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Volume 506: debated on Thursday 4 March 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will set out, with statistical information related as directly as possible to Great Grimsby constituency, the effects of his Department's policies on that constituency since 1997. (320186)

Our policies and legislation since 1997 have provided a new framework benefiting all local transport authorities. The framework gives greater certainty of funding, while encouraging more strategic transport planning with local consultation, and increasing local flexibility and discretion over resources. It has been accompanied by a significant increase in capital funding: support from the Department for transport investment in North East Lincolnshire, within which transport authority Great Grimsby falls, has more than doubled over the last decade.

Investment in North East Lincolnshire council’s local transport plan has delivered a number of improvements to the quality, safety and accessibility of the local transport network. Between 2004 and 2008, bus patronage per head of population increased by 19 per cent. and the number of people killed or seriously injured on the local highway network decreased by 13 per cent. in the period 2001-07.

In 2002, North East Lincolnshire council received a total of £719,000 from the Department’s Urban and Rural Bus Challenge funds to establish the Phone ‘n’ Ride community travel initiative. Phone ‘n’ Ride is a demand-responsive bus service for those members of the community who have difficulty accessing employment, education, healthcare and leisure services due to a lack of transport.

In 2005, North East Lincolnshire council submitted a successful bid to the Department for ‘Kickstart’ revenue funding of improvements to the Grimsby and Cleethorpes bus network. The £523,000 award facilitated the introduction of high-frequency services on routes 13 and 14, linking the area’s main residential estates with Grimsby and Cleethorpes town centres. It was accompanied by an investment of almost £2 million by Stagecoach in 23 new low-floor buses for the service.

Following a successful bid by North East Lincolnshire council and First TransPennine Express, it was announced in April 2006 that Grimsby Town station would receive £53,000 to improve disabled access and facilities. The improvements, funded as part of the Department’s Access for All Strategy, include an enlarged waiting room, improved flooring and lighting, and a new ticket window.