|Previous Section||Home Page|
Mr. Alan Clark : It would be very difficult to prohibit the import of key guns without similar restrictions on the domestic manufacture and sale of such devices. Following expressions of concern the Home Office is consulting the Association of Chief Police Officers about the effectiveness and availability of such devices in the United Kingdom and to establish what problems they present. We will consider this issue further in the light of the findings of this report.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) if he will call for a report from the Director General of Oftel on how many occasions British Telecom engineers have monitored telephone conversations on domestic telephone lines within the Wakefield district in the last year for which figures are available ;
(2) if he will call for a report from the Director of Oftel on how many occasions British Telecom engineers have monitored private conversations on domestic telephone lines, in the last year for which figures are available.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what non-statutory safeguards are available for British Telecom customers, in the event that their private and personal conversations are monitored by employees of British Telecom.
Mr. Atkins : Safeguards in addition to the existing statutory safeguards are a matter for the operator in the first instance. The Director General of Telecommunications already keeps the sufficiency of the safeguards under review.
Sir Gerard Vaughan : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if, in the light of recent court cases, he will seek to amend the law relating to the charging practices of supermarkets and to increase the maximum levels of fines available to the courts.
Mr. Forth : No. The effectiveness of part III of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 in controlling misleading price indications will need to be assessed as experience of its operation develops after 1 March before consideration can be given to further measures.
Mr. Curry : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what expenditure is expected in 1988-89 on the remedial measures announced on 7 December 1988 following the closure of North East Shipbuilders Ltd.
Mr. Newton : It is estimated that £358,000 will be spent by the end of March this year, primarily on counselling and training ; £106,000 will be spent by the Department of Employment on counselling, and a further £251,000 will be spent by British Shipbuilders. Parliamentary approval for the £251,000 will be sought through the introduction of a new subhead on class V vote 4 in a Supplementary Supply Estimate to cover the new service. Pending that approval urgent expenditure estimated at the full £251,000 will be met by repayable advances from the Contingencies Fund.
Mr. Adley : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what is the estimated cost to the balance of payments of the trading methods of the Ford Motor Company whereby most of its vehicles are assembled outside the United Kingdom.
As a long-established multinational, the company imports and exports components as well as assembled vehicles and has major investments in this country. The value of such an estimate would be subject to so many variables as to rob it of any tangible significance.
Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what representations he has received from the EEC Commission about the limit to foreign shareholdings in Rolls-Royce plc ; and what parts of the treaty of Rome have been quoted by the Commission in relation to such representations.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 7 February 1989] : Discussions with the Commission are continuing. The Government consider that the limit on foreign shareholdings is justified by article 223 of the European Community treaty which allows a member state to take such measures as it considers necessary for the protection of the essential interests of its security.
Ms. Quin : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many 18-year- old students have progressed into higher education in each of the last three academic years giving figures in numerical and percentage terms and for each standard planning region.
\ 18-year-old students<1> from Welsh schools intending to proceed into higher education<2> |Number ('000) |Percentage of all |<1>18-year-old leavers -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1984-85 |3.5 |45.0 1985-86 |3.7 |48.9 1986-87 |3.4 |45.5 <1> Aged 17 at 31 August i.e. the beginning of the academic year. <2> Degree courses, teacher training courses and HNC/HND courses.
Mr. Rowlands : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many consultants at present hold a contract with the National Health Service in Wales ; and in what disciplines the six new appointments during the next three years will be made.
No decision has yet been taken on where and in which specialties the posts will be created, but they will be targeted to achieve maximum benefit, including the need to reduce waiting lists.
