§ Sue Doughty
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has held with(a) the Department of Transport, (b) transport authorities, (c) public transport user groups and (d) companies operating public transport services on ensuring that public transport services are able to respond to the increased demand for late night services arising from increased use of late licences resulting from powers granted to licensing authorities under the Licensing Act 2003. 
§ Mr. Caborn
The implementation of the Licensing Act 2003 can have no impact on the demand for late night transport services until November 2005 at the earliest. The content of the Licensing Act 2003 and the Licensing Guidance issued by the Secretary of State on 7 July this year, following approval by Parliament, were discussed with and approved by the Department for Transport. There have been no direct discussions with individual transport authorities, public transport user groups and companies operating public transport services other than through the public consultations that preceded the introduction of the Licensing Bill and the laying of the Guidance in Parliament. At paragraph 3.50, the Licensing Guidance advises licensing authorities when developing local statements of licensing policy to have regard to the existing policies and strategies of the relevant local transport authority as set out in their local Transport Plan. Local Transport Plans are the mechanism by which local authorities are expected to work in partnership with all appropriate bodies to deliver effective local transport services that meet the needs of local people. These are expected to include provision of night-time and evening services, where this is appropriate to the local situation. It is for local authorities to identify where and how to take action.