§ Mr. Don Foster
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what(a) support and (b) guidance has been given by his Department to (i) local authorities, (ii) industry and (iii) others regarding the development of (A) light rail schemes, (B) tram schemes and (C) guided busways; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Jamieson
The initiative in bringing forward proposals for major local transport schemes, including light rail, tram and guided bus schemes, in England outside London, rests with the local transport authority concerned. Officials in my Department and the Government offices are ready to provide information, support and guidance as required and often meet the promoters of individual schemes. In addition, from time to time they arrange forums and workshops for local authorities and their advisers on particular transport modes: workshops have already been held this year on both light rail and guided bus. Officials also regularly provide background information and support to individuals studying and researching this area.
Relevant general guidance, covering all transport modes, which is freely available to all interested parties includes (a) the Department's guidance to local authorities on the preparation of Local Transport Plans (LTPs) (issued in March 2000) and LTP Annual Progress Reports (APRs) (latest edition issued in March 2002) and (b) the Department's guidance on the appraisal of major local transport schemes (most recently updated in May 2002).