statistical information related as directly as possible to South Thanet constituency, the effects on South Thanet of the policies and actions of his Department and its predecessors since 2000. [315638]

Mr. Khan: The Transport Act 2000, as amended by the Local Transport Act 2008, has provided a new policy framework benefiting all local transport authorities. The framework gives greater certainty of funding, while encouraging more strategic transport planning with local consultation, and increasing local flexibility and discretion over resources. It was accompanied by a significant increase in capital funding: support from the
8 Feb 2010 : Column 674W
Department for transport investment in Kent, within which transport authority South Thanet falls, has risen more than fourfold over the last decade.

Investment in Kent county council's local transport plan has delivered a number of improvements to the quality, safety and accessibility of the local transport network. Between 2004 and 2008, bus patronage per head of population increased by 19 per cent., and the number of people killed or seriously injured on the local highway network decreased by 36 per cent. in the period 2001-07.

In 2003, Kent county council was awarded £447,000 from the Department's 'Urban Bus Challenge' fund to develop the 'Thanet Loop' bus service. The Thanet Loop has provided a simplified, high-frequency network of services linking Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate with the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital and the Westwood Cross shopping centre. The service achieved a 20 per cent. increase in patronage in its first year of operation.

In 2005, the county council submitted a successful bid to the Department for 'Kickstart' revenue funding of the 'Dover and Deal Diamond' bus route. The £371,000 award facilitated the implementation of a frequent and fully accessible service, providing Sandwich, Deal, Dover and the Kent coalfield regeneration area with enhanced public transport links to Canterbury, as well as improved bus stop infrastructure funded by the county council.

It was announced in August 2009 that the Department had approved Kent County council's major scheme business case for the construction of the £87 million East Kent Access Road. The project will provide high quality road links between areas of deprivation in Thanet and Dover and the major employment sites at the port of Dover, the channel tunnel, and the Eurokent business park in Ramsgate. It is anticipated that construction of the new road will be completed in autumn 2012.


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