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Improvement Grants

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many applications were (a) received and (b) granted for requests for him to set aside the recouping of improvement grants from properties sold within five years of a grant being given in the last five years for which data are available. [142736]

Mr. Raynsford: Since the introduction of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 there have been 17 applications for the Secretary of State's consent not to demand repayment of housing renewal grant. Thirteen applications have been approved, four are pending, and none have been refused.

Yesterday my Department issued a general consent to enable local authorities to waive the requirement to repay grant, or to demand a lesser amount, in a wide range of circumstances. This is part of a package of measures to give local authorities greater control over the delivery of private sector housing renewal policy. The four outstanding applications, which were received shortly before the announcement, are covered by the general consent and we have notified the authorities concerned.

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Road Hauliers (Rebates)

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when road hauliers will receive their rebate cheques, in respect of the Government's decisions announced in the pre-Budget report. [142739]

Mr. Hill: Hauliers taking out licences with effect from 1 December have already benefited from lower net licence costs, as their rebate has been deducted at source from the statutory VED rate. Letters inviting hauliers to apply for rebates in respect of vehicles licensed at 30 November 2000 will be issued as soon as possible.

Aviation White Paper

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he plans to publish the Aviation White Paper. [142745]

Mr. Mullin: We hope to issue a White Paper on air transport in 2002. This will need to take account of the final decision on a fifth terminal at Heathrow. On Tuesday 12 December we published a consultation document on the future of aviation. This is the first major step towards the White Paper. Copies of the consultation document are available in the Libraries of the House.

PPP Contracts

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what additional information he has given since Monday 13 November to Mr. Robert Kiley of Transport for London about the PPP contracts; and if he will make a statement. [142748]

Mr. Hill: I understand that, since Monday 13 November, London Underground has supplied Mr. Kiley with the items set out as follows. Some of these items do not relate directly to the PPP contract but provide background information. In addition, my Department has supplied Mr. Kiley with London Transport's report "The Future of London Underground--evaluation of options".

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Consultants' Fees

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how much has been spent on fees to each consultant involved in the study of each regional airport; and how much has been spent on consultants' fees. [142767]

Mr. Mullin: The programme of studies informing preparation of the Airports White Paper has not taken the form of individual airport by airport studies; rather it is in three principal parts: six regional airports studies and a follow-up regional co-ordination study; the South East and East of England (SERAS) Study; and several strategic studies covering a range of UK wide issues--technology change, commercial trends, air freight and demand forecasting.

DETR expenditure to date is given in the table:


Study programmesDETR expenditure to date
South East and East of England1,730,000
Regions outside the South East and East of England965,000
Other Strategic Studies870,000

Local Transport Capital Settlement

Mr. Quinn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will announce details of the local transport capital settlement. [142833]

Mr. Prescott: The Government's Transport strategy and investment plans were set out in "Transport 2010: the 10-Year Plan", published in July 2000. The 10-Year Plan provided the long-term framework for investment, which is now being implemented. It will put right the effects of years of under-investment that this Government inherited. The 10-Year Plan provided for £59 billion of expenditure

14 Dec 2000 : Column: 201W

on local transport--£30.6 billion of public revenue expenditure, £19.3 billion public capital investment, and £9 billion of private investment.

This Local Transport Capital Settlement is the first five-year allocation from the £19.3 billion of public capital investment. The total allocation for English local highways authorities outside London for the period 2001-02 to 2005-06 will be £8.4 billion. The five-year allocation is as follows:

£ billion

LTP allocationsMajor schemes, integrated transport schemes, and maintenance schemes
Five year total8.43


These figures do not sum exactly to total due to rounding.

Every authority will benefit from this significantly increased funding, which in 2001-02 represents a doubling over last year's allocation for English authorities outside London, with further increases in subsequent years.

Using this funding, local authorities, working in partnership with local people, transport operators, businesses and interest groups, will be able to make a real difference to the quality of transport in their areas.

In making these allocations, we have accepted, or provisionally accepted 67 new major schemes (those with a gross cost of over £5 million). These include 28 public transport and integrated transport schemes, including bus priority measures and guided bus schemes, to make journeys faster and more reliable with major new interchanges, and 39 road schemes, such as local bypasses and relief roads.

This allocation will also enable authorities to take forward the many smaller-scale improvements contained in their Local Transport Plans. These include improvements to public transport, such as priority bus routes, improved integration, better access to bus, rail, and light rail stations, more park and ride schemes, and improved waiting facilities at interchanges. They also include schemes to make local roads safer and less congested, and measures to encourage cycling and walking.

Within the overall allocation, we have also made provision for authorities to repair local roads and bridges, as announced on 13 November 2000, Official Report, column 492W. This funding, along with the additional revenue funding being made available through the highways maintenance standard spending assessment, should enable authorities to meet the target to halt the deterioration of local roads by 2004.

Copies of the Press Notice and a list of allocations for individual authorities have been placed in the Library of the House. Details have also been placed in Members' mail-boxes in the Members' Post Officer Counter.

14 Dec 2000 : Column: 202W

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions on what date he intends to make an announcement regarding the Local Transport Settlement for 2001-02. [142746]

Mr. Hill: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given today by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to my hon. Friend the Member for Scarborough and Whitby (Mr. Quinn).

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