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Mr. Peter Bottomley : We minimise the impact of new roads on the environment by careful design. We fit schemes into the landscape, plant trees and screen traffic. We take special measures to protect wildlife. The Department's publication "Transport and the Environment" gives examples of the measures that we employ.
Fatalities have a low medical cost but an incalculable family cost.
70. Sir David Price : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress is being made in the Council of Ministers of the European Community in determining and then implementing a common shipping policy.
Mr. Portillo : In December 1986, under United Kingdom Presidency, four regulations were adopted which set the foundations for a common European shipping policy. The United Kingdom is continuing to press hard for progress towards liberalising the cabotage trades of six member states. We also await details of the
Column 165EC Commission's proposals for positive measures to tackle the decline of the European fleets and to improve their competitiveness in world shipping markets.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : We are improving trunk roads to help orbital traffic and to replace bottlenecks. We are supporting similar borough schemes with grants. We have given traffic management guidance to the boroughs. We are using new technology to improve traffic signalling. We support autoguide. We are encouraging effective parking controls. We are promoting attractive public transport systems.
Mr. Portillo : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has received and approved several investment proposals to relieve overcrowding on Network SouthEast and London Underground. British Rail has also put on additional trains to meet increased demand on other parts of the rail system.
Mr John Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when and where the first pilot scheme on a computerised guidance system for cars is expected to be in operation ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : We hope shortly to invite private sector proposals for a London autoguide pilot scheme. The area of operation and timing of implementation will depend on the proposals submitted and on parliamentary approval of the necessary legislation.
Mr. Portillo : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has made no such estimates. He has, however, invited the British Ports Federation to undertake a study of the feasibility of charging light dues on pleasure craft. It is too early to say what conclusions might emerge.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : We have received a number of representations about traffic problems on the M25. A review of the whole motorway is in hand which will identify the problems and suggest solutions. The results of the review are expected in the new year. The Freight Transport Association survey shows that 97 per cent. of operators valued the M25.
Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what informaton he has received from transport undertakings and other bodies about the increase in the numbers of persons travelling from Southend to London and back daily over the past five years.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : We seek to alleviate congestion through road improvements, investment in rail facilities and traffic management measures. Investment priorities for roads are set out in the White Paper "Policy for Roads in England 1987" and for public transport in British Rail's corporate plan 1988 and the London Regional Transport annual business plan 1987-88.
Mr. Channon : We are on course to provide the bridge by the mid- 1990s, if traffic justifies that. The private sector will be given the opportunity to fund the bridge. Promoters will be asked to indicate possible completion dates and the toll levels associated with them.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport why he chose Bristol as the location of the inquiry into the proposed increase of tolls on the Severn bridge in preference to a location in Wales.
Column 168Wales and (c) England ; and how many from each area gave (i) oral and (ii) written evidence to the previous inquiry.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Of the objections received to the previous proposals to increase tolls at the Severn bridge, 36 were from Gwent, seven from other areas in Wales, and 37 from England. A further seven were from national organisations.
The number of persons from each area who gave evidence to the 1984 inquiry was as follows :
|Gwent |Other areas in Wales |England |National Organi-sation ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (i) Oral |10 |7 |6 |10 (ii) Written |3 |4 |5 |9
Six members of the Department of Transport also gave evidence.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish the latest traffic counts for all transport modes crossing the Severn bridge and the percentage of the journeys that originate from : (a) Bristol, (b) west of England, (c) Gwent and (d) Wales.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The annual average daily flow of traffic over the Severn crossing for the 12 months ending 31 October 1988 was 46, 912. Heavy goods vehicles accounted for about 17 per cent., light goods 7 per cent. and buses and coaches 1 per cent. The approximate percentage of westbound journeys originating in Bristol and Avon is 53 per cent. and from the rest of south-west England 10 per cent. The approximate percentage of eastbound journeys orginating in Gwent is 30 per cent. and from the rest of Wales 62 per cent.