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Railway Stations: Future Development of Sites

Lord Rogers of Riverside asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Minister of State, Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): The Government do not hold such information. Major stations are owned and operated by Railtrack plc. It is in the company's commercial interest to encourage development. The Government's planning policies support development that promotes a high quality urban environment.

Strategic Rail Authority

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Following the resignation of Mike Grant as chief executive of the Strategic Rail Authority, and the announcement that Richard Bowker will take on the role of chairman and chief executive, who will be nominated accounting officer.[HL2109]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: Peter Trewin has been appointed as interim accounting officer pending the nomination of a permanent successor.

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    For how long Richard Bowker will be excluded from any involvement in the negotiations between Virgin, other train operators, Railtrack (in administration) and the Strategic Rail Authority on the future of the West Coast Main Line because of his former employment with Virgin; and who in the Strategic Rail Authority will lead the negotiations in Mr Bowker's place.[HL2110]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: Richard Bowker will not be involved in the current negotiations on the future of the West Coast Main Line. Chris Kinchin-Smith, executive director for strategic routes, is currently leading for the SRA in these negotiations.


Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they expect the Silverstone village bypass on the A43 to be finished in time for the British Grand Prix weekend of 5 to 7 July 2002; and whether they will ensure that the Highways Agency uses all its powers to assist Octagon Motorsports in completing the expansion to four lanes of the main Dadford Road access into the Silverstone circuit before that weekend. [HL2144]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The bypass is programmed to be open in July 2002. The exact time will depend upon the severity of the winter's weather. If it is not open as a public highway in time for the Grand Prix, much of it will be completed and, subject to certain conditions, could be made available for access to the circuit.

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The Highways Agency is working closely with Octagon Motorsports. The agency has agreed the layout of the new roundabout on the bypass at Dadford Road to accommodate any improvements. However, improvements to Dadford Road itself, which is a local road, are a matter for agreement with the local highway and planning authorities.

Traffic Pollution

Baroness Gardner of Parkes asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What recent studies have been conducted to assess the relationship between traffic-calming measures and emissions of pollutants from motor vehicles; and whether such a study in relation to the effects of congestion charging on areas outside zones where such charges are levied or proposed to be levied is being conducted. [HL2156]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: My department has commissioned a number of studies. They show that traffic calming results in an increase in emissions from individual vehicles, but that it generally also leads to a reduction in traffic, the net outcome being that traffic calming is frequently neutral as far as air quality is concerned. They also show that in traffic-calmed areas background pollution and meteorologial conditions are more significant influences on air quality than vehicle emissions.

As to congestion charging, we expect that every local authority that introduces a scheme will carry out a range of qualitative and quantitative monitoring of the scheme's impacts, both before it has begun and during its operation.

Baroness Gardner of Parkes asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether any recent studies have established a link between increased pollution and slowing of traffic due to street works or traffic calming measures.[HL2157]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: There have been no recent studies of the pollution effects of traffic being slowed because of street works. As to traffic calming, I refer the noble Baroness to my answer to her previous Question.

Millennium Dome

Viscount Astor asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What assessment they conducted to determine the value of the Dome site without the Dome; and what the projected value was.[HL2162]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: A pre-sale valuation of the Dome site has been undertaken in the context of the process to secure a sustainable long-term use for the Dome. This valuation and government appraisals

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of the financial value of the site are commercially confidential.

Viscount Astor asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are the maximum and minimum amounts they project that English Partnerships will receive from the joint venture with Meridian Delta Limited.[HL2164]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: Through the proposed deal between English Partnerships and Meridian Delta Limited, English Partnerships expects to receive hundreds of millions of pounds, over the lifetime of the project. The amount to be received by English Partnerships will be determined further during negotiations with Meridian Delta Limited, and will also be dependent on timing and quantum of future development.

Viscount Astor asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What the total costs of the Dome are projected to be, including costs borne by the taxpayer and lottery funding bodies.[HL2165]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: Expenditure by the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) on the Dome and the costs of the associated programme of events and activities are expected to total £794 million. This sum also includes expenditure on the London New Year's Eve Riverside Event of 31 December 1999 which NMEC co-ordinated for the Millennium Commission. All of these costs are being met from income, including National Lottery grant from the Millennium Commission of £630 million (£2 million of which was for the London Riverside Event specifically) although it is expected that £25 million of

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this grant will not be used by NMEC and will therefore be retained by the Millennium Commission.

In addition, English Partnerships, the Government's urban regeneration agency, has incurred a total cost of £16.8 million so far, up to the end of 2001. These costs will be recovered from sale proceeds.

Viscount Astor asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether their development plans for the Dome site are acceptable to, and have been agreed by, the local authority and the Mayor of London.[HL2166]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The London Borough of Greenwich and the Mayor of London have been regularly kept informed about the progress of Meridian Delta Limited's proposals for the Dome and the regeneration of the Greenwich peninsula. While the detailed negotiations continue, English Partnerships and Meridian Delta Limited will work closely with them to develop the proposals, to respond to local concerns and requirements and to start preparations for taking the proposals through the planning process.

Viscount Astor asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What outside advisers they are using to advise on the proposed deal with Meridian Delta Limited regarding the Dome.[HL2167]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: English Partnerships, the Government's urban regeneration agency, is handling the negotiations with Meridian Delta Limited. Its main external advisors are Jones LangLasalle and Berwin Leighton Paisner. In addition, WS Atkins, JMP Consultants Ltd and Gardiner & Theobald have been used to advise on specific aspects.

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