Andy McDonald Written Questions

454 Questions to Government Departments tabled by Andy McDonald


Date Title Questioner
20 Jul 2020, 5:13 p.m. Income Tax Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the amount of income tax revenue lost to the public purse from workers being wrongly categorised as self-employed in each year since 2009-10.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Government is committed to tackling false self-employment. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) take a risk-based approach to investigating employers who may have misclassified individuals for tax purposes. In these cases, HMRC establish the facts and take steps to ensure the right tax and National Insurance contributions are paid.

Income Tax and National Insurance contributions lost due to false self-employment are part of the tax gap related to employers. HMRC publish an assessment of the tax gap: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/measuring-tax-gaps.

A separate estimate of the tax gap relating to false self-employment is not available.

20 Jul 2020, 4:59 p.m. Income Tax Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the amount of income tax revenue lost to the public purse from the underpayment of the national minimum wage in each year since 2009-10.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

HMRC enforce the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) in line with the law and policy set out by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The Low Pay Commission (LPC) publishes an annual report that provides an assessment of the nature and extent of NMW underpayment. The latest report published by the LPC in April 2019 can be found here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/797675/Non-compliance_and_enforcement_of_the_National_Minimum_Wage_WEB.pdf.

There is no robust estimate available of the income tax revenue lost as a result of NMW underpayment.

16 Jul 2020, 5:21 p.m. Minimum Wage: Non-payment Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of trends in the number of prosecutions for non-payment of the national minimum wage by region (a) in total and (b) in each year since the financial year 2009-10.

Answer (Paul Scully)

The Government is determined that everyone who is entitled to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) receives it. All businesses, irrespective of size or business sector, are responsible for paying the correct minimum wage to their staff. Our priority is to ensure that workers receive the money they are owed as quickly as possible. For this reason, in the vast majority of cases, HMRC pursue civil enforcement, which is the quickest way of ensuring workers receive their arrears.

Labour Market Enforcement Undertakings and Orders provide a further tool for cases that involve high levels of arrears per worker and/or NMW non-compliance over an extended period of time. These can result in a two-year custodial sentence and/or an unlimited fine.

HMRC investigates all complaints from workers; and if anyone thinks they are not receiving at least the minimum wage they can contact Acas, in confidence, on 0300 123 1100 or via the online complaints form using the link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pay-and-work-rights-complaints

HMRC will prosecute where it finds the most serious cases of non-compliance and since the financial year 2009-10 HMRC NMW investigations have led to 8 successful prosecutions of employers for NMW related offences.

Total prosecutions since the financial year 2009-10:

Number

Region

Date

1

Manchester

23/06/2010

2

London

26/02/2013

3

Birmingham

11/05/2016

4

Weymouth

13/05/2016

5

Oldham

04/08/2016

6

Southampton

08/12/2016

7

Birmingham

17/08/2017

8*

-

November 2019

Government compliance and enforcement 18/19 link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-living-wage-and-national-minimum-wage-government-evidence-on-compliance-and-enforcement-2019

*The eighth case was successfully prosecuted in November 2019. As this case falls outside the 2018/19 reporting period, it will be detailed in next year’s (19/20) report.

16 Jul 2020, 5:17 p.m. Minimum Wage: Non-payment Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the recommendations in the Low Pay Commission's May 2020 report, Non-compliance and enforcement of the National Minimum Wage, what steps he has taken to (a) evaluate what data are recorded in non-compliance investigations, (b) make an assessment of how that data can be used to improve cost-effectiveness, (c) monitor the effect of the increase in the threshold for naming employers found to have underpaid workers, (d) take responsibility for the delivery of the new higher NLW target in the sectors where it is the main source of funding, (e) use targeted communications to both apprentices and their employers to highlight underpayment risks and the non-payment of training hours, (f) instruct HMRC to (i) review how it records apprentice underpayment, (ii) publish the number and profile of the apprentices identified as having been underpaid and (iii)) review its approach to investigations involving apprentices and whether such investigations would identify non-payment of training hours and (g) review the regulations on records to be kept by an employer to set out the minimum requirements needed to keep sufficient records; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Paul Scully)

The Government is committed to tackling minimum wage non-compliance. Anyone entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage (NMW) should receive it. The last financial year (2019/20) was another strong year for NMW enforcement. HMRC completed over 3,300 investigations and found arrears in just over 1,200 of them. They identified £20.8 million in arrears for over 263,000 workers and issued just under 1,000 penalties, totalling £18.5 million to non-compliant employers.

We have noted the Low Pay Commission’s (LPC) recommendations made in their 2020 report on non-compliance and enforcement of the NMW. We responded to the LPC’s last (2019) set of enforcement recommendations in the 2018/19 edition of BEIS’ annual report on NMW Enforcement and Compliance[1].

We have already acted on the recommendations made by the LPC following the publication of their report in May 2020. We have drawn up plans for evaluative work across the 2020-21 financial year, started research to assess the impact of HMRC’s promote activity and engaged with both the Department for Education and HMRC to tackle the underpayment of apprentices. We will respond in full to the LPC’s 2020 enforcement recommendations in due course. We will also provide more detailed statistics on enforcement in 2019/20 as part of the 2019/20 edition of BEIS’ annual report on NMW Enforcement and Compliance.

[1] National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage: Government evidence on compliance and enforcement, 2019 (BEIS, 2020)

16 Jul 2020, 1:38 p.m. Minimum Wage Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many HMRC national minimum wage enforcement staff were employed in each region in each year since the financial year 2009-10.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Government is determined that everyone who is entitled to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) receives it.

HMRC enforce the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) in line with the law and policy set out by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

HMRC investigate all complaints from workers referred by the Acas helpline, or received via the online complaints form.

The total number of staff employed by HMRC since 2009-2010 to carry out National Minimum Wage enforcement is provided in the table below.

Year

Number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staff

2009/10

140

2010/11

142

2011/12

139

2012/13

142

2013/14

158

2014/15

183

2015/16

251

2016/17

352

2017/18

412

2018/19

429

2019/20

442

There are also additional staff across HMRC who contribute to enforcing the NMW including lawyers, technical advisers, and those specialising in criminal investigations. These staff are not included in the numbers outlined above.

HMRC do not hold accurate data on regional staff numbers going back to 2009-10. However, most recently, for 2019-20 there were 442 full-time equivalent NMW enforcement staff working from 22 locations in 12 regions across the country:

Region

Number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staff

East Midlands

25

Greater London

40

North East

34

North West

106

Northern Ireland

25

Scotland

65

South East

12

South West

13

East of England

3

Wales

24

West Midlands

52

Yorkshire and the Humber

43

Total

442

As a national operation, it is common for staff based in one region to work cases in another.

The Government has been increasing funding for NMW enforcement year-on-year. This has enabled a significant expansion of resources dedicated to enforcing the minimum wage.

The table below provides a yearly breakdown of funding received for NMW enforcement from 2009/10 to 2020/21.

Year

Funding for NMW enforcement (millions)

2009/10

£8.3

2010/11

£8.1

2011/12

£8.3

2012/13

£8.3

2013/14

£8.3

2014/15

£9.2

2015/16

£13.2

2016/17

£20.0

2017/18

£25.3

2018/19

£25.2

2019/20

£26.3

2020/21

£26.4

It is not possible to provide an accurate regional breakdown of the NMW enforcement budget.

16 Jul 2020, 1:38 p.m. Minimum Wage Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much HMRC has expended on national minimum wage enforcement in (a) total and (b) each region for each year since the financial year 2009-10.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Government is determined that everyone who is entitled to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) receives it.

HMRC enforce the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) in line with the law and policy set out by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

HMRC investigate all complaints from workers referred by the Acas helpline, or received via the online complaints form.

The total number of staff employed by HMRC since 2009-2010 to carry out National Minimum Wage enforcement is provided in the table below.

Year

Number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staff

2009/10

140

2010/11

142

2011/12

139

2012/13

142

2013/14

158

2014/15

183

2015/16

251

2016/17

352

2017/18

412

2018/19

429

2019/20

442

There are also additional staff across HMRC who contribute to enforcing the NMW including lawyers, technical advisers, and those specialising in criminal investigations. These staff are not included in the numbers outlined above.

HMRC do not hold accurate data on regional staff numbers going back to 2009-10. However, most recently, for 2019-20 there were 442 full-time equivalent NMW enforcement staff working from 22 locations in 12 regions across the country:

Region

Number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staff

East Midlands

25

Greater London

40

North East

34

North West

106

Northern Ireland

25

Scotland

65

South East

12

South West

13

East of England

3

Wales

24

West Midlands

52

Yorkshire and the Humber

43

Total

442

As a national operation, it is common for staff based in one region to work cases in another.

The Government has been increasing funding for NMW enforcement year-on-year. This has enabled a significant expansion of resources dedicated to enforcing the minimum wage.

The table below provides a yearly breakdown of funding received for NMW enforcement from 2009/10 to 2020/21.

Year

Funding for NMW enforcement (millions)

2009/10

£8.3

2010/11

£8.1

2011/12

£8.3

2012/13

£8.3

2013/14

£8.3

2014/15

£9.2

2015/16

£13.2

2016/17

£20.0

2017/18

£25.3

2018/19

£25.2

2019/20

£26.3

2020/21

£26.4

It is not possible to provide an accurate regional breakdown of the NMW enforcement budget.

13 Jul 2020, 5:08 p.m. Clothing: Manufacturing industries Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he has taken in response to the recommendations set out in paragraph 50 of the Sixteenth Report of the 2017-19 Session of the Environmental Audit Committee entitled Fixing Fashion: clothing consumption and sustainability, HC1952, to (a) pursue a more proactive approach to the enforcement of the national minimum wage and (b) provide HMRC’s National Minimum Wage team with greater resourcing to increase their inspection and detection work with regard to workers in the garment industry receiving less than the minimum wage and suffering serious breaches of health and safety law in their workplace.

Answer (Paul Scully)

The Government is deeply concerned by the reports of illegal and unsafe working conditions for textile workers in Leicester, especially in light of the recent increase in COVID-19 infections.

The main labour market enforcement bodies (the HMRC National Minimum Wage team and the Gangmasters Labour Abuse Authority), as well as the Police and the Health & Safety Executive, have been working closely with Leicester Council to set up the Leicester Compliance Task Force. The key aims of the taskforce is to address broader labour market and health and safety issues by using local knowledge to improve understanding of the exploitation risks, increase awareness, support victims and ensure compliance.

Since 2017, a number of operations have been undertaken in the Leicester area linked to potential exploitation, including underpayment of the minimum wage. Where breaches have been found appropriate enforcement action has been taken, including warning letters, recovery of unpaid wages, penalties, and director disqualifications.

The Government has more than doubled the budget for National Minimum Wage compliance and enforcement to £27.5 million for 2020/21, up from £13.2 million in 2015/16. Increasing the budget allows HMRC to focus on tackling the most serious cases of wilful non-compliance. It also increases the number of compliance officers available to investigate minimum wage complaints and conduct risk-based enforcement in sectors where non-compliance is most likely.

29 Jun 2020, 6 p.m. Health and Safety Executive: Staff Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many staff were employed in each division or directorate of the Health and Safety Executive in each region in each year since 2008.

Answer (Mims Davies)

Please see attached spreadsheet detailing HSE staff in each division and region from 2007/08 to 2019/20 and note the following:

  1. Figures provided are for full-time equivalent (FTE) staff (rounded to nearest whole number) on 31st March for each year, as published in HSE’s Annual Report and Accounts, with further analysis by division and region.
  2. Figures provided do not include staff from the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) which became an independent statutory public corporation on 1 April 2014.
  3. HSE is a national regulator and regulatory effort is not necessarily confined by geographical region. HSE has specialists who work across geographical regions such as those regulating major hazard sectors.
25 Jun 2020, 5 p.m. Thriving At Work Leadership Council Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has made to include trades union representation on the Thriving at Work Leadership Council.

Answer (Justin Tomlinson)

The Leadership Council was originally formed to provide an opportunity for senior business leaders to drive implementation of the core standards from the Stevenson / Farmer review. It is an independently-chaired body. As membership is reviewed and evolves there may be scope to consider additional representatives.

23 Jun 2020, 1:49 p.m. Working Conditions: Coronavirus Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government has contributed to international research on working conditions during covid-19 similar to the report of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions entitled, Living, working and COVID-19, published on 6 May 2020.

Answer (Paul Scully)

The Department continues to monitor the impact of Covid-19 on working conditions in the UK and internationally. We are currently contributing to domestic research on changes to working practices in the UK which will be published in due course.

22 Jun 2020, 6:12 p.m. House of Commons: Coronavirus Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, what plans the Commission has to (a) test and (b) trace the contacts of (i) staff and (ii) hon. Members in the event that a member of staff or hon. Member contracts covid-19.

Answer (Pete Wishart)

Responsibility for and access to testing and tracing is a matter for the Department of Health and Social Care and the relevant public health body.

The House of Commons Commission continues to work closely with the public health agencies and has put in place arrangements to support any requests made by these agencies as part of the contracting tracing process.

22 Jun 2020, 6:09 p.m. House of Commons: Coronavirus Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, if the Commission will publish the covid-19 risk assessment of Parliament undertaken by the House authorities with Public Health England before Parliament reconvened on 2 June 2020.

Answer (Pete Wishart)

The risk assessment was published on 28th May and can be accessed at the following link on the UK Parliament transparency pages.

22 Jun 2020, 4:43 p.m. Industrial Health and Safety: Coronavirus Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 8 June 2020 to Question 54118, on Industrial Health and Safety: Coronavirus, what plans his Department has to monitor the recommendation that employers with over 50 workers publish risk assessments online as announced in his statement on 12 May 2020.

Answer (Paul Scully)

We worked closely with the Health and Safety Executive to develop this guidance, including the risk assessment content. Existing health and safety legislation requires risk assessments to be carried out, and our guidance does not change this.

We are asking companies to consider publishing the results of their risk assessments whenever possible, although publishing risk assessments is not a legal obligation. The Government expects larger organisations – those with over 50 workers – to publish the results of their risk assessments.

We think businesses will want to do this to help build the confidence of their workers and their customers.

In order to help with this, the Government has provided a new notice which employers can display to show they have followed the guidance on managing the risks of COVID-19.

22 Jun 2020, 4:38 p.m. European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government plans to maintain participation in the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions.

Answer (Paul Scully)

As the UK has left the European Union, the UK is no longer a member of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. Only Member States of the EU can be members of the Foundation. The UK will continue to have access to the research produced by the Foundation, and if the Foundation or the EU wish the UK to be involved in any discussions, meetings or research, the UK Government will consider any such request on its merits.

22 Jun 2020, 4:19 p.m. House of Commons: Coronavirus Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Leader of the House, what steps (a) the Government and (b) House Authorities plan to take to mitigate the higher risk to BAME (a) staff and (b) hon. Members of contracting covid-19.

Answer (Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg)

The Government is clear that the House Authorities must continue to ensure that the Estate is safe and that we must all continue to work in line with public health advice. The House Authorities have been undertaking risk assessments of various work spaces and are in direct contact with Public Health England (PHE) on any specific concerns. PHE also published its review at the beginning of June to help us understand how Covid-19 may affect different ethnic groups. The Equalities Minister is taking forward further work following the PHE Review so that we can better understand the disparities. The Government continues to advise members of the parliamentary community, such as Members’ staff and most House staff, to continue to work from home where they can. I would like to commend the House Authorities for their work in ensuring that the Parliamentary Estate is a Covid-19 secure workplace, and I have every confidence in their efforts to make sure House staff at increased risk of contracting coronavirus are suitably protected.

22 Jun 2020, 1:54 p.m. Department for Work and Pensions: Written Questions Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to answer Questions 55997, 55998 and 55999 tabled on 8 June 2020 by the hon. Member for Middlesbrough.

Answer (Mims Davies)

I apologise for the delay and refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 17 June 2020 to questions 55997, 55998 and 55999.

22 Jun 2020, 1:45 p.m. Thriving at Work Leadership Council Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, on which dates the Thriving at Work Leadership Council met since its inaugural meeting on 17 January 2019; and on which of those meetings that Council discussed mental health at work during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answer (Justin Tomlinson)

Since its inaugural meeting on 17 January 2019, The Thriving at Work Leadership Council has met on the 24th April 2019, 24th June 2019 and 28th January 2020.

The next meeting is to be held on 26th June 2020 which will discuss Mental Health at Work during COVID-19.

22 Jun 2020, 11:30 a.m. Parliament: Coronavirus Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, whether the House has in accordance with Regulation 9(b) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 kept records of every case of a staff member and MP who has contracted covid-19 in Parliament and reported them to the Health and Safety Executive; and whether all breaches of the regulations and of Government guidance in Parliament have been reported to the Health and Safety Executive and/or relevant officer of Westminster City Council.

Answer (Pete Wishart)

There have been no reports of any covid-19 related incident which would require reporting under Regulation 9(b) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.

If there is reason to believe that a causal occupational link has been established in relation to any person who develops covid-19 in connection with work on the parliamentary estate, the incident will be reported as per legislation and appropriate records maintained.

All reported accidents, incidents or work-related ill health where the Clerk of the House is a duty holder are reported to the Health and Safety Executive as required by the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.

11 Jun 2020, 5:40 p.m. Health and Safety Executive: Coronavirus Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 2 June 2020 to Question 49707 on Health and Safety Executive: Finance, what further plans are being developed by the HSE to communicate to protect workers from covid-19.

Answer (Mims Davies)

HSE is currently promoting the latest guidance and Covid-secure risk assessments to help protect workers from Covid-19. This includes communicating with trade unions, employers, stakeholders and partners.

Activity includes working with national and regional media, promoting HSE’s website and microsites through digital marketing and social media activity, running as series of webinars and sending direct marketing ebulletins and emails. This links to continually updated guidance, toolkits and useable assets such as posters and videos on the HSE website and gov.uk to increase HSE’s reach and engagement with its audiences, including the general public.

Up to date guidance is available on the gov.uk and HSE web sites and can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

or

https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/coronavirus.htm?utm_source=hse.gov.uk&utm_medium=refferal&utm_campaign=coronavirus&utm_content=home-page-banner

8 Jun 2020, 3:18 p.m. Industrial Health and Safety: Coronavirus Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 2 June 2020 to Question 49014, what estimate his Department has made of the number of businesses with (a) less than and (b) more than 50 employees that have (i) carried out and (ii) made publicly available their covid-19 risk assessments; and if he will publish a register of those businesses that have carried out risk assessments.

Answer (Paul Scully)

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is not compiling a list of businesses that have carried out risk assessments.

As stated in the Answer of 2 June 2020 to Question 49014, existing health and safety legislation requires risk assessments. The safer working guidance does not change this.

Publishing risk assessments is not a legal obligation, but we are asking companies to consider publishing the results of their risk assessments whenever possible. We recommend that larger companies – those with over 50 workers – publish the results of their risk assessments.

We think employers will want to do this to help build the confidence of their workers and their customers.

2 Jun 2020, 4:50 p.m. Health and Safety Executive Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans the Health and Safety Executive has to increase its engagement with and awareness amongst the general public.

Answer (Mims Davies)

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is playing a crucial role in the Government’s response to Covid-19, including communicating with trade unions, employers and stakeholders to help ensure workplaces are safe environments. This also includes communicating through press and social media channels to increase engagement and awareness with our audiences including the general public.

Following the Government’s announcement and the publication of guidance by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy on 11th May 2020 on working safely during the coronavirus pandemic, HSE is currently promoting this guidance and developing further plans to communicate to protect workers from Covid-19.

Up to date guidance is available on the GOV.UK and HSE web sites and can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

or

https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/coronavirus.htm?utm_source=hse.gov.uk&utm_medium=refferal&utm_campaign=coronavirus&utm_content=home-page-banner

2 Jun 2020, 4:14 p.m. Health and Safety Executive: Finance Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the additional volume of (a) call centre staff, (b) inspectors, and (c) equipment that will be provided by the £14 million additional funding for the Health and Safety Executive announced in the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy's statement on 12 May 2020; and whether the Government has set targets for each of those categories.

Answer (Mims Davies)

An additional sum of up to £14 million has been made available to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to support their advice and regulatory activities, such as extra call centre employees, inspectors and equipment. HSE is currently developing plans and as more businesses return to work, it has begun carrying out proactive checks to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to protect workers from COVID-19.

2 Jun 2020, 4:14 p.m. Health and Safety Executive: Finance Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how long it will take for the Health and Safety Executive to put in place additional (a) call centre staff, (b) inspectors and (c) equipment funded by the additional £14 million; and whether the Government has set targets for each of those categories.

Answer (Mims Davies)

An additional sum of up to £14 million has been made available to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to support their advice and regulatory activities, such as extra call centre employees, inspectors and equipment. HSE is currently developing plans and as more businesses return to work, it has begun carrying out proactive checks to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to protect workers from COVID-19.

2 Jun 2020, 4:14 p.m. Health and Safety Executive: Inspections Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of additional (a) physical and (b) remote inspections that will take place as a result of the additional £14 million in funding for the Health and Safety Executive announced on 12 May 2020.

Answer (Mims Davies)

An additional sum of up to £14 million has been made available to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to support their advice and regulatory activities, such as extra call centre employees, inspectors and equipment. HSE is currently developing plans and as more businesses return to work, it has begun carrying out proactive checks to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to protect workers from COVID-19.

2 Jun 2020, 4:02 p.m. Health and Safety Executive: Finance Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how the £14 million additional funding for the Health and Safety Executive announced in the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy's statement on 12 May 2020 is being funded; and for how long that funding will be made available.

Answer (Mims Davies)

The funding up to a maximum of £14.19m has been made available to the Health and Safety Executive by HM Treasury until 31 March 2021

2 Jun 2020, 11:21 a.m. Industrial Health and Safety: Coronavirus Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of section 44 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 in relation to workplace health and safety during the covid-19 crisis; if he will update the Government's covid-19-secure workplace guidance to include that assessment; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Paul Scully)

Under the law, employers are responsible for health and safety management and should take the necessary steps to ensure safe workplaces. During the Covid-19 crisis, the Government has worked with a wide range of businesses, trade unions and representative organisations to issue guidance on safe return to work. Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive have also issued guidance on how to ensure social distancing and hygiene measures in the workplace.

In line with employment and health and safety law, this guidance sets out that where employees have health and safety concerns, they should raise this with their employee representative, trade union, or the Health & Safety Executive. Where HSE identifies employers who are not taking action to comply with the relevant PHE guidance to control public health risks they will consider taking a range of enforcement action. The Government recently announced an additional £14 million of funding for HSE to support this work.

2 Jun 2020, 11:12 a.m. Industrial Health and Safety: Coronavirus Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many covid-19 risk assessments have been (a) carried out and (b) made publicly available at businesses with (i) less than and (ii) more than 50 employees.

Answer (Paul Scully)

Existing health and safety legislation requires risk assessments. The safer working guidance does not change this.

Employers have a duty to consult their employees, and unions where applicable, as part of their risk assessment. Involving workers in this will help build trust and confidence that all reasonably practicable steps are being taken to reduce risks of COVID-19, so that people can return to work safely.

All businesses should share the results of their risk assessment with their employees. The Government is asking employers to publish the results of these assessments on their websites whenever possible. The Government expects larger organisations – those with over 50 workers – to publish the results of their risk assessments.

In order to help with this, the Government has provided a new notice which employers can download and display to show they have followed the guidance on managing the risks of COVID-19.

25 Feb 2020, 4:49 p.m. High Speed 2 Railway Line: Rolling Stock Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the provisions for the procurement of rolling stock for High Speed two will encourage UK-based train manufacturing and benefit small and medium-sized enterprises across the UK rail supply chain.

Answer (Andrew Stephenson)

The procurement of rolling stock for High Speed 2 requires Tenderers to submit a statement (their “Legacy Statement”) which will outline how the Tenderer’s proposal will add value to the UK economy, and how they will contribute to the delivery of the HS2 Programme Benefits. The Legacy Statement does not form any part of the evaluation of Tenders. HS2 Ltd will only open the Legacy Statement of the Tenderer selected for Contract Award.

24 Feb 2020, 4:14 p.m. Network Rail: Debts Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 11 February 2020 to Question 11642 on Network Rail: Debts, what assessment he has made of the effect of Network Rail’s current level of debt on its ability to allocate future funding for rail infrastructure.

Answer (Chris Heaton-Harris)

The level of funding provided for operating, maintaining and renewing the railway is set ahead of each Railway Control Period through the Statement of Funds Available (SoFA) in line with the High-Level Output Specification (HLOS), which is a statement of what the Secretary of State for Transport wants to be achieved by railway activities during that control period. As noted in the Statement of Funds Available 2017, Government ensures that adequate funding is provided to meet NR’s debt obligations, out-with the SoFA process.

11 Feb 2020, 4:19 p.m. Network Rail: Debts Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 3 February 2020 to Question 8313, for what reason he did not include Network Rail debt within the scope of the Government rail review being undertaken by Keith Williams.

Answer (Chris Heaton-Harris)

The Government established the Williams Rail Review to develop recommendations for the most appropriate organisational and commercial frameworks to deliver the Government’s vision of a world-class railway that prioritises the interests of customers and taxpayers. The Government has not constrained the Rail Review from considering Network Rail debt. A White Paper based on the Williams Rail Review’s recommendations will be published in early 2020.

11 Feb 2020, 3:52 p.m. Railways Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the ability of Network Rail to secure the supply of sleepers in control periods (a) 6 and (b) 7.

Answer (Chris Heaton-Harris)

Network Rail’s inventory of sleepers has been increased over the last 12 months to a position where it has guaranteed supply to meet predicted demand until the end of 2023. Network Rail are currently developing options to secure supply beyond that date.

31 Oct 2019, 12:12 p.m. Motorways Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will undertake an assessment of the (a) effectiveness and (b) safety of all-lane running on motorways.

Answer (George Freeman)

My Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State set out in the House on 24 October 2019 that he has asked the Department to carry out, at pace, an evidence stocktake to gather the facts about smart motorway safety.

4 Oct 2019, 1:47 p.m. Aviation: Exhaust Emissions Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to study published by the International Council on Clean Transportation in September 2019, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies conclusion that the UK is responsible for four per cent of global aviation CO2 emissions; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (George Freeman)

The 4% figure is based on data from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and allocates emissions to the UK based on all flights departing from the UK. However, there is no international agreement on how to allocate these highly mobile emissions to countries.

The UK’s share of international aviation emissions is expected to decrease in the future given the growth of the aviation sector in countries like Brazil, India, China and the USA. That is why the Government recognises that international action takes priority given the global nature of the sector and climate change. International aviation emissions are a global problem that require a global solution. It is vital that we find an answer that does not simply displace emissions elsewhere across the globe.

The Future Flight Challenge will bring together those across aviation, aerospace and wider to support exciting new technologies that will turbo-charge the adoption of innovative aircraft, such as flying urban taxis, electric passenger planes and even freight-carrying drones. As announced by the Prime Minister in August, the government is investing up to £125 million through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, which will be supported by industry co-investment of up to £175 million. The Challenge will initially focus on smaller aircraft and drones to ensure the suitability of the new technologies before development them for larger passenger aircraft.

The Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) Programme supports mid stage R&D projects that deliver the UK’s Aerospace Technology Strategy, while boosting technology spend in the sector and securing manufacturing jobs around the UK. Funding is focused on key technologies to make aircraft quieter, more environmentally friendly and cheaper to manufacture and operate. BEIS is investing £1.95 billion in aerospace R&D from 2013 to 2026, which is matched by industry bringing total R&D investment to £3.9 billion.

In addition, the Committee on Climate Change provided the Government with aviation specific advice on 24 September 2019. We are carefully considering this advice and its implications for Government policy and we will shortly publish a consultation on aviation and climate change.

4 Oct 2019, 1:10 p.m. Freight Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what timeframe is in place for the award of contracts under the procurement framework for Brexit freight capacity after 31 October 2019 published by his Department on 20 September 2019.

Answer (Chris Heaton-Harris)

My Department remains on track to secure freight capacity for use after 31 October. This follows the announcement on Friday 20 September that my Department has successfully procured the Freight Capacity Framework, and launched the mini-competitions to provide freight capacity as part of EU Exit preparedness.

4 Oct 2019, 1 p.m. ATOL Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much was paid into the Civil Aviation Authority administered ATOL scheme by UK airlines in (a) 2016, (b) 2017 and (c) 2018.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

Airlines do not pay into the Air Travel Trust Fund. The ATT is principally funded by ATOL Protection Contributions (APC). The Civil Aviation (Contributions to the Air Travel Trust) Regulations 2007 enable the ATT to collect APCs from ATOL Holders for each person who books air travel covered by an ATOL. The Air Travel Trust Fund accounts are publicly available online.

1 Oct 2019, 2:44 p.m. East Midlands Rail Franchise: Rolling Stock Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the trajectory for the leasing costs of the new rolling stock on the East Midlands Railway over the course of the asset life of the trains after the award of the contract by operator Abellio to Hitachi on 30 July 2019.

Answer (Chris Heaton-Harris)

The leasing costs of rolling stock during the franchise term are a matter for Abellio. Beyond the existing franchise, the retention of this rolling stock within the franchise and the associated leasing costs will be dealt with through a future re-franchising competition.

1 Oct 2019, 2:41 p.m. East Midlands Rail Franchise: Rolling Stock Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the financing arrangements for the new fleet of rolling stock on the East Midlands Railway; and what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse.

Answer (Chris Heaton-Harris)

The financing arrangements of rolling stock are a matter for the operator, Abellio.

1 Oct 2019, 1:07 p.m. High Speed Two: Contracts Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate has he made of the stake held by (a) BlackRock and (b) Vinci in HS2 Ltd’s major contractors; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

HS2 Ltd is directly in contract with:

- a Balfour Beatty / Vinci Joint Venture (BBV JV), for two packages of Main Works Civils Contracts; and

- a Balfour Beatty / Vinci / Systra Joint Venture (BBVS JV), for the Old Oak Common station construction partner.

They are both unincorporated joint ventures. HS2 Ltd has no contractual relationship with BlackRock.

9 Sep 2019, 3:59 p.m. Freeports Advisory Panel Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, for what reasons the (a) aviation, (b) rail and (c) road haulage industries are not represented on the Freeport Advisory Panel.

Answer (Graham Stuart)

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

9 Sep 2019, 2:42 p.m. Aviation Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the (a) resources and (b) investment allocated by (i) airports and (ii) airlines to meet increases in passenger demand between 2014 and 2018.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The UK aviation market operates predominately in the private sector. It is therefore for airports to invest in their infrastructure to attract passengers and airlines, while airlines are well placed to deliver services to their customers by responding to demand for different routes.

The government has set out last year that it supports airports to make best use of their existing runways beyond Heathrow, subject to environmental issues being addressed.

In addition, the Airports Commission’s Final Report, published in July 2015, recognised that Heathrow airport was already at capacity and that the remaining London airports were not far behind – impacting the UK’s economy and global trading opportunities. It stated that there is a clear need for one net additional runway in London and the South East by 2030. That is why, following a vote in the House of Commons, the Airports National Policy Statement was designated as government policy in June 2018.

9 Sep 2019, 2:39 p.m. Stansted Airport Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of flights at Stansted airport delayed by more than an hour between 2014 and 2018.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

An assessment of the number of flights delayed can be made from flight punctuality data collected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Due to a change in the way flight punctuality data has been collected and calculated by the CAA, figures for 2018 are not comparable to previous years.

The answer is provided in the table below.

Year

Total number of flights at Stansted where punctuality data was recorded

Percentage of recorded flights delayed by more than an hour (%)

Number of recoded flights delayed by more than an hour

2014

133,384

2.9

3,886

2015

144,341

3.3

4,763

2016

151,998

4.6

7,035

2017

161,270

5.4

8,657

2018

173,777

10.0

17,342

Source: DfT Analysis of CAA Punctuality Data

9 Sep 2019, 2:36 p.m. Aviation: Standards Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the Which? analysis of Civil Aviation Data, published 6 July 2019, that showed eight out of 10 of the UK’s busiest airlines recorded an increase in delays of more than an hour between 2014 and 2018.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

It is disappointing to see any deterioration of performance by airlines and the impact this can have on passengers. Delays can be caused by a number of reasons which are sometimes outside of airlines’ control.

The Department works closely with the industry on resilience issues to plan for and mitigate the common causes of delay.

In addition, the expansion of Heathrow and the major programme of work to modernise UK airspace will help to minimise delays for passengers and allow the system to recover more quickly from disruptive events.

9 Sep 2019, 2:31 p.m. Gatwick Airport Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect on the safe use of Gatwick airport's emergency runway of the expiry of Gatwick airport's 1979 agreement with West Sussex County Council.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

Gatwick Airport have recently informed the Secretary of State of their intention to prepare an application for development consent for the increased use of their emergency runway.

The Department has not conducted a safety assessment on the basis that it will be for Gatwick Airport to prepare a safety, environmental, and economic case for the proposal which the Planning Inspectorate will examine through the development consent process.

9 Sep 2019, 12:49 p.m. Railways: Franchises Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what inflationary measure his Department has specified in the new (a) East Midlands Trains and (b) West Coast Partnership franchises for the duration of those contracts.

