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Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) published on the respective costs and benefits of tram and light rail schemes compared to schemes to promote greater bus use. 
Mr. Jamieson: My Department has commissioned a number of research projects which have looked at the impacts of particular light rail and bus schemes, but have not sought to compare alternatives. There are many published studies which seek to compare the respective cost and benefits of the two modes. These include 'Bus or light rail: making the right choice' (Environmental and Transport Planning, 2000), for which my Department was among the funders.
Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average public subsidy per journey is for (a) tram and light rail schemes, (b) bus routes and (c) underground railway schemes. 
In addition, public transport support of £386 million was paid by local authorities mainly to support local bus services which were socially necessary but were not commercially viable. This includes Rural Bus Subsidy grant, Rural Bus Challenge, payments to operators, professional and technical services, and Pension Increase Act costs.
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disaggregated from those for ferries. The combined figures for this expenditure are in Table 21 of "Transport Statistics Bulletin".
Mr. Spellar: Our guidance to local authorities on local transport plans (LTPs) and LTP annual progress reports (APRs) makes clear the importance of public participation not only in the development of the strategies and measures proposed within the plan but also on-going consultation during implementation. Evidence of participation is considered as part of the assessment of LTPs and APRs in determining the annual local transport capital settlement for authorities.
We have also made clear in our guidance the need to demonstrate consistency between an authority's local transport plan and its local development plan. Guidance issued to local authorities on planning policies further emphasises the role of land use planning in delivering our integrated transport strategy. It is for the local authority to determine its local priorities but we have, as part of the planning Green Paper published last December, put forward proposals to improve the planning processes.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what guidance he has issued to steering groups and local authorities on how road traffic reduction targets should be considered in multi-modal studies. 
Mr. Jamieson: My Department issued guidance in April 2002 on the way in which multi-modal studies should assess the contribution of strategies to the eight public service agreements set out in the 10-year plan for transport, published in July 2000, including the target
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Mr. Jamieson: Railtrack plc announced on 13 February that they had appointed Bechtel to lead a strengthened delivery team for the West Coast route modernisation. Railtrack employ a wide range of other companies in connection with the project.
Mr. Jamieson: Regular discussions are held with the railways industry on a variety of matters that effect the operation and safety of the railway, including the prevention of crime. For example, my right hon. Friend the Minister for Transport launched a scheme on Monday 24 June involving Connex Trains who are sponsoring their staff to become Special Constables with the British Transport police by giving them time off work for their police duties and an annual bonus payment.
Mr. Jamieson: The annual reports of the Strategic Rail Authority and its predecessors (the Shadow Strategic Rail Authority and Office of Passenger Rail FranchisingOPRAF) contain tables showing, for each franchise, the amounts paid and received as basic (non-incentive) payments and incentive regime payments. These documents are in the Libraries of the House.
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Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what (a) representations he has received and (b) discussions he has had with (i) the SRA, (ii) the Rail Regulator, (iii) ATOC and (iv) the rail industry with regard to the conditions of carriage; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he will publish the Highways Agency study into the construction of a roundabout at the junction of the A35 and the B3165 at Hunter's Cross, Raymond's Hill, Devon. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Highways Agency has commissioned a study to consider the options for improving the junction between the A35 trunk road and the B3165 at Raymond's Hill near Axminster in Devon. A number of options are being investigated, including the provision of a roundabout. I will ask the Highways Agency to write to the hon. Member with details of the study's conclusions when they have completed their investigations. This is expected to be in the autumn.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, (1) pursuant to the answer of 17 June 2002, Official Report, column 73W, on disability vehicle stickers, how many local authorities collect data on the number of charges and convictions for misuse of disabled persons' parking cards; 
Mr. Jamieson: There is no legal requirement for local authorities to hold such records and the Department does not currently ask for that information as part of its annual blue badge statistical survey of local authorities in England. The devolved Administrations are responsible for the scheme in other parts of the UK.
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Mr. Jamieson: The Blue Badge scheme only applies to on-street parking. There is a wide variety of powers to tackle abuse available to local authorities, who are responsible for administering the Blue Badge scheme. It is an offence under section 47 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 to park a vehicle which is not displaying a badge in a designated disabled person's parking bay.
Off-street car parks are private property and charges and conditions of use are a contractual matter between the owner and the motorist. In these car parks, spaces marked for badge holders only are in most cases not legally enforceable, but depend on the courtesy and consideration of other drivers. Car park operators could ask a non- disabled driver to move their car from a space set aside for disabled people but they might not be in a position to insist upon it.
The Department has, however, given its full support to the 'Baywatch' campaign run by a coalition of disability organisations (including the Disabled Drivers Association and the Disabled Drivers' Motor Club). They are committed to encouraging greater protection of disabled persons' parking bays in retail car parks from abuse by non-disabled drivers.
In the meantime, it is open to anybody to bring instances of fraudulent use to the attention of the police, traffic wardens, the appropriate local authority or car park operators and we will continue to work with these bodies and stakeholder groups to minimise the potential for abuse and misuse.
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