Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
(Nottingham South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 10 July 2017
Department for Transport
Railways: Fares
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions (a) he and (b) officials of his Department have had with (i) the Chancellor of the Exchequer and (ii) officials of HM Treasury on rail fares policy since 13 June 2017.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 13 July 2017

There have been no discussions between the Secretary of State for Transport and the Chancellor of the Exchequer on Rail Fares policy since the 13 June 2017.

Officials from the Department of Transport and HM Treasury officials have regular working level coordination meetings covering a range of issues including rail fares policy.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 07 July 2017
Department for Transport
Railways: East Midlands
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his oral contribution of 4 July 2017, Official Report, column 1137, which routes currently operated under the East Midlands franchise are anticipated to benefit from a significantly shorter journey time as a result of the new Thameslink timetable; and what those changes in journey times will be.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 12 July 2017

Network Rail and the train operators are currently undertaking the detailed work to develop the 2018 timetable for the Midland Main Line.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 07 July 2017
Department for Transport
High Speed 2 Railway Line
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to page five of High Speed Two Limited's Initial Framework Agreement with the TUC, published on 8 April 2016, if he will list the dates on which the joint committee has met.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 12 July 2017

Work on establishing a full Joint Committee is in process. There have been five meetings with the TUC in the last year to work on establishing the full committee. Those meetings are proving constructive and as HS2 moves into the first construction phase later this year, dates and arrangements for the full Joint Committee will be formalised.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 07 July 2017
Department for Transport
National Air Traffic Services: Government Shareholding
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Answer of 13 April 2016 to Question 33920, on National Air Traffic Services: Government shareholding, if it remains his policy to sell the Government's shareholding in the National Air Traffic Service.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 12 July 2017

At the 2015 Spending Review, the Chancellor announced we were considering a potential sale of the Government’s 49% shareholding in NATS. Since then, HMG has indicated that no final decisions have been taken and HMG will continue to keep its investment under review.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 07 July 2017
Department for Transport
Railways: Fares
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 3 July 2017 to Question 1538, on railways: fares, what plans he has to increase the cost of regulated rail fares by RPI plus zero per cent in 2018.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 12 July 2017

The Government recognises that the cost of travelling for rail passengers can seem high – this is why since 2014 we have taken action and capped the regulated rail fares at RPI+0%. Train fare revenue is crucial to funding day-to-day railway operations and delivering the investment and massive upgrade programme currently underway, all of which passengers demand and expect.

We of course keep policies under review.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 07 July 2017
Department for Transport
Aviation: Egypt
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with representatives of the airline industry and other key stakeholders on the resumption of direct flights to Sharm El-Sheikh; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 12 July 2017

My officials have regular discussions with UK airlines and others about flights from Sharm el-Sheikh.

DfT aviation security experts continue to work closely with their Egyptian counterparts on the ground, sharing their expertise in establishing effective security arrangements.

We look forward to achieving the return of flights to Sharm el-Sheikh, once we can be assured of there being the necessary secure and sustainable security situation.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 04 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Direct Rail Services: Pay
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the one per cent public sector pay cap applies to employees of Direct Rail Services Ltd.
A
Answered by: Richard Harrington
Answered on: 11 July 2017

The public sector pay cap does not apply to employees of Direct Rail Services Ltd.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 04 July 2017
Department for Transport
East Coast Railway Line: Franchises
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to Stagecoach Group PLC's press release dated 28 June 2017, preliminary results for the year ended 30 April 2017, what assessment he has made of the effect of Network Rails' reprioritised infrastructure programme on the finances of the InterCity East Coast franchise.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 10 July 2017

Delivery dates for certain planned enhancements to the East Coast Mainline are due after the end of Control Period 5 (2019). If this affects Virgin Train East Coast’s track access rights beyond 2019, this may lead to financial impacts on the franchise. We regularly update our forecasts of franchise finances as part of our management processes.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 04 July 2017
Department for Transport
Southern: Standards
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the cost to his Department was of the Gibb Report, published on 22 June 2017 (a) in total, (b) on staffing and (c) on externally commissioned work.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 10 July 2017

The independent Gibb report cost £130,800 to complete. Staff costs and externally commissioned work were not itemised. Chris Gibb reported directly to the Secretary of State for Transport, and delivered his report on 30 December 2016.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 03 July 2017
Department for Transport
Highways England
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make it his policy to require Highways England to publish the minutes of its board meetings.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 06 July 2017

There are currently no plans to require Highways England to publish the minutes of its Board meetings.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 03 July 2017
Department for Transport
Public Sector: Pay
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the one per cent public sector pay cap applies to employees of (a) Highways England, (b) Network Rail, (c) the Civil Aviation Authority, (d) the investigation branches for air, marine and rail accidents and (e) HS2 Ltd.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 06 July 2017

The one percent pay cap applies to the accident investigation branches. It does not apply to the CAA, which is a public corporation and is not covered by public sector pay arrangements.

Highways England and HS2 Ltd have agreed separate pay flexibilities outside of the one percent cap with HM Treasury.

From its creation in 2002 as a company classified to the private sector Network Rail did not have a public sector pay cap and since its reclassification to the public sector Network Rail has agreed separate pay flexibilities outside of the one percent cap with HM Treasury.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 03 July 2017
Department for Transport
Network Rail: Assets
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to page 5 of the minutes of Network Rail's Board meeting of 28 September 2016, what the accounting reason referred to is which requires HM Treasury in turn to require the proceeds from asset sales to count towards general deficit reduction; and what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the proceeds of Network Rail's asset sales programme.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 06 July 2017

As a government organisation, Network Rail’s expenditure is recorded following rules in the European System of Accounts 2010 (ESA10). My Department has agreed with HM Treasury that those asset sales classified as deficit-reducing under ESA10 definitions can fund expenditure on rail enhancements (expenditure which in turn classifies as deficit-increasing under ESA10 definitions).

