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Ms Rosie Winterton: Public funding of bus services now totals £2.5 billion annually, through local authorities or direct to bus operators. There are no central projections of future spend in individual local authority areas.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she expects statistics on motorcycle usage to be included in the Department for Transport's Travel to Work fact sheets; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department's fact sheet Travel to Work does not contain statistics on motorcycle usage as this accounts only for a small proportion (approximately 1 per cent.) of trips to work. Personal travel fact sheets are published on an ad hoc basis and there are no current plans to update this fact sheet, the latest version of which was published on 12 July 2007.
Mr. Tom Harris: The new Intercity east coast franchise is designed to achieve value for money while at the same time improving operational performance and providing capacity to meet future demand growth. We expect to be able to announce the winner of the franchise competition next month.
Ms Rosie Winterton: There are no current plans to update the Personal travel facts heet on motorcycling. However, the 2007 edition of the Compendium of motorcycling statistics is due to be published in October 2007.
Mr. Tom Harris: These are operational matters for Network Rail, as the owner and operator of the national rail network. The hon. Member should contact Network Rails Chief Executive at the following address for a response to his question.
40 Melton Street
London NW1 2EE
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many accidental deaths there were on the First Great Western rail network (a) west of Swindon and Newbury and (b) on the London to Didcot line covered by the area commander for London north in each of the last three years; 
British Transport Police
25 Camden Road
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will make a statement on the extension of active traffic management and hard shoulder running following the experiment on the M42. 
Mr. Tom Harris: An interim evaluation report on the performance of the M42 active traffic management pilot project is due to be published shortly. Initial results have been encouraging and the Highways Agency is continuing to review the network to identify other potential locations that might benefit from the introduction of ATM.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will list the locations in England where traffic on a primary route is reduced to single-file traffic controlled by traffic lights when crossing a narrow bridge or other bottleneck. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The design, installation and maintenance of traffic signals are matters for the relevant traffic or highway authorities. They are not required to notify the Department when installing them, and as such information on the numbers of signals is not held centrally.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government are implementing regulations under parts 3 and 4 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 to update the current system of managing road works by utilities, known as street works, and giving local highway authorities powers to implement proactive controls by allowing them to apply to run permit schemes.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent estimate she has made of the cost of local road repairs identified as repaired; and whether the Government are on track to meet their target of completing such repairs by 2010. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The national road maintenance condition survey for 2005 showed that the 10-year plan interim target to halt carriageway deterioration by 2004 had been achieved. We have encouraged local authorities to produce asset management plans for local roads. As more of these become available we expect to gain a better understanding of the investment required to bring local road conditions up to the appropriate operational standards.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people were (a) killed and (b) seriously injured as a result of road traffic accidents at the location of static speed cameras in (i) Southend and (ii) Essex police force area (A) before the introduction and (B) after the introduction of each speed camera in each of the last three years for which figures are available. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The information is not held in the form requested. Fixed cameras operated by the Essex safety camera partnership under the national safety camera programme, which ended on 31 March 2007, reduced the number of fatal casualties at camera sites by an average of 43 per cent. per year, and reduced the number of people killed or seriously injured at camera sites by an average of 51 per cent. per year. This means around three lives were saved and 55 fewer people were killed or seriously injured each year. I have arranged for tables to be placed in the Libraries of the House regarding the performance of fixed speed cameras in Essex.
Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the percentage change in real terms of the cost of travelling by (a) private car, (b) bus and (c) train since (i) 1977, (ii) 1987 and (iii) 1997. 
|(i) 1977-2006||(ii) 1987-2006||(iii) 1997-2006|
| Source: Retail Price IndexOffice for National Statistics.|
Comparisons with average household disposable incomes are as follows: between 1977 and 2006, average household disposable income increased by 125 per cent.; between 1987 and 2006, average household disposable income increased by 70 per cent.; and between 1997 and 2006, average household disposable income increased by 25 per cent.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department for Transport sponsored development of the ITSO specifications for an interoperable smart card ticketing interface. These specifications, which were published in March 2004 and are Crown copyright, provide a common standard enabling schemes to operate with each other. Consumers can thus benefit from a more consistent interface to public transport and the ability to use one card across many different transport operators and schemes in the UK.
Local transport authorities in England are able to decide whether to introduce smart card technology on buses, trams and metro systems. The second edition of the Department for Transport's guidance on local transport plans stipulates that the eGIF standards, in which ITSO is a recommended standard, shall be used for smart card procurements.
The Department is currently consulting on the specifications for a national concessionary bus travel pass for older and disabled people in England. This includes an option to specify, in regulations, that the passes must be in smartcard format and be ITSO compliant. It is a requirement of all new rail franchises that a percentage of tickets sold must meet the ITSO specification.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the United Nations Human Rights Commission on the status of those living on Ascension Island. 
Meg Munn: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has had no discussions with the United Nations Human Rights Commission on the status of those working and living on Ascension Island. The human rights of those currently on Ascension Island are protected by various human rights instruments which have been extended to the island, including the European convention on human rights. Details of these instruments are available on the FCO website at:
Meg Munn: The election planned for May was not held, as two people only put themselves forward for election to the seven-member council, and that would have resulted in a non-quorate Island Council. During the temporary period of suspension of the Island Council (Ascension) Ordinance 2002, a number of areas of work are being developed to ensure the best prospect of continuation of the democratic process. This includes a programme of information and education on the benefits of a democratic structure of government for Ascension Island to help underline the importance for those working and living there of participating in the decision-making process. Public meetings to discuss issues of importance to the island are being offered and the first of these was hosted on Ascension Island on 28 May by the governor.
Meg Munn: The purpose of the advisory group is to advise the governor on policies and proposed legislation which impact on the lives of those working and living on Ascension Island. It has no formal executive or legislative power. The formation of the group is an interim measure designed to help ensure continuing good governance of Ascension during the temporary suspension of the Island Council (Ascension) Ordinance 2002.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with Ascension Island users on the future of the island; and if he will make a statement. 
Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials in London last met with the employing organisations as a group on 15 January to discuss operational issues relating to Ascension Island. The governor, the administrator and London-based officials have frequent contact with employing organisations and other groups and individuals with an interest in Ascension Island. These meetings cover a
broad range of subjects, including operational and other issues of importance to those working and living on Ascension Island.
Meg Munn: The governor and his advisers are using the period of the suspension of the Island Council (Ascension) Ordinance 2002 to inform and advise those eligible to vote on Ascension Island of the importance of re-establishing a fully democratic system at the earliest opportunity. The temporary suspension is expected to last for a period of up to 12 months following which the governor intends to be able to call an election. The Governments policy remains to work with the Ascension Island Government towards improving the working and living environment for those on Ascension Island within the current policy framework.
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