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Railways

Volume 450: debated on Tuesday 24 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what opportunities he has provided to hon. Members to contribute to consultations on regional planning assessments for the railways; (96664)

(2) what consultations he has held with passenger transport authorities over regional planning assessment for the railways;

(3) what formal opportunities local councils have had to contribute to consultations about regional planning assessments for the railways.

Typically in the development of the Regional Planning Assessments we have held a series of workshops which have included officers from regional planning and development bodies, local authorities and statutory rail passenger bodies. The Regional Planning Assessments have benefited from this constructive engagement which has been used to shape the findings. Where hon. Members have requested meetings then we have welcomed the opportunity to have these discussions. Where priorities have been identified for further development they will be considered in the Network Rail Route Utilisation Strategies and in the development of franchises and will then be subject to formal consultation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish submissions received from (a) elected councils, (b) passenger transport authorities and (c) regional assemblies before the publication of regional planning assessments for the railways. (96665)

Although we routinely discuss regional planning assessments as they develop with regional and local interests, there have been no formal consultation exercises and therefore no formal submissions.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what opportunities elected members of local authorities on regional assemblies have had to contribute to consultations on regional planning assessments for railways. (96905)

We routinely discuss regional planning assessments as they develop with regional and local interests, though there have been no formal consultation exercises.