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Railway Services

Volume 451: debated on Monday 30 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the reason was for the delay of a number of trains on 1 September between Ingatestone and Chelmsford; what steps are in place to reduce the reoccurrence of similar such incidents; and if he will make a statement. (97326)

The root cause of the event that resulted in service disruption on the Great Eastern Main Line (GEML) on 1 September is still the subject of investigation by Network Rail. It is known that a train pantograph clashed with the overhead wiring structure to bring the wiring down. Following a detailed review of this and other incidents resulting in overhead line failures, a number of actions are being implemented to improve the monitoring and future maintenance of the equipment.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with officials of GNER since 1 October. (97344)

GNER have had discussions with officials in the Department, they have had none with Ministers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much public money has been allocated to the new South Western Trains franchise for each year of its operation. (96948)

A subsidy is to be paid to SWT for the first three financial years of the franchise:

2006-07: £16.2 million;

2007-08: £61.2 million; and

2008-09: £23.2 million.

Thereafter SWT pay a premium to the DfT:

2009-10: £36.5 million;

2010-11: £74.4 million;

2011-12: £117.4 million;

2012-13: £160.1 million;

2013-14: £193.9 million;

2014-15: £223.6 million;

2015-16: £250.4 million;

2016-17: £235.2 million.

All the above are Net Present Value.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with Network Rail on the decision to charge an admission fee to public conveniences situated at some railway stations; what discussions took place with user groups before fees were implemented; what assessment has been made of the effect of fees on disabled and unwaged groups; and if he will make a statement. (97327)

Railway stations are owned by Network Rail and managed by Network Rail or Train Operators. It is for these parties, in consultation with stakeholders, to plan the facilities at stations and decide upon what charges might apply.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many of London's rail stations on Network Southeast have been upgraded to accept the Oyster pay-as-you-go travel card since May 2006; and when the upgrade of all of the stations will be completed. (96681)

At present, Oyster Pay As You Go is not valid on national rail, and the only rail stations equipped for Oyster Pay As You Go are those which are also served by Underground trains. However, in May we announced that agreement has been reached with Transport for London to fund installation of Oyster equipment at all the remaining national rail stations in London. Coupled with the new simplified rail fares for London which we announced on 19 October 2006, Official Report, columns 61-62WS, this paves the way for Oyster Pay As You Go to be rolled out across national rail in London over the next few years.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made since 2004 by regional railway tsars in (a) reducing the burden of administration and (b) ensuring greater train punctuality; and if he will make a statement. (96893)

Network Rail is responsible for monitoring the performance of passenger rail services. Since July 2004, punctuality of passenger trains has improved from 81.5 per cent. to 87.4 per cent.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many incidents of vandalism there were on (a) trains, (b) stations, (c) railway tracks and (d) railway depots in 2005-06, broken down by police authority area. (97832)

This information is not held by the Department for Transport but by the British transport police who can be contacted at:

British Transport Police,

25 Camden Road,

London NW1 9LN,

E-mail: general.enquiries@btp.pnn.police.uk.