Answer (Chris Heaton-Harris)

The Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflationary measure has been used for Annual Franchise Payments in both East Midlands Railway and West Coast Partnership franchises. This follows well-established rail industry practice which uses the RPI as the basis for franchise payment indexation, and for constraining annual increases to regulated passenger fares.

The franchise payment allows for indexation of staff costs by RPI. However, in the last 12 months of the franchise the Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) measure maybe used where a variation is proposed to the franchise employees’ terms and conditions.

The contracts also recognise that certain Network Rail charges are indexed by the Consumer Prices Index in Control Period 6.

9 Sep 2019, 12:46 p.m. Thameslink Railway Line Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the resilience of the (a) software on the Siemens Class 700 trains and (b) signals across the Thameslink route after the power supply problems on the rail network on 10 August 2019.

Answer (Chris Heaton-Harris)

The major power outage on 9 August 2019 caused significant disruption to rail services and customers. The industry is reviewing what happened, to learn lessons from how the incident was managed so that their response can be improved for passengers in any future disruption, irrespective of the cause.

I am happy to update the Honourable Member on the findings of this review once it is complete.

9 Sep 2019, 12:22 p.m. Travel: Costs Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent comparative assessment he has made of the (a) financial and (b) environmental costs of travelling by (i) train and (ii) aircraft on journeys in the UK.

Answer (Chris Heaton-Harris)

The Department for Transport has made an estimate of the percentage change in real terms of the average financial cost to the individual of travelling by train and aircraft on journeys made in the UK. For travel by train, the Department publishes statistics on travel costs, based on data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in the Transport Statistics Great Britain compendium. This is available from Table TSGB1308 at the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/transport-expenditure-tsgb13.

The costs of travelling by air within the UK are not available from ONS data. However, DfT estimates are available based on fare data collected from the Civil Aviation Authority passenger survey from 2000. The real cost of the average UK one-way air fare, including taxes and charges, covering domestic flights from 2010 to 2017 decreased by 22%. From 2015 to 2017 the real cost decreased by 7%.

The Department has not recently made a comparative assessment of the environmental costs of travelling by train and aircraft on journeys in the UK.

5 Aug 2019, 3:34 p.m. East Midlands Trains: Rolling Stock Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the franchise for East Midlands Trains stipulates that the new rolling stock for that route should be manufactured by a company that is based in the UK.

Answer (Chris Heaton-Harris)

The East Midlands franchise does not stipulate where any new rolling stock should be manufactured. This will be a commercial matter for the operator and the manufacturer.

5 Aug 2019, 3:19 p.m. Roads: Safety Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings of the 11 July 2019 Road Safety Foundation report that (a) local road safety in the UK has major structural weaknesses and (b) the lack of funding may compromise the ability of councils to fulfil their legal duties.

Answer (Ms Nusrat Ghani)

We are grateful for the work done by the Road Safety Foundation and we will consider its findings and take action as needed.

On 13 June 2018, we published details of funding to improve 50 of England’s most dangerous A roads; many of these projects are now underway.

On 19 July this year, as part of the Road Safety Statement, we announced a Rural Roads Working Group to consider road safety issues specific to rural roads.

The Department will continue to work closely with the Safer Roads Foundation to identify further opportunities to improve road safety.

31 Jul 2019, 11:19 a.m. Roads: Safety Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 17 July 2019 to Question 275760, what assessment he has made of the effect of delaying the reassessment of the star rating of the strategic road network for the planning and resource allocation for major risk areas in Road Investment Strategy 2 between 2020 and 2025.

Answer (Grant Shapps)

The second Road Investment Strategy (RIS2) will, among other things, set performance objectives for Highways England and the funding available to deliver them. It is for Highways England to decide what action to take and where in order to achieve those objectives. Highways England will review the star rating of the strategic road network when it is re-evaluated in support of its delivery of RIS2.

31 Jul 2019, 10:51 a.m. Shipping: Registration Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency on changes to the UK Ship Register.

Answer (Grant Shapps)

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has agreed Maritime Growth as one of its three core strategic priorities and they intend to offer increasingly high‑quality services to enhance the UK Flag’s reputation, which in turn will hopefully attract new customers.

They have also integrated the UK Ship Register with its operational Directorate of Maritime Standards and Services to ensure that they are best placed for delivering services in the future.

22 Jul 2019, 3:35 p.m. Roads: Safety Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress Highways England have made towards its target of ensuring that the majority of roads with a (a) 1* and (b) 2* safety rating under the EuroRAP3* assessment programme have improved to a 3* rating; and what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the conclusion of the Highways England Strategic Road Network Star Rating Report published on 4 July 2019 that for the funding period 2015-2020 60 per cent of journeys on Highways England’s single carriageways are forecast to be below the three-star road safety benchmark under the EuroRAP/iRAP rating system for the safety of road infrastructure.

Answer (Michael Ellis)

The Road Investment Strategy (RIS 1) 2015 - 2020 has enabled Highways England to deliver unprecedented levels of investment on the strategic road network in England and the star rating system is an assessment tool which Highways England continue to use to assist them in prioritising future investment opportunities. The latest data indicates 95% of our travel will be on roads rated 3* and above by 2020, which exceeds the targrt set in the delivery plan.

On single carriageways Highways England are committed to investing £77 million in improvement schemes by 2020, which is over and above enhancements through routine maintenance such as new road markings, signing and vegetation clearance. Highways England will review the star rating of the network when it is re-evaluated as part of RIS 2. Estimates of star ratings by 2020 are conservative as they do not reflect the impacts or include the results of these designated funds. Travel on single carriageways only accounts for a small proportion of overall traffic on the network.

22 Jul 2019, 2:55 p.m. Rolling Stock: Procurement Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his Department's news story, Competition opens to create community facilities as Pacer trains retire from passenger service, published on 11 July 2019, how much that competition has cost; and how many of his Department's staff have worked on that competition to date.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

Launching the competition has brought no additional cost to the Department. Porterbrook are providing the Pacer carriages that will be converted into community assets free of charge. One member of Department staff will be responsible for the day to day running the competition for the next six months. This will include supporting external judges, who are giving their time for free, to select winning community groups when the competition closes in September.

22 Jul 2019, 1:10 p.m. Freight Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 11 July 2019 to Question 273804 on Freight, what comparative assessment he has made of the value for money of the plans for new freight network capacity made in (a) December 2018 and (b) June 2019.

Answer (Chris Grayling)

The framework that my Department is setting up on behalf of wider Government will provide a long-term approach to securing freight capacity when needed. This approach, which is different from that adopted in December 2018, will provide additional flexibility and resilience.

At this stage in the procurement process the Government is not committed to buying or reserving any freight capacity. The costs associated with any capacity secured through the framework will be determined later in the process, once the framework is in place and Government has ‘called-off’ the capacity it requires.

22 Jul 2019, 1:07 p.m. Freight Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 11 July 2019 to Question 273804 on Freight, what assessment he has made of the value for money of the freight network capacity plans that he announced in December 2018.

Answer (Chris Grayling)

Ahead of letting the freight contracts in December 2018, the Department undertook all relevant value for money assessments and clearances, in line with good practice.

As part of the procurement process, price benchmarking was undertaken to ensure contracted prices for Government were commensurate with market rates.

19 Jul 2019, 12:31 p.m. Manston Airport Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to use Manston airport as an inland, pre-customs clearing port for outward freight in relation to his Department's freight network capacity plans in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

In the event of leaving the EU without a deal, HMRC’s plans allow for the border to operate without significant new infrastructure. In preparation for an April no deal, HMRC announced a number of easements to help businesses adjust to the new arrangements and developed temporary solutions to support transit movements at a small number of locations to address expected pressure on existing infrastructure. HMRC worked closely with Department for Transport and local agencies to expand capacity in Kent, including the use of Manston to support transit movements.

HMRC has continued to listen to stakeholders as part of their preparation for all EU Exit scenarios. HMRC are actively reviewing their plans to develop a more resilient infrastructure solution for transit movements in Kent in the event of a no deal exit on 31 October.

17 Jul 2019, 2:54 p.m. Manston Airport Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what role he played in Riveroak Strategic Partners' application for a Development Consent Order on the site of Manston Airport; and what the (a) process and (b) timeframe is for his granting of consent after the Planning Inspectorate’s examination has concluded.

Answer (Michael Ellis)

The Secretary of State for Transport has played no role in RiverOak Strategic Partners Ltd application for a Development Consent Order on the site of Manston airport.

The Examination of this application concluded on 9th July 2019. The Examining Authority now have three months to write their report and make a recommendation to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will then have three months in which to issue a decision.

17 Jul 2019, 2:41 p.m. Manston Airport Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what due diligence his Department undertook on Riveroak Strategic Partners before that company's purchase of Manston Airport in July 2019.

Answer (Chris Grayling)

The Department worked with both Stone Hill Park and River Oak Strategic Partners prior to the completion of sale of Manston Airport, and are satisfied that the sale does not have any implications for our contingency plans.

17 Jul 2019, 2:41 p.m. Manston Airport Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the implications of the purchase of Manston airport site by Riveroak Strategic Partners from Stone Hill Park in July 2019 for (a) his freight network capacity plan in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal and (b) the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (Manston Airport) Special Development Order 2019.

Answer (Chris Grayling)

The Department worked with both Stone Hill Park and River Oak Strategic Partners prior to the completion of sale of Manston Airport, and are satisfied that the sale does not have any implications for our contingency plans.

17 Jul 2019, 2:18 p.m. Roads: Safety Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the (a) finding in the July 2019 Highways England Strategic Road Network Star Rating Report that for the funding period 2015-2020 60 per cent of journeys on Highways England’s single carriageways are forecast to be below the three-star road safety benchmark under the EuroRAP/iRAP rating system for the safety of road infrastructure and (b) statement in the March 2015 Highways England 2015-2020 delivery plan that the organisation will ensure that by the end of 2020 more than 90 per cent of travel on the strategic road network will be on roads with a safety rating of EuroRAP3* (or equivalent).

Answer (Michael Ellis)

The Road Investment Strategy (RIS 1) 2015 - 2020 has enabled Highways England to deliver unprecedented levels of investment on the strategic road network in England and the star rating system is an assessment tool which Highways England continue to use to assist them in prioritising future investment opportunities.

On single carriageways Highways England are committed to investing £77 million in improvement schemes by 2020, which is over and above enhancements through routine maintenance such as new road markings, signing and vegetation clearance. Highways England will review the star rating of the network when it is re-evaluated as part of RIS 2.

17 Jul 2019, 1:24 p.m. Railways: Standards Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policies of the finding of the July 2019 Railway Gazette International report that the real time performance speed of trains in the UK were 13th in a table of world rankings; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The type of role that railways play, for example the relative mix of local and commuter demand versus regional and longer distance travel, varies from country to country. The UK has one of the most intensively utilised rail networks in Europe, with many commuter services and over 4,000 extra services per week having been added over the past couple of years. The UK rail system has some of the highest passenger satisfaction levels in Europe, and the recent Transport Focus National Rail Passenger Survey Spring 2019 reported that the biggest single factor impacting on passenger satisfaction was punctuality, at a 36% contribution, whilst ‘journey length’ only made a 7% contribution. Furthermore, to the limited extent that journey length is considered important, 84% of passengers surveyed were satisfied with ‘the length of time the journey was scheduled to take (speed)’, the third highest satisfaction level out of the 40 different aspects of a rail journey assessed.

Once construction of HS2 has been completed trains would be capable of operations up to 360km/h, however HS2 is about much more than just speed, it brings enhanced capacity, in particular released capacity on the existing rail network connectivity and wider economic benefits.

16 Jul 2019, 3:03 p.m. Railways: WiFi Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 8 July 2019 to Question 271564 on Railways: Telecommunications, what estimate he has made of the timescale of the delivery of improvements to rail passenger wi-fi connectivity; and what assessment he has made of the effect on that estimated timescale of (a) delays to live rail franchise competitions, (b) the suspension of the Cross Country rail franchise and (c) the change to the timeframe of the rail franchising programme as a result of the Williams Rail Review.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The latest figures published by Transport Focus in the Spring 2019 National Rail Passenger Survey show that customer satisfaction for the reliability of internet connectivity on trains has improved by 7% from the Spring 2018 survey. We also expect to see improvements to rail passenger wi-fi connectivity as franchises are renewed. A timescale for further improvements will be established once the Government has published its White Paper setting out how we will implement the Williams Rail Review recommendations in the autumn.

16 Jul 2019, 2:58 p.m. Railways: WiFi Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 8 July 2019 to Question 271562, if he will publish the value for money assessment for his Department’s on-train wi-fi policy for the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern, South Eastern, Chiltern and Wales and Border rail franchises.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Department does not normally publish detailed economic assessments that inform rail policy decisions. In developing the business case different policy options would have been considered and appraised as per the guidelines in the Green Book. The economic assessment to evaluate the value for money would have utilised the Department’s modelling and appraisal guidance (WebTAG). The latest information on this can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/transport-analysis-guidance-webtag

15 Jul 2019, 11:22 a.m. Shipping: Exhaust Emissions Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what level of funding is available to support his Department's Clean Maritime Plan.

Answer (Ms Nusrat Ghani)

Last week I was pleased to announce that to help enable the delivery of the ambitions of the Clean Maritime Plan, the Government is supporting Maritime Research and Innovation UK (MarRI-UK) in launching an innovation call of £1m called the Clean Maritime Innovation Call, which will open this summer. The Clean Maritime Innovation Call aims to fund technology and innovations which have the potential to unlock reductions of air quality pollutants and/or greenhouse gases from the maritime sector.

11 Jul 2019, 1:47 p.m. Gatwick Airport Station Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much new rail capacity will be provided at Gatwick airport railway station under the £150 million upgrade to that station which he announced on 8 July 2019.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Gatwick Airport Station Enhancement scheme which was announced on 8 July 2019 is primarily designed to tackle problems of pedestrian overcrowding within the station and train performance. The renovation will reduce train delays caused by platform overcrowding and congestion while also improving passenger experience by providing easier connections to other destinations.

The Government is currently working with Network Rail on proposals to improve the capacity of the Brighton Main Line which includes journeys to and through Gatwick Airport Station.

11 Jul 2019, 10:45 a.m. Aviation: Exhaust Emissions Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reasons his Department ceased to use a multiplier of 1.9 for the radiative forcing or non-CO2 effects of air travel in 2011 for Departmental passenger demand and CO2 forecasts; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Michael Ellis)

The Department does not quantify the non-CO2 impacts of aviation because of the extent of the scientific uncertainty in this area. Whilst there are a number of emission types from air travel, other than CO2 that are known to have an impact on global warming, the magnitude of these impacts is not well known. This approach is consistent with the Committee on Climate Change’s recent advice that acknowledges the difficulties in measuring and reporting the impact of non-CO2 emissions.

9 Jul 2019, 2:28 p.m. Office of Rail and Road Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment has he made of the adequacy of the statutory remit of the Office for Rail and Road to work on behalf of the interests of rail passengers.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The role and statutory remit of the Office of Rail and Road is part of the Williams Rail Review of the structure of the rail industry which will report in the autumn.

9 Jul 2019, 11:06 a.m. Asylum: Housing Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many properties new asylum-accommodation provider Mears has procured in the North East; how many service-users can be accommodated in those properties; and the number of service users in the North East for whom new accommodation has not been procured.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The provider of asylum accommodation under the forthcoming Asylum Accommodation and Support Contract (AASC) in the North East Yorkshire Humber region is working closely with local authorities to ensure there is suitable and sufficient accommodation available to ensure a smooth transition of services before the current COMPASS contracts end in September 2019.

Mears continue in commercial discussion with their potential supply chain, sub-contractors and landlords; including on planned upgrades to the existing estate alongside the provisional acquisition of potential new properties that may also be brought in use during the AASC contract.

Mears are working closely with the Home Office, COMPASS provider and local authorities in the region to ensure all parties are kept informed of progress and disruption to service users is minimised. Details regarding the number of new properties and service users moves will be communicated, pending the conclusion of ongoing commercial discussions and progression of property acquisition.

9 Jul 2019, 11:05 a.m. Asylum: Housing Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps his Department will take in the event that asylum-accommodation provider Mears is unable to procure sufficient housing stock to accommodate service users in the North East.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The Home Office has dedicated staff managing the transition to the new Asylum Accommodation and Support Contract (AASC) which includes rigorous transition governance structures which tracks progress against provider plans. The new provider, Mears, in the North East region has undertaken due diligence activity across all current properties to assess their ongoing suitability and this activity continues to inform their commercial negotiations with their property supply chain.

Due to the on-going commercial sensitivities around these matters we will communicate details further in due course. The Home Office will continue to monitor and manage all Providers closely to ensure sufficient suitable accommodation is secured to deliver an effective transition of services.

9 Jul 2019, 11:05 a.m. Asylum: Housing Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers in the North East will be required to leave their properties during the transition to a new accommodation provider.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The Home Office and its accommodation providers are working closely to manage transition of services from G4S to Mears in the North East Yorkshire Humber region.

Mears continue in commercial discussion with their potential supply chain, sub-contractors and landlords; including on planned upgrades to the existing estate alongside the provisional acquisition of potential new properties that may also be brought in use during the AASC contract.

Information regarding the overall number of service users who will be required to change address during transition will be communicated pending the conclusion of ongoing commercial discussions and progression of property acquisition.

9 Jul 2019, 11:04 a.m. Asylum: Housing Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support the Government provides to vulnerable asylum-seekers in the North East in the transition period between asylum accommodation contracts; and how the needs of those service-users are assessed.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The Home Office and its accommodation providers are working closely to plan, safeguard and minimise impacts on all service users during the transition of services from G4S to Mears in the North East Yorkshire Humber region. This includes the sharing of information in relation to service users’ needs so that providers can consider individual needs ahead of transition.

The ASSC and AIRE contract requires that all Providers comply with all relevant mandatory and statutory requirements and the Authority’s rules, guidance, instructions and policies, including safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. This includes recognising the indicators of a vulnerable or at risk person with specific needs, and responding appropriately to their needs. In addition UKVI’s Asylum Safeguarding Hub is working closely with providers to ensure a consistent and common framework and standard operating procedures for the identification of needs and safeguarding of vulnerable services users.

8 Jul 2019, 4:22 p.m. Railways: Passengers Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the (a) effectiveness and (b) value for money of organisations working to protect the interests of consumers throughout the rail industry.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The role of consumer protection in the rail sector, including the functions of the organisations working in that sphere, is part of the Williams Rail Review of the structure of the rail industry and the way passenger rail services are delivered which will report in the autumn.

8 Jul 2019, 4:13 p.m. Office of Rail and Road Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions officials in his Department have had with officials in the Office for Rail and Road on the development of that organisation’s (a) service standards and (b) strategic objectives in (a) 2017, (b) 2018 and (c) 2019.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) is independent of Government. It is for the Board of the ORR to determine the organisation’s service standards and strategic objectives. These are set out in its annual business plan, which ORR develops after seeking the views of the Department for Transport and other stakeholders. Business plans for 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 are published on the ORR’s website at:

https://orr.gov.uk/about-orr/corporate-data/corporate-publications.

The Secretary of State issues statutory general guidance to the ORR in respect of the exercise of its functions as the independent economic and safety regulator for the railways under the Railways Acts of 1993 and 2005. The guidance was most recently updated in 2017 and was developed after discussion with the ORR. It is published on the Department’s website at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/railways-guidance-to-the-office-of-rail-and-road.

2 Jul 2019, 2:45 p.m. Eurotunnel Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much his legal settlement with Eurotunnel cost in (a) VAT and (b) departmental officials' time.

Answer (Chris Grayling)

The VAT paid on the legal fees for the litigation associated with the Eurotunnel settlement was around £200,000, subject to final checks being made on legal costs incurred. Given the interrelated nature of the litigation and the settlement, a discrete figure for the settlement only aspects is not available.

The Department did incur costs associated with officials’ time, but these are not accounted for separately, so the Department does not hold that information.

1 Jul 2019, 4:10 p.m. Railways: Franchises Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether it is his policy that the (a) Department or (b) rail franchise operator announces (i) extensions, (ii) direct awards and (iii) other changes to franchise agreements.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The department publishes the signed Franchise Agreement/signed Deed of Amendment for a Direct Award (once the DFT and the TOC agree any redactions to ensure commercial confidentiality) on the Rail Public Register.

Private businesses fulfil their legal requirement to make commercial announcements in line with their market obligations.

1 Jul 2019, 4:03 p.m. Network Rail Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the transfer of Network Rail's System Operator responsibilities to the devolved regional routes on the effectiveness of Network Rail; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

Decisions on the devolved regional routes as part of their Putting Passengers First programme are a matter for Network Rail. The Department for Transport is supportive of the proposals in Putting Passengers First and will continue to engage with Network Rail as they implement the programme.

1 Jul 2019, 2:06 p.m. Motor Vehicles: Hire Services Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what support the Government provides to vehicle rental companies to transition their fleet to electric vehicles.

Answer (Michael Ellis)

Vehicle rental companies are able to take advantage of various grant funding schemes the Government has in place to assist with the cost of buying plug-in electric vehicles, including passenger cars, taxis, vans and motorcycles. They can also make use of the Workplace Charging Scheme to help pay for the installation of electric vehicle chargepoints. In addition, the Government has put in place a favourable tax regime which rewards the cleanest vehicles including rental company fleets.

24 Jun 2019, 3:28 p.m. East Midlands Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to announce the services between Nottingham and Liverpool provided by the East Midlands Railway franchise.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

Information on service improvements in the next East Midlands franchise was detailed in the franchise announcement on 10 April 2019.

This can be found on the Department’s website at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/more-seats-services-and-state-of-the-art-trains-for-passengers-on-new-east-midlands-railway. Further details will be available from the operator when the new franchise starts in August 2019.

As announced in the East Midlands Stakeholder Briefing Document on 7 June 2018, in response to the public consultation, the Department intends to transfer the Liverpool-Nottingham section of the Liverpool–Norwich service out of the East Midlands franchise from December 2021. This change will bring a number of passenger benefits, including more capacity on the Liverpool–Nottingham section where there is overcrowding at times today, faster journey times, a more reliable service and enabling each half of the service to better meet their individual needs and those of routes they interact with. The transfer is subject to detailed assessment of how it will be carried out and a decision as to the best long-term operator for Liverpool – Nottingham services, which will be made in conjunction with Transport for the North. Further details will be made available in due course.

24 Jun 2019, 3:22 p.m. East Midlands Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has plans to transfer Barton on Humber services in to the East Midlands Railway franchise.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

As detailed in the East Midlands franchise announcement on 10 April, the Barton-on-Humber to Cleethorpes service is planned to transfer from the Northern to the East Midlands franchise, delivering enhanced services on refurbished modern trains, providing more capacity, free Wi-Fi and air conditioning.

24 Jun 2019, 2:08 p.m. Great Western Railway Line Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the (a) performance of the Intercity Express Trains on the Great Western Railway and (b) ability of those trains to meet the requirements of the December 2019 timetable.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The industry timetable change assurance programme management office assesses all timetable bids for their deliverability, including the Great Western Railway 2019 timetable, and will work with all operators to ensure appropriate operational plans are in place to mitigate any outstanding risks to the smooth introduction of the timetable.

24 Jun 2019, 2:03 p.m. South Eastern Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 12 June 2019 to Question 260025, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of proposals in the High Speed One five-year asset management statement to increase track access charges for domestic rail services by 25 per cent on the financial viability of the South Eastern rail franchise.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

I refer the Hon. Member to my previous answer of 12 June 2019. We do not expect High Speed 1 (HS1) to make changes that would impact the financial viability of the current or future Southeastern franchise.

The Government expects the independent Regulator, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), to provide robust and rigorous challenge to HS1’s proposals as part of the Periodic Review process. This should include giving detailed consideration to affordability for operators and freight users.

24 Jun 2019, 1:32 p.m. South Eastern Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 12 June 2019 to Question 260025, what assessment he has made of the viability of proposals in the High Speed One five-year asset management statement to increase track access charges for rail freight by 74 per cent.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Government expects the independent Regulator, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), to provide robust and rigorous challenge to HS1’s proposals as part of the Periodic Review process. This should include giving detailed consideration to affordability for operators and freight users.

21 Jun 2019, 1:29 p.m. Railways: Franchises Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many contract awards his Department has made for rail franchise competitions since 2012.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The total number of franchise competition awards since 2012 is 9.

21 Jun 2019, 1:25 p.m. Crossrail Line Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will set out his Departmental responsibilities as a joint sponsor of the Crossrail project.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Department and TfL are the joint sponsors of the Crossrail project. The Crossrail project sponsor role is underpinned by a Sponsors Agreement and the Project Development Agreement.

Further details about the Department’s responsibilities as a co-Sponsor of the project are set out in the Department’s recent response to the Public Accounts Committee:

https://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/public-accounts/Correspondence/2017-19/Letter-from-Bernadette-Kelly-to-Chair-in-response-to-report-'Crossrail-progress-review'-recommendation-6-190429.pdf

21 Jun 2019, 10:51 a.m. Air Space Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether airspace will be classified as national infrastructure.

Answer (Michael Ellis)

The Government considers airspace to be a key part of our national infrastructure in the UK, yet there has been little change to its overall structure since the 1950s.

We are therefore working with key stakeholders to ensure it is modernised to meet the future needs of airspace users whilst minimising the environmental effects of aviation.

21 Jun 2019, 10:45 a.m. Department for Transport: Ministerial Policy Advisers Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent steps he has taken to ensure that his special advisers comply with the provisions of section 16 of the Code of Conduct for Special Advisors, Involvement in politics in a private capacity: national political activity.

Answer (Michael Ellis)

I refer the Hon Member to paragraph 9 of the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers. The Code forms part of the model contract for Special Advisers. The Cabinet Office has overall responsibility for the content of the model contract and the Code of Conduct.

21 Jun 2019, 10:41 a.m. Cross Country Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport,whether he has (a) agreed and (b) signed off a direct award or extension of the Cross Country rail franchise contract with Arriva; and who bears the pension risk in that contract.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Secretary of State for Transport has not agreed a new Direct Award or signed off an extension of the existing Cross Country Direct Award contract with Arriva.

21 Jun 2019, 10:38 a.m. East Midlands Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what agreement was reached on the liability for pension risk between the Department for Transport and Stagecoach when it was announced that the company had been awarded a direct award to run the East Midlands Trains franchise on 12 February 2019.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The East Midlands Direct Award is for a short period of time and is due to end on 11 August 2019. As in all other Franchise Agreements, the Franchisee (as the Designated Employer) is responsible for paying employer pension contributions required under the schedule of contributions applicable during their franchise term.

21 Jun 2019, 10:33 a.m. East Coast Railway Line Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 12 June 2019 to Question 260016 what proportion of the total number of rail services which run on the east coast mainline are operated by the operator of the east coast franchise London and North Eastern Railway.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Department does not hold this information. However, London North Eastern Railway (LNER) is the only operator which runs passenger services across its full length.

21 Jun 2019, 10:29 a.m. West Coast Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what (a) agreement and (b) provision for pension liability risk was agreed between his Department and Virgin Trains when the extension to the West Coast rail franchise was announced on 21 December 2018.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The extension to the West Coast rail franchise was a short extension to an existing contract and was as allowed for in the Franchise Agreement. As in all other Franchise Agreements, the Franchisee (as the Designated Employer) is responsible for paying employer pension contributions required under the schedule of contributions applicable during their franchise term.

21 Jun 2019, 10:24 a.m. Great Western Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what (a) agreement and (b) provision for pension liability risk was agreed between the Department for Transport and First Group when an extension to the Great Western rail franchise was announced on 29th November 2017.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The extension to the Great Western rail franchise announced in November 2017 involved the Secretary of State simply exercising his contractual right to extend the existing contract, on the same terms as agreed in 2015. As in all other Franchise Agreements, the Franchisee (as the Designated Employer) is responsible for paying employer pension contributions required under the schedule of contributions applicable during their franchise term. In the Great Western Railway franchise agreement, the Franchisee and its employees bear all risks associated with changes in pension contributions.

21 Jun 2019, 10:18 a.m. Govia: Pensions Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what agreement his Department has reached with Govia on the pensions liability risk sharing arrangements announced on 13 June 2019.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The South Eastern Direct Award is for a short period of time. As in all other Franchise Agreements, the Franchisee (as the Designated Employer) is responsible for paying employer pension contributions required under the schedule of contributions applicable during their franchise term. The Franchisee and its employees continue to bear all risks associated with changes in pension contributions.

21 Jun 2019, 9:26 a.m. South Western Railway: Finance Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent (a) discussions and (b) meetings his Department have held with (a) First Group and (b) MTR Crossrail on adjustments to the Central London Employment Mechanism provision within the South Western Railways rail franchise; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

Ongoing discussions between the Department and franchisees on the operation of the franchise agreement is vital for ensuring that the contract is effectively managed. First, MTR and SWR have made representation to Ministers and officials in relation to the Central London Employment mechanism. The terms of the Franchise Agreement have been applied.

21 Jun 2019, 9:23 a.m. Abellio Greater Anglia: Finance Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent (a) discussions and (b) meetings his Department has held with Abellio on adjustments to the Central London Employment Mechanism provision within the Greater Anglia rail franchise; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

Ongoing discussions between the Department and franchisees on the operation of the franchise agreement is vital for ensuring that the contract is effectively managed. Abellio and Greater Anglia have made representation to Ministers and officials in relation to the Central London Employment mechanism. The terms of the Franchise Agreement have been applied.

21 Jun 2019, 9:16 a.m. Train Operating Companies: Payments Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what comparative estimate he has made of premium payments received by Government from (a) franchised rail operators and (b) rail operators running under a direct award since 2012.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The net premium paid (or subsidy received) by each passenger franchise is published annually by the Office of Rail and Road. The most recent published statistics are for 2017/18, and are available alongside previous years’ figures here: http://dataportal.orr.gov.uk/browsereports/1

The government aims to achieve best value for taxpayers and passengers by awarding franchises through competitive procurement wherever possible, but it is sometimes necessary to make a direct award for operational or other reasons. The rail franchising schedule (updated annually for 2017 and earlier years) shows the contractual status of each franchise over the years since 2012. The 2017 edition is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rail-franchise-schedule with earlier versions available in the UK government web archive.

20 Jun 2019, 2:43 p.m. Cycleways: Construction Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what target the Department has set for the construction of segregated cycle routes; and whether the metric for that target will be miles or kilometres.

Answer (Michael Ellis)

The Government’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy has an aim to double cycling by 2025 but has not set targets for the construction of segregated cycle routes.

18 Jun 2019, 3:19 p.m. Railways: Tickets Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that online retailers provide passengers with up-to-date information on potential travel disruption prior to the sale of train tickets.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Government expects retailers to provide passengers with accurate information on which to make decisions. Retailers must comply with consumer law, the Office for Rail and Road is responsible for enforcing consumer law in the rail sector.

18 Jun 2019, 3:01 p.m. Railways: North of England Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to announce his Department's detailed plans for the Transpennine route upgrade.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

I have already announced my priorities for the Transpennine Route Upgrade passengers within the £2.9 billion available for this Control Period. This will include some electrification and capacity and reliability enhancements. Network Rail is already funded for design works and once I have received their proposal I will be able to say more.

12 Jun 2019, 3:26 p.m. West Coast Partnership Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what due diligence his Department has undertaken on the shortlisted bidders for the West Coast Partnership rail franchise to ensure that (a) the board and (b) investors agree on that company’s willingness to take risk.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Department does not comment on live competitions. Please note that all bids received for any franchise competition are evaluated against the requirements and instructions set out in the relevant procurement documentation.

12 Jun 2019, 3:21 p.m. West Coast Partnership Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of page 20 of the First Group financial results published on May 30 2019 which states in respect of railway pension liabilities that it is not possible at this stage to determine the impact to ongoing contribution requirements; and whether that company is compliant with his Department’s West Coast Partnership franchise provisions in respect of railway pension liabilities.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Department does not comment on live competitions. Please note that all bids received for any franchise competition are evaluated against the requirements and instructions set out in the relevant procurement documentation.

12 Jun 2019, 3:18 p.m. West Coast Partnership Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the financial stability of the bidders for the West Coast Partnership rail franchise.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Department does not comment on live competitions. Please note that all bids received for any franchise competition are evaluated against the requirements and instructions set out in the relevant procurement documentation.

12 Jun 2019, 3:04 p.m. Railways: Franchises Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate has he made of the number of companies that hold pre-qualification passports to bid for rail franchises in the UK; and how many companies there are that are compliant bidders for the (a) West Coast Partnership and (b) Southeastern rail franchises.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

There are eighteen Passport holders which are listed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/rail-franchising#rail-franchising-pqq-passport

The shortlisted bidders for the West Coast Partnership and South-Eastern franchise competitions were announced on 22 June 2017. Details of the announcement can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/west-coast-partnership-and-south-eastern-rail-franchise-bidders

On the 10 April 2019, Stagecoach announced it had been disqualified from the West Coast Partnership and South Eastern competitions for submitting non-compliant bids.

12 Jun 2019, 3:01 p.m. West Coast Partnership Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate has he made of the optimum number of bidders required for the West Coast Partnership franchise to provide value for money.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The maximum number of bidders that could be shortlisted for the West Coast Partnership was set out at the Expression of Interest stage of the competition. The maximum number of bidders that could be shortlisted was 4.