Location |Number of practices ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Rhyl, Clwyd |1 Wrexham, Clwyd |3 Old Colwyn, Clwyd |1 Prestatyn, Clwyd |1 Mold, Clwyd |1 Gresford, Clwyd |1 Carmarthen, Dyfed |1 Haverfordwest, Dyfed |1 Pontllanfraith, Gwent |1 Caldicot, Gwent |1 Monmouth, Gwent |1 Newport, Gwent |3 Amlwch, Gwynedd |1 Llandudno, Gwynedd |1 Bridgend, Mid Glamorgan |2 Church Village, Mid Glamorgan |1 Pontypridd, Mid Glamorgan |2 Dowlais, Mid Glamorgan |1 Merthyr Tydfil, Mid Glamorgan |1 Porthcawl, Mid Glamorgan |1 Caerphilly, Mid Glamorgan |1 Ystrad Mynach, Mid Glamorgan |1 Brecon, Powys |1 Newtown, Powys |1 Cardiff, South Glamorgan |2 Barry, South Glamorgan |1 Gowerton, West Glamorgan |1 Swansea, West Glamorgan |1 Mumbles, West Glamorgan |1
Mr. Murphy : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what evidence he has of leaks of polychlorinated biphenyls from Rechem International (Pontypool) into the sewage system operated by Welsh Water ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Grist : None. The Welsh water authority has the responsibility, under the Public Health (Drainage of Trade Premises) Act 1937 for consenting to discharges of trade effluent to public sewers. Furthermore, the authority monitors such discharges and is responsible for ensuring compliance with the quality conditions in each consent.
Dr. Cunningham : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list for the Welsh water authority the number of pollution incidents and the number of sewage works which breached their discharge consents in 1987- 88.
Mr. Grist : Welsh water authority area figures are available for calendar years. In 1987 (the latest year for which figures are available) recorded pollution incidents totalled 2,489 and 108 sewage treatment works breached their consent conditions.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many qualified social workers with specialist training for work with people who are deaf are currently employed in Wales by (a) social service departments, (b) voluntary organisations and (c) other bodies ; how many have completed training in each of the last five years ; what action he is taking to increase their number ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many interpreters for the deaf are employed by public bodies in Wales ; how many have been trained in each of the last five years ; what action he is taking to increase their numbers ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Grist : This information is not held centrally. The Department is, however, currently funding a Wales Council for the Deaf project to increase the number of people with advanced qualifications in sign language. The training involved conforms to nationally accepted Council for the Advancement of Communication with Deaf People standards.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish the estimated national domestic rate for Wales had the system to be introduced in 1990 been in operation in the current financial year, together with the current business in each Welsh district.
Mr. Grist : In 1990, domestic rates will be replaced by the community charge and there will be no national domestic rate. 1988-89, non- domestic rate poundages in each Welsh district are listed in the following table :
|Non-domestic rate |poundage 1988-89 |Pence ---------------------------------------------------------- Alyn and Deeside |245.4 Colwyn |258.1 Delyn |245.4 Glyndwr |250.7 Rhuddlan |245.9 Wrexham Maelor |252.2 Carmarthen |255.2 Ceredigion |248.3 Dinefwr |248.4 Llanelli |270.9 Preseli Pembrokeshire |245.3 South Pembrokeshire |251.6 Blaenau Gwent |258.4 Islwyn |251.5 Monmouth |254.4 Newport |250.5 Torfaen |260.1 Aberconwy |256.8 Arfon |249.9 Dwyfor |253.3 Meirionnydd |247.3 Ynys Mon |246.3 Cynon Valley |265.2 Merthyr Tydfil |273.3 Ogwr |279.1 Rhondda |277.0 Rhymney Valley |277.4 Taff Ely |273.9 Brecknock |244.0 Montgomeryshire |224.2 Radnor |231.9 Cardiff |225.6 Vale of Glamorgan |232.0 Port Talbot |302.3 Lliw Valley |304.3 Neath |306.4 Swansea |313.9 Wales average |257.6
All of these inquiries are acted upon and many of them have been appropriate to Clwyd. There is therefore no need to keep a statistical record on a county basis.
Mr. Moate : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what consultations he has had with, or what representations he has received from, organisations concerned with the eyesight standards of motorists ; and if he will institute discussions with professional bodies and with the British Insurance Association to encourage drivers to have regular eyesight tests and to remind drivers of their legal obligations ;
(2) what information he has about semi-official surveys, including surveys undertaken by police authorities, into the question of eyesight standards of motorists ;
(3) what investigations have been undertaken by his Department into the question of eyesight tests for motorists and with particular reference to injury or
Column 701damage accidents to which poor eyesight might have contributed ; and what is his estimate of the cost of undertaking such a survey.