The Department holds regular discussions with HM Treasury on a wide range of topics, including Network Rail’s asset sales programme.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 03 July 2017
Department for Transport
Cycling and Walking
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Answer of 30 June 2016 to Question 41299, on cycling and walking, and the Answer of 13 June 2016 to Question 39847, on travel, what the potential effects are of the cycling and walking investment strategy on the figures given in the Answer to Question 39847.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 06 July 2017

The Department is in the process of producing new Road Traffic Forecasts to inform the development of the 2nd Roads Investment Strategy. These forecasts will reflect the impact of all major transport investment decisions made by the government since the last forecasts were produced in 2015, including the cycling and walking investment strategy. The new Road Traffic Forecasts will be published in due course.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 03 July 2017
Department for Transport
Network Rail: Internet
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether it is his policy to migrate the current Network Rail website to the gov.uk website.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 06 July 2017

It is not the Department’s policy to migrate the current Network Rail website to the GOV.UK website.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 29 June 2017
Department for Transport
Roads: Capital Investment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to page 6 of the Office of Rail and Road's Update on Highways England's capital planning and asset management, published on 2 February 2017, whether Highways England's revised capital baseline plan for Road Investment Strategy 1 has been approved by his Department.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 04 July 2017

The Department have been working closely with Highways England and the Office of Rail and Road regarding Highways England’s plans to ensure successful delivery of the Road Investment Strategy.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 29 June 2017
Department for Transport
Cycling and Walking: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his Department's press release, Government publishes £1.2 billion plans to increase cycling and walking, published on 21 April 21017, what proportion of the £1.2 billion funding referred to in that press release had not been allocated to walking and cycling prior to April 2017.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 04 July 2017

The £1.2 billion referred to in the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy press release confirmed the amount of existing Government funding that is available to be invested in cycling and walking over the five year period from 2016/17 to 2020/21. This represents a clear Government commitment to sustained investment in cycling and walking.

Alongside the £1.2 billion, additional funding has been announced, including £5 million for improving cycling facilities at railway stations; £1 million of funding for a Walk to School project and £1 million for Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival scheme, providing free bike maintenance and cycle classes.

Central government is also providing a programme of practical support to local authorities to help them to produce high quality Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans which can support the strategic economic case for cycling and walking investment.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 29 June 2017
Department for Transport
Level Crossings and Taxis
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent progress his Department has made on preparing legislation in response to the recommendations made in the Law Commission's reports on (a) Level Crossings, published on 25 September 2013, and (b) Taxi and Private Hire Services, published on 23 May 2014.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 04 July 2017

The Department expects to make an announcement shortly on its proposed next steps in relation to the Law Commission’s report on level crossings. It is currently considering all the recommendations in the Law Commission’s report on taxi and private hire regulation in England and Wales against the backdrop of a rapidly changing industry and will formally respond to the Law Commission and announce its intentions once this scrutiny is completed.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 29 June 2017
Department for Transport
Highways England: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many people are employed in Highways England's Capital Portfolio Management team on a headcount and FTE basis; and how many vacancies there are in that team currently.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 04 July 2017

As at 30/06/2017 Highways England have a total of 37 people employed within the Capital Portfolio Management team. On an FTE basis there are 34, rounded down from 34.2.

There are currently 4 live vacancies for the Capital Portfolio Management team.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 29 June 2017
Department for Transport
High Speed 2 Railway Line
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the total (a) revenue and (b) capital expenditure on HS2 has been in each year from 2009-10 from (i) his Department, (ii) HS2 Ltd and (iii) Network Rail.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 04 July 2017

In the six years between 2009/10 and 2015/16 the Government spent around £1.4bn on delivering the HS2 programme. This is made up of the costs incurred by HS2 Ltd and expenditure on land and property. HS2 Ltd expenditure includes payments made to Network Rail. The Department for Transport also spent around £70m on internal resource costs, including staff and technical support.

The table below sets out HS2 expenditure by year:

2009/10 £m

2010/11 £m

2011/12 £m

2012/13 £m

2013/14 £m

2014/15 £m

2015/16 £m

HS2 Ltd

Resource

9.4

14.6

33.9

176.4

208.4

33.1

34.4

Capital

0.03

0.1

0.4

8.1

2.1

156.5

318.5

Land & Property

Capital

9.6

19.7

23.1

105.3

174.9

113.2

DfT

Resource

1.7

5.6

14.7

20.9

26.5

Total

9.43

24.3

55.7

213.2

330.5

385.4

492.6

For the purposes of this response, “revenue” has been interpreted as meaning “resource expenditure”. Figures for 2016-17 will be available later in the summer as part of the HS2 Ltd Accounts. Due to the configuration of the HS2 Ltd accounting system, it would be disproportionately costly to disaggregate NR costs from HS2 Ltd total expenditure.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 27 June 2017
Department for Transport
Railways: Standards
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the minutes of the rail National Task Force meeting on 10 May 2017, whether the rail industry performance plan referred to in those minutes has been approved.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 03 July 2017

The Industry Performance Plan (IPP) was discussed further by the National Task Force at its subsequent meeting on 7 June. The IPP framework was supported but has not yet been formally approved, pending further development of certain workstreams. A fully populated IPP is expected soon.

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