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Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent representations he has received on the effectiveness of the operation of the East Coast Main Line route; and if he will make a statement. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate he has made of the total carbon dioxide emissions from buses in the last 10 years; and what projection he has made of such emissions from buses in the next (a) 10, (b) 20 and (c) 50 years. 
The Department for Transport's most recent forecasts of total road transport carbon dioxide emissions for England were produced as part of the road transport forecasts for 2010, 2015, and 2025. These are available in 'Road Traffic Forecasts 2008: Results from the Department for Transport's National Transport Model', which is available at:
The total forecast changes in carbon dioxide emissions for Public Service Vehicles (PSVs), which includes buses and coaches, forecast percentage changes in PSV carbon dioxide emissions in England compared with 2003 for 2010, 2015 and 2025 are provided in the following table:
|Carbon dioxide emissions percentage change compared with 2003, England|
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate has been made of the effect on the number of flights to and from Heathrow Airport of High Speed Two coming into operation. 
Chris Mole: No specific estimate has been made of the effect on the number of flights to and from Heathrow. Modelling carried out by HS2 Ltd estimates that a high speed rail line from London to the West Midlands reduces the number of daily air passengers between all UK airports by 11,000. A wider network would present greater potential for modal shift from aviation.
Mr. Khan: On 18 March 2010, the Department for Transport announced initial funding approval for the Midland Metro Line One extension scheme promoted by Centra, West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive.
In providing initial approval, the Department has indicated that it is willing to provide up to £81 million towards the scheme costs subject to some additional development work being undertaken by the promoter. This is a significant first step. No funding will be released until the promoter has met all of our conditions and remaining approval processes.
Anne Milton: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport pursuant to the answer of 9 February 2010, Official Report, column 845W, on the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), and with reference to the draft Better Regulation Executive report, whether the DVLA's draft enforcement strategy is the same as the enforcement policy currently being drafted. 
The recent Better Regulation Executive report focused on the regulation of business. Their reference to the enforcement policy relates to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's operation of the Registration of Number Plate Suppliers scheme.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the cost to the public purse of administering the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's free prize draw promotion for motorists renewing their vehicle tax online or by telephone has been to date. 
(4) what costs Network Rail incurred on (a) legal advice, (b) marketing agencies and public relations, (c) public affairs, (d) agency staff, (e) redundancy payments and (f) other severance payments in each year since its inception. 
This is an operational matter for Network Rail as the owner and operator of the national rail network. The hon. Member should contact Network Rail's Chief Executive at the following address for a response to his questions:
90 York Way
London, N1 9AG.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what research has been done on the business case on the proposed route of a high-speed rail link (a) including starting with a link between London and Birmingham and (b) directly from London on to the north of England and Scotland. 
Chris Mole: The report published by HS2 Ltd estimates the benefit:cost ratio of their proposed line from London to the West Midlands to be 2.4:1, rising to 2.7:1 with the inclusion of wider economic benefits such as agglomeration.
The report also made a strategic assessment of the business case for a range of options for a network linking London to Scotland, and concluded that the 'Inverse A' network, with branches either side of the Pennines, was most promising with an indicative benefit:cost ratio of 2.3:1.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport which organisations have informed his Department of their support for a shorter journey time by rail between London and Birmingham. 
"High Speed Rail", the Command Paper published on 11 March 2010, sets out the Government's intention to consult by the autumn on the proposals it contains. It is at this stage that all interested parties will have opportunity to comment on the proposed high speed rail network, including any journey time savings it could deliver.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what assessment has been made of the economic effects of a reduction in rail journey times of 20 minutes between London and Birmingham; and if he will make a statement. 
Chris Mole: HS2 Ltd assessed the comparative business cases of new high speed and conventional lines between London and the West Midlands, which would deliver a 35 minute and 20 minute reduction in journey times respectively (assuming the conventional line, like the high speed proposal, included no intermediate stations between the two conurbations).
Its conclusion was that the slower journey times offered by a conventional speed line would reduce the number of people travelling on the line in comparison to the high speed alternative by 20 per cent. This would cause overall benefits to fall by 23 per cent. or £6.7 billion, in contrast to a net cost saving to Government of around £1 billion.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what assessment has been made of the effects of tunnelling activities associated with the high-speed rail route proposed in Chesham and Amersham constituency on chalk aquifers in the area. 
