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Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 4 July 2002



Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received from the ORR with regard to enforcement orders following breaches of the network licence; and if he will make a statement. [66605]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 2 July 2002]: The Regulator has made no such representations. The Regulator has identified a number of areas where Railtrack is currently not complying with the requirements of Condition 7 of its Network Licence. These are detailed in his statement published on 27 June 2002 on the proposed acquisition of Railtrack PLC by Network Rail Limited. The statement explains what regulatory action is being taken in respect of each area of non-compliance and sets out the Regulator's expected approach to the regulation of Network Rail.

London Underground

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much (a) Metronet and (b) its sponsors are due to be paid in (i) development costs, (ii) risk capital costs, (iii) financial and legal advice costs and (iv) bank and loan insurance costs by London Underground upon signing of contracts; what independent assessment (A) has been and (B) will be made of the validity of Metronet's financial claims; whether Tube Lines and its sponsors will be entitled to further payments beyond money it is due to receive in success fees; and if he will make a statement. [64684]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 27 June 2002]: London Underground will make payments to the infrastructure companies in line with the service they deliver. Both the preferred bidders, Metronet and Tube Lines Group, have developed their bids on the basis that over the lifetime of the contracts they will recover the costs they incur in enhancing and maintaining the Tube, plus associated finance costs, including a return on their direct financial investment—the level of this return will depend on the level of service delivered. Their bids also allow for their recovering the sums they have invested in developing their bids. This is perfectly normal commercial practice. Such sums include costs incurred directly by the bidders, costs associated with raising finance and fees paid to their financial, legal and other advisers.

These costs will be verified by London Underground before they can be recovered by the bidders. The Government would risk undermining London Underground's commercial position if they were to prejudge the results of this verification by estimating the level of such costs that might ultimately be recovered.

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Green Minister

Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport who his Department's green Minister is; when they (a) have attended and (b) plan to attend meetings of the Green Ministers' Committee; what the outcomes of meetings were for his Department's activities; and if he will make a statement. [65990]

Mr. Jamieson: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Bath (Mr. Foster) on 26 June 2002, Official Report, column 882W. I am the Department for Transport's Green Minister and was appointed to ENV(G) on 24 June 2002.

Following the General Election in June 2001, the previously informal Green Ministers Committee was upgraded to a Cabinet Sub-Committee of ENV and it is established practice under exemption two of Part II of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information not to disclose information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet Committees. Therefore I cannot relate progress or outcomes by my Department to anything that has been discussed.

Track Renewals

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research (a) has been conducted and (b) is planned (i) by and (ii) for his Department and the Strategic Rail Authority on the impact on track renewals of (A) increased train weights and (B) increased volume of rail traffic on the network; and if he will make a statement. [66308]

Mr. Jamieson: This is an operational matter for the railway industry primarily Railtrack with the train operating companies, freight operating companies and the rolling stock companies. The industry created in May 2001 the Wheel Rail Interface Steering Authority (WRISA) to provide a cross industry forum to advise on matters such as this.


Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information has been collated, (a) by and (b) for (i) his Department and (ii) the Highways Agency regarding roadworks taking place over the next 12 months; what the cost is of each contract; and if he will make a statement. [66212]

Mr. Jamieson: The Department does not collate information on local authority schemes.

Work on the motorway and trunk road network is the responsibility of the Highways Agency. Small scale works are delivered by the Agency's managing agents and term maintenance contractors. Larger works are delivered through individual contracts but because these are still being planned in detail, the Agency cannot say how many individual contracts there will be nor what the value of those contracts will be.

But overall, in the financial year 2002–03 the Agency plans to spend some £740 million on maintaining the motorway and trunk road network. This compares to £692 million last year, which included the resurfacing of 1793 lane kilometres of carriageway and remedial works on 487 bridges. A further £242 million will be spent this year on schemes to make better use of the existing

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network. This compares to £190 million last year, which included completion of 164 safety local network management schemes.

In addition, the Agency will spend some £700 million in 2002–03 on delivering the Government's Targeted Programme of Improvements.


Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what services NATS provides to aircraft outside controlled airspace. [65739]

Mr. Jamieson: Outside controlled airspace there is no requirement on NATS to provide a control service, but certain services may be available including:

1. Flight Information Services providing aeronautical information relevant to the safe conduct of the flight, including meteorological information and the status of navigation aids provided by NATS;

2. Radar Information Services providing pilots with information on the position of other aircraft;

3. Radar Advisory Services providing information on actions to avoid potential conflicts; and

4. NATS also supports emergency related services operated by the Ministry of Defence and participates in the Lower Airspace Radar Service (LARS).

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the right of NATS to refuse to provide IFR to an aircraft outside controlled airspace while charging for that service. [65740]

Mr. Jamieson: Under the terms of its licence from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), NATS is not required to provide the full range of air navigation services from all units, and issues such as capacity, radar performance and weather may influence the ability of controllers to provide a service.

10-Year Plan

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the priority projects in the 10 year plan which he estimates will be completed by 2010. [65738]

Mr. Jamieson: The 10 Year Plan makes clear that decisions on individual projects will flow from the plans and programmes of a range of delivery agencies, subject to the normal decision-making and appraisal processes.

Roads (At-Work Accidents)

Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will request the Health and Safety Commission to include among its targets contained in the Revitalising Health and Safety strategy a requirement to reduce the number of at work accidents each year on the roads. [66668]

Mr. Jamieson: The Government and the Health and Safety Commission set out long term strategic targets for health and safety in the Revitalising Health and Safety Statement of June 2000, after extensive consultation. The targets are deliberately broad based covering all occupational health risks, other than work related traffic accidents. These are included within the Governments

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Road Safety Strategy which aims to reduce all deaths and serious injuries on our roads by 40 per cent. by 2010. There are no plans to revise the Revitalising targets at the current time.

Road Safety

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the trend of (a) fatalities and (b) serious injuries in traffic accidents in towns and cities over the last five years. [65637]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 1 July 2002]: The provisional results for 2001 indicate that there were 1,409 deaths on roads in Britain with a speed limit of 40mph or less, which generally indicates they are in built-up areas. This was five less than in 2000 but more than in 1998 and 1999, and 61 (4.1 per cent.) less than in 1997. The number of serious injuries on such roads has reduced each year since 1997. The 22,742 serious injuries in 2001 was 14 per cent. less than in 1997.

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent research he has carried out with regard to the potential costs and benefits of the use of 20 mph zones in urban areas; and if he will make a statement. [66626]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 2 July 2002]: The financial cost of a 20mph zone is dependent on the size of the zone and the type of traffic calming measures implemented to achieve the desired speed reduction.

A TRL report, "Review of traffic calming schemes in 20mph zones" (TRL Report 215), published in 1996, found that the average annual accident frequency fell by around 60 per cent. Child pedestrian and child cyclist accidents fell by around 70 per cent. and 48 per cent. respectively. This gives an overall reduction of 67 per cent. for all child accidents.

In addition, a well designed 20mph zone can be instrumental in improving the quality of life for local people by protecting them from inappropriate speed.

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