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Question

Asked by Lord Greaves

The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): I refer the noble Lord to my Written Statement of 14 December 2009 (Official Report, cols. WS 213-4), which sets out the Government's plans for high speed rail in the UK.

The Government believe that a hybrid Bill is likely to be the only way to secure the full range of statutory powers and authorisations needed to implement a completely new heavy rail scheme such as HS2, which goes beyond the scope of a development consent order under the Planning Act 2008. We will set out our considerations in further detail in the response to High Speed 2's report.

Railways: National Rail

Question

Asked by Lord Moonie

The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): The National Rail Enquiry Service is managed by the Association of Train Operating Companies, on behalf of the passenger rail operators.

The National Rail website is part of this service, and measures are in place to maintain and update data currently throughout the day, to reflect emerging conditions.

My noble friend may wish to contact the association at the address below for more detailed information: the Association of Train Operating Companies, 3rd Floor, 40 Bernard Street, London, WC1 1BY.

Railways: Timetables

Question

Asked by Lord Moonie

The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): Network Rail undertakes much of its maintenance of the national rail network overnight and at weekends. At these times, parts of the network may be closed or only open to services travelling at reduced speeds, depending on the nature of maintenance work taking place.

If a service has to travel via a different route or at a reduced speed, this will affect the time which a train takes to complete its journey.



13 Jan 2010 : Column WA165

Detail relating to the specific services in question can be obtained from East Coast or Network Rail as follows:

Elaine Holt, Chair, East Coast, 1/18 Great Minster House, 76 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DR; and Iain Coucher, Network Rail, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG.

Roads: Advertising Hoardings

Question

Asked by Lord Lloyd-Webber

The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): The information requested is not collected by the Department for Transport.

Rwanda

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Lord Brett: We strongly support UN Security Council Resolution 1804 of 13 March 2008 which demands that all members of Rwandan armed groups operating in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) immediately lay down their arms and present themselves without any further delay or preconditions to Congolese authorities and MONUC for their disarmament, demobilization, repatriation to Rwanda, resettlement and reintegration into Rwandan society. Rwandans living outside the country are encouraged by the Government of Rwanda to return to participate in Rwanda's political processes. DfID has provided extensive financial support for the efforts of the Rwandan Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission, which has successfully reintegrated over 6,000 former rebel militiamen, and we have provided the UN force in the DRC (MONUC) with transmitters enabling them to contact rebel units wishing to disarm and demobilise.

Shipping: Light Dues

Questions

Asked by Lord Berkeley

The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): No conflict of interest exists, as no board member of the Commissioners of Irish Lights was involved in the production of either of the Raven Trading reports. There is no basis on which to question the independence of the report's authorship.

We revised the level of light dues only after taking account of industry views expressed in a full consultation on the subject matter last year.

Asked by Lord Berkeley

Lord Adonis: There was no requirement for my department to approve the use of any subcontractor for this work. No board member of the Commissioners of Irish Lights was involved in the production of either Raven Trading report.

Taxation: Kyrgystan and Tajikistan

Question

Asked by Viscount Waverley

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): The United Kingdom and Tajikistan have agreed to continue to apply the provisions of the UK/USSR double taxation agreement until such time as a new bilateral treaty is signed between our two countries. There is no such understanding with Kyrgyzstan and hence no double taxation agreement.

The Government have no immediate plans to negotiate a new double taxation agreement with either country.


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