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8 Nov 2005 : Column 284W—continued

Air Carrier Insolvencies

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the percentage of travel insurance policies which cover air carrier insolvency. [25141]

Ms Buck: Civil Aviation Authority research indicates about 10 per cent. of travel insurance policies cover air carrier insolvency.

Central Railway

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library copies of the documents on the Central Railway project that were released by his Department to Central Railway plc following an application under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. [25254]

Derek Twigg: The documents will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Concessionary Travel (South Gloucestershire)

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will estimate the cost to South Gloucestershire council of implementing the national half-fare concessionary travel scheme; and what additional resources he will be allocating to South Gloucestershire council in respect of the proposed extension of the concessionary travel scheme. [26577]

Ms Buck: The Government will provide an extra £350 million in 2006–07 which will be sufficient to fund the cost to local authorities. A decision on how the extra funding will be distributed will be made in due course.

Departmental Estate

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what (a) land and (b) property his Department owns in the Shrewsbury and Atcham constituency. [25331]

Ms Buck: Details of land and property owned by the Department in Shrewsbury and Atcham constituency are set out as follows.

The Highways Agency currently has three pieces of agricultural land in its portfolio, which fall in the Shrewsbury and Atcham constituency. These pieces of
 
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land are at Montford Bridge, Shrewsbury and together amount to 17.69 acres. Two pieces of land are to the east of the A5 and the third piece of land is to the west of the A5.

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency currently owns Shrewsbury Goods Vehicle Test Station, Ennerdale Road, Harlescott, Shrewsbury, SY1 3LF.

Eurotunnel

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the progress of the Eurotunnel Working Group in addressing issues surrounding the process of Eurotunnel's audit system. [24611]

Derek Twigg: The Channel Tunnel Safety Authority's (CTSA's) Annual Report for 2004–05 notes, in paragraph 75, that the Health and Safety at Work and Human Factors Working Group will be considering, among other things, the process of Eurotunnel's audit system in the course of 2005–06. I expect that the CTSA's Annual Report for 2005–06 will cover the results of that consideration.

Highways Agency

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what systems are in place to ensure that there is consistency and national co-ordination of policy across regional offices of the Highways Agency; and whether he plans to make changes to the systems. [25426]

Dr. Ladyman: The Highways Agency is a national executive agency reporting to Ministers, with annual objectives agreed by Ministers and set out and published in its business plan each year. The chief executive of the Highways Agency is responsible for ensuring consistency of application of policy and co-ordination across its regional offices. He reports to me on a regular basis.

Motorway Crash Barriers

Sir Paul Beresford: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the guidelines are for the (a) choice and (b) construction of each type of motorway crash barrier. [26120]

Dr. Ladyman: The choice of safety barrier in a motorway central reserve is controlled by the Highways Agency Interim Advice Note 60/05—The Introduction of a New Highways Agency Policy for the Performance Requirements for Central Reserve Safety Barriers on Motorways. The implementation of this advice requires future barriers to be of concrete unless there are over-riding circumstances.

The guidelines for the choice and construction of the barrier that can be used in other motorway locations are contained in the documents listed:


 
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Detailed guidelines for the construction of safety barriers are contained in the manufacturer's product specifications and in the Manual of Contract Documents for Highway Works, Volume 1, Specification for Highway Works, Clauses: Series 0100, 0400, Appendices: A, C and E

Night Parking Charges

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport under what legal authority local authorities may charge for car parking in towns and city centres at night. [21384]

Ms Buck: Section 35 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 allows local authorities to charge for the use of off-street car parks, while section 46 allows them to charge for the use of designated on-street parking places. The determination of the levels of charges is a matter for individual authorities.

Ports

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list ports which are (a) compliant and (b) non-compliant under the International Ship and Port Security Code. [24199]

Dr. Ladyman: There are over 500 port facilities in the United Kingdom that are compliant under the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code. The names of the facilities have been lodged in the Library in the document titled ISPS Compliant Port Facilities in the UK".

The ISPS Code applies to port facilities serving passenger ships and cargo ships over 500 Gross Tonnes engaged on international voyages and domestic Class A ferries which travel more than 20 nautical miles from the UK coastline.

Rail Franchises

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what costs have been incurred in respect of rail franchise tendering processes since May 1997. [24576]

Derek Twigg: The letting of franchises since 1997 has been successively undertaken by the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising, the Shadow Strategic Rail Authority, the Strategic Rail Authority and since July 2005, the Department for Transport.

Franchise tendering costs were part of the general business costs of these organisations and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Denis Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when his Department plans to publish the consultants' final report on the review of the Northern Rail franchise; whether its recommendations will be incorporated into the 2006 rail timetable planning conference; and if he will make a statement on the implications of the review for the Northern Way" initiative. [24946]


 
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Derek Twigg: Work on the review of the Northern Rail franchise is proceeding, and I expect to announce proposals for consultation early next year. The consultation will seek the views of organisations involved in the Northern Way" initiative.

Mr. Denis Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what date his Department plans to publish the final regional planning assessment for North East England; and whether its recommendations will be incorporated into the 2006 rail timetable planning conference. [24947]

Derek Twigg: I am currently considering the draft of the North East England rail regional planning assessment with a view to publication in due course.


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