12 Jun 2019, 2:56 p.m. West Coast Partnership Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has received all of the bids for the West Coast Partnership franchise competition; how many of those bids his Department has (a) evaluated and (b) scored; and whether he as invited the company with the the highest scoring bid from that process to discuss potential contractual terms.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Department does not comment on live competitions. Please note that all bids received for any franchise competition are evaluated against the requirements and instructions set out in the relevant procurement documentation.

12 Jun 2019, 2:52 p.m. East Coast Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 4 June 2019 to Question 257748, what proportion of rail services on the east coast mainline are operated by the East Coast franchise.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

Although there are many operators that run services on the East Coast Mainline (ECML) between London and Edinburgh via Peterborough, Doncaster, York, Darlington, Durham and Newcastle, London North Eastern Railway (LNER) are the only operator which runs passenger services across its full length and operate more train kms along the route.

12 Jun 2019, 2:41 p.m. East Coast Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 4 June 2019 to Question 257748, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of aligning the track and the operator of the East Coast franchise.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The East Coast Partnership is working to deliver reliable and high quality rail services for passengers, this includes considering options for how, in the future, the operation of track and train might be better aligned. This is being overseen by an independent board, which is due to report to the Secretary of State later this year. The Board is chaired by Tony Poulter, a non-executive Director at the Department for Transport, and has members from Network Rail, the intercity operator, London North Eastern Railway (LNER), the Department for Transport and independent members.

12 Jun 2019, 2:07 p.m. West Coast Partnership Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what account his Department took of the financial performance of First Group on the (a) South Western Railway and (b) Transpennine railway when evaluating that company’s bid for the West Coast Partnership rail franchise.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Department does not comment on live competitions. Please note that all bids received for any franchise competition are evaluated against the requirements and instructions set out in the relevant procurement documentation.

12 Jun 2019, 1:40 p.m. South Eastern Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of any increases in track access charges for High Speed 1 on the financial viability of the (a) current and (b) future Southeastern rail franchise.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Periodic Review process that will determine the new Track Access charges is ongoing and is the responsibility of the rail regulator, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). No assessment has been made, however we do not expect High Speed 1 (HS1) to make changes that would impact the financial viability of the current or future Southeastern franchise. DfT continue to work closely with the ORR and the other stakeholders, including HS1 and Southeastern, throughout the Periodic Review process.

11 Jun 2019, 9:45 a.m. West Coast Partnership Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment has he made of the (a) adequacy of the balance of risk and reward in the provisions of the West Coast Partnership rail franchise and (b) ability of the shortlisted bidders to meet those provisions.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Department does not comment on live competitions. Please note that all bids received for any franchise competition are evaluated against the requirements and instructions set out in the relevant procurement documentation.

11 Jun 2019, 8:56 a.m. West Coast Partnership Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, What assessment he has made of the strategic importance of rail services on the West Coast mainline to the economy.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

Rail services on the West Coast mainline have contributed to economic growth up and down the country and the line is now faster and busier than ever. The introduction of HS2 services will free up capacity across the West Coast mainline to ensure that this growth continues.

10 Jun 2019, 11:13 a.m. Aviation Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the Civil Aviation Authority data which shows that the number of domestic aviation routes with more than 1,000 passengers per year has fallen from 228 in 2007 to 188 in 2017.

Answer (Michael Ellis)

Aviation in the UK operates in the private sector and it is for airlines to determine which routes they should operate. However, the Aviation 2050 consultation acknowledges the benefits regional airports and connectivity can bring to the regions and seeks views on what further actions government could take to enhance and support these connections. The consultation closes on 20 June.

Where domestic routes have previously been squeezed out of Heathrow over time, expansion of the airport will provide an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen existing domestic connections and deliver new ones.

The Airports National Policy Statement sets a clear expectation that an additional runway at Heathrow will deliver at least 14 domestic routes. We expect many of these connections will be commercially viable. This will ensure that regions are increasingly well connected to the capital and the UK’s biggest airport, supporting new business, tourism and cultural links across the globe.

4 Jun 2019, 12:48 p.m. West Coast Partnership Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the specifications for the West Coast Partnership rail franchise requires the new operator to be responsible for timetabling across the route of that franchise.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

In its Shadow Operator role, the West Coast Partnership operator will, working in conjunction with Network Rail, HS2 Ltd and other Train and Freight Operators, develop advice for the Secretary of State on options for the post HS2 launch Train Service Specification on both HS2 and WCML routes. The West Coast Partnership operator’s role in the timetabling process will be consistent with existing practices across the rail industry both before and after HS2 services are launched.

4 Jun 2019, 12:43 p.m. East Coast Rail Franchise and Rail Review Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his timescale is for making a decision on the commercial models for the development of the East Coast Partnership; and what his timescale is for receiving Keith William's Rail Review Report.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The plans for the ECP are progressing well. The aim is to continue the ongoing design of the Partnership in a sustainable way and deliver reliable and high-quality rail services for passengers in step with Keith Williams’ root and branch review of the railway. The government will publish a White Paper setting out how we will implement the Review’s recommendations in the autumn. Reform will start as early as 2020.

4 Jun 2019, 12:22 p.m. Railways: Timetables Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his policy is on devolution of railway timetabling to the newly established Network Rail regions.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

On a national rail network many rail services will go beyond an individual rail region. Decisions over how far to devolve specific activities as part of their Putting Passengers First programme are a matter for Network Rail. The Department for Transport is supportive of the proposals in the programme and is continuing to engage with Network Rail as they implement the programme.

28 May 2019, 11:03 a.m. Network Rail: Property Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the potential administrative costs that will be incurred by Network Rail in its ongoing relationship with the new owner of the railway arches property portfolio.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The historic cost of securing access to property for inspection and maintenance work related to the operation of the railway has been around £1 million a year. These costs are expected to continue.

28 May 2019, 10:21 a.m. Shipping Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 15 May 2019 to Question 252654, if he will list all Port Connectivity Study case study projects that are being progressed through the (a) Road Investment Strategies 1 and 2, (b) Control Period 6, (c) the Major Roads Network and (d) other funding route processes; and what the stage of development is for each scheme.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

(a) The schemes listed below, mentioned in the “A Study of England’s Port Connectivity” report and “9 Regional case studies” report are being progressed through the current Road Investment Strategy:

Scheme Name

Stage of Development

A1 North of Ellingham

Under construction

A19/A1058 Coast Road

Opened March 2019

A19 Testos

Under Construction

A19 Down Hill Lane Junction Improvement

In Development

A19 Norton to Wynyard

In development

M62 J20-25

In development

A1 Leeming Bar and Barton

Opened to traffic in March 2018

A63: Castle Street Hull

In development

A160/A180 Improvements to Immingham

Opened to Traffic in March 2017

A47 Wansford to Sutton

In Development

A47 North Tuddenham to Easton

In Development

A47 Blofield to North Burlingham

In Development

A47 Acle Straight

Completed

A14 Cambridge to Huntington

Under Construction

A12 Chelmsford to A120

In development

M25 Junction 30 (A13)

Opened for traffic December 2016

M2 Junction 5 (A249)

In development

A20 access at Dover

Completed

A27 Worthing and Lancing

In development

A31 widening at Ringwood

In development

M271/A35 Redbridge roundabout upgrade

In development

M27 Southampton Junctions

In development

M3 Junction 9 Improvements

In development

A34 Oxford Junctions

Options Development

M49 Avonmouth junction

Under Construction

A30 Temple to Carblake

Opened for Traffic July 2017

A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross

In development

M6, M60 and M62 smart motorway

Opened for traffic July 2018

M6 Junctions 10a-13

Opened to traffic February 2016

M6 Junctions 16-19

Opened to traffic March 2019

M6 Junctions 21A-26

In Development

M60 Junctions 24-27 and Junction 1-4

In Development

M6 Junctions 2-4

Under Construction

M62 Junctions 10-12

Under Construction

M62 Junction 20-25

In Development

M6 Junction 22 Upgrade

Options Development

A5 Dodwells to Longshoot widening

In Development

A5036 Princess Way – Access to Port of Liverpool

In development

Lower Thames Crossing

In development

In addition, the following two schemes are being funded through Highway England’s congestion relief fund:

  • A63: Garrison Road

  • A69 Junction improvements

The A120 improvement scheme has been developed by Essex County Council to be considered for potential inclusion in the second Road Investment Strategy.

The Government intends to announce its decisions on further enhancement schemes in the second Road Investment Strategy later this year.

  1. The table below details schemes progressed through Control Period 6:

Scheme

Region

Status

Diversionary access for Teesport

North East Ports

Teesport – Northallerton Gauge: in development

Gauge clearance schemes to W12, connections to Immingham Port

Humber Ports

In delivery

A range of capacity and gauge options identified along the Felixstowe to West Midlands corridor

Haven Ports

Ely Area Capacity Scheme, Haughley Junction, Ely – Soham redoubling and Leicester area capacity are all in development

Felixstowe branch line

Haven Ports

In delivery

Thames Haven level crossing improvements

London and Medway Ports

Mucking level crossing: in delivery. Other interventions are in development

Improved connections to Southampton maritime terminal

Solent area Ports

In delivery

Gauge clearance to W10 Bristol/Birmingham

Bristol and south west ports

In development (to Bristol / Cardiff – not Birmingham)

Gauge clearance infill to W12

Bristol and South West Ports

Some sections completed in CP5 in conjunction with GWEP electrification works. Further locations in development in CP6.

Bootle branch line improvements

Mersey and North West Ports

In delivery

(c) No Major Road Network schemes are included in the Port Connectivity Study.

(d) The following schemes are being progressed or have been progressed through other funding route processes:

Funding Route

Project Name

Port

Status

Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund

Wirral Dock Bridges

Birkenhead

Completed June 2018

Large Local Majors

Lake Lothing Third Crossing

Lowestoft

DCO in preparation

Large Local Majors

Great Yarmouth Third Crossing

Great Yarmouth

DCO in preparation

Local Growth Fund

Port of Workington Road Access

Workington

In Preparation

Local Growth Fund

A185/A194/A19 Traffic Movements (A194/A185 The Arches Junction)

Port of Tyne

Completed

Local Growth Fund

A19/A194/A1300 Lindisfarne Roundabout

Port of Tyne

Completed Summer 2017

Local Growth Fund

A19 to North Bank of Tyne Improvements

Port of Tyne

Expected to be in construction in 2020

Local Growth Fund

Rail Gauge Enhancements - Port of Immingham to ECML at Doncaster

Immingham

In progress, expected completion date of 2021

Local Growth Fund

South Bank Wharf roundabout and access improvements

Teesport

Business Case being prepared

Local Growth Fund

A565 North Liverpool Key Corridor

Liverpool

Start of Construction Spring 2017 and expected completion in 2019

Local Growth Fund

Port of Poole Infrastructure – Poole Bridge Approach Spans

Poole

Work completed and bridge reopened January 2018

Local Growth Fund (DfT ‘tail’ major scheme

A180/A18 Link

Immingham

Completed June 2016

DfT ‘tail’ major scheme

Heysham-M6 Link Road

Heysham

Completed October 2016

Local Growth Fund (DfT Portfolio Scheme)

Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor (Low Carbon Zone to City Centre to Port) – New Wear Bridge to City Centre

Sunderland

Construction due to begin spring 2019, Estimated completion 2021

Local Growth Fund (DfT Portfolio Scheme)

Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor - New Wear Crossing

Sunderland

Opened 28 August 2018

Regional Growth Fund

Western Gateway Infrastructure Scheme

Port Salford

Completed December 2017

Local Growth Fund (DfT portfolio scheme)

Newhaven Port Access Road, Parker Pen & East Side

Newhaven

Under construction

Local Growth Fund (DfT Portfolio Scheme)

Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor (Low Carbon Zone to City Centre to Port) – New Wear Bridge to City Centre

Construction due to begin spring 2019, estimated completion 2021

Local Growth Fund (DfT portfolio scheme)

Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor - New Wear Crossing

Sunderland

Opened 28 August 2018

Local Growth Fund (DfT portfolio scheme)

A13 Widening

London Gateway

Advance works commenced. Estimated completion Winter 2020/21.

Regional Growth Fund

Western Gateway Infrastructure Scheme

Port Salford

Completed December 2017

23 May 2019, 4:11 p.m. Network Rail: Debts Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate has he made of the (a) level of Network Rail's debt and (b) cost of servicing that debt in (a) 2019, (b) 2020, (c) 2021, (d) 2022 and (e) 2023.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The attached table sets out Network Rail’s debt and the debt servicing costs.

23 May 2019, 3:58 p.m. Network Rail: Property Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much of the £1.46 billion generated by Network Rail's property sale was used to (a) fund rail upgrades and (b) cover a funding shortfall in the budget between 2014 and 2019.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

All the proceeds from the sale were retained by Network Rail and reinvested into the rail network. The sale helped fund major improvements for the benefit of passengers, taxpayers and the wider UK economy.

23 May 2019, 3:05 p.m. Channel Tunnel Railway Line: Electric Cables Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent representations the UK Government has made to the Channel Tunnel Intergovernmental Commission on regulatory approval for the installation of cabling for the Eleclink electricity interconnector between the UK and France.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The UK Government is represented on both the Channel Tunnel Intergovernmental Commission (IGC) and the Channel Tunnel Safety Authority (CTSA). These groups meet several times each year and continue to work with Eleclink and Eurotunnel to progress consideration of this issue, following the suspension of consent for the project on safety grounds in October 2017.

In the light of the UK Government’s active role in relation to both the IGC and CTSA, the Government has not made separate representations to the IGC on the ElecLink project.

23 May 2019, 2:59 p.m. East Midlands Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department was responsible for conducting the East Midlands Trains franchise competition; and if this administration of the process includes the (a) scoping, (b) evaluation of compliance and (c) award of franchise bids.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Department for Transport conducted the East Midlands franchise competition as per the usual process for franchising: specifying the minimum requirements for bids, evaluating bidders’ proposals against those requirements, reviewing bids to check whether they were compliant with the rules of the competition and awarding the franchise contract.

22 May 2019, 10:06 a.m. Heathrow Airport: Railways Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 30 April 2019 to Question 249314 on Railways, what assessment he has made of the effect of (a) a Western Rail Link to Heathrow Airport and (b) a Southern Rail Link to Heathrow Airport on the level of emissions of (i) greenhouse gases and (ii) other atmospheric pollutants in relation to (A) the existing configuration and (B) the addition of the North West Runway at London Heathrow Airport.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

When developing the Airports National Policy Statement (ANPS), the Government considered the environmental impacts of airport expansion, including surface access, in its assessment. The ANPS is clear that a new Northwest Runway will not receive Development Consent unless it can demonstrate compliance with air quality and climate change obligations.

Specific assessment of air quality and climate change impacts associated with the proposed Western and Southern Rail Links will form part of the required environmental assessments accompanying any development consent application. Both schemes are intended to support travel mode shift from road to rail, therefore supporting air quality and climate change targets.

22 May 2019, 10:03 a.m. Heathrow Airport: Railways Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 30 April 2019 to Question 249315 on Railways, how many proposals for a Southern Rail Link to Heathrow were received following his market-led proposals invitation of 20 March 2018, how many of those proposals remain under active consideration by his Department; on what dates he last (a) met and (b) corresponded with the promoters of schemes under active consideration; and when he plans to announce the process for selecting a preferred developer.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

30 market-led proposals were received in response to the Call for Ideas launched in March 2018. Due to commercial confidentiality we are not able to disclose details of meetings or correspondence with particular proposals. The Department responded to those proposals in December 2018 and continued engagement with 10 proposals which had the potential to be financially credible without government support.

Separately to the Call for Ideas, a Southern Rail Link to Heathrow Market Sounding was also launched in March 2018. Following the publication of the Market Sounding Report in December 2018 the Department has been working to further develop and clarify the outcomes we want to be delivered from this project and consider appropriate commercial and procurement models. This work will be made available to the market by the summer along with further engagement opportunities.

22 May 2019, 9:59 a.m. Heathrow Airport: Railways Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 30 April 2019 to Question 249314, what (a) meetings, (b) correspondence and (c) other engagement his Department has had with (i) local authorities, (ii) the Mayor of London and (iii) the aviation industry on Western and Southern Rail Access to London Heathrow Airport since the publication of the Nicholls-Agilia reports on 19 December 2018.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

My Department has continued to actively engage with many parties in the interest of passengers and communities including Local Authorities, Transport for London and representatives of the aviation industry since the publication of the Market Sounding Findings Report published in December 2018.

17 May 2019, 12:41 p.m. Electric Vehicles: Grants Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the removal of the plug-in car grant on the number of sales of zero emission-capable plug-in hybrids since that grant was removed.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The plug-in car grant was intended to support the early market for low emission vehicles and has so far supported the purchase of around 100,000 plug-in hybrid cars, at a cost of over £360 million.

In 2018 the Department reviewed the plug-in car grant to focus on zero tail pipe emission vehicles. Since then, overall sales of alternatively fueled vehicles have increased compared to the same period last year. While the sales of zero emission capable plug-in hybrids have decreased since the grant was reviewed, the sales of the cleanest zero emission vehicles have increased by over 50 per cent over the same period.

16 May 2019, 10:54 a.m. East Midlands Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Abellio bid for the East Midlands Trains franchise was fully compliant with the terms set out by the Department for the evaluation of bids.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

I refer the Honourable member to the answer given on 8 May [250032] in regards to East Midlands Trains franchise.

16 May 2019, 10:44 a.m. East Midlands Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 3 May 2019 to Question 247080, for what reason he is unable to state whether or not Arriva submitted a compliant bid for the East Midlands Trains franchise; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

I refer the Honourable member to the answer given on 3 May Arriva’s bid is a matter for them.

15 May 2019, 1:59 p.m. Shipping Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what (a) targets, (b) timescale and (c) funding is in place to deliver the objectives of the (i) Port Connectivity Study and (ii) Maritime 2050 strategy.

Answer (Ms Nusrat Ghani)

In a little over a year the department has published both the Port Connectivity Study (PCS) and Maritime 2050.

The PCS focused upon ways to better connect ports in England to the wider transport network, outlining clear recommendations. Departmental resources have been dedicated to achieving these aims and recommendations set out in the PCS. For example, the department has established a Virtual Freight Team, bringing together expertise in road, rail, aviation, and maritime to ensure consistent cross-modal communication and understanding on freight matters. Other initiatives are also underway, such as the £10 million funding from the department for a new access road at Newhaven Port. This work, as well as other ongoing work on port connectivity with industry, will continue as we seek to maximise the value of ports to the UK economy.

Maritime 2050 sets out a long-term vision for the UK maritime sector. 184 recommendations are made in the strategy, with each identified as either short term (1- 5 years), medium term (5-15 years), or long term (more than 15 years). These recommendations are for both Government and industry to deliver together. The Government has already begun acting on these recommendations, for example in announcing £100,000 worth of funding for careers roadshows for girls, to be delivered by the 1851 trust. More funding announcements are to be made over the coming months. Close engagement with industry will be maintained as further Maritime 2050 routemaps are published in the coming year, giving greater detail to the plans and resources for Government and industry action.

15 May 2019, 12:40 p.m. Aircraft: Safety Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to ask the Civil Aviation Authority to review the safety of the Sukhoi Superjet 100.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The recent accident at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport involving an Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet will be investigated by the Interstate Aviation Committee in Russia, while the responsible authority for certification of the aircraft design in the European Union is the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). No UK airlines currently operate this aircraft type, nor are there currently any routine operations of the type into the UK.

15 May 2019, 12:26 p.m. Aviation: Exhaust Emissions Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of instructing UK airlines to adopt turbulence-dodging technology to reduce emissions.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Department has not made an assessment of the merits of instructing UK airlines to adopt turbulence-dodging technology to reduce emissions.

As part of the development of the Aviation 2050 green paper, the Department commissioned research to understand what technological and operational measures could be available to reduce emissions from aviation by 2050.

Both the green paper and an accompanying paper on reducing aviation emissions were published on 17 December 2018 and may be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/aviation-2050-the-future-of-uk-aviation

The Government is committed to tackling aviation emissions. Our final Aviation 2050 strategy, which will be published later this year, will set out a clear approach to ensure that the sector plays its part in taking action against climate change.

15 May 2019, 12:11 p.m. Railways: Concessions Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the expenditure by local authorities on the provision of free rail passes for pupils (a) up to the age of 16 to travel to their nearest school and (b) from families on maximum working tax credit or entitlement to free school meals; and how many school pupils benefit from such rail passes.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

​Local authorities have a statutory duty under section 508B of the Education Act 1996 to make travel arrangements to enable all eligible children of compulsory school age to attend their nearest suitable school. For low income families, there are additional rights to free home to school transport where children are entitled to Free School Meals or whose parents are in receipt of the maximum Working Tax Credit. It is for local authorities to decide how to fulfil that duty. They may, if they wish, provide pupils with rail passes. The information requested is not held centrally, regarding pupil numbers or detailed local authority expenditure.

15 May 2019, 11:59 a.m. Railways: Concessions Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the expenditure by local authorities on provision of (a) free or reduced cost rail travel for young people continuing in education beyond the age of 16, (b) rail passes for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities or mobility problems to get to school in the last 12 months.

Answer (Anne Milton)

The statutory responsibility for transport to education or training for 16 to 18 year olds rests with local authorities and they are expected to set out appropriate plans which reflect local needs and circumstances.

Local authorities are required under Section 251 of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 to prepare and submit statements about planned and actual expenditure on education and children and young people’s services to my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education.

The most recent data for 2017/18 is available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/section-251-2017-to-2018. However, these annual statements do not include the level of detail needed to estimate a local authority’s expenditure on free or reduced cost rail travel for young people, including those with special educational needs and disability or mobility problems.

15 May 2019, 11:57 a.m. South Eastern Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the value for money of the South Eastern rail franchise.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The South Eastern Franchise Competition is currently ongoing. As part of the Department’s usual process, prior to contract award, a full assessment of the value for money of the winning bidder’s proposition is undertaken.

14 May 2019, 3:49 p.m. Roads: Repairs and Maintenance Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the merits of Highways England's decision to reduce the number of road upgrades in the 2015-2020 Road Investment Strategy by 10 per cent.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

In delivering the road investment strategy, Highways England routinely reviews its delivery plans to ensure that proposed road schemes will deliver value for money and minimise disruption for motorists. Highways England publishes its annual Delivery Plan each year to provide details of its planned work programme for the next 12 months and beyond. The next regular update of this is scheduled to be published this summer.

13 May 2019, 4:05 p.m. East Coast Railway Line Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will set out the (a) revenue, (b) growth and (c) investment on the East Coast mainline by successive operators of the route in (i) 2015, (ii) 2016, (iii) 2017 and (iv) 2018.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The information requested for Virgin Trains East Coast can be found in the annual reports published on the Stagecoach website. I attach the link for reference:

https://www.stagecoach.com/investors/financial-analysis/reports/2018.aspx

The part year VTEC accounts for the period 1 April 2018 to 24 June 2018 are due to be published later this year.

The audited annual accounts for LNER from 24 June 2018 to 31 March 2019 will also be published later this year.

13 May 2019, 3:44 p.m. Northern: Standards Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans respond to the recommendations of Richard George on the resilience of the northern rail network; and what plans he has to implement those recommendations.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

I recently met with Richard George to discuss his report and recommendations. Decisions on the next steps will be taken in partnership with Transport for the North and the industry.

13 May 2019, 3:04 p.m. Abellio Group and Arriva Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 10 April 2019 to Question 243472 on Abellio Group, what assurances his Department has received from owning groups (a) Abellio and (b) Arriva that any sale of their UK government rail contracts will ensure future owners have the capacity to honour all commitments including parent company guarantees and performance bonds.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The ‘Change of Control’ provisions in the Franchise Agreement give the Secretary of State unlimited right to reject any sale of a franchise such as those owned by Abellio and Arriva. In deciding whether to approve such a sale, the Secretary of State would consider the arrangements in place for securing the same or improved parent company guarantees and performance bond arrangements as currently exist. This consideration would include the financial standing of the new owning group and other elements of their capacity to honour existing commitments.

13 May 2019, 3 p.m. Railways: Franchises Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 10 April 2019 to Question 243471 on Abellio Group, what weighting his Department gives to competition considerations and the wider impact on competition across the rail and wider transport industry in the (a) development, (b) design and (c) award of rail franchises.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

Issues relating to market competition arising from franchise awards are a matter for the winning bidder and the Competition and Markets Authority. As a result, the Department does not weight competition considerations in the development, design or award of rail franchises – the Department focuses on initiatives which will deliver real benefits to passengers, such as additional services, greater capacity and improvements in the customer experience.

13 May 2019, 2:52 p.m. East Midlands Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether all three bids for the East Midlands franchise were non-compliant.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

It was a fair, open competition and Abellio provided the best bid for passengers, in which it demonstrated that it will not only meet but exceed the Department’s specifications

In complex procurement processes such as this, it is a matter of course that there may be small technical non-compliances. These include, for example, incorrect font sizes or submitting bids in the wrong format. This does not constitute a material non-compliance which would affect the compliance of the bid as a whole.

13 May 2019, 2:36 p.m. Railways: Franchises Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions the Department for Transport's Operator of the last Resort has had with existing rail franchise operators on potential changes of ownership of those franchises.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Department monitors all Train Operating Companies closely to ensure delivery of services for passengers, and is in regular discussions with all Train Operators as part of its normal business.

13 May 2019, 2:32 p.m. Railways: Franchises Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reasons his Department (a) disqualified Stagecoach from the East Midlands, South Eastern and West Coast Partnership rail franchise competitions on 1 April 2019 and (b) did not inform that company of that decision until 9 April 2019.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

Entities in which Stagecoach were participating were disqualified from the East Midlands, West Coast Partnership and South Eastern competitions because they chose to submit bids which were not compliant with the requirements of the Instructions To Tender for each competition. Stagecoach were informed of the disqualification as soon as possible after the decision was confirmed.

13 May 2019, 2:27 p.m. West Coast Partnership Rail Franchise: Pensions Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether First Group has met his Department's criteria on railway pensions as a shortlisted bidder for the West Coast Partnership rail franchise.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Department does not comment on a live competition. All bids received for any franchise competition are evaluated against the requirements and instructions set out in the relevant Invitation To Tender.

13 May 2019, 2:11 p.m. East Midlands Trains: Pensions Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to Answer of 10 April 2019 to Question 243470, what estimate has he made of the amount of pension risk and liability the Government will be required to share on the East Midlands Trains as a result of the next actuarial valuation of the Railway Pension Scheme taking place December 2019.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The 2019 actuarial valuation of the East Midlands section of the Railways Pension Scheme will be performed by the Scheme Actuary, and the outcome will depend on the assumptions used. The Department has taken advice from the Government Actuary’s Department on the potential range of future valuation outcomes.

13 May 2019, 1:51 p.m. Railway Signals: Repairs and Maintenance Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of the amount of signalling which needs to be renewed across the rail network in (a) Control Period 7, (b) Control Period 8 and (c) Control Period 9; and what estimate he has made of the cost of those renewals.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

In the first instance it is for Network Rail to consider what signalling renewals are required across the rail network and provide advice to Government and the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). The ORR will scrutinise Network Rail’s proposals and provide assurance on their cost and deliverability as part of its statutory five-yearly periodic reviews of Network Rail’s outputs and funding.

13 May 2019, 1:44 p.m. Railways: Greater London Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer 9 April 2019 to Question 241018 on Durham Coast Railway Line, what assessment he has made of the implications of the reorganisation of Network Rail on those parts of the rail network under the control of the Mayor of London and Transport for London.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Department for Transport welcomes Network Rail’s Putting Passengers First programme and Andrew Haines’ commitment to ensuring that rail works for passengers and freight customers.

The Department is continuing to engage with Network Rail as they implement the programme. Network Rail is responsible for engaging all relevant stakeholders in the implementation phase.

13 May 2019, 1:37 p.m. Rail Delivery Group: Finance Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the financial contribution of Network Rail to the Rail Delivery Group in each year for which figures are available.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

Network Rail’s contributions to the Rail Delivery Group is presented in the table below:

RDG

18/19 £

17/18 £

16/17 £

15/16 £

14/15 £

3,978,375

3,760,000

5,481,932

2,443,500

2,039,000

9 May 2019, 9:58 a.m. Railways Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimates he has made of the timeframes required to (a) design, (b) consent and (c) tender for those new railway projects set out in the specification for market-led rail proposals.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

Timescales for the development of market-led proposals are determined by the pace at which promoters develop them as they are market-led. We are continuing discussions with promoters of proposals received in response to last year’s Call for Ideas which we identified had the potential to be financially credible without government support. Due to commercial confidentiality we are not in a position to disclose details of these proposals at this time.

9 May 2019, 9:55 a.m. Railways Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to set out the next steps for his market-led proposals for rail.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The guidance for rail market-led proposals is live and it is for promoters to come forward with their proposals to invest in the railway. We remain committed to getting the best out of the public and private sectors in the interest of passengers and communities, and we continue to engage with promoters

9 May 2019, 9:52 a.m. Railways Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assurances his Department will provide train operators over new routes as determined by the market-led proposals; and whether those assurances will be classified as Government support for the Department's budgetary purposes.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline (RNEP) and Guidance for Rail Market-Led Proposals set out clear decision points for proposed rail enhancements. There are procedures and mechanisms in place to protect train operators from the impacts of rail enhancements.

3 May 2019, 9:33 a.m. East Midlands Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether Arriva have submitted a compliant bid for the East Midlands Trains franchise.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

Abellio has been awarded the East Midlands Railway franchise as the company submitted the strongest bid for passengers and taxpayers. Arriva’s bid is a matter for them.

4 Apr 2019, 10:32 a.m. Railways: Disability Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department or officials have had with the Equality and Human Rights Commission on their advice that Driver Only Operation trains could represent a diminution of protection for disabled people and potentially be in breach of the Equality Act 2010.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Department has not been in receipt of advice from the EHRC regarding Driver Only Operation and whether or not it could offer less protection for disabled people, and as such has not had any discussions with the EHRC.

3 Apr 2019, 2:58 p.m. Railways: Staff Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many trains operated with a second staff member on board in (a) 2017 and (b) 2018.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

Whilst the majority of trains on the rail network continue to operate with two members of staff on board, the Department does not hold the level of detailed information sought as this is a matter for operators themselves.

It remains the case that Driver Only Operation (DOO) and Driver Controlled Operation (DCO) have been used on the rail network for over 30 years and over 50% of all passenger journeys are now on such train services, including on Thameslink and the London Overground and Underground.

3 Apr 2019, 1:24 p.m. Railways: Disability Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to improve accessibility on the railway for disabled passengers.

Answer (Ms Nusrat Ghani)

The Government’s Inclusive Transport Strategy: Achieving Equal Access for Disabled People was published in July 2018. Its ambition is to create a transport system that provides equal access for disabled people by 2030, with assistance if physical infrastructure remains a barrier.

The Inclusive Transport Strategy included a commitment to extend our Access for All programme to 2024 with an additional £300m of funding from the public purse.

The Department will be introducing a new set of accessibility requirements such as the introduction and the delivery of enhanced disability awareness training to all train operating company staff, regardless of role or seniority, in future rail franchises.

3 Apr 2019, 1:15 p.m. Southeastern: Franchises Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what contingency plans he has to provide compensation to the shortlisted bidders for the Southeastern rail franchise for bidding costs incurred due to the delay in awarding the new contract.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Department’s tender documents make clear that it is not liable for bidders’ costs in any circumstances.

3 Apr 2019, 1:10 p.m. Railways: Franchises Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has plans to exclude successful rail franchise bidders from bidding for other rail franchises in the interests of competition.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Department does not exclude successful bidders from bidding for other franchises because this is a matter for the relevant competition authority. The award of a franchise may constitute a relevant merger situation under the Enterprise Act 2002, or a concentration under the EU Merger Regulation, and therefore may be investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority or European Commission, depending on the identity of the bidder. The Department does ask bidders to submit an assessment of the competition impacts of their bid.

3 Apr 2019, 12:57 p.m. Department for Transport: Procurement Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 26 March 2019 to Question 233527, if he will provide the number of contracts that were awarded by his Department without the formal oversight of the Procurement Assurance Board in (a) 2016 (b) 2017 and (c) 2018.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The information requested could only be provided at a disproportionate cost.

2 Apr 2019, 12:36 p.m. Railways: Disability Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what representation his Department has received from representatives from the Department's Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee on the effect of Driver Only Operation trains on disabled passengers in the last three years; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Department has regular and ongoing discussions with DPTAC on a wide range of issues, including staffing on rail, in their role as the Government’s statutory advisor on issues relating to transport provision for disabled people.

2 Apr 2019, 12:29 p.m. Railways: Disability Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department or officials have had with the Office of Rail and Road on his Department's consultation on Disabled People's Protection Policy: guidance changes for train and station operators, which closed on 15 February 2019.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

Both the Department and the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee, the statutory independent expert committee which advises Government on the transport needs of disabled people, provided formal responses to the Office of Rail and Road’s consultation on changes to the Disabled People’s Protection Policy guidance. The Department was also a member of the Office of Rail and Road’s Assisted Travel Advisory Group which met prior to the consultation launch, and attended an industry consultation event they ran in November.

