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Parliamentary odd and ends

Some gems from Hansard:

Sarah Teather:
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many railway stations do not have step-free access

This was a follow up from a question about stations in her neck of the woods.

And the response:

Paul Clark: Detailed information about station facilities is held and maintained by train operators and the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and not by the Department for Transport. However, studies for the Strategic Rail Authority in 2005 showed that approximately 50 per cent. of stations provided step-free access routes to platforms, covering 57 per cent of journeys.

If the diminutive member for Brent Wherever uses the tube, she might have spotted a map, very much like this, which has a wheelchair symbol for step-free access:

Handy, eh? The most recent tube map shows more of those icons, but it is a PDF file rather than a JPEG, and did not lend itself to the Firefox screengrab add on and I was feeling lazy.

Anyway, onwards:

How bad are buses in Bournemouth? Pretty bad one might think, judging from the fact of 39% of school children being driven to school (there's a bad pun in there somewhere), compared to 24% in Swindon. Alas I only have data from the SW to play with. Doubtless rush hour for hard working Bournemouth families is rather less of a trial during the school holidays.

Meanwhile, whoever is the significant other of Paul Murphy appears to be getting shown a good time:

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he has visited coal mines in Wales on official business in the last 12 months.

Mr. Paul Murphy: I am pleased to say that the Big Pit mining museum is in my constituency and I am a regular visitor.

I am worried about Rozza - he normally only ever asks about our colonies.

Further Welsh and Teather related fun:

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much his Department has spent on branded stationery and gifts for (a) internal and (b) external promotional use in each of the last five years.

Mr. Paul Murphy: My Department spent £83 on Wales Office pens in 2006 to promote the Government of Wales Act.

A brief search suggests that the baseline for promotional pens is about twelve pence, so for easy numbers, lets say that Murphy got 700 pens for his £83. They would have been pretty horrible biros at that price point, and might not have given off the impression of modernity, efficiency and class that the WO might seek. Perhaps the £83 went on a third of a Mont Blanc ballpoint or a quarter of a fountain pen. Either way, I do not doubt that precious few will have been downwind of a Wales office quill.

More later, maybe.


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Blogger Letters From A Tory said... 8:48 am

I would have thought that they'd go through quite a few biros writing out all those expenses claims, so £83 looks like good value to me.  

Anonymous Ben M said... 4:04 pm

Last time I heard, railway stations did exist outside London...  

Blogger Croydonian said... 4:32 pm

Ben, indeed, and I have been known to use them. However, context suggests that Teather was on about her neighbourhood.  

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