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Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much his Department has spent on national concessionary bus travel for pensioners since the scheme's introduction in (a) Chorley, (b) Lancashire and (c) England. 
Mr. Khan: From April 2008, the Department for Transport has provided additional special grant funding to local authorities to cover the extra cost of providing the extension to the concession; which now guarantees free off-peak local bus travel across England to all eligible older and disabled residents:
(a) £275,041 in 2008-09 and £281,528 in 2009-10 to Chorley borough council;
(b) A total of £5,608,371 in 2008-09 and £5,740,644 in 2009-10 to all of the travel concession authorities (TCAs) in the county of Lancashire (which includes Blackburn with Darwen council borough council and Blackpool council);
(c) A total of £212 million in 2008-09 and £217 million in 2009-10 to the whole of England.
The Department for Communities and Local Government 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.
The Department for Transport did however provide £31 million of grant to England in 2007-08 for the cost of producing and issuing the new England-wide bus passes to all those eligible, of which a total of £1,121,352 went to the TCAs of Lancashire; this includes Chorley's allocation of £69,004.
Graham Stringer: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate he has made of the contribution which will be made from the public purse to the Greater Manchester cross-city bus travel scheme in the next 12 months. 
Mr. Evans: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what plans he has to introduce a facility for payment of tolls by credit or debit card at the Dartford-Thurrock river crossing. 
In April 2009, the Department published its initial analysis of the current and possible future capacity constraints at the Dartford-Thurrock river crossing. On the basis of the findings and conclusions of the analysis, we announced further work to investigate what can be done in the short to medium term to improve the level of service provided by the existing crossing. This includes looking into ways to increase efficiency through the use of new technology.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many and what proportion of road deaths in each local authority area involved at least one driver with a blood alcohol level in excess of the legal limit in each of the last five years for which figures are available. 
John Mann: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many fewer train services will run on the east coast main line to and from (a) Retford and London and (b) Retford and Leeds in the next timetable period compared to current service levels; and how many more train services will run to and from London and Leeds over the same periods. 
Chris Mole: The Government have not specified, and does not expect, any changes to the current east coast main line train services at Retford to take place for the next timetable period, commencing in May 2010. The rail industry is developing a new east coast main line timetable for introduction in May 2011.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many other nations shared the UK position at the meeting of EU Transport Ministers on 12 February 2010 in La Coruña, Spain that the European Commission action plan on urban mobility should not lead to further legislation; and if he will make it his policy that UK cities and regions will retain the freedom to implement locally relevant solutions. 
Mr. Khan: A significant number of member states shared the UK position by supporting the action plan but making clear that it should not lead to any new legislation and that the principle of subsidiarity should be respected. Twelve other Ministers explicitly made this point during their interventions.
|Number of vehicles impounded|
Mr. Touhig: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport (1) what assessment his Department has made of the performance of Metronet against its objectives since its transfer to Transport for London; and what recent discussions his Department has had over its long-term future; 
Mr. Khan: When the London Underground public private partnership (PPP) was established in 2003, performance measurements were put in place to enable London Underground to assess the performance of Metronet and Tube Lines. The performance reports are available on Transport for London's (TfL) website. My officials meet regularly with TfL, London Underground and Tube Lines to discuss a range of issues, including performance.
My written ministerial statement of 29 October 2009, Official Report, column 28W, set out new contracting and scrutiny arrangements for the ex-Metronet investment programme. I expect members of the new TfL independent advisory panel to be appointed shortly from a shortlist agreed with the Secretary of State.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what mechanism is available to enable disabled people to challenge service providers who do not meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 in respect of the adequacy of the provision of parking spaces reserved for use by people with disabilities. 
Mr. Khan: Part 3 of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 enables disabled people to challenge service providers to improve the services they offer to disabled people. Disabled people who think they may have been discriminated against can contact the Equality and Human Rights Commission for information on what they need to do.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what progress has been made on reducing levels of overcrowding on the passenger rail service between Chelmsford and London Liverpool Street; and if he will make a statement. 
Chris Mole: The Department for Transport and National Express East Anglia entered into a deed of amendment to the National Express East Anglia franchise agreement on 1 April 2009. As part of this agreement, from 14 December 2009, nine services a day between Chelmsford and London Liverpool Street have been extended by four carriages, providing essential new capacity during the morning and evening peaks on the Great Eastern main line.
In addition to this, additional and lengthened Great Eastern Mainline services are due to be introduced in December 2010 and May 2011. The precise calling pattern for these services is due to be finalised between National Express East Anglia and Network Rail in mid-March 2010.
Jeremy Wright: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will encourage train operating companies to increase the provision of rail services between Rugby and Scotland and the north- west of England; and if he will make a statement. 
Chris Mole: The existing west coast franchise is due to end in March 2012. Consultation on the detail of the next west coast franchise will commence 15 to 18 months beforehand. Train operating companies and stakeholders are free to come forward with proposals.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what assistance the Government are giving to (a) Essex county council and (b) other local authorities to repair potholes and damage to road surfaces following the severe weather in the last two winters; 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 Essex county 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. Khan: The major issues relating to the judicial reviews by bus operators in the Stagecoach and Go-Ahead groups, concerning the concessionary bus travel scheme, were heard at a preliminary hearing in the High Court from 17-20 November 2009. The court's judgment was handed down on 16 February 2010. The judge declined the operators' request for various declarations that would have fundamentally changed the reimbursement arrangements for concessionary travel.
There were also a number of more technical issues that were included in the original applications for judicial review by Stagecoach and Go-Ahead that were not considered at the November hearing. We are waiting to hear whether the operators decide to pursue these issues in the light of the judgment.
The Secretary of State conceded prior to the hearing that the appeal determinations in 2007-08 should not have specified payment of a fixed amount to the operator in advance of the financial year end. These appeals will be re-determined in due course.
Mr. Touhig: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what discussions his Department has had with the Mayor of London on the future role of Tube Lines in the maintenance, renewal and upgrading of the London Underground network. 
Mr. Khan: Departmental officials have had no discussions with the Mayor of London on the future role of Tube Lines. Ministers have regular meetings with the Mayor at which a wide range of transport matters are discussed.
Laura Moffatt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many drivers disputed a claim by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency that they had not submitted a statutory off-road notification certificate in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Paul Clark: The following table gives the number of vehicles (rounded to the nearest hundred vehicles) licensed in Great Britain on 31 December 1997, 2003 and 2008 which were manufactured before 1 January 1973.
|A s at 31 December each year||Known to be manufactured before 1 January 19 73|
There are a number of vehicles known to be used before their date of first registration in Great Britain whose date of manufacture is unknown. At 31 December 2008 there were 51,000 such vehicles. It is likely that the large majority of these are modern imported vehicles, but a small proportion may have been manufactured before 1973.
Mr. Timms: Information on the number of households benefiting from child benefit, by each parliamentary constituency, from 2004 to 2007 is published in the HMRC publication "Child Benefit Statistics. Geographical Analyses August 2007", available at:
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