2 Apr 2019, 11:58 a.m. East Coast Railway Line Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect on the incumbent East Coast route operator's (a) revenue and (b) service level provision in the event that additional open access services are implemented on the East Coast mainline from 2021.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

Train operator revenues and service level provisions are continually assessed under the terms of their Agreements with the Secretary of State.

The Government is fully committed to putting the interests of passengers at the heart of the railway and believe strongly in the importance of competition, as demonstrated by the highly competitive franchising system.

The Government supports open access in appropriate circumstances where it complements the competitive franchising system to develop new markets and where it provides innovation and benefits for passengers. However, it is important that the interests of taxpayers are fully protected.

2 Apr 2019, 10:58 a.m. East Coast Railway Line Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect on the route operator's (a) revenue and (b) service level provision of the decision to delay improvement work on the East Coast mainline between Bawtry and Edinburgh.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

Train operator revenues are continually assessed under the terms of their Agreements with the Secretary of State.

The infrastructure works between Bawtry and Edinburgh have not been delayed. The power upgrades in that area are planned for delivery in CP6 (Control Period 6 commences April 2019).

29 Mar 2019, 2:31 p.m. Railways: Standards Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the capacity of his Department to (a) develop, (b) evaluate and (c) award market-led proposals to enhance the railway; and how many of his Department's officials have been allocated to work relating to those proposals.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Guidance for Rail Market-led Proposals published in March last year is clear that the Department’s role is not to develop these proposals, as they are market-led. The Department has the capacity to evaluate rail market-led proposals in line with the guidance. On 5 December 2018 the Department responded to all promoters who had submitted a market-led proposal in response to the March 2018 Call for Ideas, and my officials are continuing to engage with those promoters whose proposals were evaluated to have the potential to be financially credible without government support.

1 Mar 2019, 1:02 p.m. Department for Transport: Recruitment Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much his Department spent on recruitment in (a) 2016, (b) 2017 and (c) 2018.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

DfT recruitment expenditure per financial year:

(a) Financial year 2016/2017

(b) Financial year 2017/2018

(c) Financial year 2018/2019 to date

Department for Transport recruitment expenditure

£2.2 million

£1.5 million

£1.7 million

The data provided covers the central Department for Transport.

The recorded expenditure is per financial year and includes costs for standard recruitment only (not contingent labour) and covers service delivery (excluding cost of staff), advertising and fees only.

1 Mar 2019, 10:48 a.m. Aviation Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the ACI EUROPE Airport Industry Connectivity Report 2018, published in June 2018 which reported that the UK’s direct connectivity has declined by 0.8 per cent between 2017 and 2018.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

No such assessment has been made. The UK is one of the most connected countries in the world both domestically and internationally and this is testament to a thriving aviation industry. The Government believes that air passengers are best served by a commercial airline market which is able to operate in a competitive environment. This allows airlines to determine the routes that they operate, and from which airports, based on their assessment of costs and passenger demand.

1 Mar 2019, 9:59 a.m. Department for Transport: Labour Turnover Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of staff turnover in his Department on the effectiveness of project management.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The staff turnover rate for the Department for Transport (Department, the Driver Vehicle & Licensing Agency, the Driver & Vehicle Services Agency, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency and the Vehicle Certification Agency) for the period 1 February 2018 to 31 January 2019 is 9.4%. This is a slight increase in comparison to the previous period in which staff turnover was 8.7%, but is significantly lower than the 15% UK average. The Department continually monitors staff turnover. Within the Department there is a well-established structure for regularly reporting and monitoring resource levels for projects and programmes.

The effectiveness of project management is supported through the Project Delivery Profession, which focuses on building and maintaining project delivery capability.

28 Feb 2019, 4:41 p.m. Railways Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the market-led proposals on rail received by his Department since the July 2018 deadline and state which of these were (a) accepted and (b) rejected.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

In December the department responded to all promoters of market-led proposals received through its call for ideas. The department cannot make an announcement about individual schemes at this time as these proposals were submitted in confidence and such disclosure may prejudice the commercial interests of the proposers.

25 Feb 2019, 3:51 p.m. Department for Transport: Procurement Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what weighting ratio in relation to price and quality his Department uses in decision-making on public procurement contracts.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The quality/price weighting ratio that the Department uses in the evaluation of public procurement contracts will vary dependent upon the specific requirements of each procurement. As an example, when evaluating tenders for the DfT’s Specialist Technical Advice for Rail (STAR) Framework, the Department used a 70%:30% quality/price weighting ratio.

20 Feb 2019, 4:56 p.m. Crossrail: Finance Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with Heathrow Airport Limited on that company's contribution towards the funding of Crossrail.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

DfT is working with Heathrow Airport Limited and Transport for London to finalise the arrangements to enable the payment of the £70m Heathrow contribution towards the project. Crossrail Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Transport for London.

18 Feb 2019, 5:24 p.m. Personal Independence Payment: Appeals Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 21 May 2018 to Question 144209 on Personal Independence Payment: Appeals, what solutions his Department is exploring to increase the capacity of the Tribunals Service in relation to personal independence payment; and what the digital reform initiatives referred to in that Answer are.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has been working with the tribunal judiciary both to appoint additional judges and panel members and to list more Personal Independence Payment (PIP) appeals into each tribunal session.

For example, the Social Security and Child Support tribunal has recruited extra fee-paid judicial office holders: 250 judges across the First-tier Tribunal, 125 disability qualified members and up to 230 medical members. In addition, we are listing more PIP appeals per session and have introduced case-management “triage” sessions, with the aim of reducing the time taken for appeals to reach final determination. All these measures will increase the capacity of the tribunal, with the aim of reducing waiting times for appellants.

We are also developing a new digital system with a view to enabling speedier processing of appeals and a better service for all parties to the proceedings. Information on the new digital service can be found at www.gov.uk/government/news/new-online-service-launched-for-pip-appeals. This service is now also live for Employment and Support Allowance appeals.

Finally, we are working with the Department for Work and Pensions to understand what could be done to reduce the number of appeals being submitted to the Tribunal, through their focus on improving decision-making and the mandatory reconsideration process. Latest figures (to September 2018) indicate that since PIP was introduced, 3.7 million decisions have been made, and of these 10% have been appealed and 5% have been overturned at tribunals.

14 Feb 2019, 3:18 p.m. Northern: Rolling Stock Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much is Arriva Rail North contributing towards the cost of the new fleet of rolling stock as set out in the terms of its franchise agreement with the Department.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

Northern are not funding the new rolling stock. The new rolling stock fleet is being financed by Eversholt Rail Group.

14 Feb 2019, 12:26 p.m. Personal Independence Payment: Middlesbrough Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average waiting time is for personal independence payment appeal tribunal dates in Middlesbrough constituency; and what steps he is taking to reduce the waiting time.

Answer (Sarah Newton)

Information on the average waiting time to a first tribunal hearing is not collated centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

The Ministry of Justice publish statistics on the mean age of a case at disposal by tribunal venue. This is the average number of weeks from receipt in Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to the final outcome within the period. It will include cases cleared at hearing and cases cleared without a hearing which include strike outs, superseded and withdrawals prior to a hearing. An appeal may not necessarily be cleared at its first hearing.

These statistics are available in the Tribunal Statistics CSV files, Tribunals and Gender Recognition Statistics Quarterly, July to September 2018 (Provisional) publication, available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/tribunals-and-gender-recognition-certificate-statistics-quarterly-july-to-september-2018

The Ministry of Justice is in the process of recruiting more judicial office holders in order to increase capacity and help to reduce waiting times for appellants. In the Social Security and Child Support (SSCS) jurisdiction, 225 new medical members have already been appointed and 119 disability-qualified members have recently been recruited. The SSCS jurisdiction will also benefit from the fact that 250 fee-paid judges and 100 salaried judges are being recruited across tribunals more widely.

In addition, a new digital service has recently been launched to enable speedier processing of appeals and provide a better service for all parties to the proceedings. Information on the new digital service can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-online-service-launched-for-pip-appeals

13 Feb 2019, 4:48 p.m. East Coast Mainline Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what adjustments were required to the IEP contract with Agility Trains to install filters on the Class 800 trains for use on the East Coast mainline; and what the cost was of those installations.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Intercity Express Programme (IEP) contracts require Agility Trains to provide trains that are compatible with the network. There are mechanisms within the contractual structure to allow for adjustments to be made as a result of required train modifications such as the installation of filters on the East Coast IEP fleet. Discussions are currently ongoing between DfT and Agility Trains on the implementation of the required contractual changes.

13 Feb 2019, 4:43 p.m. Rolling Stock Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has plans to issue a (a) derogation and (b) short-term dispensation for passenger rolling stock which is not compliant with the (i) Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations and (ii) Persons with Reduced Mobility Technical Specification for Interoperability after 31 December 2019.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Department’s ‘targeted compliance’ approach to the upgrade of vehicles built before modern accessibility standards were established considers applications for dispensation on a case-by-case basis and in consultation with the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee. It has already issued 34 dispensations from standards in the Persons of Reduced Mobility Technical Specification for Interoperability and 33 exemptions from standards in the Rail Vehicle Accessibility (Non-Interoperable Rail System) Regulations 2010 for fleets which will continue in operation after 31 December 2019. Derogations against interoperability standards are issued by the European Commission in respect of newly designed vehicles and not by the Secretary of State.

13 Feb 2019, 4:40 p.m. Rolling Stock: Northern Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether Pacer trains will continue in service on the northern rail network after December 2019.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

I am pleased to say that Northern will oversee the complete removal of the outdated and unpopular Pacers by the end of 2019. All the rolling stock used by Northern will either be new or fully refurbished to an ‘as new’ condition.

13 Feb 2019, 4:38 p.m. Rolling Stock: Procurement Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 14 January 2018 to Question 208286 on Rolling Stock: Procurement, what discussions his Department has had with (a) Transport Scotland, (b) Transport for Wales and (c) other devolved transport authorities to ensure a sensible cascade of rolling stock in the event of a delay to the delivery of new trains.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

Operators work together to mitigate against delays in delivery of new trains to ensure that the impacts on passengers are minimised. The Department has discussions with other Franchising Authorities and devolved administrations to facilitate the contractual requirements of these mitigations, where necessary.

13 Feb 2019, 4:35 p.m. Great Western Railway Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions have taken place between his Department, Network Rail and Hitachi on electromagnetic compatibility modifications to the Great Western Class 800 fleet.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Department is engaging regularly with Network Rail (NR), Hitachi Rail Europe (HRE) and Great Western Railway (GWR) in regards to the electromagnetic compatibility and exploring the potential for future improvements on the Great Western Class 800 trains, the details of which are subject to on-going commercial confidentiality.

13 Feb 2019, 1:47 p.m. Roads: Capital Investment Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department undertook a Strategic Environmental Assessment of the draft road investment strategy 2.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

Every project proposed through the next Road Investment Strategy will go through the appropriate sections of the planning process, and this process usually includes multiple opportunities for consultation. As such, RIS proposals are subject to Environmental Impact Assessment regulations, rather than to those leading to a Strategic Environmental Assessment. The Department will ensure that every project is assessed in line with applicable law, and aims to provide additional opportunities for people with wider environmental interests and concerns to get involved when possible.

13 Feb 2019, 12:37 p.m. London Airports: Public Transport Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the report entitled, Way to go: improving public transport access to London’s airports, published by London Travel Watch on 18 January 2019, what estimate he has made of the number of people using public transport to reach London airports.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The proportion of air passengers using public transport to reach London airports can be estimated from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Departing Passenger Survey, which includes questions on a passenger’s mode of transport to the airport. Estimates using this data suggest that, in 2017, 56.4m passengers used public transport to travel to and from London airports.

The Department for Transport expects airport operators to establish targets that increase public transport usage as part of their Surface Access Strategies.

The Aviation Strategy 2050 consultation paper proposes a range of measures that aim to support airports in achieving their mode share ambitions, including uprating Airport Transport Forums so that local and central Government, airports, and transport providers have the opportunity to contribute appropriately to the delivery and monitoring of airports mode share and environmental targets.

30 Jan 2019, 1:34 p.m. Railways: Standards Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 21 February 2019 to Question 208287, what plans he has to ensure (a) train operators and (b) Network Rail take the necessary steps to inform rail passengers about (i) different carriage layouts and (ii) door configurations (iii) platform embarkation/disembarkation points prior to the introduction of new trains due onto the rail network between 2019 and 2021.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

This is a matter for train operators and Network Rail who are best placed to understand the needs of passengers and what information should be provided in respect of the introduction of new rolling stock.

30 Jan 2019, 1:31 p.m. Railways: Standards Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 21 February 2019 to Question 208287, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of train operating company training and planning with respect to (a) traincrew and (b) depots in order to facilitate the introduction of the new trains due onto the rail network between 2019 and 2021.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Department evaluates the deliverability of traincrew and depots strategies as part of the franchise competition process. It is then the responsibility of train operating companies to deliver those strategies to facilitate the introduction of new trains in line with their contractual commitments.

30 Jan 2019, 1:08 p.m. Railways: Standards Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 21 January to Question 208287, what figure of miles per train incident he will use to measure the performance of new trains as they are introduced onto the rail network between 2019 and 2021.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

This is an exciting time for the rail industry and for passengers, with new fleets of trains being introduced which will help deliver a step-change in customer service. The performance of trains is one factor affecting the overall network performance. Both the Department and operators consider these factors as part of the franchise competition process. Operators then have obligations to deliver performance in line with their franchise commitments; no separate target is set in respect of train performance.

30 Jan 2019, 1:08 p.m. Railways: Standards Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport,pursuant to the Answer of 21 February 2019 to Question 208287, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of Network Rail’s investment and planning with respect to (a) signalling, (b) platforms and (c) power supply in order to facilitate the introduction of the new trains due onto the rail network between 2019 and 2021.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

This is an exciting time for the rail industry and for passengers, with new fleets of trains being introduced which will help deliver a step-change in customer service. The performance of trains is one factor affecting the overall network performance. Both the Department and operators consider these factors as part of the franchise competition process. Operators then have obligations to deliver performance in line with their franchise commitments; no separate target is set in respect of train performance.

30 Jan 2019, 1:08 p.m. Railways: Standards Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 21 February 2019 to Question 208287, what target for public performance measure he will use to determine the performance of new trains as they are introduced onto the rail network between 2019 and 2021.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

This is an exciting time for the rail industry and for passengers, with new fleets of trains being introduced which will help deliver a step-change in customer service. The performance of trains is one factor affecting the overall network performance. Both the Department and operators consider these factors as part of the franchise competition process. Operators then have obligations to deliver performance in line with their franchise commitments; no separate target is set in respect of train performance.

30 Jan 2019, 11:23 a.m. Railways: Tickets Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 21 February 2019 to Question 208287, how many of the 11 train operating companies with routes into London offer (a) season tickets on smartcards, (b) flexible season ticket and (c) single leg ticketing.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

(a) Of the franchised train operating companies with routes into London, eight offer season tickets on smartcards. One currently plans to offer season tickets on smartcards later this year. Two others are willing to accept season tickets on smartcards that have been issued by other ToCs.

(b) All new franchisees are required through their franchise agreements to offer a product or products in addition to existing season tickets, that give customers who travel less than 5 days a week a better value-for-money option than buying multiple return journeys.

Seven franchised train operating companies with routes into London offer flexible season tickets.

Open access train operating companies with routes into London offer market-based pricing and ticketing schemes, however the Department does not hold data on the details of these.

(c) The Department also does not currently hold data regarding the use of single leg ticketing by train operating companies with routes into London.

23 Jan 2019, 12:46 p.m. Channel Ferries: Freight Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant the Answer of 16 January 2019 to Question 206828 on Channel Ferries: freight, whether essential (a) food supplies and (b) medicines will be prioritised through those ports by the Government in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal; and on what basis ferry ports will be prioritised.

Answer (Chris Grayling)

The additional ferry capacity Government has secured utilises the ports of Plymouth, Poole, Portsmouth, Ramsgate, Felixstowe and Immingham.

This Government-secured ferry capacity will be used for the import of critical goods, primarily medicines and medical supplies.

There is no proposal to prioritise between ferry ports.

22 Jan 2019, 2:58 p.m. Railways: Tickets Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, (a) how much his Department has spent and (b) what progress his Department has made on the introduction of smart ticketing technology across the railway in (a) 2016 (b) 2017 and (c) 2018.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

In 2017 we set a goal of securing smart ticketing across almost all of our rail network by 2018. As a result of our £80 million investment in smart ticketing nationally and the first phase of the £150m investment in Transport for the North’s multi-modal programme, passengers can now obtain a smart card or barcode ticket across almost all of the rail network.

21 Jan 2019, 2:37 p.m. Channel Ferries: Freight Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what meetings his Department has held with freight operating companies on the potential need for additional freight services from Folkestone, Dover and other ports in the south of England.

Answer (Ms Nusrat Ghani)

The Department, individually and in conjunction with Border Delivery Group, has engaged in numerous discussions with freight operators about the outlook for freight traffic in the south of England.

21 Jan 2019, 11:45 a.m. Rolling Stock: Procurement Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has for the onward cascade and transfer of rolling stock between train operators in the event that there are delays to the delivery and introduction of new trains.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Franchise Agreement has clauses to support the sensible cascade out of rolling stock if there is a delay in new trains. We would expect the current operators of the rolling stock to resolve satisfactorily in discussion with the owners and the future operators of the rolling stock.

21 Jan 2019, 11:38 a.m. Railways: Standards Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect on performance of the number of new trains planned to be introduced across the rail network between 2019 and 2021.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

New rolling stock will transform the passenger experience across the country. For example, on Northern and Transpennine Express, by 2020 all the trains will be brand new or completely refurbished, and all the Pacer trains will be gone. The East Anglia franchise will deliver over 1,000 new carriages, the West Midlands franchise will see over 400 new carriages, and South Western railways will deliver 750 new carriages. In their planning, operators consider the impact of new rolling stock and the growth in reliability as trains are first introduced. Work is underway in the industry to learn and share lessons on the introduction of new rolling stock.

17 Jan 2019, 4:30 p.m. Ramsgate Port Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the customs code for the Channel ports will be extended to the Port of Ramsgate.

Answer (Mel Stride)

The Government has been clear that we do not want or expect a ‘no deal’ scenario, however we will continue to do the responsible thing and prepare for all eventualities.

In the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal, customs controls will be required on UK-EU trade. HMRC has been working closely with key RoRo locations and the businesses that facilitate trade through these locations to understand how best customs requirements can be implemented at Dover, Eurotunnel and other ports in Kent. In recognition of the unique nature of cross-Channel trade, and in response to stakeholder feedback, we are ensuring that a singular, joint location code covering both Dover and Eurotunnel can be used for the customs IT systems. This allows the haulier the flexibility of making last minute changes to routing, which is currently important for hauliers transporting goods to and from the EU. We will continue to work closely with the Department for Transport and other key stakeholders to plan for this scenario, including taking into account industry views on whether such a joint location code should be extended on any RoRo services that would operate out of Ramsgate.
17 Jan 2019, 4:02 p.m. Ramsgate Port Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the cost of (a) new or (b) reconstituted border inspection facilities at the Port of Ramsgate.

Answer (Ms Nusrat Ghani)

The Port of Ramsgate is working in liaison with UK Border Force on the provision of appropriate border inspection facilities should they be required. Specific estimates will be determined in due course.

17 Jan 2019, 3:51 p.m. South Eastern Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what guidance he had issued to the operator of the Southeastern rail franchise in relation to potential disruption as a result of a requirement for additional paths for rail freight services to Dover and Folkstone in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Answer (Chris Grayling)

We have not issued any guidance to Southeastern in relation to arrangements for cross-border rail freight services in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal. This is because potential contingency options we are currently exploring would not disrupt passenger services and do not involve any changes to passenger services.

17 Jan 2019, 3:05 p.m. Railways: Exhaust Emissions Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to publish the report of the Rail Decarbonisation Taskforce.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The report will be published by the Rail Decarbonisation Taskforce, not by the Department, in the coming weeks.

17 Jan 2019, 3 p.m. Channel Ferries: Freight Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much (a) Deloitte, (b) Slaughter and May and (c) Mott MacDonald were paid to undertake due diligence assessment work as part of the freight ferry preparations in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Answer (Ms Nusrat Ghani)

The contracts remain live, so it is not yet possible to determine the total of fees paid.

17 Jan 2019, 2:17 p.m. Ramsgate Port: Dredging Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the cost of dredging for the Port of Ramsgate; and whether that cost is included in the funding of the contract awarded to Seaborne Freight.

Answer (Ms Nusrat Ghani)

I refer the Hon Member to the answer I gave to UIN 205175.

16 Jan 2019, 4 p.m. Channel Ferries: Freight Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment has been made of the volume of freight ferry traffic that would move from the Channel ports to (a) Purfleet, (b) Tilbury (c) Harwich and (d) Humber in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Answer (Chris Grayling)

In the event of constriction of capacity on the short Strait in a no-deal scenario, traffic would be expected to switch in varying proportions to a range of Channel and North Sea ports including those mentioned. The Department has made no specific estimates.

16 Jan 2019, 3:40 p.m. Seaborne Freight Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether (a) he and (b) advisers in his Department have held meetings with any of the Seaborne Freight’s company directors since 2016.

Answer (Ms Nusrat Ghani)

I refer the hon. Member to the Answer I gave to PQ UIN 205983.

16 Jan 2019, 2:56 p.m. Seaborne Freight Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to cancel his Department's contract with Seaborne Freight given that the terms of the contract specify a delivery date of 29 March 2019.

Answer (Ms Nusrat Ghani)

There are no plans to cancel the Seaborne Freight contract. Seaborne Freight need to meet a series of contractual milestones. No money will be paid to the company for provision of ferry services unless those services are provided.

16 Jan 2019, 11:37 a.m. Railways: Pay Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what meetings he has had with train operating companies and Network Rail to discuss the transfer of the link between rail pay settlements from the retail prices index to the consumer prices index; and if he will publish the minutes and agreed outcomes of those meetings.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Secretary of State for Transport has regular meetings with the rail industry where a wide range of issues, including workforce questions, are discussed. Minutes of Ministerial meetings are not routinely published in order to ensure participants can exchange views in confidence and with trust, as well as to protect commercially sensitive information. There are no plans to publish the minutes of these meetings.

20 Dec 2018, 8:40 a.m. Department for Transport: Motor Vehicles Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 1 November 2018 to Question 184986 on Department for Transport: Motor Vehicles, in which years the 21 Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles that are owned by his Department and its agencies were purchased.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The following table shows the years that the ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) referred to in the PQ of 1 November 2018 were procured.

Year

Number of ULEVs purchased by DfT and its agencies.

2010

1

2015

7

2016

8

2017

3

2018

2

Since 1 November 2018 the Government Car Service has purchased an additional eight ultra low emission vehicles, bringing the total for DfT and its agencies to 29.

18 Dec 2018, 8:38 a.m. High Speed 2 Railway Line Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether High Speed Two will begin operations in December 2026.

Answer (Ms Nusrat Ghani)

HS2 Ltd has been set a target of commencing HS2 Phase One services in 2026.

17 Dec 2018, 3:41 p.m. Trains Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much new capacity will be delivered by the 7200 new trains to come on to the rail network between 2014 and 2021; and how many of those new trains are like-for-like replacements of the existing stock.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Industry set out in their rolling stock document (Long Term Passenger Rolling Stock Strategy 6th edition) that there will be more than 3,000 additional vehicles on the network by 2021 providing more capacity for passengers across the country. Passengers will see a step change in quality with the introduction of new fleets delivering modern travelling environments and features passengers expect.

12 Dec 2018, 2:01 p.m. Railways: Freight Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions has he had with Transport for the North on the exclusion of freight from the specification of the north Transpennine upgrade.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

Ministers and officials have met TfN representatives on a number of occasions to discuss Trans Pennine Upgrade and other rail issues and confirm that the remit for the upgrade continues to include freight options. Network Rail, the Department and TfN will continue to work closely to develop the programme further and we expect work to begin in Spring next year.

12 Dec 2018, 1:43 p.m. Rail Review Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many officials in (a) the Department for Transport (b) HM Treasury (c) the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and (d) Number 10 Downing Street are (i) working on or (b) seconded to the Williams Rail Review.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Williams Rail Review is utilising staff and drawing flexibly on a wide range of expertise from across government and interested organisations.

12 Dec 2018, 1:32 p.m. Railways: Freight Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the capacity for rail freight growth will be included in the Government’s specification for the north Transpennine as a result of his Department's internal Board Investment and Commercial Committee meeting held on 19 November 2018.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Transpennine Route Upgrade design remit continues to include freight options. Network Rail, the Department and TfN will continue to work closely to develop the programme further and I expect work to begin in Spring next year.

12 Dec 2018, 8:40 a.m. Railways: Freight Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government is taking to increase the volume of rail freight from ports in the North of England.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

In Control Period 5 (2014-2019), Government is investing £235m in the Strategic Freight Network – a ring fenced fund to support projects and enhancements where there is the opportunity for more freight to be transported by rail.

This investment includes W12 gauge clearance to allow higher and wider containers to be transported between the Port of Immingham and Doncaster. An Outline Business Case (OBC) is also being developed for a gauge clearance scheme from the Port of Tees to the ECML at Northallerton, jointly funded by Government and by the Tees Valley Combined Authority.

Government is working with Network Rail, Transport for the North, and the industry to develop options for investment in the network in CP6 in the North of England.

11 Dec 2018, 5:17 p.m. South Eastern Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to award Govia an extension to the South eastern rail franchise contract.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

Earlier this year the Secretary of State agreed an extension to run until April next year with a further option to include an additional 3 months if required. The award for the next franchise will now be made in the new year.

11 Dec 2018, 2:39 p.m. Network Rail: Finance Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether Network Rail is entitled to carry over funds for each financial year in Control Period 6 between 2019 and 2024.

Answer (Elizabeth Truss)

Given the size of its capital spending portfolio, Network Rail will be granted financial flexibilities over its spending which will allow it to move funds between financial years, to reflect the inherent volatility of capital spending. These flexibilities were set out in the Department for Transport’s response to the Office of Rail and Road’s second consultation on Periodic Review 18’s financial framework, published in June 2018, available at http://orr.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/27862/pr18-responses-to-second-consultation-on-the-financial-framework.pdf

11 Dec 2018, 11:57 a.m. Rail Review Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Williams rail review will include an assessment of HS2; and what assessment he has made of the optimum rail industry structure to ensure that HS2 benefits the entire railway network.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

As set out in the Williams Rail Review terms of reference announced by the Secretary of State on 11th October, the Review’s remit does not include assessing the specific infrastructure and services that should be provided by the railway. It is therefore not reconsidering public investment decisions made through existing franchise agreements, Control Period 6 commitments, High Speed 2 (HS2) and other major projects.

The Review will consider and make recommendations about which structures and commercial models will best serve the current and future railway, including ensuring the benefits from HS2 and other major rail projects are fully captured.

11 Dec 2018, 11:41 a.m. Rail Review Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Williams Rail Review been directed to consider (a) Network Rail’s debt and (b) the railway pension scheme.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Williams Rail Review’s Terms of Reference sets out that the Review should consider the long-term affordability of the railway and its recommendations should support delivery of a system that is financially sustainable and able to address long-term cost pressures.

11 Dec 2018, 11:14 a.m. Railways: Tickets Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many train operating companues offer tickets on smartcards that can be used throughout the rail network.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Government’s goal, set out last year in “Connecting people: a strategic vision for rail”, is to make smart ticketing available across almost all the network by the end of this year. The rail industry is on track to deliver a smart card or barcode option that passengers can choose to use for singles, returns and seasons on journeys across almost all of the rail network by the end of the year.

11 Dec 2018, 11:14 a.m. Railways: Tickets Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many train operating companies offer (a) paper and (b) mobile barcode tickets to all destinations on the rail network.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Government’s goal, set out last year in “Connecting people: a strategic vision for rail”, is to make smart ticketing available across almost all the network by the end of this year. The rail industry is on track to deliver a smart card or barcode option that passengers can choose to use for singles, returns and seasons on journeys across almost all of the rail network by the end of the year.

11 Dec 2018, 10:10 a.m. Railways: Croydon Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 21 November 2018 to Question 191424 on Railways: Croydon, whether the Rail Enhancements Pipeline contains provisions to expedite the development of a Final Business Case where a clear and urgent economic need for infrastructure improvement exists and has been verified by a local enterprise partnership.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

When the Government published guidance in March 2018, we made clear that the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline would be kept under constant review to ensure that decision making about enhancements is agile. Government will take account of affordability and the need to adjust the pipeline to reflect the changing nature of transport, technology and the economy and support the best outcomes for passengers, freight users and the taxpayer. The Government has already committed more than £28m to fully understand the railway opportunities and challenges in the Croydon area, working closely with local partners. We expect to make decisions on the next stage of work in late 2019.

4 Dec 2018, 1:17 p.m. Railways: North of England Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, under what terms Richard George has been engaged by his Department to (a) co-ordinate efforts between train operators and Network Rail to improve the reliability of services in the north and (b) work with industry and Transport for the North to examine the increase in services train operators committed to in December 2019; and what the timeframe is for Mr George to present his recommendations to the Department.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

Richard George, an independent industry expert, has been tasked by the Secretary of State to assist with railway industry performance improvement in the region covered by Transport for the North. Although there may be discussion on the increase in services train operators are committed to in December 2019, this is not a specific remit of his work. The Terms of Reference set out the remit of his work, including that he will report to both the Department and Transport for the North.

It is intended that recommendations will be provided to the Department in Spring 2019. A copy of the full Terms of Reference will be placed in the libraries of both Houses.

3 Dec 2018, 12:55 p.m. Electronic Vehicles: Charging Points Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to page 46 of Autumn Budget 2017, how much and what proportion of the charging investment infrastructure fund has been invested in charging infrastructure.

Answer (Robert Jenrick)

The Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund will consist of £200m government investment to be matched by the private sector. The fund will be managed and invested in on a commercial basis by a private sector fund manager who will make independent, commercial decisions on how to invest, within parameters set by government. The Request for Proposals to select a fund manager recently closed, and government are in the final stages of selecting a preferred bidder(s). The selected fund manager(s) will raise the match funding from the private sector and the fund will start investing in early 2019.

3 Dec 2018, 12:55 p.m. Electric Vehicles: Charging Points Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer,with reference to page 46 of Autumn Budget 2017, how much and what proportion of the £200 million of private investment for the charging investment infrastructure fund has been raised.

Answer (Robert Jenrick)

The Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund will consist of £200m government investment to be matched by the private sector. The fund will be managed and invested in on a commercial basis by a private sector fund manager who will make independent, commercial decisions on how to invest, within parameters set by government. The Request for Proposals to select a fund manager recently closed, and government are in the final stages of selecting a preferred bidder(s). The selected fund manager(s) will raise the match funding from the private sector and the fund will start investing in early 2019.

3 Dec 2018, 11:45 a.m. Flybe Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of (a) the financial sustainability of Flybe; and (b) the implications for regional aviation connectivity of Fybe's financial sustainability.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Civil Aviation Authority monitors the financial position of all UK airlines, including Flybe, as part of its routine airline licensing activities. Given the commercial sensitivity of such information, it is not publicly available. Flybe recently published its latest results, and more information about its business activities can be found in its annual report.

Flybe offers a wide range of air connections which support regional connectivity. The Government will be consulting on its policy on regional connectivity in the Aviation Strategy Green Paper later this year.

3 Dec 2018, 11:24 a.m. Bus Services: Working Hours Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the additional potential cost to industry of introducing domestic regulations on (a) maximum driving hours of nine hours a day and (b) rest periods for bus drivers of 45 minutes every 4.5 hours.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Department for Transport conducted an extensive review of the effectiveness of the GB domestic drivers’ hours rules, which covers most bus drivers, in 2009/10. This included looking at whether these vehicles should fall under any of the provisions in the EU drivers’ hours rules, such as introducing the same maximum driving time and break requirements.

Following this review, the Government decided not to make any changes, concluding that the existing rules are BOTH IMPORTANT AND APPROPRIATE in ensuring the safety of drivers and others on the road, AND that any further restrictions would risk imposing unreasonable burdens on industry. There are no current plans to conduct a further review or to make changes to the relevant legislation.

30 Nov 2018, 2:20 p.m. Highways England: Pay Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 21 November 2018 to Question 191428 on Highways England: Pay, if he will publish the review by EY into executive pay in Highways England.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The review will inform pay policy development by Government and the company. There are no plans to publish the EY review into remuneration arrangements across Highways England.

29 Nov 2018, 5:55 p.m. Transport: Noise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 21 November to Question 191429 on Transport: Noise, what the timeframe is for publication of the response to the consultation on the Noise Action Plans.

Answer (Dr Thérèse Coffey)

The Consultation on the draft Noise Action Plans for Roads, Railways and Agglomerations (large urban areas) closed on 15 November. Responses are currently being evaluated.

The Government will aim to publish a summary of responses alongside the final version of the Action Plans in early 2019.

29 Nov 2018, 4:23 p.m. Railways Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what (a) targets and (b) forecasts his Department has made of rail (i) passenger and (ii) freight growth by 2030.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

The Department does not set general targets for rail demand growth.

