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Written Answers

Wednesday 12 February 2014

Cyclists

Questions

Asked by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to promote lanes for bicycles. [HL5149]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many cycle lanes were opened in each year since 2004. [HL5150]

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Baroness Kramer) (LD): In August 2013 the Prime Minister announced funding of £94 million to local authorities through the Cycling Ambition Grants for cities and National Parks. Funding for the eight cities and four National parks include the provision of cycle lanes. For instance in West Yorkshire it will enable, at 14 miles, the longest continuous cycleway in the north of England, connecting key employment and regeneration sites.

The Prime Minister also announced that all new roads and improvement schemes on the Strategic Road Network will be designed with cyclists, as well as motorists, in mind. The Highways Agency will also make £20 million available up until 2015-16 to help address current major road obstacles to cycle journeys. Local authorities will also be expected to up their game to deliver infrastructure that takes cycling into account from the design stage. In addition he also announced a feasibility study into a cycle path broadly following the HS2 route. For further information please see:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cycling-governments-ambition-and-funding

To help local authorities in providing for cyclists the government has produced guidance in the form of Cycle Infrastructure Design (Local Transport Note 2/08) which can be found at:

http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publications/local-transport-notes/ltn-2-08.pdf

Local authorities are responsible for the delivery of cycle lanes on their highway network; the government does not keep a central record of how many were opened.

Asked by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what they are doing to encourage heavy goods vehicles to amend their routes to avoid cyclist accident black-spots.[HL5151]

Baroness Kramer: Local highway authorities are best placed to identify any high risk locations on their highway network. They may provide information or signage that indicates suitable routes for both HGVs

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and cyclists and may also provide dedicated cycle routes that avoid high risk locations. The government has also taken a number of actions related to the safety of HGVs.

To make junctions and routes safer for cyclists, the government provided £35 million for local authorities across England. This includes £20 million for 81 schemes across England outside London. We have made it simpler for councils to use Trixi mirrors to make cyclists more visible to drivers, and to use “no entry except cycles” signing which can facilitate contraflow cycling.

Last September the government announced, together with the Mayor of London, a joint TfL/Department for Transport Industrial HGV Task Force of additional police officers and Vehicle and Operator Services Agency staff to raise awareness of safety among HGV drivers and to take targeted enforcement action against the small minority of potentially dangerous operators, drivers and vehicles.

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Lord Popat on 30 January (HL Deb, col 1351) concerning cycling on pavements, whether all cycling on pavements is prohibited and liable to punishment by a fine.[HL5203]

Baroness Kramer: All cycling on the pavement (“footway”) is an offence under Section 72 of the Highways Act 1835 and illegal cycling on footways causes much concern especially to our most vulnerable pedestrians, such as the elderly, disabled and visually impaired.

The Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) is £50 (increased from £30 on 16 August 2013), which provides the police with a direct means of dealing with illegal cycling on the pavement. The police can issue this fine as appropriate or prosecute offenders with a maximum fine of £500.

The enforcement of this offence is an operational matter for individual chief officers of police. We support any action taken by the police to deter and reduce the number of cycling offences. Officers can issue verbal warnings, fixed penalty notices or report the road user for formal prosecution. Police officers may use their discretion if, for example, a cyclist is using the pavement for safety reasons but is being careful and not putting pedestrians at risk.

Government Departments: Estates

Question

Asked by Lord Warner

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which Government departments, including their associated non-departmental public bodies, are considering or have decided to hand over management of their estates to external contractors; and whether consideration has been given to the National Health Service doing likewise.[HL5064]

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Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): The government’s central estate is managed by Departments, with oversight from the Cabinet Office’s Government Property Unit, to achieve value for money for the exchequer according to operational needs.

NHS Trusts within the National Health Service are responsible for the management of the estate that they own. It is a decision for individual NHS organisations as to whether they utilise external contractors to assist them to manage their estate portfolios.

Government Departments: Payroll Services

Questions

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which organisations the Scotland Office allows to receive payments by the use of payroll deduction facilities. [HL5282]

The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Wallace of Tankerness) (LD): The Scotland Office does not employ staff directly. All its staff are on secondment from other public bodies, mainly the Ministry of Justice and the Scottish Government and remain on the payroll of their parent bodies. The Scotland Office does not operate any payroll facilities.

