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Jim Cousins: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport with reference to the answer of 27 January 2009, Official Report, column 303W, on Road Traffic: Tyne and Wear and of 4 November 2009, Official Report, column 250W, on Transport: Tyne and Wear, when he expects to receive the report of the Tyne and Wear Transport Innovation Fund's work and outcomes; and if he will place a copy in the Library. 
While the Department discussed with Tyne and Wear authorities the option for providing further resources for the completion of a formal report on the outputs, it was concluded that a business case for TIF funding was unlikely to be supported.
The Department has continued to work with the authorities in making full use of the outputs, including the Tyne and Wear model, an Urban Traffic Management Control system and Smarter Choices initiatives. These outcomes have informed the development of the Tyne and Wear authorities' transport policies, including Local Transport Plans and will inform the development of proposals resulting from the recently announced Delivering a Sustainable Transport System (DaSTS) Study.
Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport with reference to the answer of 11 November 2009, Official Report, column 370W, on roads: repair and maintenance, if he will publish the submission to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State setting out (a) the (i) reasons and (ii) justifications for not providing the information requested in question 296881 and (b) the estimated cost of providing the information requested, as required in accordance with section 7.28 of the Cabinet Office's Guide to Parliamentary Work. 
Chris Mole: The information requested in parliamentary question 296881 asked for the benefit-cost ratios (BCRs) of all schemes in the targeted programme of improvements at programme entry and at present. The BCR data requested are not held centrally.
The targeted programme of improvements (TPI) comprised 114 major road schemes of which 71 are now open for traffic. The schemes entered the programme at various times, 37 of them in July 1998. For the older, completed schemes, files have been put away into storage and would have to be retrieved at a cost of £20 per file. Extracting the relevant BCR information from the files and putting that information into context in terms of what assumptions were made when the BCR was calculated is not a straightforward task. To quote BCRs out of context would be misleading.
It is not possible to estimate accurately how much it would cost to obtain the BCRs for all 114 schemes. It is thought likely that to retrieve and examine the files of one completed scheme would take around half a day at a cost of £260 (PB 5/6 Full Economic Cost rate). Further work would then be required to enable meaningful comparisons to be made between the present BCR and that calculated at programme entry.
Chris Mole: It is proposed, subject to approval, to improve the A160 by upgrading the existing single carriageway sections to dual carriageway and by providing a free flow link eastbound from the A180 junction.
There are no major resurfacing schemes planned for the A180 in the current works programme as the concrete carriageway is still in good condition. A resurfacing scheme from Barnetby to Croxton on the A180 has been identified in the four-year forward programme for 2010-14. Progression of this scheme to construction will depend on available funding and relative priorities at the time.
Justine Greening: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many of the 1,300 new carriages referred to in the 2007 Rail White Paper (a) have been (i) ordered and (ii) delivered and (b) are in use for each (A) train operating company and (B) line serving stations in Greater London. 
Chris Mole: In the two years since publication of the 2007 Rail White Paper, 543 new carriages have been ordered. Of these 232 are already in service: 148 with London Midland on services operating on lines out of London Euston and 84 on Thameslink routes operated by First Capital Connect.
Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport pursuant to the answer of 1 December 2009, Official Report, column 571W, on rolling stock, what percentage of the fuel consumed when running under the wires is attributable to the conveying of the diesel engine itself. 
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning what estimate has been made of how many bingo clubs have closed in (a) England and (b) North East Cambridgeshire since 1 January 2008. (303642)
Annual statistics on business births, deaths and survival are available from the ONS release on Business Demography at www.statistics.gov.uk. However, the industrial classification is not detailed enough to separately identify bingo clubs.
Paul Rowen: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what biomedical research into myalgic encephalomyelitis and xenotropic murine leukaemia virus-related virus is being undertaken. 
Mr. Lammy: The Medical Research Council (MRC) is one of the main agencies through which the Government support medical and clinical research. The MRC is an independent body which receives its grant in aid from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
In 2008-09 the MRC's total expenditure for research relating to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) amounted to £728,000. This supported four projects including a £164,000 research programme led by Dr. C Clark at Queen Mary College, London on the general and specific risk markers and preventive factors for chronic fatigue and irritable bowel syndromes. CFS/ME continues to be a strategic priority area for funding and the MRC remains committed to supporting scientific research into all aspects of CFS/ME including evaluations of treatments and studies into the biological basis of the condition.
