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TRANSPORT, LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND

THE REGIONS

Freight

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions in what form his Department holds figures on the proportion of freight going by (a) road and (b) rail over the last 10 years. [22119]

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Mr. Spellar [holding answer 10 December 2001]: The Department compiles statistics of tonnes-kilometres moved and tonnes lifted by road, water, and pipeline. The Strategic Rail Authority do likewise for rail on a quarterly basis. Annual statistics for all modes over the last 10 years are published in the Department's annual publication "Transport Statistics Great Britain 2001", available in the Library.

London Underground

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 19 November 2001, Official Report, columns 33–34W, on London Underground, how many lost passenger hours in 2000–01 were attributable to the Infracos and how many to London Underground; what is the total equivalent number of Infraco-attributable lost customer hours for the whole of 2001–02 so far; what penalty would have been incurred by each Infraco during 2000–01 as a result of the attributable lost customer hours; and what penalty would have been incurred by each Infraco for 2001–02 so far. [22751]

Mr. Jamieson: London Underground have been "shadow running" the PPP contracts in the public sector since April 2000 to ensure they are robust for transfer to the private sector. In the light of that experience the initial performance benchmarks have been reset, generally to make the benchmark level of performance higher. This means that there will be realistic benchmarks in place from the start of the PPP contracts. As a result London Underground and not the Infraco will benefit from improvements in performance in the period before transfer of the infrastructure companies to the private sector.

Data on lost customer hours and Infraco penalties are operational matters for London Underground, who have provided the information below.

During 2000–01, 18 million indicative lost customer hours were attributable to London Underground. For the lost customer hour figures for the Infracos for the same period, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 19 November 2001, Official Report, columns 33–34W. For the period 1 April to 11 December 2001, 13 million indicative lost customer hours were attributable to the Infracos.

For 2000–01, the abatement figures (penalty payments to London Underground incurred by Infracos) would, on the basis of the set of benchmarks then in place, have been: £6 million for Infraco BCV; and £2 million each for Infracos JNP and SSL.

For the period 1 April to 11 December 2001, on the basis of the earlier benchmarks, the abatement figure for Infraco SSL would have been £9 million. Infracos BCV and JNP would have received bonus payments from London Underground of £3 million and £1 million respectively. Levels of payment would have been different, and generally lower, on the basis of the reset benchmarks. London Underground will shortly set the final performance benchmarks based on performance during shadow running of the contracts.

UK-US Aviation Market

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) when

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and where officials from his Department last met US officials to discuss (a) an open skies agreement and (b) the proposed British Airways/American Airlines alliance; [23898R]

Mr. Spellar: I held informal discussions with the US Deputy Secretary of Transportation in Washington on 7 November 2001 on the prospects for liberalising the UK/US aviation market. An official from my Department met officials from the US Department of Transportation as part of these discussions. As I had a prior engagement in New York, celebrating the re-launch of Concorde services, I and the official travelled on the inaugural Concorde service, on the outbound sector of the journey only. Both tickets were paid for by my Department. We then completed our journey to Washington by train.

My officials continue to be in regular contact, by telephone and by correspondence, with their US counterparts and will, as usual, consult UK aviation interests in advance of any formal talks with the US.

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the state of bilateral negotiations between the USA and the UK on open skies. [27430]

Mr. Spellar: We remain keen to liberalise the UK-US aviation market on terms which will give UK carriers effective access to the large US domestic market.

Railtrack

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 19 December 2001, Official Report, column 495W, ref 23221, if this information will be provided to potential bidders for Railtrack. [26471]

Mr. Spellar: It is for the administrator to determine what information to make available to potential bidders for Railtrack.

Rail Safety

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to ensure that worn-out train wheels are identified and replaced. [26072]

Mr. Spellar: The maintenance and replacement of train wheels is a matter for individual train companies working to industry standards and monitored by the Health and Safety Executive.

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Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will place a copy of the October 2001 rail safety report by Ove Arup, prepared for Railtrack, in the Library; and if he will make a statement. [26062]

Mr. Spellar: A copy of the report has been placed today in the House of Commons Library. Action is in hand and the report acknowledges the significant positive efforts already made by Railtrack, the train operators and the rest of the industry.

Housing (Illegal Immigrants)

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what account his Department takes regarding illegal immigrants' housing needs. [26729]

Ms Keeble: None

Housing Stock Transfers

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 9 January 2002, Official Report, columns 848–49W, what guidance he gives to (a) tenants and (b) local authorities on legal remedies available if the proposals in an offer document are not implemented. [27617]

Ms Keeble: The Department would advise tenants or the local authority to raise their concerns with the Housing Corporation as the regulator of registered social landlords. Should all parties be unable to resolve the matter and a legally binding contract is not being honoured then it is open for any party to the agreement to seek recourse in the courts.

Multimodal Studies

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list the report dates for the multimodal studies undertaken by the Government. [27412]

Mr. Spellar: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer the Under-Secretary of State for Transport, my hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Devonport (Mr. Jamieson), gave to the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton) on 8 January 2002, Official Report, columns 600–01W.

Smoke Alarms

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what percentage of dwelling fires attended by fire brigades in the Buckingham constituency occurred where a smoke alarm was installed but failed to operate. [27777]

Dr. Whitehead: Smoke alarms were installed but failed to operate in 8 per cent. of dwelling fires attended by Buckinghamshire fire brigade in 1999 (the latest year for which data are available). Data are not available below fire brigade level.

Matthew Elson

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he met Matthew Elson prior to his appointment as transport adviser in the No. 10 Policy Unit. [27331]

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Mr. Byers [holding answer 15 January 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 14 January 2001, Official Report, column 89W.


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