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Petitions

Volume 540: debated on Monday 20 February 2012

Petitions

Monday 20 February 2012

Observations

Transport

Dartford Crossing

The Petition of residents of Thurrock and others,

Declares that the Petitioners are opposed to any increase in the tolls charged for the Dartford Crossing and any option for a new Thames crossing in the south Thames area, which the Petitioners believe would involve the building of new roads in Thurrock and increased congestion on Thurrock’s already crowded road network.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Department for Transport to reduce tolls on the Dartford Crossing and to reconsider proposals for a new Thames crossing in the lower Thames area.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Jackie Doyle-Price, Official Report, 10 November 2011; Vol. 535, c. 548.]

[P000981]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Transport:

The Government set out their intention to revise the road user charging regime at the Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing as part of the outcomes of the Government’s 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review in October 2010.

Subject to consultation, the Government proposed increasing the levels of road user charges in 2011 and 2012, in order to continue the prioritisation of improvements to the Crossing in the short, medium and longer-term. The improvements include the suspension of charges at times of severe congestion, the implementation of new, free-flow, charging technology, and the review of options for additional crossing capacity.

On 30 June 2011 the Department for Transport published for consultation the details of its proposed revisions to the road user charging regime and the consultation period closed on 23 September 2011.

On 24 November 2011 the Department for Transport announced that in recognition of the number of representations made and to allow time to carefully consider the responses further, that there would be no increase in charges in either November 2011 or April 2012 as planned. The Department will publish its response to the consultation in due course.

With regard to a new Lower Thames crossing, the Department will review and consult upon the options for additional crossing capacity at three possible sites:

At the site of the existing Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing.

Between the Swanscombe Peninsula and the A1089.

Between the east of Gravesend and the east of Tilbury.

The review will commence shortly and will enable the Department to go out to public consultation in 2013 and determine the location for a new crossing in the Lower Thames area.

Keynsham Railway Station Access

The Humble Petition of residents of North East Somerset,

Sheweth,

that the Petitioners believe that there are inadequate facilities for disabled people who wish to use Keynsham railway station.

Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House urges the Secretary of State for Transport to encourage First Group plc to provide adequate facilities for disabled people at Keynsham railway station.

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.—[Presented by Jacob Rees-Mogg, Official Report, 9 November 2011; Vol. 535, c. 410.]

[P000980]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Transport:

The Department is aware of the accessibility issues at Keynsham station and that First Group has plans to provide facilities for disabled passengers at this station.

The Department received a bid from First Group for Access for All Mid-tier funding to develop step-free access to platform 1 at Keynsham station. The delivery of this scheme will complete the provision of step-free access to both platforms by the construction of a ramp from the existing footbridge to the platform.

The outcome of the bidding process for this funding was announced on 6 December. The bid for Keynsham station was successful and the Department has offered £415,000 towards the project which will be completed later this year.