The MRC recently held a CFS/ME research workshop where the recent xenotropic murine leukaemia virus-related virus (XMRV) findings were among the items discussed. A note of the discussions will be published on the MRC website in due course.
The MRC's National Institute for Medical Research are leading a programme on infection and replication of retroviruses (including XMRV). One study within the programme is looking at how XMRV reproduces in the cell, its interaction with host cell factors and how it subverts the host immune systems.
Derek Wyatt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent discussions he has had with Ofcom on mandating fees and charges associated with wholesale connections across digital platforms. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many places on nursing degree courses he estimates will need to be provided in each year when nursing becomes a degree entry profession, taking account of estimated drop-out rates. 
The Department does not hold this information centrally. It is for local employers to decide what skill mix they need to deliver their services. Strategic health authorities, working with national health service organisations and education providers will be planning for and determining
the future numbers of nurses they need, including the numbers of places on pre-registration nursing programmes they commission.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of small and medium-sized enterprises in the manufacturing sector which have closed in each quarter since March 2008; and if he will make a statement. 
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning what estimate has been made of the number of small and medium-sized enterprises in the manufacturing industry which have closed in each quarter since March 2008. (302138)
Quarterly data on the closure of enterprises are not available. However, annual statistics on business births, deaths and survival are available from the ONS release on Business Demography at www.statistics.gov.uk. The table below contains counts of enterprise deaths in manufacturing in 2008.
|Count of deaths of enterprises for 2008. Manufacturing, UK|
Mr. McFadden: No decisions have been taken beyond the current settlement, but the Government are committed to supporting the non-commercial segment of the post office network beyond 2011 and are in regular dialogue with Post Office Ltd.
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills for how many days the research vessel Prince Madog was (a) hired and (b) used by organisations other than the
Natural Environment Research Council in 2008-09; and what estimate has been made of the equivalent figures for (i) 2009-10 and (ii) 2010-11. 
Mr. Brazier: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what grant was made from the joint infrastructure fund to VT Ocean Sciences as a contribution towards the costs of the research vessel Prince Madog; and what such funding is expected to be provided in (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11. 
Mr. Lammy: The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) awarded one £2.8 million Joint Infrastructure Funding (JIF) grant in 1999 to contribute to the capital cost of the research vessel Prince Madog. NERC has not provided any other capital funding and there is no planned capital funding for the vessel.
Lorely Burt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent progress has been made in discussions between Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union; and what assessment he has made of the likelihood of a final agreement being reached soon. 
Mr. McFadden [holding answer 2 December 2009]: We are pleased that the discussions between Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union established by the agreement on 6 November are continuing. The detail of those discussions, however, is a confidential matter for both parties.
The Government want to see a successful outcome to the discussions and welcome the appointment of Roger Poole (former Assistant General Secretary of NUPE and of UNISON and Chairman of the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland) to oversee the process. Both parties need to keep talking until an agreement is made on a way forward on the next phase of modernisation, which everyone accepts is vital for the company's future.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what mechanisms are in place for the Shareholder Executive to review the remuneration and benefits package of the Chief Executive of Royal Mail. 
Mr. McFadden: Royal Mail's Remuneration Committee is responsible for the remuneration of the company's Executive Board members. As special shareholder, the Secretary of State's consent is required for any material changes to the Directors' remuneration. His approval is also required for the framework for short and long term bonuses but the final decision on bonus payments rests with the Committee. Details of the Directors' remuneration are set out annually in the company's Report and Accounts.
Mr. Brazier: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate has been made of the cost of rectifying the problem of acoustic noise from the bow of the Natural Environment Research Council vessel RRV James Cook; and how many operational days are expected to be lost while corrective modifications are made. 
Mr. Lammy: The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has not yet initiated a project to rectify the bow issue on the RRS James Cook. There is therefore no available estimate of the cost, or the time that would be lost while any modifications are made.
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