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Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

18 Dec 2002 : Column WA107

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: Subsidy profiles for each train operating company are published in the Strategic Rail Authority's annual report, copies of which are placed in the Library of the House. Changes in financial support can arise for a variety of reasons—for instance, when franchises are replaced or extended. All changes to franchise agreements—or new agreements themselves—are placed on the authority's public register.

Rail Freight Grants and Rail Network Enhancements

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How much public sector money has been allocated in each of the past five years to (a) rail freight grants and (b) rail network enhancements.[HL566]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston : The table below shows, for each of the five years from 1997–98 to 2001–02, the amount of public expenditure on rail freight grants.

£ million cash prices

No public sector money was allocated for rail network enhancements in any of the four years from 1997–98 to 2000–01. In 2001–02 there was £351 million capital expenditure on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and £59.2 million of expenditure on project development, which includes feasibility and design and development work on infrastructure projects.

Road Bridges Crossing Railway Lines

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Macdonald of Tradeston on 21 November (WA 9), which organisation is responsible for the current programme of strengthening the parapets and crash barriers of road bridges which cross over railway lines; what is the total cost; and what is the purpose of this work.[HL567]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston : The responsibility lies with the owner of the bridge, which is normally the highway authority or Network Rail.

The purpose of the work is to prevent incursions of road vehicles from overbridges on to railway lines. Until inspections of relevant bridges are completed, the total cost cannot be estimated accurately.

18 Dec 2002 : Column WA108

London: Roadworks

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which public authority is responsible for ensuring that roadworks in London are carried out with reasonable speed, with respect for the needs of road users and residents, and in accordance with an overall plan for London road transport.[HL596]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: The Mayor of London has a general duty under Section 141 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999 to develop and implement policies for the promotion and encouragement of safe, integrated, efficient and economic transport facilities and services to, from and within Greater London. His transport strategy published under Section 142 of the Act contains proposals to achieve better control of utilities street works and works by highway authorities. The Government have made it clear that better management of our roads is essential and that the present legislation can be improved. It is vital that someone is responsible for minimising disruption across London as whole. We are holding urgent discussions with the key players about the way forward.

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are the safeguards to ensure that contractors are permitted to carry out roadworks in London with reasonable speed and with respect for the needs of road users and residents.[HL597]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: Utilities' street works have to be carried out in accordance with codes of practice under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991. There is a non-statutory Code of Practice for Maintenance Management which the Department for Transport has strongly recommended to highway authorities. Both utilities' street works and works by highway authorities are subject to the Control of Pollution Act 1974 and the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

EC Draft Directive on Road Tunnel Safety: Consultation

Lord Howie of Troon asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which department is responsible for consulting stakeholders on draft proposals from the European Commission for a directive on safety in vehicle tunnels; and what steps have been taken to consult fire safety interests. [HL700]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: A draft directive on road tunnel safety is expected to be presented by the European Commission in the near future. Once the text is available the Department for Transport will consult widely with interested organisations including the Fire Safety Advisory Board.

18 Dec 2002 : Column WA109

Army Training and Welfare Policy

Lord Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether any progress has been made on the forthcoming reports on tri-service and armed training establishments and Army training and welfare policy. [HL811]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach): On 17 October (Official Report, col. 887W) we announced in another place that a special appraisal of the initial training of non-officer recruits of all three services would take place. This review was to be conducted independent of service and commands and to report directly to Ministers. The work is nearing completion and we now plan to make findings public in January next year.

Surrey Police continues its investigation into deaths at Deepcut and it would be inappropriate to comment on this area until its inquiry is complete.

Royal Air Force: Battle Honour "Kosovo"

Lord Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Royal Air Force has recently been awarded battle honours. [HL812]

Lord Bach: Her Majesty the Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the battle honour "Kosovo" to the Royal Air Force as listed below. Squadrons which were required to operate under constant threat of attack and had demonstrated gallantry and spirit during the allied air campaign over Kosovo during the period 24 March and 20 June 1999 have been awarded the battle honour "Kosovo" with the right to emblazon the honour on their Squadron Standards. Squadrons which provided direct support to the air campaign have been awarded the honour "Kosovo" without the right to emblazon the honour on their Standards.

With the Right to Emblazon "Kosovo" on Squadron Standards

Number 1 (Fighter) SquadronHarrier GR7
Number 9 SquadronTornado GR1
Number 14 SquadronTornado GR1
Number 31 SquadronTornado GR1

Without the Right to Emblazonment

Number 7 SquadronChinook
Number 8 SquadronE3D
Number 23 SquadronE3D
Number 51 SquadronNimrod
Number 101 SquadronVC10
Number 216 SquadronTristar

18 Dec 2002 : Column WA110

Single Living Accommodation Modernisation Programme

Lord Tomlinson asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether a contract for the first phase of the Single Living Accommodation Modernisation programme has been awarded[HL813]

Lord Bach: The contract for the first phase of the £1 billion Single Living Accommodation Modernisation (SLAM) programme was awarded today.

The contract is being awarded to Debut services, a Birmingham-based consortium led by Bovis Lend Lease and Babcock Support Services, which will work in close co-operation with Defence Estates (an agency of MOD) and service client representatives to achieve the delivery of the project.

The contract comprises new-build and refurbishment projects across the country and will deliver primarily single room en-suite accommodation. This will meet the aspirations of our single services men and women for improved living conditions that meet modern standards and is the result of extensive consultation of service personnel. This is particularly relevant, as one of the main reasons for personnel leaving the services is the current poor quality of living accommodation.

The project is planned to upgrade progessively the worst accommodation to Grade 1 physical condition over a five-year period. This will involve in the region of 16,000 bedspaces and ancilliary accommodation across all ranks of single servicemen and women in the three services.

The contract is being awarded on Smart Procurement principles and contains an innovative incentivised condition to encourage the prime contractor to work more efficiently.

Review Board of Government Contracts: Report

Lord Tomlinson asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress has been made on the report by the Review Board of Government Contracts on its 2002 annual review of the profit formula for non-competitive government contracts.[HL814]

Lord Bach: We are pleased to announce that the Government have accepted the findings of the review board report that the existing profit formula should be retained pending the outcome of the next general review which is expected in the second half of 2003. We are arranging for copies of the report to be placed in the Library of the House.

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