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Michael Fabricant: To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, when the redesigned parliamentary website will be available. [71489]

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Mr. Kirkwood: Subject to final security tests, the redesigned parliamentary website will replace the existing site on 23 July. The Content Management System associated with the redesign will allow staff to make further improvements in the future, so the site available on 23 July should be viewed as the start of a continuing process of development and improvement. Feedback on the site, using the newly provided feedback option, will be welcome.


Rail Safety

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the answer of 10 June 2002, Official Report, column 781–82W, on rail safety, if he will list for each incident the (a) county, (b) Railtrack operating zone and (c) line where it took place; and if he will make a statement. [62179]

Mr. Jamieson: The information requested, for the period 1 April 2000 to 31 March 2002, has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

The Health and Safety Executive's Railway Inspectorate's (HMRI's) accident database (SIGNAL), which came into operation in early 2000, records the county of the location of the incident and line route details. Prior to 2000 HMRI did not collect comprehensive details of the county line route. This could be provided at only disproportionate cost.

Health and Safety Commission

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he has (a) met and (b) corresponded with the Chair of the Health and Safety Commission in the last month; and what the subject was of each communication. [66249]

Mr. Jamieson: The Secretary of State met the Chair of the Health and Safety Commission and corresponded with him in relation to a number of departmental responsibilities for the Commission and the Health and Safety Executive.

Local Transport Plan

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place copies of his Department's appraisal summary tables relating to the local transport plan annual progress reports in the Library. [66674]

Mr. Jamieson: My Department does not produce appraisal summary tables (ASTs) in relation to local transport plan annual progress reports.

ASTs are used as a tool under our appraisal criteria to set out the key consequences of a strategy, plan or intervention for tackling a particular issue using the Government's five key transport objectives, namely environment, safety, accessibility, economy and integration. Local transport plan annual progress reports are monitoring documents. For this reason we do not make ASTs a requirement for such reports.

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Local authorities putting forward proposals for new major local transport schemes are required to produce ASTs for such schemes in line with our guidance on major scheme appraisal in local transport plans. Copies of ASTs accompanying new major scheme proposals due to be submitted by 31 July 2002 will be placed in the Library when received.

Network Rail

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport under the Network Rail structure, which body would be held responsible with regard to corporate manslaughter charges. [66594]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 2 July 2002]: If Network Rail successfully completes its purchase of the shares of Railtrack plc, any potential criminal or civil liability arising from past accidents would reside in the acquired Railtrack plc within the Network Rail group.

Transport Telephone Line

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made towards setting up one national telephone number on which the public can receive transport information for all forms of transport; and if he will make a statement. [69764]

Mr. Jamieson: "traveline", the national public transport information system, is now available throughout Great Britain. It provides route and timetable information for bus, coach, tram, underground, train, ferry and metro through a national-rate call to a single telephone number—0870 608 2 608. "traveline" is also available on the internet in some areas, and full coverage should be available by the end of the year.

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The Department is developing Transport Direct, a comprehensive travel information and ticketing service which aims to provide the traveller with all the information they need before and during a journey anywhere in the UK, and with the ability to buy the associated tickets. The vision, which will take several years to be fully realised, covers travel by all modes—air, car, train, tram, tube, taxi, bus, coach, ferry, bike and on foot—plus, importantly, mixtures of these modes.

The centrepiece of Transport Direct will be a one-stop internet portal information point for all forms of travel information. In addition to schedules and details of any disruption on the chosen route, travellers will be able to look at maps of the area they are intending to visit. The initial portal service will go on-line during 2003.


Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects the M25 between junctions 7 and 8 to be resurfaced. [70344]

Mr. Jamieson: The M25 between Junctions 7 and 8 was resurfaced as part of the M25 Junctions 6 to 8 widening works that were completed in 1997. We therefore have no immediate plans to resurface this section of the M25.


Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much has been spent on road maintenance in the UK in each year since 1997. [69525]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 16 July 2002]: The figures (£ million) for maintenance expenditure in "England", since 1997 are given in the table. Road maintenance figures for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are the responsibility of the devolved administrations.

£ million

Motorways and trunk Local roads London local roads Transfer to TfL for
CapitalRevenueRevenueCapitalcapitalformer trunk roads

(8) Provisional out-turn figures

Special Purpose Vehicles

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his reply of 9 July 2002, Official Report, column 807W, on special purpose vehicles, if he will list the possible opportunities identified to which he refers; and if he will make a statement. [70638]

Mr. Jamieson: In addition to Chiltern and South Central, Special Purpose Vehicles may be appropriate for works on South West Trains, for the East London Line, for the East Coast Main Line and for other cases not yet identified.

Variable Speed Limits

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the locations on Highways Agency roads where there are variable speed limits. [70646]

Mr. Jamieson: There are variable speed limits on the M25 between junctions 10 and 16, the A646 at Cliviger and Todmorden, the A5092 at Lowick, the A1 Gateshead and Newcastle Western Bypass between Birtley and Seaton Burn, the A47 at Thorney, and the A59 at Pemworthan.

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Channel Tunnel

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many freight services used the channel tunnel in each month since January. [70658]

Mr. Jamieson: According to the operator, English, Welsh and Scottish Railways, the total number of freight services (inbound and outbound) using the channel tunnel since January is as follows:

2002Number of freight services

(9) Reduced owing to two weekend closures for CTRL work

(10) To 14 July

Road Maintenance

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his reply of 3 July 2002, Official Report, column 359W, on road maintenance, if he will (a) list the ways in which his Department is working with local authorities and (b) provide a definition of an efficient management system. [70641]

Mr. Jamieson: The Roads Liaison Group (RLG) was set up in 2001, by the then DTLR. Its membership includes DfT, the Local Government Association, and representatives of national and local highway authorities in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It is charged with advising on technical, financial, and administrative policy on the construction and maintenance of highways in the United Kingdom, and with progressing initiatives to further those objectives. These initiatives include the introduction of a computerised system of highway management (UKPMS), a revised version of the street lighting code of practice, and the development of a computerised bridge database and management system.

An efficient management system in the highway maintenance field is one that delivers infrastructure fit for the needs of users while providing good value for the resources used.

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