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Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of reducing accidents by the construction of (a) pelican, (b) puffin and (c) zebra crossings; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Spellar: Primarily, pedestrian crossings are installed to help people cross roads without undue delay or danger. The advice that my Department issues on the assessment of pedestrian crossing facilities covers circumstances where accident reduction is an objective, as well as other factors. But the assessment of options, implementation and any subsequent monitoring of new crossings is for the relevant traffic authority and we do not hold centrally information on accident reductions at such sites.
Mr. Spellar: The administration and licensing of London's taxis and private hire vehicles (minicabs) are matters for the licensing authority, Transport for London. However, the Secretary of State retains responsibility for the commencement and transitional provisions for London private hire vehicles and their drivers in accordance with the implementation of the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998; statutory instruments will be made to coincide with Transport for London's regulations when they have completed their consultations.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the answer of 10 June 2002, Official Report, column 762W, on Prestwick, if a threshold level in traffic forecasts has been set for the commission of further work in the building of the air traffic control centre at Prestwick; and how current traffic forecasts compare to this level. 
Mr. Spellar: No threshold level in traffic forecasts has been set. Both NATS and the Government remain committed to the new Scottish centre and further work will be commenced once traffic levels make it financially prudent to do so.
Mr. Spellar: Proposals for new tram and light rail schemes normally need Transport and Works Act (TWA) powers. If funding from my Department is essential for the project to proceed, promoters should seek a provisional view from my Department on whether the scheme passes the Government's appraisal tests which are used to decide whether a project is eligible for funding before seeking powers. In such cases, if and when such powers are obtained, my Department then reaches a decision on whether funding should be provided for the scheme.
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Mr. Spellar: Major schemes in local transport plans, including light rail schemes, are assessed under the New Approach to Appraisal, which takes account of five over-arching objectives: environment, safety, economy, accessibility and integration. More details are contained in "Major Scheme Appraisal in Local Transport PlansPart 1: Detailed Guidance on Public Transport and Highway Schemes", published in May 2002.
Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his targets are for the numbers of (a) bus journeys and (b) tram and light rail journeys for each year of his Department's current plan's operation. 
Mr. Spellar: My Department's 10-year plan includes targets for (a) increasing bus use by 10 per cent. and (b) doubling light rail use. The base figures for passenger journeys in 200001 are (a) 3,761 million and (b) 120 million. The targets for passenger journeys in 201011 are therefore (a) 4,137 million and (b) 240 million. No targets have been set for the intervening years.
Mr. Spellar: Light rail schemes can offer a range of benefits to business, in both urban and outer-city areas, depending on the circumstances of the particular case. They can provide a safe, reliable and efficient mode of transport for employees and customers; they may contribute to reducing congestion by attracting motorists from their cars; and they can increase the attractiveness of an area to potential investors.
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108. However the capital costs of light rail schemes are high, particularly compared to bus priority measures and modest guided bus schemes which may offer a more cost-effective alternative. Therefore if authorities with to develop light rail schemes, they will need to be able to demonstrate that they represent good value for money, form an essential part of a local integrated transport strategy and that the objectives of that strategy cannot be met in better ways. It will also be important to show that a light rail scheme is fully integrated with other public transport modes in the area and that appropriate traffic managements schemes are to be introduced so that light rail has priority over other road space users and that the road decongestion benefits of the light rail scheme are maintained over a long period. We would also expect local authorities to develop public-private partnerships to take forward such schemes where this is necessary to secure Best
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(3) how much his Department has spent on each tram and light rail system operation. 
|Light rail scheme||Year of opening||Gross capital cost at outturn prices (£ million)||Central Government funding including ERDF (£ million)|
|Manchester Metrolink: Bury-Altrincham||1992||155||150|
|Manchester Metrolink: Salford Quays-Eccles||2000||160||27|
|Tyne and Wear Metro||198084||284||200|
|Tyne and Wear Metro: Airport extension||1991||12||2|
|Tyne and Wear Metro: Sunderland extension||2002||100||50|
|Docklands Light Railway: original system, Bank and Beckton extensions||198794||580||480|
|Docklands Light Railway: Lewisham extension||1999||250||50|
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