§ Mr. Brake
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 2 February 2001,Official Report, column 315W, on London Underground, what proportion of the maximum capacity of London Underground train carriages was reached at peak periods during January and February on a line by line basis.
§ Mr. Hill
This is an operational matter for London Underground Ltd. (LUL) who inform me that they regularly monitor train crowding which enables them to assess the level of crowding on the busiest sections of each line. The complexity of this survey means that it is not cost-effective for it to be carried out on a monthly basis. It is therefore not possible to provide the information specifically requested in the question for January and February this year as to do so would incur disproportionate costs.
The table shows the most recent information as measured by London Underground at various times during 1999–2000. For each line it provides a snapshot of the busiest quarter-hour period on the busiest section The table shows in columns F and G the theoretical design capacity of trains as set out in the earlier answer on 2 February 2001, Official Report, column 315W, and in columns H and I the average number of people recorded by LUL in 1999–2000 as using those lines at the busiest period. However, it should be noted that in practice some trains may have a higher and some a lower crowding. This could be caused by either any unevenness in the time between consecutive trains or in the uneven distribution of customers along platforms.283W
A B C F G H I Design capacity Actual number of people Hour Quarter-hour Hour Quarter-hour Line Busiest section Time capacity capacity capacity capacity H&C Liverpool Street to Moorgate 08.30–08.45 8,958 2,240 8,493 2,123 Metropolitan Finchley Road to Baker Street 08.30–08.45 35,984 8,991 34,409 8,602 District Victoria to St. James's Park 08.30–08.45 30,380 7,595 27,085 6,771 East London Line Surrey Quays to Canada Water 08.15–08.30 6,815 1,704 6,521 1,630
§ Mr. Brake
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 2 February 2001,Official Report, column 315W, on London Underground, what evidence his Department has obtained to show that the figures for the maximum capacity of London Underground train carriages are compatible with the health and safety of passengers.
§ Mr. Hill
The health and safety of passengers is the responsibility of London Underground and it is the Underground's top priority. I understand that the capacity of London Underground carriages is not itself considered to be a health and safety issue. However, London Underground recognises the possible safety implications of overcrowding. Access to platforms, and therefore trains, is restricted whenever necessary on safety grounds.
§ Mr. Jenkin
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he will announce a conclusion to his negotiations with Transport for London concerning the PPP for the London Underground. 
§ Mr. Hill
My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister announced last month that he had agreed to work together with the Commissioner of Transport for London, Bob Kiley, and with London Underground, on developing mutually acceptable modifications to the Public Private Partnership. Mr. Kiley has said in discussions with the Government that he seeks the unified management control of key underground operations, mainly through keeping the maintenance of track and signalling within London Underground. The 55–point plan that he is now discussing with us provides for that control within the overall structure of the PPP.
There are inevitably some technical issues still to be worked out but I believe that there is now a real basis for an agreement to allow the PPP competitions to proceed to a satisfactory conclusion. Discussions are being taken forward as quickly as possible so that we can get on with the PPP competitions and the massive investment which the Underground so urgently needs.