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Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what assessment he has made of the implications of paragraph 24, section 3.1 of the Community guidelines on state aid for rescuing and restructuring firms in difficulty (1999/c 288/02) for the timing of state aid to Railtrack in administration; 
(3) if he will make a statement on section 3.1, paragraph 23, subsections b and d of the Community guidelines on state aid for rescuing and restructuring firms in difficulty (1999/c 288/02) as it relates to Railtrack in administration; 
(4) what assessment his Department made of the implications of paragraph 24, section 3.1 of the Community guidelines on state aid for rescuing and restructuring firms in difficulty (1999/c 288/02) before it took the decision to provide financial support for the Network Rail bid for Railtrack; 
(5) if the stipulation in paragraph 51 of the Community guidelines on state aid for rescuing and restructuring firms in difficulty (1999/c 288/02) prevents Network Rail from receiving state aid to purchase the assets of Railtrack in administration. 
Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 18 April 2002]: The Secretary of State has had full regard to the implications of the Community guidelines on state aid for rescuing and restructuring firms in difficulty as it relates to Railtrack in administration and any financial support to be provided to Network Rail if its bid for Railtrack plc is successful. The Government's guarantee of commercial borrowing by Railtrack plc is consistent with section 3.1, paragraph 23, subsections b and d of the Guidelines.
Rescue aid under these guidelines can be extended beyond the initial period of six months in duly substantiated exceptional circumstances (paragraph 24). If the administration of Railtrack plc is likely to continue beyond 30 September 2002 clearance for an extended period of aid would be sought from the European Commission, either as an extension of the existing clearance or as a separate notification if more appropriate.
If the Network Rail bid were to be successful in accordance with the timetable as currently projected the Government guaranteed loans to Railtrack plc (in administration) would be reimbursed in full before 30 September. Any state aid granted to Network Rail would be notified separately. The Government will ensure that any aid provided to Network Rail is compatible with the provisions of the EC treaty in particular Article 73 and Article 86(2).
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what the average length was of the onward journey for freight arriving in deep-sea ports, destined for the UK that was taken to its
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destination by (a) road, (b) rail, (c) a combination of road and rail and (d) short sea shipping in the last 12 months; 
(3) what percentage of freight (a) carried to and (b) carried from deep-sea ports, went by (i) road, (ii) rail and (iii) sea in the last 12 months. 
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what conditions projects must satisfy in order to be eligible for funding from the EU trans-european transport network budget. 
The Community guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network (Decision No. 1692/96/EC) sets out the objectives projects must pursue. Annexes I and II to that Decision illustrate the network by way of maps and set out for each mode of transport the project eligibility criteria and specifications.
Mr. Byers: My Department is in the process of assessing relevant scientific and economic evidence on external costs including environmental from a number of sources in the UK and elsewhere. This assessment is part of a review of values to be used in considering freight facility grants.
Mr. Byers: Traffic signs and road markings have to attract the attention of road users in order to fulfil the purpose for which they are provided, but local traffic authorities have a statutory duty to take account of the effects on amenity when installing signs and markings at particular locations. Chapter 7 of the Traffic Signs Manual, published in 1997, gives guidance on designing signs so as to produce aesthetic as well as functional designs.
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ballast water by ships; and what guidelines exist as to the (a) location and (b) frequency with which ballast water should be released. 
Mr. Byers: With relation to oil, the MARPOL Convention has contained requirements for the segregation of ballast water from cargo oil in tankers constructed after 1983. Since August 1999 the seas around the UK and out to the west of Ireland have had Special Area status under the MARPOL Convention; this means a total prohibition on the discharge of any cargo-related oil which may be entrained with ballast water.
Joint Nature Conservation Council, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department have conducted studies in a number of ports to identify the presence of non-indigenous organisms, some of which are thought to have been introduced via ships' ballast water. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has urged ships to follow the IMO's guidelines on ballast water management practices to reduce the risk of introducing non-indigenous species. The agency has issued a Marine Guidance Note on the matter. The UK continues to play a leading role within the International Maritime Organisation to develop mandatory requirements.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what climatic factors were taken into account by the Government in proposing the standards for new windows insulation under S.I. 440. 
Dr. Whitehead [holding answer 19 April 2002]: S.I. 2002/440 requires, among other things, that members of the Fenestration Self-assessment Scheme, who seek to self-certify their work, must comply with the relevant requirements of the Building Regulations (S.I. 2000/2531 as amended by S.I. 2001/3335). These regulations apply in England and Wales. Guidance on achieving compliance in relation to window insulation standards is given in Approved Documents L1 and L2. The standards given in the guidance have been derived using Meteorological Office data for winter temperatures in the UK, and in particular how often ambient temperature falls below a pre-determined level.
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action he has taken to prepare a statutory definition of the purpose of the planning system; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Byers: In response to the Green Paper "Planning: delivering a fundamental change", a number of bodies have suggested that there should be a statutory purpose for the planning system. My officials have written to a range of organisations seeking views on this proposal.
Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what the estimated cost is to his Department of supporting the half-fare concession bus pass in 200203; 
(3) what estimate has been made of the cost of providing a free transport concession to all pensioners. 
Ms Keeble: Government support for local authorities' concessionary fares scheme is met through general grant. The Local Government Finance Settlement 200203 increased general grant in the current financial year by 5 per cent. on a like for like basis. Local authorities are responsible for decisions on their spending priorities bearing in mind their statutory responsibilities and the wishes of their electorate.
Estimated total expenditure on concessionary travel schemes on all transport modes in England is about £504 million. Of this we estimate that some £443 million is for travel for pensioners and disabled people on local bus services, including schemes that are more generous than the statutory half-fare requirement. We have no separate figures for the cost of half-fare travel on buses.
We have no estimate for the cost of providing free transport for pensioners. However we estimate that the additional cost of providing free travel on local bus services for pensioners and disabled people would be in the order of £300 million per year.
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