Ophthalmologists (formerly the Faculty of Ophthalmologists at the Royal College of Surgeons).
Research by the transport and road research laboratory, reported in 1986 as "A Re-analysis of California Driver Vision Data", found that once age and other variables had been taken into account, there was no detectable relationship between the propensity to have accidents and any of the large number of visual tests employed. This confirmed earlier work at TRRL and other work carried out overseas over a period of some decades which has in no case found any important relationship between accidents and any measure of visual acuity. The cost of repeating the work would be in excess of £200,000. We are considering whether other work is now required to provide additional information about drivers over the age of 70.
I have placed a copy of the report in the Library of the House. I have also placed there a copy of a paper entitled "Vision and Driving" prepared by the Department's medical adviser, together with another piece of work--"A Survey of Visual Acuity of Drivers"--carried out by the Motor Industry Research Association for the TRRL. There have been calls from various organisations, including the police, calling for higher standards of eyesight for drivers and for compulsory regular testing.
We have periodic discussions with the Association of British Insurers about medical factors affecting fitness to drive, including eyesight standards and the need to encourage regular checks. We are aware of one or two police forces carrying out eyesight surveys using binocular screening devices.
Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has received any representations asking him to approve the financial implications of the Devon county council plans for the construction of the Barnstaple down-stream bridge.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : My right hon. Friend has received a large number of representations urging reconsideration of the county council's capital allocation for roads in 1989-90. Most of these representations express concern over the future of the Barnstaple down-stream bridge. This bridge is included in Devon's transport policies and programme for a start of construction in 1995.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the main components required by the major upgrading programme of Network SouthEast and London Underground Ltd., proposed by the central London rail study.
|£ thousands ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ International Civil Aviation Organisation |1,075 International Maritime Organisation |420 Organisation for Economic Co-operation Development European Conference of Ministers of Transport |224 Road Research |36 Central Rhine Commission |102 International Railway Convention |80 International Railway Congress Association |1 Permanent International Association of Navigational Congress |3 International Drivers' Behaviour Research Association |3 Permanent International Association of Road Congress |3 International Union of Public Transport |1 European Concrete Committee |3 |---- |1,951
Ministers' and officials' travelling and subsistence expenses cost a further £43,000.
The organisation Eurocontrol has not been included as it is self-financing. During 1988-89 the subscription was £7.1 million and the receipts received £10 million. There is an income equalisation provision designed to ensure that any shortfall or excess in receipts is recovered or refunded over a period of two years.
Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many members of the public have written to him on the subject of the fire at King's Cross ; and how many letters he has replied to directly.
Mr. Portillo : My right hon. Friend has received just over 200 letters from members of the public about the King's Cross fire and related matters which have received replies on his behalf from officials as is customary.
Mr. David Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what are the reasons for the difference in the anticipated expenditure on new road construction and structural maintenance in 1988-89, as set out in table 8 : 14
Column 703of chapter 8 of Cm. 608, and the figures set out in table 1 of national roads expenditure of the Department of Transport's evidence to the Select Committee on Transport on 7 December 1988.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The figures set out in table 1, national roads expenditure, of the Department of Transport's evidence to the Select Committee on Transport show the expenditure originally planned for 1988-89 after allowing for receipts from the EC, £20 million made available from the Reserve and announced in the Autumn Statement and a reduction of £1.6 million in respect of the overspend on the national roads vote in 1987-88. The expenditure shown in table 8 : 14 of chapter 8 of Cm. 608 is the estimate of the outturn for the year made at end September 1988. The final outturn may differ somewhat.
Mr. Fraser : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Norwood given on 25 January, Official Report, column 571, why bridge heights are not shown in imperial and metric measures when the facility to do so is available.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The Department of Transport provides metric height signs on trunk roads which are used extensively by foreign lorries and where the bridge height is less than 4 m. Local highway authorities are advised to do the same on their roads.
We shall be encouraging the general use of metric signs in addition to imperial units as part of a series of measures we are introducing to reduce the incidence of bridge bashing.
Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the last detailed counts of traffic were taken on the M2 and A2 roads between London and Dover ; what were the results of such counts ; and whether he will undertake new counts in the current year.
Further counts are planned for 1989.
Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proposals his Department is currently considering to improve journey times to the port of Dover from central London ; and how much money he will make available to improve the road and rail routes to the port of Dover over the next 10 years.
M2 Widening between Junctions 1 to 3
M20 Widening between Junctions 5 to 8 (Maidstone bypass) M20 Maidstone to Ashford (under construction)
A20 Folkestone to Court Wood
A20 Court Wood to Dover
The programme is currently under review.
Column 704It is for British Rail to bring forward proposals for rail investment.
Mr. Portillo : I have just announced a £1 million increase in grant to London dial-a-rides for 1989-90. That is the fourth successive annual increase, amounting to over 70 per cent. since responsibility for funding was taken over from the Greater London council. The additional funds will enable the provision of more vehicles, more drivers and other improvements aimed at providing more trips and a better service for users. Precisely how many trips are generated depends on how efficiently the dial- a-ride local management committees use the resources which have been made available.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many new dial-a-ride buses, excluding replacements, have been provided during the last year ; and how many extra trips they have completed.
Mr. Portillo : London dial-a-ride services are run by local voluntary management committees, funded by grant which is allocated by London Regional Transport. Details of vehicles provided, and the use to which they are put, are matters for them and London Regional Transport.
Mr. Skinner : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many physical assaults have taken place on bus drivers and bus conductors working for London Regional Transport in the last 12 months, and what were the figures for 1985, 1986 and 1987.
Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with the manufacturers of bleeping pelican crossings to ensure that any malfunction is eliminated ; and if he will now consider approving the speaking pelican crossing as a suitable replacement for defective existing equipment.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The Department has discussed the safety requirements for audible signals at pelican crossings with the appropriate manufacturers. These requirements include that the failure of all safety interlocks should not cause the audible signal to sound except when a red signal is displayed to traffic. The method of actuating both a "speaking" pelican crossing and the audible devices on existing pelican crossings is the same. In this respect neither is safer than the other. We have decided against approving "speaking" pelican crossings for other reasons.
Column 705Department approving bleeping pelican crossings ; and what was the rate of malfunctions detected during such tests.
A press notice has been issued describing the action taken and the reason for it.
Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give the number of (a) deaths, (b) serious injuries and (c) injuries which have resulted from the malfunctioning of bleeping pelican crossings in each of the past 12 months.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The total of 37 casualties should be compared with total pedestrian casualties in 1987 of 57,453. Of these 2,170 occurred on pelican crossings, and a further 2,470 occurred within 50 m of such a crossing. More than 7,000 pelican crossings were in operation during 1987.
There are very few recorded cases of pedestrian casualties at malfunctioning pelican crossings. In these cases, we do not know if any of the accidents were caused by the defective crossing, as we do not collect the causes of road accidents.
The following table shows number of pedestrian casualties, by severity and by month, at pelican crossings that were out of order or defective, in 1987, the latest year for which complete figures are available.
Pedestrian casualties on pelican crossings that are out of order/defective: Great Britain: 1987 Month |Fatal |Serious|Slight |Total -------------------------------------------------- January |0 |0 |1 |1 February |0 |1 |1 |2 March |0 |1 |0 |1 April |0 |0 |1 |1 May |0 |0 |4 |4 June |0 |0 |1 |1 July |0 |3 |6 |9 August |0 |2 |2 |4 September |0 |2 |3 |5 October |0 |3 |2 |5 November |0 |0 |2 |2 December |0 |0 |2 |2 |- |- |- |- Total |0 |12 |25 |37
Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has on the number of bleeping pelican crossings which have been disconnected in each of the past 12 months as a result of a serious malfunction ; and if he will express this as a proportion of the total in service.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Information is not recorded centrally in the form requested. The Department has been notified of one such case in Great Britain in the last 12 months. This represents less than 0.013 per cent. of all pelican crossings currently in service in Great Britain.
Column 706About 1,000 (approximately 10 per cent.) of the pelican crossings fitted with similar audible signals have been switched off as a precautionary measure while checks are made and a modification incorporated.