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which organisations the Wales Office allows to receive payments by the use of payroll deduction facilities. [HL5283]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Wales Office (Baroness Randerson) (LD): The Wales Office has no direct employees or contracted workers. Staff at the Wales Office are subject to Ministry of Justice (MOJ) policies for pay purposes, and the Department uses MOJ payroll systems to pay staff.

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which organisations the Northern Ireland Office allows to receive payments by the use of payroll deduction facilities.[HL5301]

Baroness Randerson: The Northern Ireland Office currently allows the following organisations to receive payments by the use of payroll deduction facilities:

The Charity for Civil ServantsChild Support AgencyBenenden Health CareCharitable GivingCivil Service ClubCivil Service Sports CouncilFideliti ChildcareFirst Division AssociationPublic & Commercial Services UnionScottish Widows.

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Health: Sexual and Reproductive Health

Questions

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government in which countries they have established efficient supply chains by using Coca-Cola’s or Unilever’s logistics models for delivering family planning and other sexual and reproductive health commodities.[HL5071]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government in which countries they have encouraged governments to establish efficient reproductive health supply chains by using Coca-Cola’s or Unilever’s logistics models. [HL5072]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have had discussions with Coca-Cola and Unilever about those companies’ corporate philanthropic responsibilities and universal access to sexual and reproductive health services.[HL5073]

Baroness Northover (LD): DfID works with Coca-Cola and Unilever in a range of areas, including in health, nutrition and girls’ education. This includes emerging work using Coca-Cola distribution models and systems for health commodities. For example, in Mozambique DfID is supporting a partnership between the Ministry of Health, the Clinton Health Access Initiative and Coca-Cola to improve the performance of the public health supply chain (including essential medicines and family planning commodities) from provincial to district levels and selected health centres in six provinces in Mozambique.

DfID is also undertaking other work to strengthen supply chains for sexual and reproductive health commodities. This includes £100m support to the United Nations Population Fund’s Global Programme to Enhance Reproductive Health Commodity Security (GPRHCS) between 2008-13. The GPRHCS is supporting national governments to take responsibility for ensuring greater access to, and availability of, essential supplies including contraceptives. In its second phase, GPRHCS is building on progress to date and will be supporting national governments to work with the private sector towards a “total market approach” with the aim of harnessing each sector’s comparative advantage.

Businesses are crucial to a country’s development. Smart, forward-thinking businesses know it makes sense to promote high corporate standards and to invest in healthier, more productive workforces because they are much more likely to build successful economic partnerships in tomorrow’s markets.

Railways: Cambridge and King’s Lynn

Question

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the increased train service between Cambridge and King’s Lynn in the invitation to tender for the new Thameslink franchise is dependent on local funding.[HL5295]

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The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Baroness Kramer) (LD): The increased train service between Cambridge and King’s Lynn is not dependent on local authority funding.

Railways: East Midlands Trains

Question

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what passenger benefits they expect to negotiate in return for the 30-month extension to the East Midlands Trains franchise.[HL5296]

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Baroness Kramer) (LD): The Government has not yet begun these negotiations. However, as the Secretary of State for Transport said on 26 March 2013 when launching the new franchising programme, we only expect to make direct awards where there is an affordable and value for money case for doing so. In concluding the negotiations with East Midlands Trains we will secure continued provision of service for passengers on the route and will consider what further benefits may be appropriate for the period of the direct award, taking into account customer feedback.

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Railways: Franchises

Question

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to promote competition on Anglo-Scottish train services.[HL5297]

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Baroness Kramer) (LD): The Government is committed to the benefits of competition in the provision of passenger rail services. The primary way that it seeks to achieve this is through fair and open competitions for franchises. There are a number of such franchises that provide Anglo-Scottish services: CrossCountry; TransPennine; InterCity West Coast; InterCity East Coast, which is currently being competed; and ScotRail and the Caledonian Sleeper Service which are the responsibility of the Scottish Government.

The franchising programme announced by the Secretary of State for Transport on 26 March 2013, sets out the timetable for when we expect to put these franchises up for competition. The mechanisms that exist on the railway already provide for competition on Anglo-Scottish routes, both between the different franchises providing them and with other modes; and as evidenced by the level of interest in competing for these franchises. There is also provision in the Railways Act for non-franchised services to be provided by open access operators such as those that already exist on the East Coast Mainline corridor.