Our latest forecasts for rail passenger demand were published in the 2017 High-level Output Specification: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/high-level-output-specification-2017. Network Rail’s latest proposed forecasts for rail freight are published here: https://cdn.networkrail.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Rail-freight-forecasts-final-report.pdf. Both sets of forecasts are for the final financial year of control period 6 (2023/24).

29 Nov 2018, 1:39 p.m. Railways: Tickets Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answers of 1 and 21 November 2018 to Questions 183470 and 191425 on Railways and on Aviation: Fares, what proportion of the UK rail network will be covered by smart ticketing by the end of 2018.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

I refer the Honourable Member of Parliament for Middlesbrough to the answer to PQ 191425 that I gave last week.

29 Nov 2018, 12:18 p.m. Cross Country Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answers of 1 and 15 November 2018 to Questions 183468 and 188838 on Cross Country Rail franchise, what assessment he has made of the effect on levels of (a) overcrowding, (b) capacity and (c) congestion on that route of the Government's decision to review its options for the Cross Country franchise.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

Analysis, undertaken on the Cross Country network, has shown that from Mondays to Thursdays, Cross Country trains are extremely busy in the morning and evening peak. On Fridays, crowding on Cross Country trains starts from lunchtime onwards and, on some routes, extends into the late evening. In addition Cross Country has unique issues, in that it suffers from commuter traffic even though it is a long distance TOC which accounts for current pinch points.

The Department is working with the franchisee to reduce overcrowding, increase capacity and ease congestion.

29 Nov 2018, 11:43 a.m. Roads: Freight Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of proposed EU Mobility Package 1 on the (a) posting, (b) driving and (c) rest time of workers in the UK road transport industry.

Answer (Chris Grayling)

The latest proposals in the EU Mobility Package establish a road transport sector-specific regime for the posting of workers. This is intended to provide an enforceable and proportionate set of rules, based on harmonised administrative requirements for drivers and operators and on information exchange between Member State authorities. The Government’s assessment is that this will reduce administrative burdens that can be placed on UK-based drivers operating abroad. It is also proposed to introduce a limited exemption from posting rules for bilateral international operations. UK-based drivers may therefore in some circumstances be exempt from the prevailing local minimum wage rate while working in other Member States, although this would not be expected to entail a change to their contractual entitlement.

The latest proposals in the EU Mobility Package are that the driving and rest time rules would be modified to enable a driver to return to their base at least once every four weeks. In this context, to enable more of a driver’s rest time to be taken at home, it is proposed to enable drivers to take two consecutive reduced weekly rests, provided the reduction is compensated for. The Government considers that these rules would have a very limited effect on UK-based drivers, whose working patterns do not normally entail multiple weeks away from home.

12 Nov 2018, 5:39 p.m. Passports Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate he has made of the number of UK residents without a valid passport.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

Her Majesty’s Passport Office does not hold information on the number of UK residents without a valid passport. However, I can confirm that there were 49,971,015 valid British passports as of 31 December 2017.

12 Nov 2018, 5:30 p.m. Aviation Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number UK residents who did not take a (a) domestic and (b) international flight in (i) 2015, (ii) 2016 and (iii) 2017.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

Estimates are provided in the tables below for England. They are based on data from the Department’s National Travel Survey and the Office for National Statistics mid-year population estimates. Figures for the UK are not available.

Table 1: Estimated number of England residents who take a domestic flight within Great Britain less than once a year or never (in millions), 2015-2017

2015

2016

2017

England residents (millions)

50.9

51.4

51.5

Table 2: Estimated number of England residents who did not take any outward international flights in the last 12 months (in millions), 2015-2017

2015

2016

2017

England residents (millions)

29.0

28.6

27.9

12 Nov 2018, 3:24 p.m. Laing O'Rourke Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment has he made of the financial sustainability of Laing O’Rourke and the ability of that company to fulfil its contractual responsibilities in relation to (a) railways and (b) highways.

Answer (Ms Nusrat Ghani)

The Department’s remit is delivered mostly through its Arm’s Length Bodies and Executive Agencies. Each body assesses prospective suppliers’ ability to deliver its obligations during each procurement exercise before the award of contracts. This to comply with procurement regulations and statute, as well as evaluate the company’s competence and capability. Before contracts are signed there are various layers of governance across the ALBs, the Department, Cabinet Office and HM Treasury depending on the circumstances of each procurement. There are also measures in place to monitor financial stability throughout the procurement lifecycle.

12 Nov 2018, 2:11 p.m. Aerospace Industry and Aviation: Research Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much the Department for Transport has spent on research and development in (a) aviation and (b) aerospace in (i) 2015, (ii) 2016 and (iii) 2017.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The total amount spent by the Department for Transport on both aviation and aerospace research and development is provided below. These figures include both sectors. It is not possible to separate the expenditure as many individual research projects include aspects of both:

2014/15: £1,137,725

2015/16: £2,683,895

2016/17: £1,571,768

2017/18: £1,485,789

The figures above do not include any spend which may have been incurred by other Government departments in this area.

12 Nov 2018, 1:42 p.m. Railways: Pay Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 19 October 2018 to Question 178322 on Train Operating Companies: Pay, whether he has asked the Rail Delivery Group to include executive pay in the development of a pay award system that uses CPI as the inflation measure for future pay deals.

Answer (Ms Nusrat Ghani)

The rail industry has been shifting away from RPI over time and most rail industry costs now are not linked to RPI, with the primary exception of wages. The Secretary of State for Transport has asked the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) to develop an approach for how earnings growth for all employees could be more closely aligned with CPI, with the aim of ensuring that the railway is affordable for the fare paying and tax paying public. He has not made any reference to a ‘pay award system’ for any groups of staff.

Pay negotiations and the settlements reached by individual employers and trade unions remain a matter for local collective bargaining.

1 Nov 2018, 5:14 p.m. Railways and Aviation: Fares Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) rail and (b) air fares that were booked online in each of the last three years.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

(a) DfT does not routinely hold data on the number of rail fares booked online.

(b) The proportions of surveyed air passengers departing selected UK airports that booked their air ticket online in each of the last three years are shown in the table below.

Proportion of passengers booking their air ticket through the internet, 2015-2017 Source: CAA Departing Passenger Survey

Survey airport

2015

2016

2017

Birmingham

77.60%

76.90%

76.10%

Bristol

79.60%

-

-

Cardiff

68.80%

-

-

East Midlands

80.50%

78.50%

-

Leeds Bradford

-

-

29.50%

London City

64.90%

65.30%

67.20%

Heathrow

-

68.30%

69.60%

Liverpool

94.00%

93.00%

91.10%

Manchester

69.30%

69.60%

70.40%

Newcastle

-

-

74.10%

Stansted

93.10%

89.80%

92.80%

Unweighted sample size

64,161

48,836

57,777

Note:

1

Based on the question Where did you book your ticket?' asked as part of the CAA departing passenger survey. The CAA departing passenger survey is asked at a selection of UK airports every year to obtain information about air travellers and the determinants of the travel market.

2

'-' indicates that the airport was not surveyed in the year, or the question of ticket booking was not asked to passengers.

3

Booking through the internet can entail booking online with the airline directly or through a tour operator/travel agent.

4

Passengers surveyed may be of any residency, and are either travelling from a UK airport or passing through a UK airport when surveyed.

1 Nov 2018, 5 p.m. Train Operating Companies and Network Rail: Databases Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of (a) open and closed data, (b) data produced legacy systems, (c) data owned or created by train operating companies and (d) data from Network Rail.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

To answer parts (a), (b) and (c) of the question, the DfT has worked with the rail industry to publish a Joint Rail Data Action Plan. This outlines the Government’s assessment on open and closed rail data, and sets out a number of actions the rail industry will take to ensure data is being shared and used for the benefit of the railways and rail passengers.

This plan will ensure a shift in the railway industry’s approach to using and sharing its data, including new datasets to be made openly available, improvement on how data is collected and classified and new initiatives to bring the rail and technology sectors together. This will drive forward innovation within the rail industry and forge partnerships with the developer community so that the use of data is maximised and more accurate and up-to-date information is put into the hands of the passengers.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/joint-rail-data-action-plan

To answer part (d) of the question, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) monitor data quality through the use of Independent Reporters as part of their role as the rail regulator. These provide assessments of data quality for Network Rail’s data. The metrics and datasets they assess are given a grading based on system reliability and data accuracy. These assessment reports are published on the ORR’s website.

http://orr.gov.uk/rail/economic-regulation/regulation-of-network-rail/monitoring-performance/independent-reporters

1 Nov 2018, 4:57 p.m. Arriva Rail North and First TransPennine Express Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether (a) Arriva Rail North and (b) First Transpennine spent one per cent of their revenue on innovation in each year of their franchise required by the Innovation in Franchising Fund.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The franchise agreements with Northern and TransPennine Express (TPE) require them to deposit an amount equal to 1% of their estimated turnover for each Innovation Year, into an Innovation Account, within seven day of the start of that Innovation Year.

The Innovation in Franchising Fund is made available to the franchisee to promote innovation, and the successful exploitation of new ideas, which can be new to the company, organisation, industry or sector. It applies to products services, business processes and models, marketing and enabling technologies. The franchisee may draw from the fund to deliver their proposed schemes that are agreed by the Department. Northern’s Year 1 commenced 1 April 2018 and it is compliant with the relevant contractual obligations for that year. TPE’s first innovation year started 01 April 2017; for Innovation years 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 and 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019, TPE is compliant with the relevant contractual obligations.

1 Nov 2018, 4:56 p.m. Cross Country Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the timeframe is for the procurement of new rolling stock on the Cross Country rail franchise.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The timeframes for the new franchise are yet to be determined. It would be for an operator of the franchise to establish their specific rolling stock requirements.

1 Nov 2018, 4:52 p.m. Great Western Railway: Rolling Stock Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of adequacy of the performance of Great Western Railway’s Class 800s in relation to Miles per Technical incident for the last three reporting periods.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The introduction of the new IET fleet is similar to the experience with other new train fleets and we anticipate that performance will continue to improve as the full fleet is introduced and initial teething issues are resolved.

The full benefits of these IETs, including faster journey times and increased capacity, will be delivered once the full fleet is in service and a new timetable has been introduced.

1 Nov 2018, 4:50 p.m. Department for Transport: Motor Vehicles Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 13 March 2018 to Question 131715 on motor vehicles, what proportion of the fleet (a) owned and (b) leased by the (i) Government Car Service, (ii) Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency, (iii) Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency, (iv) Maritime & Coastguard Agency and (v) Vehicle Certification Agency are ultra-low emission vehicles.

Answer (Ms Nusrat Ghani)

The table below lists the number of (a) owned (b) leased vehicles in the fleets operated by the Department for Transport and its Agencies.

Department for Transport & Agencies Fleet

Outright Purchased

Leased

Number of Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles

% of Fleet Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles

GCS, Government Car Service DfTc

86

5

9

10.47%

MCA, Maritime & Coastguard Agency

447

0

0

0%

DVSA, Driver Vehicle & Standards Agency

282

977

0

0%

VCA, Vehicle Certification Agency

4

2

3

50%

DVLA, Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency

0

27

9

33.33%

The Chancellor announced in the Autumn Statement 2017 that 25% of cars in the central government fleets will be ultra-low emission by 2022.

1 Nov 2018, 4:43 p.m. South Western Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the shortfall in revenues on the South Western rail franchise as a result of the December 2018 timetable not being introduced.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

All franchise payments between the Department and franchisee are commercially sensitive and therefore confidential.

1 Nov 2018, 4:31 p.m. Railways: Industrial Disputes Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 19 October 2018 to Question 178322 on Train Operating Companies: Pay, what (a) locus, (b) authority or (c) remit the Rail Delivery Group has to intervene in rail industry industrial relations.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

I refer the hon Member to the written Answer I gave on 13 September to Question 170780 on the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) which sets out the RDG’s role in rail industrial relations.

Ultimately, the day to day responsibility for managing industrial relations or any dispute in the rail sector will be a matter for the individual employers and trade unions.

1 Nov 2018, 4:25 p.m. London North Eastern Railway Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what (a) instructions and (b) delivery timeframes he has issued to (i) LNER and (ii) Network Rail to develop the proposals for the LNER network.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Secretary of State has set up the East Coast Partnership Board which brings together LNER and Network Rail along with representation for freight and other East Coast Main Line train operators (the Partnership) to collaborate on the planning of enhancements, ensuring improved coordination in delivery and greater passenger focus.

The Partnership will jointly be able to take decisions about planning, maintenance and enhancement works alongside the interests of passengers to make sure that the two fit side by side.

The evolution to the East Coast Partnership has already commenced allowing for deeper collaboration and joint working to improve performance and plan enhancements.

Specifically, Network Rail has been instructed to deliver power supply upgrades between Doncaster and Edinburgh, a new rail junction near Peterborough, a new platform at Stevenage station and improvements to the track layout at King’s Cross. These enhancements will be completed in the early 2020s.

1 Nov 2018, 4:15 p.m. Railway Signals Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 19 October 2018 to Question 178321, what assessment he has made of the role of his Department in overseeing the introduction of the Automatic Power Change Over (APCO) system integration (a) across the InterCity Express programme and (b) at the Signalling Scheme Plan at Steventon Bridge.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

DfT is working together with the Rail Industry to enable facility for Automatic Power Change Over (APCO) on Intercity Express Trains on the East Coast and Great Western routes. This includes appropriate power change over arrangements at Steventon Bridge. I understand that Network Rail have launched a formal appeal to the Planning Inspectorate against the local authority decision to refuse planning permission for replacing Steventon Bridge.

1 Nov 2018, 3:52 p.m. Govia Thameslink Railway: Rolling Stock Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the performance of GTR’s Class 700 in relation to Miles per Technical Incident in each of the last three reporting periods.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Performance of the class 700 trains has steadily improved since they were first introduced in 2016, similarly to other new train fleets as initial teething issues are resolved. The Department continues to monitor the performance of the fleet to ensure that it can deliver train services for passengers across the network. The last of the new trains was accepted into passenger service earlier this summer. As further timetable changes are delivered, passengers will experience the full benefits of the Thameslink programme with improving reliability and higher capacity trains.

1 Nov 2018, 3:43 p.m. South Western Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what meetings his Department has held with (a) First Group and (b) MTR on renegotiating the South Western franchise.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

I can confirm that the Department has not had any such meetings with either First Group or MTR.

26 Oct 2018, 7:47 a.m. Northern: Subsidies Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the value was of the subsidy his Department provided to Arriva Rail North in (a) 2016, (b) 2017 and (c) 2018.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Statistics published annually by the Office of Rail and Road provide the total premium or subsidy for train operating companies. Figures are available on a financial year basis (April to March) for Arriva Northern and First TransPennine Express from 2016-17.

2016-17

2017-18

Arriva Northern (£ millions)

279.0

281.8

First TransPennine Express (£ millions)

-2.0

6.1

A positive value represents an overall subsidy paid to the train operator, whereas a negative value represents an overall premium paid to government.

26 Oct 2018, 7:47 a.m. First Transpennine Express: Finance Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the contribution in premiums to the public purse from First Transpennine in (a) 2016, (b) 2017 and (c) 2018.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Statistics published annually by the Office of Rail and Road provide the total premium or subsidy for train operating companies. Figures are available on a financial year basis (April to March) for Arriva Northern and First TransPennine Express from 2016-17.

2016-17

2017-18

Arriva Northern (£ millions)

279.0

281.8

First TransPennine Express (£ millions)

-2.0

6.1

A positive value represents an overall subsidy paid to the train operator, whereas a negative value represents an overall premium paid to government.

26 Oct 2018, 7:40 a.m. Northern Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what adjustments his Department has made to the provisions of the Arriva Rail North franchise in (a) 2016, (b) 2017 and (c) 2018.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Changes to franchise agreements can be found on the public version of the Franchise Agreement which can be found on the Department’s website.

26 Oct 2018, 7:34 a.m. Railways: Franchises Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the public purse of the franchise competitions for (a) Southeastern, (b) East Midlands Trains and (c) West Cost trains.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The spend to date from the inception of each franchising project, plus forecast future spend, is shown in the table below. These figures are primarily adviser costs (financial, technical and legal) plus contingent labour. Franchises are complex transactions and the expenditure helps deliver a robust commercial position, passenger benefits and taxpayer value over the franchise life. The recently announced Rail Review being led by Keith Williams will consider all parts of the rail industry, from the current franchising system and industry structures, to accountability and value for money for passengers and taxpayers.

Competition

Spend to date

Forecast to March 19

Estimated cost to the public purse

a) South Eastern

5,558,025.52

926,620.00

6,484,645.52

b) East Midlands

3,686,461.89

2,476,040.00

6,162,501.89

c) West Coast

12,444,887.71

2,922,110.00

15,366,997.71

Total

21,689,375.12

6,324,770.00

28,014,145.12

26 Oct 2018, 7:31 a.m. Northern Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of whether Arriva Rail North has met the obligations and provisions of its franchise.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Currently Arriva Rail North has received one enforcement notice relating to environmental training. The Rail North Partnership constantly monitors Arriva Rail North’s compliance with the obligations within the Franchise Agreement.

26 Oct 2018, 7:27 a.m. Northern Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what adjustments he has made to the provisions of the Northern Rail franchise that provide protection to the operator against falling passenger numbers.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

As there are no provisions in the Franchise Agreement to protect the operator against falling passenger number, no adjustments have been made.

26 Oct 2018, 7:21 a.m. Northern Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the provisions of the Northern Rail franchise to protect the operator against falling passenger numbers.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

There are no provisions in the Northern Franchise Agreement to protect the operator against falling passenger numbers.

25 Oct 2018, 2:52 p.m. Northern Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to protect the operator against falling passenger numbers on Northern Rail.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Department is not taking any steps to protect the operator against falling passenger numbers, however the Rail North Partnership is working with the operator on what initiatives could be introduced to improve passenger numbers.

25 Oct 2018, 2:46 p.m. Northern: Industrial Disputes Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the cost of strike action on Arriva Rail North; and what financial assessment he has made of the effect of that strike action on the franchise.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The finances of Arriva Rail North are commercially sensitive and therefore are unable to be publicly shared.

23 Oct 2018, 2:47 p.m. Electric Vehicles Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department undertook an impact assessment of the effect on demand for electric vehicles in advance of the decision to reduce funding for the plug-in car grant.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

For the last seven years, the Plug-in Car Grant (PICG) has provided a discount for over 160,000 new ultra-low emission vehicles. Following a review of the grant the Government announced reduced rates earlier this month, while introducing a new scheme to support the take-up of e-cargo bikes.

Among other things, the review evaluated the impact of reducing grant rates on vehicle sales using a leading consumer-choice model. This model estimates how consumers will react to an increase in the price of ultra-low emission vehicles.

The recent announcement will support the purchase of the next 35,000 of the cleanest vehicles.

23 Oct 2018, 12:38 p.m. Emirates Airlines: Etihad Airways Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential effect on (a) prices of flights connecting to the UK and (b) competitiveness in the international aviation market of the proposed merger of the Emirates and Etihad airlines.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Department has not completed any work on the prices of flights connecting to the UK or on the competitiveness in the international aviation market of the proposed merger of the (non-UK owned) Emirates and Etihad airlines.

22 Oct 2018, 2:58 p.m. Railways: Compensation Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his speech at the Conservative party conference on 1 October 2018, what specific stronger obligations he plans to introduce to rail franchises in relation to passenger compensation rights.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

We will continue to monitor and report on Train Operating Companies’ (TOCs’) performance in making the claim process easier for passengers. We will mandate increased use of technology to inform passengers pro-actively that they are entitled to claim, using Apps, email and onboard announcements and hold TOCs to account for delivering claim processes that are swift and simple.

Separately from franchise agreements, the Government is supporting the establishment by the industry of an independent Rail Ombudsman before the end of 2018 to investigate and rule on unresolved customer complaints, with the power to issue decisions, including on compensation, that are binding on the industry.

22 Oct 2018, 2:55 p.m. Railways: Pay Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what comparative risk assessment he has made of (a) imposing and (b) negotiating changes to the measure of inflation used for rail industry pay negotiations.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

In August, the Secretary of State for Transport wrote to the Rail Delivery Group and to the trades unions, asking them to adopt CPI, and not RPI, as the basis for inflation when negotiating wage deals. As you know, CPI is the more widely used and reliable measure of inflation.

This would be a significant step in ensuring that costs in the rail industry do not rise faster than ticket prices. It will help to ensure that the railway is affordable for the fare paying and tax paying public for decades to come, while making sure that those who work on the railway continue to receive fair reward. Of course, pay negotiations and the settlements reached by individual employers and trade unions remain a matter for local collective bargaining.

In his letter to the trades unions the Secretary of State invited them to meet with the Rail minister so this might be discussed further.

22 Oct 2018, 2:27 p.m. Department for Transport: Public Expenditure Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the change has been to his Department's budget in real terms in each year since 2010; and what the projected change will be in real terms in each year to 2022.

Answer (Ms Nusrat Ghani)

DfT expenditure for the years from 2010/11 to 2019/20 (the final year of the current Spending Review period) is set out in the tables below.

Two separate tables are provided to reflect the major change in the accounting treatment of Network Rail from the 2015/16 financial year onwards, following its earlier reclassification from the private sector into the public sector.

For years up to and including 2014/15, Network Rail was not within the DfT Group accounts and DfT’s annual grant to Network Rail was therefore scored as Capital DEL expenditure (nominal value between £3bn and £4bn per year in each year shown). From 2015/16 onwards, Network Rail came into the DfT Group and its annual grant from DfT (which remains in place) became an intra-group transfer, and as such no longer scores as Capital DEL expenditure. Meaningful comparisons between these two periods cannot be made for this reason.

Data shows spending outturn for years up to 2017/18, and spending plans for 2018/19 and 2019/20. Network Rail spending is currently classified in AME and is outside the scope of these figures. Departmental budgets from 2020/21 onwards are have not yet been agreed and will be set as part of next year’s Spending Review.

2010/11 to 2014/15

£000s

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

Resource DEL (nominal)

5,806,274

5,487,143

5,191,309

4,701,510

3,459,901

Capital DEL (nominal)

7,928,710

7,933,844

8,536,711

8,545,473

9,446,280

Total DEL (nominal)

13,734,984

13,420,987

13,728,020

13,246,983

12,906,181

Total DEL (2017/18 prices)

15,372,493

14,826,138

14,866,033

14,086,691

13,550,177

Real-terms change year-on-year

-3.6%

0.3%

-5.2%

-3.8%

2015/16 to 2019/20

£000s

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

Resource DEL (nominal)

3,069,420

2,926,615

3,673,000

3,761,009

3,327,396

Capital DEL (nominal)

5,960,594

5,419,249

6,351,907

8,069,900

10,518,500

Total DEL (nominal)

9,030,014

8,345,864

10,024,907

11,830,909

13,845,896

Total DEL (2017/18 prices)

9,405,417

8,504,327

10,024,907

11,452,961

13,236,994

Real-terms change year-on-year

-9.6%

17.9%

14.2%

15.6%

Sources:

2019/20 plans: 2017/18 DfT Annual Report & Accounts

2018/19 plans: 2018/19 DfT Main Estimate

Outturn: DfT Annual Report & Accounts for 2017/18 and earlier years

19 Oct 2018, 10:14 a.m. Rail Review Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the (a) terms and conditions, (b) salary and (c) hours of work are for Keith Williams in relation to the Rail Review.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Department has used its standard terms and conditions of public appointment, which do not prescribe a set working hours limit. The obligation for Mr Williams, as Chair of the Rail Review, is to fulfil the terms of reference that were announced by the Secretary of State for Transport on 11th October 2018. Keith Williams has committed to the necessary time required to achieve this and is not being remunerated for his work as Chair of the Review.

19 Oct 2018, 10:09 a.m. Railways: Compensation Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the timescale is for the introduction of the one-click compensation scheme on the railways.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

One-click compensation will be introduced through future UK Government-run franchise competitions. Some operators, such as C2C, have already introduced fast claims systems under their own initiative.

19 Oct 2018, 10:04 a.m. Rail Review Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the (a) terms of conditions, (b) remuneration and (c) hours of work are for the panel members of the Rail Review Panel.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Department has used its standard terms and conditions of public appointment, which do not prescribe a set working hours limit. The obligation for the members is to assist the Chair, Keith Williams, to fulfil the terms of reference that were announced by the Secretary of State for Transport on 11th October 2018. Members of the panel will agree with the Chair the necessary time commitment to do this; this may vary across Members and during different stages of the Review. None of the members will be remunerated for their work.

19 Oct 2018, 10:01 a.m. Railways: Pay Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what advice he provided to train operating companies on the measure of inflation to be used for future pay negotiations.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Secretary of State for Transport has asked the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) to support the industry in developing an approach to move towards adopting CPI as the inflation measure for future pay deals. We have made a similar request of the trades unions, with the aim of ensuring that the railway is affordable for the fare paying and tax paying public for decades to come.

It may be appropriate to have above inflation pay where there are productivity or similar improvements.

19 Oct 2018, 9:02 a.m. London North Eastern Railway Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the Office for Rail and Road’s decision not to authorise any more Intercity Express Programme Class 800/801 for the London and North Eastern Railway until safety issues have been addressed on the introduction of the fleet into traffic in December 2018.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

It is not uncommon when introducing new trains that rigorous test programmes raise issues that must be resolved before passenger service begins. The rail industry’s utmost priorities are the safe introduction of services and to ensure passengers on the East Coast route receive the planned benefits of the new Intercity Express Programme.

The Department is working closely with the Office for Rail and Road (ORR), Hitachi Rail Europe (HRE), London North Eastern Railway (LNER) and Network Rail (NR) to address the concerns raised by the ORR and bring the fleet into passenger service as soon as possible.

The full benefits of the Government-led Intercity Express Programme, including increased capacity, improved reliability and more frequent services for passengers on the East Coast route, will be delivered once the full fleet is in service in 2020. But in the meantime each and every train that is introduced will itself improve journeys for LNER customers.

17 Sep 2018, 2:56 p.m. Northern: Timetables Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answers of 13 July 2018, 20 July 2018 and 10 September 2018 to Questions 161175, 164445 and 167289, if he will make an assessment of the accuracy of the finding of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership's report, Devolving our railways: learning the lessons from a summer of northern rail chaos, published on 30 July 2018 that the disruption caused by the Northern Rail timetable changes has cost the economy of the north of England £38 million.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

In line with answers provided to previous similar questions, the government’s focus has been on ensuring that the industry returns to a stable timetable as quickly as possible and that passengers in the most affected areas are compensated for the disruption caused. This approach is delivering for passengers, with the performance of both Govia Thameslink Railway and Northern having improved significantly in recent weeks, andcompensation schemes are now in place for all of the affected operators ensuring the disruption that passengers have experienced is financially recognised. Improving the performance of our railways in the North remains the focus, reflected in the recent appointment of Richard George as the single person to lead rail performance improvement in the North.

17 Sep 2018, 2:48 p.m. East-West Rail Link Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what signalling system is planned to be used on the East-West rail link.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The East West Rail programme will be delivered in a phased approach with the Western Section Phase 1 already delivered with conventional signalling and the Western Section Phase 2 to also be delivered with conventional signalling. The Central Section Phase 3 is currently in its definition phase and its signalling system is yet to be confirmed. However, the possibility of using a digital European Train Control System (ETCS) across East West Rail is being explored and could be implemented in the future, across all phases, should it provide significant additional benefits for the programme.

17 Sep 2018, 2:45 p.m. Great Western Railway: Fares Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what information his Department holds on the amount of fare income that First Great Western derived from first class travel in (a) 2015, (b) 2016 and (c) 2017.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

This information is commercially confidential.

13 Sep 2018, 3:52 p.m. East Midlands Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether all bids received for the East Midlands rail franchise have been compliant with the specifications of the tendering process set out by his Department.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Department is currently evaluating bids for the South Eastern and East Midlands competitions. We are unable to confirm the extent to which bids are compliant until the evaluation process has been completed and will make respective announcements on contract award in due course. We are unable to comment further at this stage given the commercially sensitive nature of the procurement process.

13 Sep 2018, 3:52 p.m. South Eastern Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether all bids received for the Southeastern rail franchise are compliant with the specifications of the tendering process set out by his Department.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Department is currently evaluating bids for the South Eastern and East Midlands competitions. We are unable to confirm the extent to which bids are compliant until the evaluation process has been completed and will make respective announcements on contract award in due course. We are unable to comment further at this stage given the commercially sensitive nature of the procurement process.

13 Sep 2018, 3:49 p.m. East Coast Railway Line Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he took to ensure that the new signalling system on the East Coast mainline was at the correct specification to accommodate the new Intercity Express Programme trains.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Intercity Express Programme (IEP) Invitation to Tender was published by the Department in 2007. The Invitation to Tender included a technical specification, the purpose of which was to ensure compatibility between the train and infrastructure, by providing railway infrastructure information to support the development of the train design. Therefore Hitachi are required to work with Network Rail to ensure that the train is compatible with the existing East Coast Main Line (ECML) infrastructure.

There is no ‘new signalling’ system on the East Coast Main Line.

13 Sep 2018, 3:45 p.m. East Coast Railway Line Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions took place between his Department and Network Rail in (a) 2015, (b) 2016, (c) 2017 and (d) 2018 to determine the (i) readiness and (ii) specification of the upgraded signalling system to be used on the East Coast mainline ahead of the introduction of the Intercity Express Programme trains.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Intercity Express Programme (IEP) Invitation to Tender was published by the Department in 2007. The Invitation to Tender included a technical specification, the purpose of which was to ensure compatibility between the train and infrastructure, by providing railway infrastructure information to support the development of the train design. Therefore Hitachi are required to work with Network Rail to ensure that the train is compatible with the existing East Coast Main Line (ECML) infrastructure. The signalling system on the ECML has not been upgraded ahead of the introduction of the Intercity Express Programme trains.

13 Sep 2018, 3:10 p.m. Rail Delivery Group Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the remit of the Rail Delivery Group includes industrial relations in the rail industry.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) brings together the companies that run Britain’s railway under a single body to provide services and support, to represent and give a voice to freight and passenger operators and the supply chain. The day to day responsibility for managing local industrial relations and the workforce in the rail sector lies with the individual employers, however, RDG has a role in coordinating its members’ views on a range of issues and initiatives, including those that could have industrial relations implications.

13 Sep 2018, 3:07 p.m. Aviation Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the conclusions of the report, UK Aviation Consumer Survey published by the Civil Aviation Authority 18 August 2018, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the reduction in airline passenger satisfaction rates between 2016 and 2018.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

A range of research, including the Civil Aviation Authority’s UK Aviation Consumer Survey, will feed into the Government’s Aviation Strategy, due for publication mid-2019. This is a consumer focussed, evidence-led strategy that will explore policy options for aviation to 2050 and beyond.

13 Sep 2018, 9:56 a.m. Railways: Standards Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if it his policy to maintain European Railway Agency rules in respect of specifications (a) on common track width and (b) uniform platform heights after the UK leaves the EU.

Answer (Chris Grayling)

Once we have left the EU we intend to have the flexibility to shape our domestic railway legislation to reflect the unique characteristics of the rail network within the UK, which for example could include platform heights. While any divergence relating to technical specifications will be carefully managed and the impacts fully assessed, the precise nature of any future arrangements are still subject to negotiation.

10 Sep 2018, 2:57 p.m. Govia Thameslink Railway and Northern: Timetables Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answers of 13 and 20 July to Questions 161175 and 164445, for what reasons the Government did not provide an estimate of the economic cost of the disruption caused by the rail timetable changes introduced on (a) Northern Rail and (b) Govia Thameslink Railway from 20 May 2018.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Our current focus is on ensuring that performance improvements are sustained, and making sure that future updates take place without the issues that passengers have experienced since the most recent timetable change.

7 Sep 2018, 8:20 a.m. Motorways: Speed Limits Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will instruct Highways England to consider lane widening as part of its proposals to introduce variable speed limits through motorway emergency works.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

As announced in Highways England’s 2018/2019 Delivery Plan, this year they will test whether it is safe to operate at 60mph through roadworks in certain circumstances.

These tests will include consideration of lane width. Highways England are responsible for developing these tests based on their knowledge of the network, driver behaviour and location-specific assessments.

25 Jul 2018, 2:25 p.m. Railways: EU Law Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the UK’s continued adherence to (a) EU rail standards and (b) the provisions of the EU rail packages notwithstanding the terms of the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Government’s White Paper, The Future Relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, explains that once we have left the EU we will have the flexibility to shape our domestic railway legislation to meet the needs of passengers and freight shippers, and reflect the unique characteristics of the rail network within the UK. Any future decisions about the application of rail standards will involve careful consideration of the views of the UK rail industry. The Government is preparing for transposition of both the Technical and Market Pillars of the Fourth Railway Package.

25 Jul 2018, 1:57 p.m. European Union Agency for Railways Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the UK’s continued membership of the European Railways Agency notwithstanding the terms of the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The UK rail industry has played a leading role in the development of international rail standards and safety regimes. We fully expect this to continue once we have left the EU and it is in all of our interests that it does given the importance of these areas. The exact nature of the UK’s relationship with the EU on rail, including with the European Agency for the Railways, is a matter for discussion with the EU.

