Previous Section Index Home Page


Road Schemes

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions which major road schemes each highway authority has included

30 Oct 2001 : Column: 576W

in its full local transport plan and first annual progress report where funding is not being sought in the Local Transport Settlement 2001. [10487]

Mr. Jamieson: Not all local authorities have included in their full local transport plans or first annual progress reports information on those road schemes for which they are considering making a bid for LTP funding in future years. In many cases they have yet to make decisions on whether to make such a bid. We know of a number of schemes where the authority has forewarned us that they may be making a bid and in some cases has provided us with some information. These include:



There are other schemes which have been bid for in the past but which were not accepted for funding. Where such schemes were not rejected outright authorities are free to bid for these schemes again. These include:


In other cases, authorities are seeking decisions in December 2001, although the planned spend profile of the schemes concerned means that no funding is sought for the 2002–03 financial year.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when (a) English Nature, (b) the Countryside Agency and (c) English Heritage (i) were and (ii) will be consulted on local road schemes being considered for funding in the Local Transport Settlement 2001. [10485]

Mr. Jamieson: Local authorities bidding for road schemes under the Local Transport Plan system are required to consult the four statutory bodies—English Nature, English Heritage, the Countryside Agency and the Environment Agency—before submitting their bids. In addition, once the bid documents were received by my Department in August the Appraisal Summary Tables for all road schemes were sent to the four bodies to seek their further views on the schemes. The bodies have been kept informed of alterations to the tables.

30 Oct 2001 : Column: 577W

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) if he is presented with appraisal summary tables for each of the options before deciding whether to approve a major road scheme; [10633]

Mr. Jamieson: Before major local road schemes can be accepted for funding, local authorities need to demonstrate that they have considered alternative approaches. Submission of appraisal summary tables for each alternative is not required but decisions will only be taken once we are satisfied that these have been subject to proper consideration. Decisions are based on all of the evidence available to the Department.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list the major new road schemes submitted by local authorities for funding (a) by 31 July and (b) after 31 July. [10488]

Mr. Jamieson: The following major new road schemes were submitted for funding by (a) 31 July:




Information on the scheme listed in (b) was submitted after 31 July with the full agreement of the Department.

In some cases revised information on the schemes listed in (a) was sought from authorities after 31 July.

30 Oct 2001 : Column: 578W

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if the New Approach to Appraisal applies to (a) national and (b) local major road schemes which are financed by private capital. [10486]

Mr. Jamieson: The New Approach to Appraisal (NATA) applies to all trunk and local major road schemes that have some element of public funding. For developer- funded trunk road highway works, the principles of NATA apply, though the form of application may vary. For developer-funded local road schemes, local highway authorities have scope to decide on the appropriate approach and may apply NATA.

Chiltern Line Franchise

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he expects to reach a final decision on the renewal of the Chiltern line franchise; and if he will make a statement. [11449]

Mr. Jamieson: The Strategic Rail Authority is, I understand, close to concluding negotiations and will then seek the Secretary of State's consent to their entering into a new agreement.

Travel Concessions

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) if he will include travel concessions on Isle of Wight ferries in forthcoming legislation; [11463]

Ms Keeble: I refer the hon. Member to my reply of 10 July 2001, Official Report, column 339W.

Pensioner Journeys

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what information he has collated on the annual number of pensioner journeys (a) by train, (b) by coach, (c) by underground, (d) bus and (e) as foot passengers on ferries. [11464]

Ms Keeble: It is estimated that there were 10.5 million people of pension age (65 and over for men and 60 and over for women) in 2000.

The number of annual journeys made by pensioners, averaged over the years 1998 to 2000, were (a) 46 million by train, (b) 790 million by bus, (c) 26 million by coach, and (d) 30 million by London Underground. No data are available on journeys by ferry.

10-Year Plan for Transport

Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what provision has been made for local road maintenance in the 10-Year Plan for Transport. [11643]

30 Oct 2001 : Column: 579W

Mr. Jamieson: The Government are providing £30 billion for local road maintenance over the next 10 years, not £10 billion as I stated in my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for The Wrekin (Peter Bradley) on 23 October 2001 Official Report, column 136.

Housebuilding (Hertfordshire)

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what representations he has received from councillors concerning housebuilding targets for Hertfordshire. [5570]

Ms Keeble [pursuant to the reply, 23 October 2001, c. 132]: My right hon. Friend has received no representations from individual councillors since comments were invited in December 2000 (and not November 2000 as originally stated) on the proposed changes to housing distribution, although local authorities made representations.

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Afghanistan

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what is the target, in tonnes, of the delivery of food to Afghanistan; by what means the food is being delivered; and what obstacles have to be overcome to increase the supply of food to Afghanistan. [10795]

Hilary Benn: The World Food Programme's monthly target for food delivery into Afghanistan is 52,000 metric tonnes. WFP is trucking food to Afghanistan by land routes from neighbouring countries. It continues to make progress on increasing the supply of food to Afghanistan, but obstacles do remain.

In addition to the physical challenges of distributing food to distant villages on poor roads, obstacles include: a lack of hauliers willing to undertake the work; local NGO staff unable to show up for work to oversee secondary distribution; limited communication with local staff; and the fact that case load lists are becoming outdated due to further population displacement. The fear of harassment and looting of supplies by some elements of the Taliban is further compounding an already difficult situation.

We are doing all we can to support WFP in overcoming these obstacles, so that food delivery can continue to increase now and over the winter. WFP is looking into all options for delivering food, including opening up new land routes from the north, as well as air operations, to support the people of Afghanistan in the coming weeks and months. We have already allocated £3 million to WFP for its response to the Afghan crisis.

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the dietary content is of the foodstuff being delivered to Afghanistan; and who assesses it. [10793]

30 Oct 2001 : Column: 580W

Hilary Benn: The food being dispatched to Afghanistan by the World Food Programme (WFP) to feed vulnerable people is primarily made up of wheat and wheat flour. This is being supplemented in some areas by other foodstuffs provided by local and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs), such as pulses, oils, and fresh foods where available. Individual agencies are responsible for assessing the dietary content of the food that they dispatch. Availability of food stocks and logistical constraints play a large part in determining what they are able to deliver.

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. [8821]

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on humanitarian relief to Afghanistan and Afghan refugees in Pakistan and the surrounding regions. [9981]

Hilary Benn: I refer the hon. Members to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development to the House on 24 October 2001, Official Report column 283.


Next Section Index Home Page