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Volume 402: debated on Thursday 3 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on (a) recent changes and (b) planned changes to (i) funding arrangements for freight on the railways and (ii) his Department's strategy for increasing the volume of freight carried on Britain's rail network. [104939]

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire (Mr. Lansley) on 25 February 2003, Official Report, column 486W.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent research has been used to assess passenger (a) personal security and (b) perceptions about their surroundings on the railways; and if he will make a statement. [106888]

The Department is currently reviewing passenger perceptions of personal security in public transport journeys. This review follows on from earlier Departmental research published in 1997. We are also currently identifying good practice on on-train personal security. Part of this work includes considering the perceptions of passengers.Analysing the perceptions of rail passengers has also been included in recent research projects to find out the transport needs of women, older people, and people from minority ethnic communities.The Secure Stations Scheme is a national accreditation scheme recognising set standards of good practice in rail station, staff and passenger security. An independent survey of passenger perceptions is undertaken as part of the station's application process.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many incidences of arson on the railways there were in each year since 1995, broken down by (a) train operating company and (b) line. [87629]

[pursuant to his reply, 17 December 2002, c. 685 W]: There is no legal obligation for the industry to report the TOC involved in an incident reportable under the Reporting of Injuries, Disease and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR). However, since January 2000 the industry has agreed to record the TOC on a voluntary basis. Line details are reportable under RIDDOR but the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has only been able to capture this information since January 2000 with the introduction of its new database system.A table provided by the HSE, which records details of arson instances between January 2000 and March 2002 including the TOC and line involved, has been deposited in the Libraries of the House. In addition, a table provided by the British Transport Police on the number of reported incidents of arson since 1999 has also been deposited in the Libraries of the House.