25 Jul 2018, 1:52 p.m. South Eastern Rail Franchise: Timetables Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to (a) amend and (b) defer the process for awarding the Southeastern rail franchise as a result of the decision not to introduce in full a new rail timetable in December 2018.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

There are no plans to defer the awarding of the South Eastern franchise as a result of the decision not to introduce a full new timetable for December 2018.

25 Jul 2018, 1:03 p.m. Railways Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what meetings (a) Ministers in his Department and (b) officials of his Department have had with their counterparts in other European countries to discuss bilateral rail agreements.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Department for Transport officials maintain regular contact with their European counterparts to discuss a range of matters in relation to the operation of cross-border rail services. Ministers meet with their European counterparts from time to time and discuss a range of issues relating to our common interest in continued cross-border services.

As set out in the Government’s White Paper, The Future Relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, the EU and the UK have agreed that the UK will pursue bilateral agreements with France, Belgium and the Netherlands to ensure the continued smooth functioning and operation of services through the Channel Tunnel, including Eurostar, and with Ireland to do the same for the Belfast-Dublin Enterprise line.

The Department does not currently have any plans to pursue bilateral agreements for cross-border rail services with other EU countries. However, the Government supports the development of new services through the Channel Tunnel and, as such, the Department will keep under review the need for further such bilateral agreements as proposals for new routes arise.

25 Jul 2018, 1:03 p.m. Railways: EU Countries and Republic of Ireland Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to pursue bilateral rail agreements with (a) other European countries and (b) the Republic of Ireland in addition to those already under development with France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Department for Transport officials maintain regular contact with their European counterparts to discuss a range of matters in relation to the operation of cross-border rail services. Ministers meet with their European counterparts from time to time and discuss a range of issues relating to our common interest in continued cross-border services.

As set out in the Government’s White Paper, The Future Relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, the EU and the UK have agreed that the UK will pursue bilateral agreements with France, Belgium and the Netherlands to ensure the continued smooth functioning and operation of services through the Channel Tunnel, including Eurostar, and with Ireland to do the same for the Belfast-Dublin Enterprise line.

The Department does not currently have any plans to pursue bilateral agreements for cross-border rail services with other EU countries. However, the Government supports the development of new services through the Channel Tunnel and, as such, the Department will keep under review the need for further such bilateral agreements as proposals for new routes arise.

25 Jul 2018, 12:47 p.m. Motor Vehicles: Exhaust Emissions Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to take steps to discourage the purchase of high-emission (a) sports utility and (b) other such vehicles; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

As my Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State has previously said, when people are buying new cars they should think carefully about the type of car that suits their needs. For example, someone who is making short journeys, mostly in towns, might find an electric car better suited to their needs than a larger diesel car. It is our mission for all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040. Our recently published ‘Road to Zero’ strategy sets out the action Government will take to support this mission, as well as the steps we are taking to drive down emissions from conventional vehicles during the transition.

25 Jul 2018, 12:40 p.m. Motor Vehicles: Exhaust Emissions Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the UK will adhere to the emissions standards for (a) cars, (b) vans and (c) heavy duty vehicles set out in recent EU proposed frameworks after the UK has left the EU; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The recent White Paper on the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union sets out the UK’s proposal for a UK-EU free trade area, underpinned by a common rulebook on industrial goods. This covers all rules that set the requirements for placing a product on the market, including environmental requirements, as are necessary to provide for frictionless trade at the border. This would include the type approval system for all categories of motor vehicles and would ensure that the UK and the EU adhere to the same emission standards for cars, vans and heavy duty vehicles.

19 Jul 2018, 1:05 p.m. Railways: Timetables Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the effect on train operating company (a) revenues and (b) premium payments to the Government of not implementing in full in December 2018 a new railway timetable or providing the planned level of service.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

It is not possible to accurately calculate the impact on revenue of not implementing the December timetable change due to uncertainty as to what level of revenue would have been achieved if the timetable changes had gone ahead as originally planned.

With regard to the premium payments, no assessment has been made.

19 Jul 2018, 1:03 p.m. Railways: Training Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of progress on the Rail Delivery Group’s plan to introduce a national train driver academy.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Board governing the National Driver Training Academy (NDTA) was established in April this year. The Rail Delivery Group is working with several train and freight operating companies to roll out training across the industry ; trials with operators are ongoing.

The first operator is scheduled to begin using the training fully in November with a further eleven operators looking to trial or roll-out the new training. Furthermore, through the work of the National Train Driver Academy, the train driver apprenticeship has successfully attained level 3 standard and has been approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships. Work is also ongoing to utilise opportunities provided by the Academy to further improve diversity within the profession.

19 Jul 2018, 12:59 p.m. Railways: Electrification Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what specification and configuration of electric trains the new depot at Kettering will be built for; and where those trains will receive heavy maintenance.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

We recently issued the East Midlands Franchise competition Invitation to Tender. In response, bidders are required to set out their proposed rolling stock, depot, maintenance, and stabling strategies. We will then evaluate the proposals before announcing the preferred bidder in Spring 2019.

The Midland Main Line Programme includes the construction of stabling facilities at Kettering for up to four 240m length electric trains. Network Rail are designing and building the facility in line with a set of agreed assumptions, and these assumptions have been provided to bidders to develop their proposals.

19 Jul 2018, 12:56 p.m. Railways: Timetables Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the decision not to introduce in full a new railway timetable in December 2018 on the services provided by open access operators.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

There is no impact as they will be moving to their December timetable.

19 Jul 2018, 12:52 p.m. East Coast Railway Line Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he made of the potential level of use of Intercity Express Programme rolling stock on the east coast main line as a result of not introducing in full a new railway timetable in December 2018 or providing the planned level of service.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

We have accepted the industry recommendations for the December 2018 timetable. London North Eastern Railway will be proceeding with its timetable changes. We expect Intercity Express Trains to be introduced into services on the East Coast Mainline from December 2018 as planned.

19 Jul 2018, 12:46 p.m. Northern Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the increased number of short-form units in use across the Northern Rail franchise in the last month.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Northern had built up its electric train fleet in preparation for delivering the original May 2018 timetable. With delays to the completion of electrification work, Northern is having to use its residual diesel fleet to cover more of its services than was planned. This is happening at a time when trains are also being taken out of service to be refurbished as promised to passengers as part of its franchise agreement.

19 Jul 2018, 12:38 p.m. Railways: Timetables Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the decision not to introduce in full a new railway timetable in December 2018 on the services of rail freight operators.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Network Rail is working with freight operators to minimise the impact on their operations of the December 2018 timetable decision. Network Rail has asked all freight operators to provide details of their priorities for December 2018 and will endeavour to include these where capacity and other constraints allow. Furthermore, in line with standard industry processes, the Department expects Network Rail to facilitate where possible any ‘spot bid’ applications for train slots that freight operators may make in response to their commercial requirements.

19 Jul 2018, 12:18 p.m. Railways: Timetables Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to review the provisions of rail franchise agreements as a result of the decision not to introduce in full a new railway timetable in December 2018; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The rail industry’s proposed approach to planned changes to the timetable in December this year, which was developed by Network Rail, and supported by train operating companies and the Office of Rail and Road, will see the majority of operators, including open access operators, introduce a new timetable in December as planned.

The Government has accepted the rail industry’s recommended approach, which has rightly been designed to minimise the risk of future disruption to passengers and other rail users. The Government wants, however, to see the benefits for rail users of the December timetable changes delivered as soon as is possible and will be reflecting this in discussions with individual train operators on the delivery of their contractual obligations.

18 Jul 2018, 3:34 p.m. East Midlands Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to delay the East Midlands rail franchise process as a result of the decision not to introduce the December 2018 timetable.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The competition process for the next East Midlands franchise remains on course. Shortlisted bidders have until September 2018 to prepare their bids. The next operator is scheduled to be announced in Spring 2019 and in place to start operating services from August 2019.

18 Jul 2018, 3:25 p.m. Railways: Research Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the importance of rail research and development to the UK rail industry.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Government places high importance on research and development in the rail industry, and actively supports this through grant payments to Network Rail, the RSSB and to Innovate UK. The rail industry is currently in discussion with the Office of Rail and Road about funding to support rail research and development in the period 2019-24, as part of the £47.9 billion funding settlement announced by Government in October 2017. To realise its full benefits, research and development must be well planned, efficient and deliverable.

18 Jul 2018, 3:05 p.m. Fuels: Prices Andy McDonald

Question

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps the Government is taking to help keep fuel prices for motorists low.

Answer (Robert Jenrick)

To support British households and businesses, at Autumn Budget 2017, the government froze fuel duty for the eighth successive year. By April 2019, these freezes will have saved the average car driver a total of £850 compared to the pre-2010 escalator.

Since 2011, the announced freezes to fuel duty have meant the Exchequer has not collected around £46 billion in revenues through to 2018-19, and a further £38 billion of revenues will be foregone over the forecast period as a result of these previously announced freezes.

16 Jul 2018, 3:22 p.m. Transport: Research Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the value of research and development to the (a) transport industry and (b) Government’s industrial strategy.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Industrial Strategy states “In this strategy we commit to reach 2.4 per cent of GDP investment in R&D by 2027 and to reach 3 per cent of GDP in the longer term, placing us in the top quartile of OECD countries”.

There are no plans for specific transport targets as part of the wider industrial strategy. However, the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge aims to secure Britain’s position as a leader and innovator in transport.

16 Jul 2018, 3:22 p.m. Transport: Research Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to introduce targets for research and development in transport as part of the Government’s wider industrial strategy.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Industrial Strategy states “In this strategy we commit to reach 2.4 per cent of GDP investment in R&D by 2027 and to reach 3 per cent of GDP in the longer term, placing us in the top quartile of OECD countries”.

There are no plans for specific transport targets as part of the wider industrial strategy. However, the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge aims to secure Britain’s position as a leader and innovator in transport.

16 Jul 2018, 2:37 p.m. Railways: Tree Felling Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he or Ministers of his Department have to meet Sir William Worsley, the UK national tree champion, to discuss Network Rail’s vegetation policy.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

My department has commissioned an independent review to look at Network Rail’s approach to vegetation management. The Chair of the review, John Varley, will meet the Government’s Tree Champion, among others, to gather evidence for his report.

13 Jul 2018, 10:33 a.m. Govia Thameslink Railway and Northern: Timetables Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the economic cost of the disruption caused by the rail timetable changes introduced on (a) Northern Rail and (b) Govia Thameslink Railway from 20 May 2018.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Secretary of State and myself are concerned about the disruption caused by the timetable changes in May and are working to ensure the industry returns to a stable timetable as quickly as possible and that passengers in the most affected areas are compensation for the disruption caused. We have commissioned an independent review of the situation and affected passengers on Northern, Thameslink and Great Northern will be offered special compensation on top of Delay Repay.

12 Jul 2018, 2:45 p.m. Tilbury Port: Lower Thames Crossing Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his policy is on the construction of a link road from the expanding Tilbury Port to the proposed Lower Thames Crossing.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Lower Thames Crossing project is at an early stage of its development and the design will continue to evolve as it progresses towards a Development Consent Order (DCO) submission.

No decision has been made on the case, or otherwise, for a new link to the port of Tilbury. A link from the crossing to Tilbury port was not included in the April 2017 preferred route announcement and has not been considered formally by Ministers.

There will be an opportunity for people and businesses to influence Highways England’s design of the scheme through a second public consultation, expected later this year. A final decision on the scope to be included in the DCO will be taken in 2019.

12 Jul 2018, 2:41 p.m. Railways: Research Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the level of the adequacy of the funding the Office for Rail and Road has agreed with Network Rail for rail research and development in Control Period 6 from 2019 to 2024.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Office of Rail and Road’s (ORR) Draft Determination for Control Period 6 represents the ORR’s draft conclusions, rather than its final position.

The ORR is consulting stakeholders on the Draft Determination until the end of August. The Government will fully set out its position in respect of the Draft Determination for England and Wales at that point.

12 Jul 2018, 2:38 p.m. High Speed 2 Railway Line: Rolling Stock Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to ensure that the scoring mechanism for the procurement and wider decisions on HS2 rolling stock reflects the need for the benefits of investment to be spread throughout the UK.

Answer (Ms Nusrat Ghani)

The procurement of the new HS2 fleet is being undertaken in accordance with the Utilities Contract Regulations 2016 which require all tenderers to be treated equally on a non-discriminatory basis. This means that HS2 cannot mandate that the design and manufacture of the new fleet should be undertaken in the UK and neither can it reward, in its procurement scoring mechanism, UK wide or regional content over non-UK content. However, the procurement scoring mechanism will include an assessment of Tenderer’s plans for developing skills, education and employment opportunities and promoting supply chain opportunities through the supply and maintenance of the new trains. HS2 Ltd can contract any commitments made by bidders.

Tenderers will also be required to submit a Legacy Statement in which they are to identify how their proposal will add value to the UK economy and contribute to the delivery of HS2’s Programme Benefits. This will not be evaluated as part of the bid and is therefore not subject to the procurement scoring mechanism, but HS2 Ltd can contract elements of the Legacy Statement.

4 Jul 2018, 10:34 a.m. Railways: Management Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has plans to improve the strategic management of the railways; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Department’s 2017 paper ‘Connecting people: a strategic vision for rail’ details the Government’s approach to improving the management of the railways, including the creation of long-term partnerships between the public sector and private partners to improve the service that passengers receive, continuing the Government’s programme of significant investment to improve rail performance, and the transformation of Network Rail into a more responsive, locally-focused company.

In March 2018 we built on this by announcing an improved approach to railway enhancements, creating a rolling programme of investment to improve planning, deliverability and efficiency, and opening up the development and delivery of rail infrastructure.

4 Jul 2018, 10:32 a.m. Midland Main Railway Line: Repairs and Maintenance Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 25 June 2018 to Question 155304, what the average journey time between London and Sheffield has been over the most recent month for which data are available.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Department does not hold this information. The information requested may be available from rail industry open data feeds on the internet.

25 Jun 2018, 1:52 p.m. Midland Main Railway Line Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the cost was of the Midland Mainline speed improvements carried out under the 2010-2015 Government; and what the average train time from Sheffield to London was (a) before and (b) after those improvements.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

In December 2013 the launch of the new faster journeys of two hours between London St. Pancras and Sheffield occurred, an average journey time reduction of 7 minutes and came off the back of a £100 million investment programme delivered by Network Rail in partnership with East Midlands Trains.

25 Jun 2018, 1:24 p.m. Department for Transport: Research Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what government targets are in place for spending on research and development in (a) automotive, (b) aviation and (c) rail technologies.

Answer (Ms Nusrat Ghani)

The Government has no targets or any specific limitations in place for spending on research and development in automotive, aviation and rail technologies.

25 Jun 2018, 1:15 p.m. Ports: Felixstowe Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the delays and cancellations caused by the implementation of the new nGen terminal IT system at the port of Felixstowe.

Answer (Ms Nusrat Ghani)

The recent delays at Felixstowe are a matter for the port to resolve. I understand that steps are being taken to rectify the problem and the situation is already improving.

The delays do not impact on government’s market led port policy that sees a successful, competitive port sector. As such we continue to welcome the ongoing private sector investment at the Port of Felixstowe to enhance both its physical and digital infrastructure for the long term, whilst port development elsewhere means vessels were able to call at other suitable UK ports as needed.

25 Jun 2018, 12:10 p.m. Air Traffic Control: France Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings of the recent French Parliament report by Vincent Capo-Canellas which estimates that one third of European flight delays are caused by French air traffic control.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Government has made no such assessment of our policies. We regret the disruption European air traffic control strikes have on passengers and recognise that their effects need to be mitigated by wherever possible. NATS, the UKs en route air navigation service provider, is working actively with other European air navigation service providers to do what it can to mitigate the effect of strikes.

21 Jun 2018, 2:06 p.m. Rail Delivery Group: Membership Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the (a) benefits and (b) value for money of the licence conditions for (i) Network Rail, (ii) passenger operators and (iii) freight operators whereby it is mandatory to become a licensed member of the Rail Delivery Group.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The licence condition that stipulates membership of Rail Delivery Group (RDG) ensures that freight and passenger operators and Network Rail are united in delivering a long-term vision for the network as a whole, and that farebox revenue across the network is properly settled and distributed. The condition requires that organisations become licensed members of the RDG, and not necessarily fee-paying full members. However, licensed members can obtain full, fee-paying membership should they meet a turnover requirement of £100m per annum and following agreement by existing members.

The Government is supportive of the Rail Delivery Group’s role of providing industry leadership in the railway to achieve better outcomes for rail users and taxpayers. We will continue to work closely with RDG to ensure they are well placed to provide the strategic leadership needed to deliver key reforms in the railway.

21 Jun 2018, 1:55 p.m. Railways: Standards Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his Department in its monitoring of the performance of (a) Arriva Rail North and (b) Govia Thameslink Railway; and whether he has plans to improve mechanisms for that monitoring.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

At the request of the Secretary of State for Transport, a full independent inquiry is being undertaken by the Office of Rail and Road, chaired by Professor Stephen Glaister and a final report is due by the end of 2018. The Department will take account of any recommendations the review makes to improve the functions and effectiveness all the key rail bodies, including the Department for Transport. In parallel with this inquiry, the Department will assess whether its franchisees have met their contractual obligations in respect of planning and delivering timetable change. Where franchisees are found to be materially in breach of their contractual obligations the Department will take the appropriate enforcement action against them.

21 Jun 2018, 1:52 p.m. Rail Delivery Group: Membership Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to instruct the Office for Rail and Road to review the licence conditions of (a) Network Rail, (b) passenger operators and (c) freight operators whereby it is mandatory to become a licensed member of the Rail Delivery Group and to comply with the obligations of membership as set out in the RDG articles of association.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Department for Transport currently has no plans to ask The Office for Rail and Road to review this particular licence condition. The Office of Rail and Road published a consultation on updating the Network Licence under which it holds Network Rail to account, on 12 June. However, the consultation does not propose any changes to the Rail Delivery Group requirement.

21 Jun 2018, 1:50 p.m. Network Rail Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Office for Rail and Road in (a) monitoring and (b) regulating the performance of Network Rail in (i) 2017 and (ii) 2018.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) is independent of government and accountable directly to Parliament. Within this framework, Ministers and senior officials of the Department for Transport meet with ORR’s Chair and Chief Executive regularly to discuss the measures ORR is taking to monitor and regulate the performance of Network Rail, including the Network Rail Monitor, which provides a comprehensive assessment of the company’s performance.

21 Jun 2018, 1:47 p.m. Railways: North of England Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of upgrades to the Northern Trans-Pennine routes on the availability of paths for (a) intermodal and (b) bulk rail freight traffic.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Department of Transport has asked Network Rail, as part of the development work for the Transpennine Route Upgrade, to provide options for freight capacity and capability on this route.

This development work is still ongoing and no final decision will made on the scope of the upgrade, including options for freight, until the outline business case is completed and the costs, benefits and affordability are properly understood.

21 Jun 2018, 1:44 p.m. Rail Delivery Group: Membership Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much (a) Network Rail and (b) Direct Rail Services have spent on Rail Delivery Group membership fees since October 2016.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Network Rail’s membership fee to Rail Delivery Group is determined on an annual basis. The fee for the last two years are:

2016/17 £2.695m

2017/18 £2.760m

Direct Rail Services do not pay membership fees.

19 Jun 2018, 4:49 p.m. May 2018 Rail Timetable Implementation Independent Inquiry Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the terms of reference for Professor Stephen Glaister’s independent review of the implementation of the May 2018 rail timetable includes an assessment of the role of the (a) Department for Transport and (b) Office for Rail and Road.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Yes. The terms of reference for the independent inquiry relate to the railway system as a whole, including the role of the Department for Transport and the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). Further details of the terms of reference are published on the ORR’s website: orr.gov.uk.

13 Jun 2018, 4:49 p.m. Network Rail: Property Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many businesses occupying Network Rail properties due to be sold have received rent rises in excess of (a) 100 per cent, (b) 200 per cent, (c) 300 per cent and (d) 500 per cent in each of the last three years.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

NR manages over 7,000 commercial properties. Since 2015-16 there have been on average around 2,450 rent changes per year. The vast majority of increases have been 0-5%. To obtain precise figures would however involve disproportionate cost.

Either the Landlord or tenant is able to refer rent changes to an independent Arbitrator (who is a surveyor) if there is a dispute – the Arbitrator can be agreed by the parties or appointed by RICS if the parties cannot agree.

13 Jun 2018, 4:44 p.m. Network Rail: Property Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has received representations from businesses occupying Network Rail properties on the effect of rent rises on those properties on their ability to remain in those properties; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

I have not received direct representations from businesses occupying Network Rail properties. I am, however, aware of the “Guardian of the Arches” campaign and the issues being raised by SMEs.

As with all commercial property, rent reviews happen on a periodic basis as outlined in tenants’ leases; rent levels are also re-set when fixed term leases expire. This is part of Network Rail’s normal business activity. Once the business is sold, existing lease arrangements and protections will transfer to the new owner and the tenants’ rent review terms will continue as per their original lease agreement.

12 Jun 2018, 4:55 p.m. Fuels: Excise Duties Andy McDonald

Question

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the implications of the findings of the report by Professor David Begg entitled Unintended Consequences of Freezing Fuel Duty, published on 1 June 2018, for the Government's policies on (a) transport, (b) road congestion, (c) air quality and (d) lost tax revenues.

Answer (Robert Jenrick)

To support British households and businesses, at Autumn Budget 2017, the government froze fuel duty for the eighth successive year. Since public finances are based on the assumption that fuel duty will increase with RPI at every Budget, any increase below this represents a cost to the Exchequer. Successive freezes since 2011 have saved the average driver £620 compared to what it would have been with RPI increases.

Since 2011, the announced freezes to fuel duty have meant the Exchequer has not collected around £46 billion in revenues through to 2018-19. For the purposes of comparison, this is around twice as much as we spend on all NHS nurses and doctors each year.”

12 Jun 2018, 4:10 p.m. Air Traffic Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential change in the level of total air traffic movements at (a) Heathrow Airport, (b) London airports, (c) Manchester Airport, (d) Newcastle Airport, (e) Glasgow Airport and (f) throughout the UK as a result of a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Government has fully assessed the impact of expansion in the South East on the UK’s connectivity. As set out in Chapter 3 of the Updated Appraisal Report. The Government is clear that a Northwest Runway at Heathrow will help to secure the UK’s status as a global aviation hub, while regional airports will continue to develop their point-to-point networks.

This conclusion is supported by the analysis which shows that passenger numbers and international flights at airports outside London are expected to increase by 80% and 71% respectively between 2016 and 2050 with a third runway at Heathrow. In addition, passengers from all across the UK are expected to use the connections made available at an expanded Heathrow, with nearly 6 million additional trips from passengers outside London and the South East being made via the airport in 2040.

The expected number of Air Transport Movements at each of the listed airports, both with and without expansion, is given in Annex E (Tables 66 & 67) of the UK Aviation Forecasts 2017 report.

12 Jun 2018, 3:29 p.m. Office of Rail and Road: Public Appointments Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what processes and procedures were followed in the reappointment of Stephen Glaister as the Chairman of the Office of Rail and Road.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The appointment process was conducted in accordance with the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments and the Principles of Public Appointments.

12 Jun 2018, 3:27 p.m. Transport: Carbon Budgets Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the proportion of the UK carbon budget that came from emissions from the transport sector in (a) 2015, (b) 2020 and (c) 2025.

Answer (Claire Perry)

Greenhouse gas emissions for 2015, broken down by sector, are publicly available at

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/final-uk-greenhouse-gas-emissions-national-statistics-1990-2016.

Similarly, projections of greenhouse gas emissions, by sector, are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/updated-energy-and-emissions-projections-2017, including for the years 2020 and 2025.

12 Jun 2018, 3:26 p.m. Transport : Carbon Emissions Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to activate section 30 of the Climate Change Act 2008 to include emissions from (a) international aviation and (b) shipping in the UK carbon budget.

Answer (Claire Perry)

While the UK’s 2050 target and carbon budgets currently exclude emissions from international aviation and international shipping, the Committee on Climate Change has advised on planning for these emissions and their assumptions are incorporated into the Government’s 2050 pathways as set out in the Clean Growth Strategy. The Government is continuing to work to decarbonise the aviation and shipping sectors, both through international action, such as standards and offsetting schemes, and domestically, for example through support for sustainable alternative fuels, improved efficiency and new technologies.

12 Jun 2018, 2:32 p.m. Railways: Timetables Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has made an assessment of the potential for conflict of interest in relation to the appointment of Stephen Glaister the Chair of Network Rail’s regulator, the Office of Rail and Road, to conduct an inquiry into the May 2018 timetable implementation.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) is the independent regulator for the rail sector. As a public body independent of government, the ORR is answerable to Parliament. It is established by statute, and operates under a legislative framework that assures its independence from both government and the rail companies that it regulates. The government has asked the ORR to conduct the inquiry within this framework, which assures the independence of this work.

11 Jun 2018, 4:42 p.m. Railways Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much the Rail Delivery Group spent on (a) consultants, (b) advisors and (c) advertising as part of their Britain Runs on Rail/Partnership Railway campaign.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) is a private company funded by its members. The Department for Transport is not required to approve funding for RDG activities and therefore does not hold any information with regards to the funding of this campaign.

11 Jun 2018, 4:30 p.m. Network Rail: Retail Trade Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much Network Rail's Commercial Estate business made in profit in each year since 2010.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given by the then Rail Minister, my Hon Friend, the Hon Member for Blackpool North and Cleveleys (Paul Maynard) on 18 December 2017 (UIN 119288).

4 Jun 2018, 4:04 p.m. East Coast Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much his Department has spent on (a) advisers, (b) consultants and (c) lawyers in respect of the East Coast franchise since the Strategic Vision for Rail was announced in November 2017.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Since November 2017 the Department has paid approx. £4.9m across advisors, consultants and lawyers, to establish two viable options with the majority being an OLR expense. The cost is more than covered by the £21m performance bond to be paid by Virgin Trains East Coast.

17 May 2018, 4:03 p.m. East Midlands Trains Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to instruct the Competition and Markets Authority to investigate potentially anti-competitive practices by Stagecoach companies Megabus and East Midlands Trains for the provision of travel on the East Midlands Trains route.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The department is not aware of potentially anti-competitive practises. Revenue allocation arrangements are a matter for Rail Settlement Plan Ltd and individual bus operators.

As the UK’s independent competition regulator it is for the Competition and Markets Authority to investigate anti-competitive practices and details of how to raise concerns with the CMA can be found on their website. The independent rail regulator, the Office of Rail and Road, also has a role in this area under its concurrent competition powers.

17 May 2018, 4:03 p.m. East Midlands Trains Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the apportioning of ticket revenues and cross-subsidy arrangements between Stagecoach companies Megabus and East Midlands Trains for the provision of travel on the East Midlands Trains route.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The department is not aware of potentially anti-competitive practises. Revenue allocation arrangements are a matter for Rail Settlement Plan Ltd and individual bus operators.

As the UK’s independent competition regulator it is for the Competition and Markets Authority to investigate anti-competitive practices and details of how to raise concerns with the CMA can be found on their website. The independent rail regulator, the Office of Rail and Road, also has a role in this area under its concurrent competition powers.

15 May 2018, 3:11 p.m. Ports Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, which of the UK’s ports (a) he and (b) other Ministers in of his Department have visited since July 2016.

Answer (Suella Braverman)

Ministers from across Government have carried out extensive engagement on EU exit - with businesses and industry bodies from all sectors of the economy and in all parts of the UK, including representatives from UK ports.

Details of DExEU Ministerial visits to UK ports since July 2016 are as follows:

  • October 2016, Lord Bridges, Port of Tilbury

  • November 2016, Lord Bridges, Port of Felixstowe

  • December 2016, David Jones, Port of Southampton

  • December 2016, David Jones, Port of Liverpool

  • July 2017, Robin Walker, Poole Harbour

  • September 2017, Robin Walker, Belfast Harbour

  • January 2018, David Davis and Suella Braverman, Teesport

  • March 2018, Suella Braverman, Port of Southampton

  • May 2018, Suella Braverman, Port of Dover

Details of Ministerial meetings are published in the Department's Quarterly Transparency Returns, which are made publicly available on GOV.UK. The next set of Transparency Returns will be released in June.

15 May 2018, 3:04 p.m. Ports: Greater London Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, whether he or Ministers of his Department have made an official visit to the Port of London since July 2016.

Answer (Suella Braverman)

Ministers from across Government have carried out extensive engagement on EU exit - with businesses and industry bodies from all sectors of the economy and in all parts of the UK, including representatives from UK ports.

Lord Bridges, then Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union, made an official visit to the Port of Tilbury, in October 2016.

Details of ministerial meetings are published in the Department's Quarterly Transparency Returns, which are made publicly available on GOV.UK.

11 May 2018, 10:16 a.m. Great Western Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the (a) effectiveness, (b) efficiency and (c) value for money of the Great Western franchise in terms of (i) performance and (ii) operation of the services provided under that franchise since 2013.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Department holds Train Operating Companies to account through its contractual mechanisms, and meets regularly with operators to review performance levels and plans for improvements. It also works closely with ORR, in its role as regulator, in overseeing Network Rail’s performance levels. The Department has also increased its engagement across industry to promote industry sharing of good practice and a top down focus on the day to day performance of the railway. In addition we require all bidders for new rail franchises to describe how they will work in an integrated manner with Network Rail to achieve better performance for passengers.

11 May 2018, 10:13 a.m. Railways: Franchises Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what comparative assessment he has made of the profit margins of (a) First Great Western and (b) other rail franchises; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Profit margins at each Train Operating Company (TOC) each year are dependent on a range of different factors. The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) publishes comparable TOC-by-TOC financial data here: http://orr.gov.uk/rail/publications/reports/uk-rail-industry-financial-information/uk-rail-industry-financial-information-2016-17. This shows that profit margins are less than 3p in the pound across the TOCs. This data is collated and published annually by the independent ORR.

11 May 2018, 10:06 a.m. Transport Focus Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) effectiveness, (b) efficiency and (c) value for money of Transport Focus; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Department for Transport keeps under review the effectiveness, efficiency and value for money of Transport Focus on an ongoing basis, consistent with the Framework Agreement between the Department and Transport Focus which was updated in 2017 and can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/passenger-focus-operational-management-statement. Our current overall assessment of Transport Focus is, as set out in the Consumer Green Paper (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/699937/modernising-consumer-markets-green-paper.pdf), that it plays an important and valued role as an independent user watchdog.

In addition to this ongoing review process, the Department is planning to carry out a tailored review of Transport Focus in 2018/19, which will aim to ensure that the body remains fit for purpose, well governed and properly accountable for its work.

11 May 2018, 9:43 a.m. Rolling Stock Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 3 May 2018 to Question 139503, what (a) plans and (b) strategic assessment he has made of the 4,000 vehicles which are due to be replaced on the rail network over the next three years in terms of (i) use and (ii) storage as highlighted in the most recent Long Term Passenger Rolling Stock Strategy given that his Department sets the specification of rail franchises and the specification therein of the macro usage and employment of rolling stock.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The rolling stock referred to in the Long Term Passenger Rolling Stock Strategy is privately-owned by several rolling stock owning companies. Rolling stock owning companies compete to supply their trains to train operators. By encouraging a heathy and competitive market for the supply of rolling stock the Department can ensure that value for money is achieved. It is therefore a matter for them to determine the alternative use or storage of their assets.

11 May 2018, 9:43 a.m. Rolling Stock Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 3 May 2018 to Question 139503, what discussions have taken place between his Department and Network Rail in relation to the 4,000 vehicles which are due to be replaced on the rail network over the next three years in terms of (a) use and (b) storage as set out in the most recent Long Term Passenger Rolling Stock Strategy.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The rolling stock referred to in the Long Term Passenger Rolling Stock Strategy is privately-owned by several rolling stock owning companies. Rolling stock owning companies compete to supply their trains to train operators. By encouraging a heathy and competitive market for the supply of rolling stock the Department can ensure that value for money is achieved. It is therefore a matter for them to determine the alternative use or storage of their assets.

9 May 2018, 1:12 p.m. Railways: Passengers Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to (a) assess the effectiveness of and (b) improve the Department’s processes for rail passenger demand forecasting.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Department continuously assesses the performance of its forecasts and seeks to improve them by commissioning research, as well as reviewing work completed elsewhere, to ensure that we are using the latest available evidence. The Department assesses the performance of its forecasts by carrying out “backcasting” exercises, whereby our forecasting technique is applied historically to see how the forecasts compare to actual passenger numbers. Some backcasts were published in the Rail Demand Forecasting Estimation study phase 2 report (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/610059/phase2-rail-demand-forecasting-estimation-study.pdf ). Further, the Department carries out peer reviews on new forecasting evidence, and compares its techniques to those used by other rail forecasting bodies, as well as learning from other industries.

The Department endeavours to improve its rail forecasting by commissioning research and collaborating with industry partners and others in the Passenger Demand Forecasting Council (PDFC). PDFC have recently revised their evidence base in a new version of the Passenger Demand Forecasting Handbook.

