HC Deb 13 May 2003 vol 405 cc149-50W
Mr. Steen

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many rural transport schemes have been funded by the Government in each of the last five years, with the amounts given; and how many have been earmarked funding for the next two financial years, with the amounts given. [112822]

Alun Michael

Since 1998–99 the Countryside Agency has administered four rural transport schemes. In 2001–02 the Parish Transport Grant was launched and the Rural Transport Development Fund was amalgamated with the Rural Transport Partnership Scheme to form the Rural Transport Partnership. It would involve disproportionate cost to provide the number of projects funded under the Rural Transport Development Fund and the Rural Transport Partnership Scheme from 1998–99 to 2001–02. Since 2001, the Countryside Agency has been part of DEFRA's responsibilities while the Department for Transport funds rural bus projects through the Rural Bus Challenge and figures for this are also shown in the following table.

Mr. Morley

The Government consulted in July 2002 on its proposals to extend opportunities for competition in the water industry in England and Wales. In the light of comments received, proposals were included in the Water Bill, now before Parliament.