Chris Mole: The potential for the construction of HS2 to affect surface drainage and ground water would be fully assessed during the detailed design stage of the project, which itself would commence following consultation should the Government choose to proceed.
HS2 Ltd would draw from the experience gained by others in the construction of tunnels through similar geology. Appropriate mitigation of such effects would be undertaken during construction, if necessary.
Michael Fabricant: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport pursuant to the statement of 11 March 2010, Official Report, columns 446-50, on high speed rail, when work will commence on the section of the route between the Birmingham spur and where the line joins the existing West Coast Mainline north of Lichfield; how many tracks there will be on this section; and whether any additional tracks will run adjacent to the existing West Coast Mainline. 
Chris Mole: 'High Speed Rail' states that subject to public consultation and parliamentary approval, work on this section of the line could commence after the opening of Crossrail from 2017. The preferred route option as outlined in 'High Speed Rail' indicates that the line would have two tracks. The new line would not run adjacent to the West Coast Main Line other than within the immediate vicinity of the junction between the two, which would be located to the north-east of Lichfield. Maps setting out this information are available on the Department for Transport's website at:
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport which roads in Chesham and Amersham constituency have been identified for the routing of traffic in connection with the construction of the High Speed Two route; and what estimate he has made of the likely effect on the volume of traffic on such roads of the construction of High Speed Two. 
Chris Mole [holding answer 16 March 2010]: We would seek to minimise the effects of construction wherever possible. Initial decisions on whether to build a high speed line and what route that line should take will be taken in light of the autumn 2010 consultation. Thereafter the full effects and any associated mitigation measures would be subject to an environmental impact assessment, as part of the Hybrid Bill process, which would itself be subject to further public scrutiny.
Michael Fabricant: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport pursuant to the Statement of 11 March 2010, Official Report, columns 446-50, on high speed rail, when he expects work to commence north of where the proposed high speed line joins the existing West Coast Mainline north of Lichfield to provide a high speed rail service to Leeds and to Manchester. 
Chris Mole: Subject to public consultation and parliamentary approval, the initial London to Birmingham high speed line would join onto the West Coast Main Line near Lichfield. This would allow high speed services to run up the West Coast Main Line to destinations including Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow. Construction of this initial leg would not start until after the opening of the Crossrail line from 2017 at the earliest.
Following on from this initial leg, High Speed Rail also proposes an initial core high speed network which extends further north, with high speed lines extending beyond the West Midlands to Manchester and Leeds. The initial core high speed network is now subject to detailed planning and technical work and it is not therefore possible at this stage to state when construction of this section of the network might commence.
Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what discussions the Secretary of State has had with the Office of Rail Regulation on the number of maintenance staff required to be employed by Network Rail in order to maintain present safety standards; and if he will make a statement. 
The independent Office of Rail Regulation has reviewed Network Rail's proposals for the restructuring of its maintenance function so as to be assured that the safety implications of the changes are being well managed. The Office of Rail Regulation announced the outcome of this review on 3 March. Ministers have discussed the proposals in the course of their routine meetings with the independent Office of Rail Regulation.
Kitty Ussher: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport with reference to his contribution of 15 October 2009, Official Report, columns 547-48, on the Todmorden rail link, what recent assessment he has made of the prospects for a fast direct train link from Burnley to Manchester via the Todmorden curve; and if he will make a statement. 
Chris Mole: The Department for Transport has had recent discussions with the scheme promoters, Network Rail and Northern Rail about the provision of a direct service between Burnley and Manchester via a reinstated curve at Todmorden. It has been confirmed that such a scheme is feasible, but it would require capital funding of around £7 million for the reinstatement of the Todmorden Curve and it is most likely that ongoing subsidy would be required at least in the early years.
The promoters are aware that both capital and initial ongoing subsidy costs of the scheme have to be funded through local and regional funding sources. The Government provide funding to the region through the regional funding allocation so that they can decide what projects should be given priority from the resources available. Once implemented, if the scheme demonstrates its success after three years then the Department for Transport would consider funding the service as part of the national rail network, subject to funds being available in the period 2014-19 (control period 5).
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