9 May 2018, 1:08 p.m. Railways: Franchises Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to review his Department’s policy on the performance management of rail franchises.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Department holds Train Operating Companies to account through its contractual mechanisms, and meets regularly with operators to review performance levels and plans for improvements. It also works closely with ORR, in its role as regulator, in overseeing Network Rail’s performance levels. The department has also increased its engagement across industry to promote industry sharing of good practice and a top down focus on the day to day performance of the railway. In addition we require all bidders for new rail franchises to describe how they will work in an integrated manner with Network Rail to achieve better performance for passengers.

9 May 2018, 1:03 p.m. Network Rail: Standards Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of Office for Rail and Road’s plans to monitor Network Rail’s (a) unit costs and (b) productivity at route level in Control Period 6.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has made significant changes to its regulatory approach to inform the planning for CP6, with an increased emphasis on route-level regulation of Network Rail and bottom-up appraisals of the deliverability and efficiency of its plans. These changes will increase transparency, creating stronger incentives on Network Rail to ensure improvements to its unit costs, efficiency and productivity, as well as to further improve the ORR’s ability to monitor Network Rail and hold it to account. The Government is working closely with the ORR to support these changes and improve the efficiency of the railway, whilst being mindful of the ORR’s statutory independence from Government and its accountability to Parliament for the effective delivery of its functions.

9 May 2018, 1:03 p.m. Network Rail: Standards Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the (a) incentives and (b) disincentives the Office for Rail and Road proposes to bring forward in CP6 to ensure improvements to Network Rail’s (i) unit costs and (ii) productivity in Control Period 6.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has made significant changes to its regulatory approach to inform the planning for CP6, with an increased emphasis on route-level regulation of Network Rail and bottom-up appraisals of the deliverability and efficiency of its plans. These changes will increase transparency, creating stronger incentives on Network Rail to ensure improvements to its unit costs, efficiency and productivity, as well as to further improve the ORR’s ability to monitor Network Rail and hold it to account. The Government is working closely with the ORR to support these changes and improve the efficiency of the railway, whilst being mindful of the ORR’s statutory independence from Government and its accountability to Parliament for the effective delivery of its functions.

9 May 2018, 12:58 p.m. Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reasons he decided not to cancel Govia Thameslink’s contract to operate the TSGN route in early 2017.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Performance has improved for Govia Thameslink Railway passengers following the height of industrial action. The Department decided enforcement measures through a remedial plan was the appropriate course of action.

8 May 2018, 2:02 p.m. Railways: Franchises Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to reform rail franchising to find a better balance between short-term returns to passengers and the sustainable improvement of passenger services.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Department announced in 2017’s paper ‘Connecting people: a strategic vision for rail’ plans to build on the successes of franchising and create genuine, long-term partnerships between the public sector and private partners to dramatically improve the service that passengers receive.

These plans include joining-up teams on track and train to put passengers first. Passengers will be able to hold one team to account for the service they receive. And new joined-up teams will make a difference to the thousands of day-to-day operating decisions that affect passengers – transforming their journeys for the better.

8 May 2018, 1:49 p.m. Rolling Stock: Leasing Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the level of future vehicle leasing charges in the rail industry given the projected shortening of average vehicle life.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

It is for the train’s owners to take a view on the expected life of the trains and offer them to the market at competitive rates that ensure these assets are kept in service for their expected life.

8 May 2018, 1:43 p.m. Rail Delivery Group Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the (a) effectiveness, (b) efficiency and (c) value for money of the Rail Delivery Group; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Government is supportive of the Rail Delivery Group’s (RDG’s) role of providing industry leadership to achieve better outcomes for rail users. We continue to work closely with them to ensure they are well placed to provide the strategic leadership needed to deliver key reforms and priorities of the railway. RDG is a private company funded by the membership fees paid by its members.

8 May 2018, 1:40 p.m. Train Operating Companies: Compensation Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to review the rail passenger compensation arrangements to ensure train operating companies pass on the money they receive in compensation from Network Rail to passengers in (a) full and (b) a timely manner.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Passenger compensation arrangements are distinct from the payments made by Network Rail to train operators for planned and unplanned disruption. They cover different issues and serve fundamentally different purposes, and therefore cannot be linked in this way:

  • Passenger compensation is paid by train operators to passengers for delays in line with the arrangements relevant to the particular franchise (e.g. delay repay).
  • The payments made by Network Rail, in contrast, compensate the train operator for the future long term loss of revenue as a result of reduced passenger journeys arising from planned and unplanned disruption. These can, in certain circumstances, involve payments from the train operator to Network Rail, where it outperforms expectations.

These significant differences means that there is no expectation that train operating companies pass on the money received from Network Rail in this manner.

However, the Government has, and continues to take steps to improve passenger awareness and uptake of compensation. The independent ORR has worked to improve the information provided to passengers, including via social media activity, and the claims process itself reporting on progress in the annual Measuring Up report. These steps have led to significant increases in passenger compensation, with over £73m paid out to successful claimants in 2016/17, an increase of 63.8% on the previous year.

8 May 2018, 1:30 p.m. Roads: Capital Investment Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to review the funding arrangements for road investment.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Department has no plans to review the funding arrangements for road investment.

3 May 2018, 3:11 p.m. Motor Vehicles: Exhaust Emissions Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with the automotive industry on the development of the road to zero strategy.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

Ministers have regular discussions with the automotive industry and other stakeholders on Departmental business, including on a range of issues associated with the transition to zero emission vehicles.

3 May 2018, 2:42 p.m. Rolling Stock: Procurement Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the most recent Long Term Passenger Rolling Stock Strategy, what his plans are for the 4,000 vehicles which are due to be replaced on the rail network over the next three years in terms of (a) use and (b) storage.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The rolling stock referred to in the Long Term Passenger Rolling Stock Strategy is privately-owned by several rolling stock owning companies and it is a matter for them to determine the use or storage of their assets.

3 May 2018, 2:39 p.m. Railways: Franchises Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what specific provisions within the Forecast Revenue Mechanism which his Department introduced into rail franchises are planned to protect those franchises from future risk and balance the appropriate level between risk and reward.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Forecast Revenue Mechanism (FRM) provides a risk sharing mechanism by which the risk of actual revenue diverging significantly from the original franchise bid forecast is shared between the Department and the Train Operating Company (TOC). It is designed to respond to the difficulty of accurately forecasting revenue over the long term. It ensures that the TOC shares revenue with the Department when actual revenue outperforms this bid forecast, outside of a specified range and protects the TOC when revenue falls below the specified range. FRM is designed to provide protection against passenger-related revenue risk. The TOC remains on risk for other revenue streams. There are also requirements to align the TOC’s incentives with those of taxpayers and passengers and to protect the quality of passenger services.

27 Apr 2018, 1:33 p.m. Highways England Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the (a) affordability and (b) efficiency of the work for which Highways England is responsible of its decision to in-source more of that work; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

Highways England assessed the potential effect on affordability and efficiency when designing the recently introduced model for management of the Strategic Road Network, which involves in-sourcing the decision-making for investment planning, routine maintenance and operational management.

Taking question (b) on efficiency first, Highways England expects to deliver cost efficiencies of about 12% when compared to the previous approach. The largest saving is from no longer needing to pay fees to the lead suppliers for management of their supply chain. The second largest saving is from staff headcount reductions by integrating the former Service Provider staff into Highway England’s structure. This is through the removal of duplicated roles and a layer of management.

Turning to question (a) on affordability, Highways England expects the cost savings described in the answer to question (b) will begin to exceed the upfront transition costs within the first 4 years of operating the new model. Once the upfront transition costs have passed and with cost savings from efficiencies, the new model is expected to be more affordable than the previous approach.

27 Apr 2018, 11:24 a.m. Railways: Franchises Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment has he made of the ability of the (a) Greater Anglia and (b) South Western rail franchises to (i) provide and (ii) deliver new train services under their franchise agreements.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Greater Anglia and South Western Railway Franchise Agreements set out the requirements to deliver new train services. Both operators are following the normal rail industry timetable development processes. Delivery of Franchise Agreement obligations are subject to on-going monitoring and discussion with the Train Operators. This is part of the Department’s routine Franchise management of these contracts.

27 Apr 2018, 11:03 a.m. East Midlands Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the withdrawal of (a) First Group and (b) Trenitalia on the level of competitiveness in the bidding process for the next East Midlands Trains franchise.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The FirstGroup and Trenitalia joint venture was one of four companies shortlisted to run the next East Midlands franchise. We have received notification from First Group about their intention to withdraw from the East Midlands franchise competition to focus on their joint bid for the West Coast Partnership. We are confident that we will have a robust and competitive process with the remaining three bidders.

27 Apr 2018, 10:58 a.m. Railways: Franchises Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what role Network Rail has in the rail franchising process; and what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Network Rail in carrying out that role.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Network Rail are embedded in the rail franchising process throughout, including through the secondment of Network Rail staff to franchise project teams to provide a clear conduit for Network Rail advice and expertise.

With the publication of the Strategic Vision for Rail in November 2017, the Secretary of State set out plans to ‘end the operational divide between track and train and to establish a new generation of integrated regional rail operations’.

a) Joining up operational and communication teams between Network Rail and Train Operating Companies will improve performance, communication with passengers and restoration of services after disruption. Bringing Network Rail and the TOC closer together would mean they run better on a day-to-day basis, and would make it easier to meet the challenges today’s network faces.

b) TOCs are best placed to understand the needs of passengers and therefore to develop plans for improving rail infrastructure that will secure the greatest benefits for passengers. Both the infrastructure manager and train operator would work together with a shared vision. Giving TOCs a role in infrastructure (working closely with Network Rail) will prompt them to act as stewards for the rail network and win greatest possible benefits for passengers.

27 Apr 2018, 10:58 a.m. Railways: Franchises Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing the role of Network Rail in the rail franchise process to improve the coordination of (a) rail operations and (b) infrastructure delivery.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Network Rail are embedded in the rail franchising process throughout, including through the secondment of Network Rail staff to franchise project teams to provide a clear conduit for Network Rail advice and expertise.

With the publication of the Strategic Vision for Rail in November 2017, the Secretary of State set out plans to ‘end the operational divide between track and train and to establish a new generation of integrated regional rail operations’.

a) Joining up operational and communication teams between Network Rail and Train Operating Companies will improve performance, communication with passengers and restoration of services after disruption. Bringing Network Rail and the TOC closer together would mean they run better on a day-to-day basis, and would make it easier to meet the challenges today’s network faces.

b) TOCs are best placed to understand the needs of passengers and therefore to develop plans for improving rail infrastructure that will secure the greatest benefits for passengers. Both the infrastructure manager and train operator would work together with a shared vision. Giving TOCs a role in infrastructure (working closely with Network Rail) will prompt them to act as stewards for the rail network and win greatest possible benefits for passengers.

27 Apr 2018, 9:47 a.m. Trains: Diesel Fuel Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he had with the rail freight industry on the level of power required efficiently to haul freight before he announced the withdrawal of diesel traction in 2040; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

There is regular engagement between my Department and the rail freight industry on a wide range of subjects, including on air quality and decarbonisation issues. I have written to the rail industry asking it to report back outlining how my challenge can be achieved in order to improve air quality and reduce harmful emissions, and I understand that industry has established a task force to deal with this matter which includes senior representation from the rail freight sector.

25 Apr 2018, 11:35 a.m. Railways: Timetables Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the capacity of Network Rail to (a) plan for and (b) deliver the December 2018 timetable.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Following the challenges of the May 2018 timetable production, Network Rail has formulated a plan in relation to delivering an efficient and effective timetabling process and provide timely information for passengers. The ORR, as independent regulator, will be assessing the robustness of this plan through to the December 2018 Timetable production, which I will be monitoring the progress of as the process continues.

25 Apr 2018, 11:32 a.m. Railways: Digital Technology Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to publish a digital railway (a) strategy and (b) delivery plan.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

We will be publishing a Digital Railway Strategy with Network Rail and a public announcement on this strategy will be made shortly.

25 Apr 2018, 11:30 a.m. Railways: North West Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the timetable is for the electrification of the Bolton to Preston line; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Network Rail deliver the project.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Network Rail remains committed to completing the electrification of the Bolton to Preston line by December 2018. As part of overall assurance, the Government regularly reviews Network Rail’s projects.

25 Apr 2018, 11:27 a.m. Railways: Timetables Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has plans to amend the (a) Northern, (b) Transpennine Express and (c) East Midlands Trains franchise as a result of the delay to the introduction of the May 2018 timetable.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

There are no plans to amend the Franchise Agreements as there are existing provisions within the current agreements that deal with delays to planned timetable changes resulting from variations to infrastructure assumptions made at the time of the franchise bidding process.

24 Apr 2018, 3:53 p.m. Electric Vehicles: Charging Points Andy McDonald

Question

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to paragraph 4.15 of Autumn Budget 2017, what his Department's timescale is for raising the £200 million of private investment as part of a new £400 million Charging Investment Infrastructure Fund.

Answer (Robert Jenrick)

Following the announcement of this fund at Autumn Budget, the Government is engaging with the private sector to ensure that it is set up in the most effective way. We expect to launch the procurement for the private sector fund manager in Summer 2018, who will be tasked with raising the £200m of private investment. Further details will be announced in due course.

24 Apr 2018, 3:53 p.m. Electric Vehicles: Charging Points Andy McDonald

Question

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what proportion of the £200 million of private investment announced in the 2017 Budget as part of a new £400 million Charging Investment Infrastructure Fund has been raised to date.

Answer (Robert Jenrick)

Following the announcement of this fund at Autumn Budget, the Government is engaging with the private sector to ensure that it is set up in the most effective way. We expect to launch the procurement for the private sector fund manager in Summer 2018, who will be tasked with raising the £200m of private investment. Further details will be announced in due course.

24 Apr 2018, 3:19 p.m. Railways: Digital Technology Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to publish a detailed infrastructure plan setting out the key enablers of the digital railway; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

We will be publishing a Digital Railway Strategy with Network Rail and a public announcement on this strategy will be made shortly.

24 Apr 2018, 3:18 p.m. Railways: Standards Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Office of Rail and Road in (a) regulating unit costs and (b) delivering productivity improvements in the rail industry in each calendar year since 2014.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Government reviewed the effectiveness of the economic regulatory functions of the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) in 2016.

Following this review my Rt Hon Friend, the Secretary of State, set out in revised guidance to the ORR - https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/629698/guidance-to-the-office-of-rail-and-road.pdf – the Government’s priorities for rail regulation, which include that ORR takes a rigorous and robust approach to holding Network Rail to account for improving cost effectiveness, securing deliverability and reducing unit costs, during the remainder of Control Period 5 (2014-2019) and throughout Control Period 6 (2019-2024).

The Government continues to work closely with the ORR to improve the efficiency of the railway, including on unit cost regulation and delivering productivity improvements, whilst being mindful of the ORR’s important statutory independence from Government and its accountability to Parliament for the effective delivery of its functions.

23 Apr 2018, 4:23 p.m. Network Rail: Regulation Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to review the Office of Rail and Road’s approach to the economic regulation of Network Rail before the commencement of Control Period 6 in May 2019.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Government last reviewed the role and functions of the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) in 2016 and the findings of this review emphasised the important role that independent economic regulation plays within the rail industry. The ORR has made significant changes to its regulatory approach to inform the planning for Control Period 6 (CP6), with an increased emphasis on route-level regulation of Network Rail and bottom-up appraisals of the deliverability and efficiency of its plans. The Government will continue to work closely with the ORR in its preparations for CP6, but does not plan any further review of the ORR at this time.

23 Apr 2018, 4:21 p.m. Department for Transport: Staff Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the additional (a) staff and (b) resources required by the (i) Civil Aviation Authority, (ii) the Office of Rail and Road and (iii) the Maritime and Coastguard Agency after the UK leaves the EU.

Answer (Chris Grayling)

The Department for Transport and its Arms Length Bodies are engaged in a continuous process of anticipating and responding to the resourcing requirements of EU Exit. The Department is working with the Civil Aviation Authority (a public corporation), Office of Rail and Road (a non-Ministerial Department) and Maritime and Coastguard Agency (an Executive Agency) to ensure they have sufficient staff and resources to support the government and their respective industries post-EU exit.

As was confirmed in the Spring statement, the Department for Transport has been allocated £75.8m for essential EU exit preparations in 2018-19. While this has not been allocated yet, a proportion of this will be used to support resourcing requirements across the Department, and its associated agencies and public bodies.

23 Apr 2018, 4:06 p.m. Railways: Private Sector Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will set out which sectors of the rail industry benefitted from the £3.5 billion of private sector investment in the last four years; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The rail sector has seen significant private sector investment across rolling stock, stations, track and signalling. The majority of this has been investing in new rolling stock. For example, South Western Railway franchise will deliver 750 new vehicles costing in the region of £900 million, the East Anglia franchise 1043 new vehicles costing in the region of £1.4 billion and West Midlands Trains 413 new vehicles costing in the region of £680 million.

In March we launched a call for ideas for market-led proposals to enhance the railway, encouraging promoters to bring forward proposals which are financially credible without government support.

23 Apr 2018, 3:58 p.m. Railway Network: Investment Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which (a) Department and (b) Minister will be responsible for making the final decisions on projects within the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline sets out the principle of joint decision making between the Department for Transport and the infrastructure provider and manager (usually Network Rail). The ultimate responsibility will rest with the Secretary of State for Transport.

23 Apr 2018, 3:53 p.m. Railways: Costs Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the additional £65.7 million cost of the Intercity Express programme referred to on page 14 of the Memorandum on the Supplementary Estimate 2017-2018, if he will set out how much of that sum was spent on (a) depot costs and (b) contract variations.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Department’s 2017-2018 Supplementary Estimate states that of the £65.7m variance committed to ‘Other Railways’, £63m was committed to the Intercity Express Programme (IEP). This information can be found on page 22 of the Memorandum.

This cost can be split into £35m which was assigned to assigned to modify Swansea Maliphant, North Pole and Stoke Gifford IEP depots. This figure also includes modifications to Swansea Station. A further £28m was assigned to other contractual variations.

23 Apr 2018, 3:49 p.m. Train Operating Companies Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will set out the shortfall in rail revenue received by his Department in 2017-2018 by train operator.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

We publish Rail finance statistics annually at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/rail-finance-government-support-subsidy-and-private-investment-2016-to-2017. Information for financial year 2017-18 is provisionally scheduled for publication in September this year.

23 Apr 2018, 3:43 p.m. Rolling Stock Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what strategy has been put in place to co-ordinate the entry into service of 7,000 new rail vehicles in control period (CP) 5 and early CP6 and the upgrading of rail infrastructure in order to maximise the benefits of that new rolling stock to passengers.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Operators set out their strategies for the introduction of new rolling stock as part of each franchise competition. It is the responsibility of those operators to ensure that they co-ordinate the introduction of new trains with Network Rail to ensure that any relevant infrastructure is compatible and available for use.

23 Apr 2018, 3:43 p.m. Railway Network Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the capability of the UK rail network infrastructure to fully realise the benefits of the new rail vehicles due to enter service in CP5 and early CP6 which will be electric.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Operators set out their strategies for the introduction of new rolling stock as part of each franchise competition. It is the responsibility of those operators to ensure that they co-ordinate the introduction of new trains with Network Rail to ensure that any relevant infrastructure is compatible and available for use.

16 Apr 2018, 4:30 p.m. Department for Transport: Staff Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to (a) restructure (b) reorganise and (c) increase the number of staff in his Department in preparation for the UK leaving the EU.

Answer (Ms Nusrat Ghani)

In 2016, the Department for Transport established a new Directorate to co-ordinate the Department’s work on EU Exit and international trade. New EU Exit policy teams have already been established for all modal teams (road, rail, maritime, aviation, and energy, technology and innovation), with the majority of these posts being filled by staff already in the Department.

The Department for Transport will be further strengthening our capacity over the coming months in preparation for leaving the EU, though numbers will not be substantial and this will be managed within existing structures.

16 Apr 2018, 1:50 p.m. Railways: Contracts Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the merger of Siemens and Alstom (a) on the value for money delivered to Network Rail’s signalling framework contract process and (b) the competitiveness of the wider supply side of the UK rail industry.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Network Rail is aware of the proposed merger of Siemens’ and Alstom’s rail divisions and will be supporting the European Commission in its assessment of the proposals in line with the process outlined in the Commission’s Mergers and Implementation Regulation.

As with all of its procurement frameworks, Network Rail’s signalling framework is structured to encourage diverse supplier participation, in addition to investment and innovation. Network Rail will continue to assess its supply chain, as well as the wider market, to identify opportunities to further boost competition and deliver a safe and efficient service to its customers.

29 Mar 2018, 2:13 p.m. Trains: Diesel Fuel Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what meetings his Department held with representatives of the rail industry prior to the announcement that diesel traction would be withdrawn from the rail network in 2040.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Officials from the Department meet regularly with rail industry representatives including rolling stock manufacturers and owners to discuss a wide range of issues with regard to the rolling stock market.

29 Mar 2018, 2:08 p.m. Train Operating Companies: Compensation Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much compensation Network Rail has paid to train operating companies in (a) 2014, (b) 2015, (c) 2016 and (d) 2017; and if he will publish that same information by train operating company.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

I refer the honourable Member to my previous replies on 6 March 2018 (UIN 130589) and 12 March 2018 (UIN 131201).

27 Mar 2018, 2:41 p.m. Train Operating Companies: Emergencies Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to review the emergency procedures used by train operating companies.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Under law, all train operating companies (TOCs) are required to have emergency response plans in place so that they can effectively respond to incidents and emergencies as and when they occur. Emergency planning is a specific requirement of safety management systems for both train operators and infrastructure managers.

It is the responsibility of the Office for Rail and Road (ORR) to look at individual operators’ arrangements for emergency planning, both during its assessment of safety certificates and as part of its wider risk-based supervision activity. The Department does not have a role in reviewing these arrangements.

27 Mar 2018, 2:34 p.m. Network Rail: Procurement Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the value for money delivered by Network Rail’s signalling framework contract approach to procurement taking into account the price for a signalling equivalent unit (SEU) in 2003 compared to projected SEU costs in Control Period 6; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The scope of modern signalling projects has grown considerably since 2003, meaning direct comparisons are not possible. Current projects now encompass telecoms, civil engineering, track and electrification works.

Network Rail’s signalling frameworks are structured geographically and allow signalling suppliers to invest in resources, equipment and processes. As a result of this investment, signalling projects are now among the safest engineering projects carried out on the railway, whilst being delivered more efficiently than ever before.

Today’s projected rate for an SEU in CP6 is estimated at £330k. Taking inflation into account, this is significantly lower in real terms than the £272k SEU value in 2003.

27 Mar 2018, 2:31 p.m. Electric Vehicles: Grants Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to extend the plug-in car grant to 2020.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Plug-in Car Grant plays an important role as part of a wider package of support measures to decarbonise our road transport and realise Government’s ambition to end the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040. In January this year we committed to extending the Plug-in Car Grant in some form until at least the beginning of 2020.

27 Mar 2018, 2:28 p.m. Motor Vehicles: Exhaust Emissions Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to introduce an online emissions standard system for drivers to check the euro emissions standard of their vehicle; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

As part of the work to establish clean air zones, it may be necessary for some local authorities to implement local charging schemes for certain vehicles. We are therefore developing the necessary infrastructure to support charging schemes, which includes working with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency on how owners of affected vehicles could check to see whether or not a charge is applicable.

27 Mar 2018, 2:23 p.m. Network Rail: Procurement Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the value for money delivered by Network Rail’s Framework Contract approach to procurement; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Network Rail has a strong record of employing framework agreements to deliver major programmes of work and these have been used throughout Control Period 5 and are a significant feature of the procurement route for Control Period 6 (CP6).

The benefits associated with this approach include the ability for suppliers to have better work-bank visibility and thereby develop more efficient delivery plans for high volumes of works that are generally repetitive in nature. In addition to employing consistent management and delivery teams, this regime makes use of key performance metrics that support structured continuous improvements with regards safety, programme predictability, costs and innovation.

In addition, early years performance and cost capture is used to benchmark and drive improved performance for subsequent years. Also the ongoing engagement between organisations looks to establish better coordination and collaboration in the planning, delivery and stewardship of commercial issues with a lower likelihood of formal disputes, the resolution of which can be costly. Incentivisation mechanisms such as volume discounts and extensions for good/high performance are also designed to promote efficiency and value for money.

Network Rail recognises that when properly formed, procured and administered, framework agreements drive improvements in safety, predictability and value for money and are well received by the supply chain and plans to build on the experience of the current control period to realise efficiencies during CP6.

26 Mar 2018, 4:15 p.m. Network Rail: Procurement Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment. he has made of the merits of supply chain audits of Network Rail to ensure that procurement practices provide value for money.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Network Rail has an established governance regime for their procurement practices. These are subject to independent scrutiny by the Department, the National Audit Office and the Rail Regulator.

Network Rail’s procurement process contains a number of initiatives to support a diverse and sustainable supply base, which includes SMEs. This includes requiring its Tier 1 organisations to obtain 3 independent quotations in the procurement of their key Tier 2 suppliers, thereby promoting competition and value for money.

26 Mar 2018, 4:12 p.m. Rolling Stock Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the amount of surplus rolling stock on the rail network in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The UK rolling stock market is very healthy and it will be for train operators to determine their rolling stock requirements. Recently awarded franchises will deliver thousands of new carriages as older trains are phased out, with all Pacer trains gone by 2020.

26 Mar 2018, 2:59 p.m. Network Rail: Contracts Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to encourage Network Rail to (a) monitor its Tier 1 suppliers and (b) ensure SMEs are contracted for high value supply side contracts.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

As an arm’s length body, Network Rail operates with independence on day-to-day operational matters from the Department. I do note, however, that more than half of Network Rail’s supply chain are SMEs and that Network Rail is taking the following actions:

  • working closely with its Tier 1 suppliers to monitor and encourage relationships with SMEs and has increased direct engagement with SMEs through dedicated working groups, regional forums & roadshows, working alongside industry bodies such as the RIA.
  • actively challenging poor practice, promoting the concept of ‘mutual dependency’ and holding Tier 1 organisations to account on issues of fair payment, aligned objectives & terms & conditions, better use of framework arrangements and the abolition of (sub-contract) retentions.
  • reviewing its procurement process to remove barriers for SMEs. Within its supply chain, it is generally for Tier 1 organisations to contract SMEs as part of their Tier 2 procurement process. Network Rail is also encouraging Tier 1 suppliers to embrace the SME agenda by implementing regional conferences with their SME / Tier 2 Suppliers.

19 Mar 2018, 2:49 p.m. Midland Main Railway Line Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of changes to journey time on the Midland Mainline in the event that the Mark 4 InterCity 225 stock is cascaded onto that route.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Whilst an assessment of journey time will be part of the consideration for using this or any other type of rolling stock on this route, it is for the operator to ensure that the rolling stock it deploys to provide its services are capable of meeting their franchise obligations. The Department has therefore not made such an assessment.

19 Mar 2018, 2:38 p.m. East Anglia Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the premium payments of £3.8 billion on the Greater Anglia rail franchise will be paid in full.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Due to commercial confidentiality, we do not comment on the financial position of individual franchises. We work closely with all our franchisees throughout their contracts and monitor their progress against their contractual commitments. We expect all operators and their guarantors to continue to fulfil their financial and contractual commitments.

The Department awarded this franchise after a robust competition process and the owning group has provided a substantial parent company support as a guarantee.

19 Mar 2018, 2:33 p.m. East Anglia Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether Greater Anglia rail franchise is meeting its financial performance targets; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Due to commercial confidentiality, we do not comment on the financial position of individual franchises.

19 Mar 2018, 2:30 p.m. East Anglia Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of whether the Greater Anglia rail franchise contract will be fulfilled.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

We work closely with all our franchisees throughout their contracts and monitor their progress against their contractual commitments. We expect all operators and their guarantors to continue to fulfil their financial and contractual commitments.

19 Mar 2018, 2:27 p.m. Transforming Cities Fund Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the cost of bidding for funds from the City Transformation Fund.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

An assessment has not been made of the cost of bidding for funds from the Transforming Cities Fund, but the Government is mindful of the cost to Local Authorities of bidding for local transport funding. That is why the bidding process for the Transforming Cities Fund has been designed to be light-touch, and eligibility has been limited to the largest English cities to maximise cost-effectiveness for bidders while still delivering value for money for the taxpayer.

City regions have been initially encouraged to provide light-touch expressions of interest through a Call for Proposals, and the Department will work closely with shortlisted city regions to develop the strongest possible proposals.

16 Mar 2018, 1:23 p.m. High Speed Trains: Midland Main Railway Line Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the cost of ensuring the High Speed Trains on the East Midlands line will be PRM TSI compliant by 2020.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Department is working with East Midlands Trains to consider various options and the indicative costs for meeting the accessibility requirements on the route. No decisions have yet been taken. Around two thirds of the rolling stock sets on the East Midlands line are not High Speed Trains.

16 Mar 2018, 12:51 p.m. Railways Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the timetable of three weeks allocated by the Office of Rail and Road for a public consultation to scrutinise Network Rail’s strategic plan for the railways between 2019 and 2024.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Office of Rail and Road’s (ORR) invitation for stakeholders to comment on Network Rail’s Strategic Business Plans was just one part of its two and a half year process to inform the regulatory framework for Control Period 6 (CP6). This is an interactive process, with stakeholders invited to engage at every stage. Additionally, ORR expressly required Network Rail to engage with its stakeholders as part of its development of the Strategic Business Plans. These plans have now been submitted to ORR for review and ORR invited high level feedback from stakeholders, including passenger representative groups, to inform its assessment of what Network Rail should deliver in CP6 and the funding that is required for this. ORR made clear that it was seeking high level and material points only at this stage. Furthermore, ORR will consult on its draft determination in June until the end of August, which will give stakeholders a further – and more formal - opportunity to comment and to do so in more detail.

16 Mar 2018, 12:29 p.m. Railways: Procurement Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that Network Rail’s procurement framework for Control Period 6 will encourage UK SMEs to tender for work.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

As an arm’s length body, Network Rail (NR) operates with independence on day-to-day operational matters from the Department. Good procurement practices however demand that public sector organisations buy the goods, works and services they need using fair and open procurement processes, meeting the standards in Managing Public Money.

I do note, however, NR is taking a number of actions to increase their direct and indirect spending with SME businesses, including:

  • Reviewing procurement processes to ensure barriers are removed, for example clearer instructions for and the introduction of simpler financial assessments for bidders into NR’s standard Pre-Qualification Questionnaire;
  • Reviewing poor main contractor practices in the management of sub-contractors;
  • Actively encouraging Tier 1 suppliers to embrace the SME agenda by implementing regional conferences with SME/Tier 2 suppliers;
  • Continuing to increase engagement with SMEs through roadshows and attendance at meet the buyer/trade events as well as improving pipeline visibility and promoting greater consistency in performance measures;
  • Developing capability within NR to enable better understanding of indirect expenditure with SMEs;
  • Contributing to various cross-industry working groups and leading the dialogue within the Rail Supply Group on improving SME engagement.
22 Feb 2018, 2:39 p.m. Aortic Aneurysm: Tees Valley Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people in South Tees died from a ruptured aortic abdominal aneurysm in (a) 2015, (b) 2016 and 2017.

Answer (Chloe Smith)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

22 Feb 2018, 2:39 p.m. Aortic Aneurysm: Tees Valley Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many women in South Tees died from a ruptured aortic abdominal aneurysm in (a) 2015, (b) 2016 and (c) 2017.

Answer (Chloe Smith)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

12 Feb 2018, 4:14 p.m. East Coast Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which delayed or incomplete infrastructure improvements were taken into account in the decision to terminate the East Coast rail franchise early.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

From the start of this franchise to date, all infrastructure upgrades planned for the East Coast have been delivered.

Further upgrades for this route are planned but are not due to be completed at this stage.

12 Feb 2018, 12:16 p.m. East Coast Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the contribution was of (a) infrastructure improvements not being scheduled to be completed according to the franchise agreement and (b) revenue having fallen below what had been agreed under franchise agreement to the East Coast rail franchise being ended.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

From the start of this franchise to date, all infrastructure upgrades planned for the East Coast have been delivered. Further upgrades for this route are planned but are not due to be completed at this stage.

9 Feb 2018, noon Bus Services Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has made an assessment of the causes of decline in the number of passenger journeys made by bus since 2010; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Ms Nusrat Ghani)

There are a number of factors that may explain the fall in bus patronage on local bus services seen in recent years. These include:

  • Transport for London attribute the fall in bus patronage in London in the last three consecutive years to increased congestion and road works which has affected bus performance by reducing average bus speeds. This may also result in people switching to other modes of transport such as light rail.

  • Car ownership: Household car ownership remains high and is likely to have contributed to falling bus patronage. Data from the National Travel Survey (NTS) shows that 77% of households in England owned at least one car or van in 2016, up from 75% in 2010.

  • Online shopping: The growth in online shopping in recent years may have led to a fall in people using the bus for shopping trips. Data from the National Travel Survey shows that there were 13 shopping trips per person per year on local bus in England in 2016, down from 19 per person per year in 2010.

  • Reductions in local authority supported services: Vehicle mileage on local authority supported services in England outside London has decreased each year since peaking in 2009/10.

