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Results 221–240 of 1000 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Paul Clark

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Regulated Rail Fares (27 Jan 2009)

Paul Clark: As the hon. Lady will know, operating companies—including Southeastern—take account of the need to put rolling stock to the best possible use, and changes in timetables have involved adjustments to achieve that. We continue to monitor the changes introduced recently in the network.

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Regulated Rail Fares (27 Jan 2009)

Paul Clark: I thank my hon. Friend for his suggestion. In a recent Adjournment debate in the House on rail fare increases, it appeared that Opposition Members had forgotten exactly where we were vis-à-vis the number of operating companies that we have, and our requirements in relation to private companies. Substantial investment has gone into the rail system, which is why we have record levels of...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Regulated Rail Fares (27 Jan 2009)

Paul Clark: No increase in prices, for whatever reason, is welcomed, and we recognise the clear pressures on train travellers. But, invariably, as some fares have reduced because of the capping system that we have put in place, some have gone up. If we were to introduce a freeze, we would then need to spend more public funds on those rail companies. That would be another subsidy taking money away from...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Regulated Rail Fares (27 Jan 2009)

Paul Clark: I am always willing to listen to right hon. and hon. Members and to look into matters of concern. Passenger Focus is very much at the heart of giving a stronger voice to passengers.

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Regulated Rail Fares (27 Jan 2009)

Paul Clark: I have already said yes to the request. Passenger Focus is there to help represent the concerns of passengers across the board.

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Rail Fares (27 Jan 2009)

Paul Clark: The Secretary of State has received very few letters on fare increases for those franchises.

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Rail Fares (27 Jan 2009)

Paul Clark: The hon. Gentleman should be well aware that there have been increases in capacity to trains serving places such as Kettering, there are faster journey times to Sheffield, and there have been improvements for Bedford. At the moment most of the peak trains consist of eight cars, and he will be aware that we will be able to strengthen the service still further when the first phase of the...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Rail Fares (27 Jan 2009)

Paul Clark: I will certainly take on board the points made by my hon. Friend, and accessibility and reliability requirements are indeed part and parcel of the franchise agreement.

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Rail Fares (27 Jan 2009)

Paul Clark: The underlying intention and main thrust of the Government's investment programme of some £10 billion is to meet those immediate requirements for increased capacity between now and 2014. That is why we have invested in additional carriages and cars to increase the number available. We have also invested in programmes to lengthen platforms to accommodate longer trains, so that we can meet the...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Rail Fares (27 Jan 2009)

Paul Clark: I accept that an improved service at weekends is required, but that will inevitably be the case when there is a major programme of investment to improve the infrastructure of the rail network. The best time for it to be carried out is at weekends—but I appreciate the inconvenience that it causes to the travelling public.

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Topical Questions (27 Jan 2009)

Paul Clark: Interestingly, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State suggests that I should join in with what the schoolchildren are doing. [Interruption.] I shall decline that opportunity—but the hon. Member for East Dunbartonshire (Jo Swinson) raises an important point. We very much wish to encourage cycling for a host of reasons, not least of which is the need to reduce congestion and the number...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Topical Questions (27 Jan 2009)

Paul Clark: The simple answer is yes. I am happy to meet any Members and their delegations. Chorley had a 33 per cent. increase over and above outturn last year—some £280,000—

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Topical Questions (27 Jan 2009)

Paul Clark: A huge amount, to help to meet the cost of the Government giving 11 million people the freedom to travel the length and breadth of England.

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Topical Questions (27 Jan 2009)

Paul Clark: I was not aware that the road was closed yesterday. For investment in roads, the process involving the priority of meeting the requirements is kept under review through the regional funding allocation process. None the less, I will certainly look into the issues that the hon. Gentleman has raised.

Concessionary Bus Fares (26 Jan 2009)

Paul Clark: At the outset, I want to congratulate the hon. Member for Cambridge (David Howarth) on securing the debate. I am beginning to quite enjoy my attendance at Adjournment debates, whether they are about rail fares or concessionary fares. Both are important. I am proud of the Government's record on concessionary travel. In 2000, for the first time, older and disabled people in England were...

Concessionary Bus Fares (26 Jan 2009)

Paul Clark: My hon. Friend refers to the number of variations that there are. The powers in the Transport Act 2000 that allowed local authorities to make additional provisions still exist, and they are a matter for local authorities. Equally, her point highlights the fact that in some areas the money in a given area is more than sufficient to meet the additional costs. That matter has been raised with me...

Concessionary Bus Fares (26 Jan 2009)

Paul Clark: I note that, through the special grant, Cambridge has received an increase on its 2007-08 allocation worth £650,000, or a 57 per cent. increase on the actual costs last year. In addition, the hon. Gentleman is claiming that it is anticipated that another £400,000 will be needed. That means that Cambridge will need in excess of £1 million on top of last year's provision—and anyone can...

Concessionary Bus Fares (26 Jan 2009)

Paul Clark: Let me add in response to that intervention that, when we looked at which formula should be used, we obviously had to take into account who should pay for the travel and at which end of the journey. When introducing a nationwide travel scheme throughout England, we soon realised that, if the old way had remained and areas paid for their own residents who travelled, a lot of cross-working out...

Concessionary Bus Fares (26 Jan 2009)

Paul Clark: In all the discussions that I have had, invariably what is being indicated—if not on the record, certainly unofficially—is that people other than the Government believe that there is enough money in any given area, usually a county. Perhaps it is a question of how the formula is working in given areas. One of the reasons why we shall consult shortly is to consider how the scheme can be...

Concessionary Bus Fares (26 Jan 2009)

Paul Clark: It is unlikely that we would be able to move before the three-year period ends in 2011, but we have made it clear that the aim of the process is to listen to the issues that hon. Members and their local authorities face. I have constantly made it clear that the single grant was for the additional part of concessionary fares. Underlying that is the provision within the rate support grant. In...


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