HC Deb 19 May 2004 vol 421 cc1000-1W
Mr. Truswell

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the socio-economic make up of rail users(a) outside London, (b) in London and (c) in the South East; [173468]

(2) what assessment he has made of the socio-economic breakdown of bus users outside London. [173724]

Mr. McNulty

The National Travel Survey provides the information for people aged 16 and over in Great Britain for the period 1998–2000, according to their area of residence.

The table shows the percentage of users in each socio-economic group.

years. Data for 1 July 2003 should be available shortly. Separate figures for London as compared to the rest of the country are not available.

On accessibility, results from the Department's annual survey of bus operators showed that, at 31 March 2003, 29.3 per cent. of full size buses in Great Britain were of low floor design, allowing wheelchair access. This has increased from 22.0 per cent. at 31 March 2001. The target is for half of all full size buses to be wheelchair accessible by 2010. A separate survey undertaken by Transport for London showed that 82 per cent. of the capital's full sized bus fleet is fully accessible.

Survey results for the quarter year October to December 2003 showed that bus passenger satisfaction with information at bus stops was rated at 66 out of 100, for England, using seasonally adjusted data. This is up from 61 in 2000–01 and 63 in 2002–03. The figure for London was 73 out of 100 as against 60 out of 100 for the rest of England. The target is to improve the rating year on year.

The Government and the CPT remain committed to achieving these targets, underlining the good working relationship that we have with the bus industry, as well as demonstrating the industry's continuing commitment to delivering improved services.

Mr. Truswell

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much capital expenditure has been invested by local authorities on measures designed to improve the quality and reliability of bus services outside London in the last five years for which data is available. [173723]

Mr. McNulty

We do not hold figures for local authority transport capital expenditure broken down by mode for the years preceding the introduction of the local transport plan system.

In the first two years of the LTP programme (2001–02 and 2002–03) local authorities informed us that they spent £97 million and £165 million respectively on bus infrastructure schemes, including major schemes. They forecast further spend of £233 million in 2003–04.

Mrs. May

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many hourly bus services were operating in rural areas in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [173729]

Mr. McNulty

Information is not available in the form requested. The Department collects information each year on the number of rural bus services it supports through rural bus subsidy grant but the survey does not measure the frequency of services.

John McDonnell

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which train operating companies are run on(a) management contracts and (b) a cost plus basis; and when each contract began. [171212]

Mr. McNulty

Virgin West Coast, Virgin Cross Country, First North Western and Arriva Trains Northern are operating on management contracts. The new arrangements came into place in July 2002 for the Virgin franchises, March 2001 for First North Western, and February 2001 for Arriva Trains Northern. Of these, only First North Western is on a cost plus basis. The others are operated on the basis of annual budgets (so the operator is at risk within the year).

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