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Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the total (a) direct and (b) indirect projected public subsidy to the railways (i) was in each of the past five years and (ii) will be in the next 10 years. 
Mr. Jamieson: Total public support to the rail industry over each of the last five years is outlined in Table 4.1 of the Strategic Rail Authority's quarterly National Rail Trends bulletin. Government support via the franchised train operating companies is contained in the two 'Revenue support grant' columns contained in the table.
The reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Lynne Jones) on 23 January 2002, Official Report, columns 87172W, outlines the estimated profile of Government support for the next 10 years.
Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many (a) redeployments, (b) retirements and (c) absence of London Underground staff on medical grounds there were (i) by underground line and (ii) in total in each of the last five years and in each of the last 12 months. 
28 Jan 2002 : Column 51W
|Year||Redeployments||Retirements(10)||Absence(11) (working days lost)|
|Total (Five years)||227||n/a||n/a|
|Last 12 months(12)||120||115||140,494|
n/a = Not available
(9) Data for retirements on medical grounds in each of the last five years would require disproportionate cost to collate. London Underground have said that their policy is not to retire employees on medical grounds, but instead, employees' contracts are terminated on medical grounds; employees then apply, if eligible, for their pension.
(10) London Underground have not been able to provide information on absence on the medical grounds over the last five years.
(11) January to December 2001
Detailed in-year operational information such as monthly data are a matter for London Underground; however a total for the last 12 months has been provided.
|Absence||Last five years(12)||Last 12 months(13)|
|Due to sickness||Not available||140,494|
(12) January 1996 to December 2000
(13) January to December 2001
1. London Underground are not able to provide data disaggregated by each underground line without incurring disproportionate cost.
2. London Underground are unable to disaggregate the total for absence in the last five years into absence type.
3. Detailed in-year operational information such as monthly data are a matter for London Underground. However, a total for the last 12 months has been provided.
Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list the meetings he has had in the last 10 months with the Health and Safety Inspectorate to discuss safety on the London Underground. 
Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list all (a) funding resources and (b) initiatives sponsored by his Department for (i) the private sector, (ii) the voluntary sector and (iii) local authorities. 
28 Jan 2002 : Column 52W
Ms Keeble: Details of the resources made available by Parliament to the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions in 200102 and their allocation are set out in the Department's Winter Supplementary Estimate presented to Parliament in November 2001 (Cm 5294). The expenditure plans 200102 to 200304 for programmes within the Department's predecessor, the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, were set out in that Department's Annual Report 2001 (Cm 5105) and for programmes previously in the Home Office in that Department's Annual Report 2001 (Cm 5106). An analysis is not readily available of the allocation of funds or specific initiatives between (i) the private sector, (ii) the voluntary sector and (iii) local authorities.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the advantages are of stock transfer for housing authorities under the proposed local prudential capital expenditure regime. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Strategic Rail Authority retains land with a realistic prospect of rail or other transport use in the foreseeable future, or sells it to the rail industry, local authorities or others, for those purposes. Under a new licence condition that came into effect on 15 November 2001, Railtrack plc must now seek the Rail Regulator's specific consent in important cases of disposal of land that may be required for future railway use.
Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what assessment he has made of the impact the proposed investment in rail services in the south-west will have on journey times between (a) Penzance and Paddington and (b) Exeter and Waterloo; and if targets have been set for revised journey times; 
(3) what the projected total levels of investment are for the (a) Penzance to Paddington and (b) Exeter to Waterloo rail routes under the SRA strategic plan. 
Mr. Jamieson: For both routes the main purpose of the proposed infrastructure investment is to improve the reliability of services. There may be marginal improvements in scheduled journey times as a consequence. No targets have been set for revised journey times.
28 Jan 2002 : Column 53W
There are seven Incremental Outputs Statement (IOS) infrastructure schemes planned for the Penzance to Paddington route with a current estimated value of over £25 million, and at least 13 stations on the route are due for improvements under the IOS stations programme. The frequency of services is unlikely to alter by 2005, although an IOS scheme currently under consideration could increase the level of service from Plymouth to Paddington to two trains per hour.
On the Waterloo-Exeter route, 14 stations are included in the IOS stations programme. The value of the IOS stations work will not be known until site visits assessing the level of improvements needed has been completed. The SRA is currently awaiting the outcome of the South West Area Regional Multi-Modal Study to see if any rail infrastructure improvements are recommended. There are no current plans to increase frequency on the Waterloo to Exeter line by 2005. South West Trains introduced a regular half-hourly service instead of the previous hourly service in May 2001.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 10 January 2001, Official Report, column 976W, on affordable housing, what representations he has received regarding the number of affordable housing units in rural areas. 
Ms Keeble [holding answer 24 January 2002]: Over the past three months DTLR Ministers have replied to three letters and four parliamentary questions on the issue of rural affordable housing. Affordable housing provision is a key priority for this Government and in this correspondence we outlined the measures we are taking to increase provision in rural areas.
Over the same period, my noble Friend the Minister for Housing and Planning has discussed rural affordable housing in several meetings with the Countryside Agency, with whom we have a good working relationship.
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