The Bus Services Act 2017 presents local authorities with new powers to bring about change, and unlock the potential for the bus industry to achieve more for passengers. In particular, new enhanced partnership and advanced quality partnership powers provide the framework for authorities to work side by side with operators to set a shared vision for bus services in their area.

2 Feb 2018, 10:47 a.m. Great Western Railway Line: Electrification Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the timetable is for the paused parts of the Great Western electrification to be resumed; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Government’s Statement of Funds Available for the railway for Control Period 6 (covering the years 2019-2024) was set out in October 2017. The Statement of Funds Available includes funding to continue to take forward the enhancements that were deferred from Control Period 5, including the schemes which were deferred on the Great Western route.

In line with the new process for enhancements these schemes will continue to be subject to ongoing consideration to ensure they deliver the best results for both rail users and taxpayers.

These enhancements will be taken forward through a new process in the form of a pipeline, designed to ensure investment best addresses the needs of passengers and freight, and that funding commitments appropriately reflect the stage of development of enhancements. Under this process, we will only commit enhancements for development, design, or delivery when they have been properly worked through, to avoid the problems of the past, where schemes were committed to too early.

We will be setting out more details on the new enhancements process shortly.

1 Feb 2018, 12:04 p.m. Electric Vehicles Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of charging points for electric vehicles there will be in the UK on (a) 1 January 2019, (b) 1 January 2020 and (c) 1 January 2021.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Government provides funding for the installation of both on-street and off-street charging infrastructure, plus support to enable workplaces to install infrastructure for use by employees and fleets. As a result, thanks to Government leadership, local authority engagement and a growing private sector, the UK now has over 11,500 publically accessible chargepoints, including over 900 rapid chargepoints. This is one of the largest rapid networks in Europe. Almost every motorway service area also has at least one rapid chargepoint, and some have several. Highways England has committed to ensure there are chargepoints every 20 miles on 95% of the strategic road network.

To build on this, we are taking powers through the Automated and Electric Vehicle Bill to ensure the further roll-out of electric vehicle infrastructure at key locations such as motorway service areas. As announced at Autumn Budget 2017, a new £400m electric car Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (£200m new Government investment to be matched by private investors) will accelerate the roll-out of charging infrastructure in response to market demand by providing access to finance to companies that deliver chargepoints.

We will also publish a strategy in the coming months on the Government’s role in the de-carbonisation of road transport, which will comprehensively address the issues relating to chargepoints for all electric vehicles, not simply cars.

31 Jan 2018, 11:27 a.m. Network Rail Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much Network Rail will be permitted to borrow in Control Period 6.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Statement of Funds Available, published 12 October 2017 made clear that, “Network Rail will not take loans or issue bonds from Government or any Third Party to fund the HLOS (“High Level Output Specification” for Control Period 6). In addition, Network Rail must refer to the ‘Network Rail Framework Agreement’ before entering into any financial transactions which may be classified as borrowing.”

31 Jan 2018, 11:17 a.m. Network Rail Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the business risks faced by Network Rail in Control Period 6.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Regulatory Periodic Review process (PR18) is ongoing and is designed to consider the appropriate funding, charging and work to be undertaken by Network Rail in Control Period 6. Government continues to input its views into this process, which will consider the risks faced by Network Rail before concluding with a Determination, expected October 2018.

30 Jan 2018, 3:41 p.m. Railways: Franchises Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to include enhancements to infrastructure in future rail franchise bids; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Whilst we currently have no such explicit plans, there is nothing to prevent bidders including infrastructure proposals that could provide passenger benefits or improved efficiencies in their franchise bid.

And as the Secretary of State recently announced, we are also setting out our plans for a new generation of regional rail partnerships between the public and private sector. When these plans are developed, we will bring them to the back to this House.

We will also be looking to see what lessons can be learnt in this area from the Welsh Government’s procurement which includes Core Valley Lines infrastructure.

30 Jan 2018, 11:16 a.m. Railways: Finance Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions took place between his Department and the ORR prior to the establishment of the financial framework for Control Period 6; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The financial framework for Control Period 6 has not yet been set and will be finalised by the ORR later this year. The Statement of Funds Available published in October 2017 confirmed Government’s intent to change some of the mechanisms by which it funds Network Rail, but other aspects of the financial framework remain under active development by the ORR. The Department for Transport has regular engagement with the ORR on the development of the financial framework, in light of Government’s strong interest in this issue.

29 Jan 2018, 5:02 p.m. Carillion: Insolvency Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the liquidation of Carillion on apprenticeships in the rail supply chain; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Ms Nusrat Ghani)

The Department’s Arm’s Length Bodies are the primary source of engagement with Carillion PLC. Specifically within the rail sector, on HS2, one of Carillion’s other Joint Venture partners, Kier, has confirmed that they will take on Carillion’s apprentices. Also, the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) are working to redeploy apprentices and trainers through the NSAR Connect Service.

29 Jan 2018, 4:26 p.m. Carillion: Insolvency Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the liquidation of Carillion on the timetable for rail electrification works; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

Carillion hold a number of contracts with the Department’s Arm’s Length Bodies (ALBs), including Network Rail. This includes rail electrification programme contracts.

The electrification works between Manchester and Stalybridge, and between Manchester and Preston, are being delivered by a range of contractors, not just Carillion, and Amey are the principal contractor for those works.

Network Rail also confirmed on Friday 19 January that Carillion staff working on their projects are guaranteed to get paid until at least mid-April 2018.

This ensures that work will continue as planned on Network Rail projects through to mid-April 2018, by which point Network Rail expects to have alternative arrangements in place if necessary. Network Rail is working hard to ensure that any impact on transport projects is kept to a minimum and there have been no reported impacts.

29 Jan 2018, 3:13 p.m. Carillion: Insolvency Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the liquidation of Carillion on the (a) timetables, (b) budgets and (c) other parts of the Road Investment Strategy; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The current assessment of the effect of the liquidation of Carillion is that there is no material change to (a) timetables, (b) budgets or (c) other parts of the Road Investment Strategy due to the use of robust contractual models, the use of Project Bank Accounts and an effective contingency plan put in to operation by Highways England and its supply chain.

29 Jan 2018, 9:45 a.m. Bridges: English Channel Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the cost of constructing a bridge between England and France.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Government is currently developing and delivering an ambitious programme of investment in England’s strategic roads and improving local, regional and international connectivity is a key aim. The programme is being informed by a wide range of evidence including the work of six strategic studies, which are focused on making major improvements to the capacity and connectivity of the road network. Consideration of a bridge between England and France is not one of the studies and no estimate has been made of the cost of constructing such a bridge.

The Secretary of State has had no formal discussions with the Foreign Secretary on this.

29 Jan 2018, 9:45 a.m. Bridges: English Channel Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on constructing a bridge between England and France.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Government is currently developing and delivering an ambitious programme of investment in England’s strategic roads and improving local, regional and international connectivity is a key aim. The programme is being informed by a wide range of evidence including the work of six strategic studies, which are focused on making major improvements to the capacity and connectivity of the road network. Consideration of a bridge between England and France is not one of the studies and no estimate has been made of the cost of constructing such a bridge.

The Secretary of State has had no formal discussions with the Foreign Secretary on this.

17 Jan 2018, 1:13 p.m. Railways: Fares Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the rail fare rises implemented in January 2018 on rail (a) patronage and (b) revenues.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Department makes long-term projections of rail demand and revenues, for planning and budgeting purposes, and to assess the case for enhancement schemes. These take into account a range of factors.

8 Jan 2018, 2:44 p.m. Railways: Fares Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the rail fare rises due in January 2018 on (a) demand and (b) fare revenue for (i) regulated fares and (ii) unregulated fares.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Department makes long-term projections of rail demand and revenues, for planning and budgeting purposes, and to assess the case for enhancement schemes. These take into account a range of factors including changes in yield but are not split in the way suggested.

8 Jan 2018, 2:41 p.m. Railways: Fares Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the increase in rail fares due in January 2018 on demand for (a) Virgin Trains East Coast main line services, (b) Virgin Trains West Coast main line services and (c) First Great Western services.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Department makes long-term projections of rail demand and revenues, which take into account a range of factors including changes in yield. Estimates of the effect on individual train operating companies is proprietary and would risk damaging commercial positions if released.

8 Jan 2018, 2:37 p.m. Railways: Greater London Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the proportion of first class train seating capacity that is used for (a) peak and (b) off-peak travel for (i) First Great Western main line services out of Paddington, (ii) Virgin Trains main line services out of Euston and (iii) Virgin Trains East Coast main line services out of Kings Cross.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

There is no published information regarding the proportion of First Class seating capacity used on First Great Western services from Paddington, Virgin Trains services from Euston or Virgin Trains East Coast services from Kings Cross.

7 Dec 2017, 2:34 p.m. Driving Tests Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, who carried out the risk assessment on the new driving test; and what the findings of that assessment were.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

DVSA carried out a risk assessment of the new test in July 2017, and conducted further evaluations in September 2017. The report concluded that all elements of the driving test were low risk.

DVSA also commissioned an independent report from Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents to assess the risk of the changes to the test. This echoed the findings of the DVSA assessment that all aspects of the new elements of the driving test were low risk.

7 Dec 2017, 1:35 p.m. Driving Tests Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions the management of DVSA management has had with the Public and Commercial Services union on that union's concerns relating to the new driving test.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

DVSA management has engaged with representatives of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union throughout the development of the new driving test. DVSA management has considered all concerns raised by PCS.

The recent strike was not about the proposed changes to the test, but about a contract which PCS agreed, and which their members overwhelmingly supported in 2014. In adopting it, the members received a lump sum payment of up to £3,000 each.

7 Dec 2017, 8:20 a.m. Driving Tests Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many members of the Public and Commercial Services union working within DVSA have been subject to disciplinary hearings or investigations by management since 2015.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

DVSA does not require staff to declare membership of a recognised trades union. It is not therefore possible to identify whether members of the Public and Commercial Services Union working at DVSA have or have not been subject to disciplinary hearings or investigations.

6 Dec 2017, 4:33 p.m. Railways: Concessions Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the cost will be of his proposed policy on the railcard for ages 26 to 30 years; how that policy proposal will be funded; and when he plans to introduce that railcard on all franchises.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The government will work with industry to extend the benefits of discounted rail travel to ensure those aged 16 to 30 can access appropriate concessions. This will include the introduction of a new railcard for ages 26 to 30, which the government anticipates will increase the number of journeys taken. Further details will be announced in agreement with the rail industry in due course.

6 Dec 2017, 4:29 p.m. Bus Services Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to reform the bus industry to expand not-for-profit services on commercial routes.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Department for Transport recognises the important role which both commercial and not-for-profit operators play in providing vital services to communities. We have no plans to reform the bus industry to expand not-for-profit services on commercial routes.

5 Dec 2017, 4:05 p.m. East Coast Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, in light of his announcement to truncate the East Coast Main Line franchise and change to a Public Private Partnership operation, (a) for how long he expects Virgin Trains East Coast to continue to pay premiums under the remainder of the truncated franchise arrangement and (b) what estimate he has made of the value of those premium payments in each remaining year of that arrangement.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

We have set out our plans to end the operational divide between track and train, and from 2020 we intend to establish the East Coast Partnership, one of the first of a new generation of integrated regional rail operations.

We intend to identify the private partner via a competitive process, and will include appropriate contributions paid from the partner to the government.

1 Dec 2017, 2:41 p.m. Speed Limits: Cameras Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of active road safety cameras.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

There are 66 fully operational speed enforcement cameras on the motorway network and a further 24 are in final stages of installation/commissioning as the Department continues the rollout of new installations as part of Smart Motorways.

Information on the number of speed enforcement cameras on ‘A’ roads which form part of the Strategic Road Network is not held centrally and the data would need to be sought from each safety camera partnership.

Cameras on other roads are a matter for each local highway authority and no estimate has been made of the total number of active safety cameras.

1 Dec 2017, 12:30 p.m. Large Goods Vehicles: Stanford West Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much has been spent on the planned lorry holding park in Stanford West in Kent.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

We continue to develop plans for a lorry park, and approximately £12 million has been spent on developing the lorry area at Stanford West. This figure includes costs which will be reused as part of the development of the permanent solution announced on 15 November. It also includes the costs of purchasing some properties adjoining the site, which may be resold in due course, reducing the overall cost of the project.

1 Dec 2017, 12:28 p.m. Community Transport Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to expand and support the not-for-profit community transport sector.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

In the 2016 to 2017 financial year, the Department for Transport spent almost £3.5m on supporting the not-for-profit community transport sector through the Bus Service Operator’s Grant (BSOG), with a further £2m through the second round of Community Minibus Fund. In the current financial year we predict that support to community transport operators through BSOG will again be approximately £3.5m. The Department has also announced an additional £250,000 to support community transport organisations with PSV Operator licence requirements.

20 Nov 2017, 3:19 p.m. Railways: Tickets Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Office of Rail and Road's enforcement of train-operating company licence provisions in terms of their meeting their retail code of practice obligations; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

As the independent regulator, the ORR has consumer law powers to protect passengers’ rights. The Government, in its guidance to ORR this July, made clear that the ORR should use these powers to hold industry to account.

In June, ORR published the results of its audit of train operator websites against the Retail Code of Practice, and has identified areas for improvement in its consumer report. An update of this will be published in December.

20 Nov 2017, 3:16 p.m. Railways: Ombudsman Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether train-operating company participation in the Rail Ombudsman will be compulsory.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Rail Ombudsman is being introduced on a voluntary basis. In this way, the scheme will be delivered far more quickly than could be achieved through a compulsory route, enabling the benefits to be felt by passengers as soon as possible. The Rail Delivery Group issued a press release on 4 August 2017 confirming that the train companies have collectively committed to introducing a new independent ombudsman to investigate and rule on unresolved customer complaints.

20 Nov 2017, 3:13 p.m. Rail Delivery Group: Marketing Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the cost to the public purse has been of (a) marketing and (b) advertising associated with the Rail Delivery Group's In Partnership for Britain's Prosperity campaign.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) is a private company funded by the membership fees paid by its members, which comprise Network Rail (a public body) and train company owning groups (which are private companies). The Department for Transport does not hold information as regards any specific contribution to In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity made by Network Rail. The Department was not required to approve any funding.

20 Nov 2017, 3:10 p.m. Rail Delivery Group Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Rail Delivery Group; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Government is supportive of the Rail Delivery Group’s role of providing industry leadership in the railway to achieve better outcomes for rail users. We continue to work closely with them to ensure they are well placed to provide the strategic leadership needed to deliver key reforms in the railway.

20 Nov 2017, 3:07 p.m. Rail Delivery Group: Marketing Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much the Rail Delivery Group spent on marketing and advertising in (a) 2016-17, (b) 2015-16 and (c) 2014-15.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Department for Transport does not hold information on the Rail Delivery Group’s spending on marketing and advertising.

3 Nov 2017, 1:48 p.m. Transport Focus Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Transport Focus; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Government is committed to ensuring that the interests of transport users are at the heart of transport policy. Transport Focus plays an important and effective role in actioning this using its evidence-based campaigning and research to influence decisions and drive change to get the best outcomes for passengers and road users. Ministers and officials meet regularly with Transport Focus to discuss a range of issues including its performance against the objectives set out in its annual workplan.

3 Nov 2017, 12:38 p.m. Network Rail: Regulation Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Office for Rail and Road's regulation of Network Rail; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Department for Transport reviewed the effectiveness of the Office of Rail and Road’s (ORR) regulation of the railways in 2016. The conclusions were announced in March 2016:

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/rail-reform-the-shaw-report

The Government is committed to ensuring continued strong, independent economic and safety regulation of the railway. I welcome the work the ORR has been carrying out to scrutinise Network Rail’s plans for the next five year Control Period. The Secretary of State’s Written Ministerial Statement of 20 July 2017 refers to new statutory guidance to the ORR. This sets out our priorities for rail regulation. These include supporting the ORR’s work to improve Network Rail’s efficiency and improving the experience of users of the railway.

3 Nov 2017, 12:27 p.m. Kobe Steel: Misrepresentation Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 24 October 2017 to Question 108695, on transport: iron and steel, when his Department plans to make that assessment; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Sir John Hayes)

The Department is currently developing a strategy to assess the potential use of Kobe iron and steel in the transport supply chain. The transport sector has a complex supply chain and the assessment needs to be undertaken in collaboration with the supply chain. As the strategy is currently under development the department is not yet able to provide a timescale.

3 Nov 2017, 12:21 p.m. Kobe Steel: Misrepresentation Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 25 October 2017 to Question 108870, on Kobe Steel Europe, when his Department plans to make that assessment; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Sir John Hayes)

The Department is currently developing a strategy to assess the potential use of Kobe steel in the transport supply chain. The transport sector has a complex supply chain and the assessment needs to be undertaken in collaboration with the supply chain. As the strategy is currently under development the department is not able to provide an accurate timescale.

1 Nov 2017, 11:01 a.m. First Class Partnerships Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has commissioned any work from First Class Partnerships; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Department has commissioned a number of reports from First Class Partnerships.

25 Oct 2017, 2:06 p.m. Kobe Steel: Misrepresentation Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of how much falsified Kobe copper is in the UK in (a) cars, (b) trains and (c) aeroplanes.

Answer (Sir John Hayes)

The Department has yet to make an assessment on how much falsified Kobe copper is in the UK in (a) cars, (b) trains and (c) aeroplanes.

24 Oct 2017, 2:36 p.m. Transport: Metals Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of how much falsified Kobe (a) steel, (b) aluminium and (c) copper has been used in the UK's transport infrastructure.

Answer (Sir John Hayes)

The Department has yet to make an assessment on how much falsified Kobe (a) Steel, (b) aluminium and (c) copper has been used.

24 Oct 2017, 1:57 p.m. Ryanair Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of Ryanair's decision to cancel 11,000 flights on the capacity and resilience of the UK transport system.

Answer (Sir John Hayes)

Mindful of the capacity and resilience of the UK transport system, we would expect that other airlines will have sufficient capacity to be able to accommodate those passengers who require alternative arrangements.

The Government’s priority has been to ensure that Ryanair are fulfilling their obligations to passengers affected by their cancellations. It is for Ryanair to manage their scheduling, and we would expect them to properly compensate passengers if they are not able to operate a flight.

The government has begun the process of developing a new aviation strategy for the UK, and through that process we will be exploring issues around capacity, resilience and the consumer experience of the aviation sector.

24 Oct 2017, 10:46 a.m. Monarch Airlines: Insolvency Andy McDonald

Question

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the collapse of Monarch Airlines.

Answer (Elizabeth Truss)

HM Treasury has not made its own estimate of the total costs associated with the collapse of Monarch airline.

17 Oct 2017, 4:16 p.m. Kobe Steel: Misrepresentation Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of how much falsified Kobe Steel is in the UK in (a) cars, (b) trains and (c) aeroplanes.

Answer (Sir John Hayes)

The Department has yet to make an assessment on how much falsified Kobe Steel has been used.

17 Oct 2017, 3:48 p.m. Railways: Fares Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the cost of linking regulated rail fares to the consumer price index rather than the retail price index.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Government’s use of RPI is consistent with the general indexation approach adopted for many rail industry costs. We have always put passengers first and have ensured that regulated fares have risen no faster than inflation for four years running. We are keeping that policy under review whilst we invest in the biggest modernisation programme in over a century. On average 97p in every pound spent on a ticket is invested back into the railway.

17 Oct 2017, 3:45 p.m. Monarch Airlines: Pensions Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions took place between his Department and the Pension Protection Fund prior to the Pension Protection Fund assuming liability for the Monarch Airlines pension scheme.

Answer (Sir John Hayes)

There were no discussions between the Department for Transport and the Pension Protection Fund prior to the transfer of the Monarch Airlines Retirement Benefits Plan to the Pension Protection Fund.

17 Oct 2017, 2:10 p.m. Transport: North of England Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will provide a detailed breakdown of the £13 billion his Department has allocated for expenditure on transport in the north.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The £13bn of transport investment in the North of England covers:

  • full costs of Highways England schemes on the strategic roads network in the North West, North East and Yorkshire and Humber regions due to commence by 2020/21;
  • other capital spending on the above regions by the Department for Transport and its delivery bodies over the financial years 2015/16 to 2020/21;
  • the whole-life cost of the Intercity Express train fleet which is due to enter service on the East Coast Main Line from 2018 onwards.

Not all of the Local Growth Fund is currently allocated, so as future allocations of the Local Growth Fund are made to Local Enterprise partnerships, the amount supporting transport projects in the north through to 2020/21 is likely to rise.

Project type

Total Spend £bn

Highways England capital expenditure1

4.8

Local authority highway maintenance grant

1.4

Local authority integrated transport grant

0.6

Local Growth Fund (Department for Transport contribution)

1.5

Major transport schemes in local authorities

1.5

Intercity Express fleet for East Coast Main Line and other rail enhancements

3.8

Total

13.6

1. covers enhancements (delivery + design and development work), renewals and major capital-funded maintenance, but not resource-funded maintenance or contributions from ringfenced funds

17 Oct 2017, 2:05 p.m. Railways: Digital Technology Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions have taken place between his Department and Network Rail on the scope and cost of making TransPennine a digital railway.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

We have announced that Network Rail will have up to £5 million to develop a plan setting out how they could embed digital technology between the cities of Manchester and York, to help us deliver a more reliable and safer railway. This work will be delivered alongside the options being developed for the upgrade of the Transpennine route.

9 Oct 2017, 1:25 p.m. Railways: Electrification Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what consultation his Department undertook with Network Rail before the decision to cancel the electrification projects in the Midlands, Wales and the Lake District.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Department for Transport and Network Rail work closely together. We have regular discussions with Network Rail throughout the year on a number of topics, including the recent decisions on projects in the Midlands, Wales and the Lake District.

9 Oct 2017, 1:22 p.m. Community Transport Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many people used community transport in each region and constituent part of the UK in each year since 2010.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

This information is not centrally held.

9 Oct 2017, 1:19 p.m. Network Rail Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what meetings he had with the (a) chair and (b) chief executive of Network Rail in (i) 2017 and (ii) 2016.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Secretary of State meets with the Chair and Chief Executive of Network Rail on a regular basis.

9 Oct 2017, 1:06 p.m. Trains: Diesel Fuel Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the announcement of 26 July 2017 on the end of sales of all new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040, what his policy is on the use of diesel trains after that date.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

We are encouraging the railway industry to improve air quality by proposing solutions that reduce emissions from trains and also to develop innovative solutions around future fuel technologies such as hydrogen and battery power. In the nearer term, there are currently a number of new bi-mode trains being delivered or on order. The rail industry expects rolling stock to typically have an expected life in the range of 30 to 35 years. There is no policy at present on the use of diesel trains post 2040.

9 Oct 2017, 12:36 p.m. Bus Services Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many (a) officials, (b) other staff and (c) contracted workers in his Department are working on buses policy.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Department’s Buses and Taxi's division has 27 officials who work full-time or part-time on bus policies. The team does not employ any private contractors. Other officials elsewhere in the Department also spend some of their time working on analytical, policy, communications and other issues that are related to bus policies.

20 Sep 2017, 2:06 p.m. Cycling Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many (a) officials, (b) other staff and (c) private contractors in his Department are responsible for Government policy on cycling.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Department’s Active and Accessible Travel team includes approximately 15 officials and 4 secondees from local authorities and other organisations who work full-time or part-time on cycling and walking policies. The team does not employ any private contractors. Around a dozen or so other officials elsewhere in the Department also work in a full-time or part-time capacity on matters relevant to cycling.

20 Sep 2017, 2:04 p.m. Taxis Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many (a) officials, (b) other staff and (c) private contractors in his Department are responsible for Government policy on taxi and private hire vehicles.

Answer (Sir John Hayes)

The Department has three officials working on taxi and private hire vehicle policy within the Buses and Taxis Division, of which one works solely on this policy area and it forms a core part of the work load of the other two. An official will shortly join the Department on secondment to work on policy development. There are no contracted workers.

There are a number of other officials elsewhere in the Department who contribute to work on related policy issues including analysts, economists and statisticians, this figure is not centrally recorded.

12 Sep 2017, 3:31 p.m. Midland Main Railway Line Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the future pattern of rail services and timetabling between London and (a) Nottingham, (b) Leicester and (c) Sheffield as a result of the decision to introduce bi-mode trains on the Midland Mainline from 2022.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The East Midlands franchise public consultation is ongoing and until feedback is received from the consultation, the final detailed timetable for rail services cannot be developed. The proposals for Midland Mainline rail services between Sheffield and London St Pancras are explained within the consultation document.

12 Sep 2017, 12:22 p.m. Midland Main Railway Line: Electrification Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect that the decision to cancel the electrification of the Midland Mainline will have on the economy of the East Midlands.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

Network Rail is continuing to invest in the Midland Mainline in Control Period 5 and 6 with over £1bn of investment planned including electrification of the route from Bedford to Kettering and Corby and additional track capacity. The majority of the planned journey time savings will still be realised through the provision of an additional sixth long distance train path each hour, allowing the industry to make more efficient use of the infrastructure, as well as allowing higher capacity services to run. These capacity and connectivity improvements are expected to be the key driver of the economic impacts of the Midland Main Line programme.

By also introducing the new fleet of bi-mode intercity trains from 2022, we are maximising the benefits of the largest upgrade of the Midland Main Line since it opened in 1870. Passengers will also see reduced journey times on long distance services from Nottingham and Sheffield by up to 20 minutes in the peak and an increase in capacity across the network.

12 Sep 2017, 8:01 a.m. Rolling Stock Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what comparable assessment he has made of the performance and costs of bi-mode trains and electric rolling stock.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The rolling stock strategy for the East Midlands has been developed by reference to business case analysis of a range of rolling stock options including bi-modes, electric and diesel traction options. Rolling stock performance and cost are two of a range of parameters considered in this analysis. Ultimately the actual rolling stock solution for the East Midlands will be developed and implemented by the successful bidder in the current franchise competition.

12 Sep 2017, 7:58 a.m. Midland Main Railway Line: Rolling Stock Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the rolling stock which will be in operation on the Midland Mainline between 2020 and 2022 when the high speed trains are out of service and the new bi-mode trains will not yet be available.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

Any rolling stock in operation between 2020 and 2022 will need to comply with the appropriate Accessibility Regulations. The public consultation for this franchise is ongoing and the response will inform the specification of the rolling stock. Future rolling stock strategy will be the responsibility of the successful bidder for the East Midlands franchise competition.

12 Sep 2017, 7:53 a.m. Midland Main Railway Line: Electrification Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the cost has been to the public purse of plans to electrify the Midland Mainline north of Kettering to date.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

Approximately £30m has been spent on preliminary works north of Kettering, including the raising of bridges on that part of the route. This will allow any future upgrade to be carried out with as little disruption as possible.

5 Sep 2017, 4:26 p.m. Railways: Season Tickets Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the introduction of part-time season tickets on train fare revenue.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

Flexible multi-buy tickets give people who commute part-time a better deal than they would otherwise have access to. We have challenged the rail industry to develop proposals for pricing, and delivering more flexible ticketing options, for those who work or commute part-time, which could also attract new customers onto the railway. The Department has made early assessments with operators on the effect of the introduction of these types of tickets on fares revenue, and continues to review this policy going forward.

24 Jul 2017, 1:45 p.m. Southern: Standards Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which of the 38 recommendations in the Gibb report his Department has decided not to implement.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

Four recommendations made by Chris Gibb have not been accepted by the Department for Transport at this time. We are not currently reviewing off peak frequencies at low use stations, because a Thameslink consultation is under way. A recommendation to procure more Class 700 trains has not been accepted for commercial reasons. Chris Gibb also recommended a fares and ticketing review of Gatwick services. However, this is not consistent with Government fares policy. A recommendation to transfer specific routes to Transport for London requires further assessment.

20 Jul 2017, 10:40 a.m. Railways: West Midlands Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to announce the award for the West Midlands rail passenger franchise; for what reasons the announcement of that award has been delayed; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

Franchise competitions have always varied in how long they take to conclude, that’s one of the reasons that almost every franchise has this kind of extension facility written into it. Calling this short extension enables us to ensure, that the eventual outcome of the competition represents the best deal for passengers. We will make an announcement in due course.

10 Jul 2017, 3:40 p.m. Railways: Repairs and Maintenance Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the changes to Network Rail's renewals programme arising from the reduction in the High Output Track Renewals programme and the effect of those on (a) regular maintenance and (b) rail safety.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

We expect the Office of Rail and Road to have oversight of Network Rail’s renewals programme and to take action as necessary in relation to any consequential issues concerning maintenance or safety.

29 Jun 2017, 12:47 p.m. Unmanned Air Vehicles Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to publish the outcome of Unlocking the UK's High Tech Economy: Consultation on the Safe Use of drones in the UK.

Answer (Sir John Hayes)

The Department for Transport is committed to addressing the safety and security risks associated with drone use in the UK, whilst capturing the economic benefits of this technology, and intends to publish a full response to the consultation shortly.

29 Jun 2017, 10:55 a.m. Transport: Lasers Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will introduce legislation to create an offence of shining laser pointers at aircraft and other modes of transport.

Answer (Sir John Hayes)

It is currently an offence to shine a laser at an aircraft, which carries a maximum penalty of a fine of £2,500. If intent to endanger an aircraft can be proved, a suspect can be tried under the Aviation and Safety Act 1982 for offences against the safety of aircraft, including damaging or endangering the safety of aircraft, which carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment.

The Department continues to work closely with other government departments, the Civil Aviation Authority, as the independent regulator, the industry and other interested parties, like pilots, to consider how best to mitigate risks, and control the sale, use and possession of laser pens.

29 Jun 2017, 10:23 a.m. Southern: Standards Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has (a) identified and (b) decided what powers and responsibilities should rest with a system operator as a custodian of overall system integrity for Southern Rail as a result of the recommendations of the Gibb report, published in December 2016.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

As identified in the report by Chris Gibb, system integrity on the Southern network is a matter for the Alliance Board supported by the Thameslink 2018 Industry Readiness Board which is chaired by Chris Gibb. At an industry level, the Gibb report sets out that system oversight is now being provided by Network Rail, on a route led basis, supported by a reformed national team (Network Rail’s National System Operator). These key reforms at Network Rail will work with the Government’s approach to franchise contracts for train operating companies to make sure the rail system delivers as a whole for passengers and freight customers.

29 Jun 2017, 7:52 a.m. Southern: Standards Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he has taken to implement the recommendations of the Gibb report, published in December 2016.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

Chris Gibb’s independent report into Southern Rail makes a number of recommendations for the network that we are already working with industry to deliver.

In early January we committed an extra £300 million to improve infrastructure resilience, and we have established a new board to tackle issues ahead of the huge upgrades Thameslink will bring in 2018. However Chris Gibb found the main cause of widespread disruption for passengers was union action and unusually high levels of sick leave.

29 Jun 2017, 7:36 a.m. West Coast Partnership Rail Franchise Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the annual total fare income from High-Speed 2 services as part of the West Coast Partnership franchise.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The West Coast Partnership will be tasked with optimising the post-HS2 commencement service offer, utilising the total capacity available on the High Speed and intercity conventional services. This is something they will undertake during the early years of the franchise in preparation for the HS2 service launch in 2026.

26 Jun 2017, 3:39 p.m. Southern: Standards Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the full report and recommendations of Chris Gibb's project board into rapid improvements of Southern Rail will be published.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Chris Gibb report was published by the Department for Transport on 22 June 2017. The report is now available on the GOV.UK website along with the Secretary of State’s response.

Please see links provided: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/southern-rail-network-gibb-report

SoS response link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/gibb-report-on-southern-rail-network-government-response

26 Jun 2017, 3:36 p.m. Railways: Franchises Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his Department's internal staffing and administration costs were for franchise specification and procurement in each year since 2010-11.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

Prior to the re-launch of the Franchising Programme in spring 2013, these costs were not broken down to individual team level. Figures from April 2013 are as follows:

Year

Costs (£M)

2013/14

2.29

2014/15

2.20

2015/16

4.25

2016/17

4.74

This represents the staff costs of those in franchise project teams (including Contingent Labour where utilised), and administrative overheads where apportioned to these teams.

The costs of procuring the current Intercity East Coast franchise (awarded 2015) were not charged to the public purse and are not included in the above figures (these costs were covered by the Performance Bond that National Express put forward following its default of the previous East Coast contract).

26 Jun 2017, 3:31 p.m. Railways: Franchises Andy McDonald

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the total external costs of advisers and other bought-in items was to his Department for franchise specification and procurement for each year since 2010-11.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

Prior to the re-launch of the Franchising Programme in spring 2013, the costs of different franchising projects were not individually recorded. Figures from April 2013 are as follows:

Year

Cost (£M)

2013/14

9.461

2014/15

8.544

2015/16

14.620

2016/17

12.652

These figures include adviser costs (financial, technical and legal advisers) and VAT where applicable.

The costs of procuring the current Intercity East Coast franchise (awarded 2015) were not charged to the public purse and are not included in the above figures (these costs were covered by the Performance Bond that National Express put forward following its default of the previous East Coast contract).

Note that the sums invested in each re-franchising project are dwarfed by the (Resource) Support for Passenger Rail Services benefits to the Department from the re-franchising.