|Previous Section||Home Page|
32. Mr. Cran : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what studies have been undertaken by his Department as to the current extent of traffic congestion in urban areas in Britain ; and whether he has any information as to the comparable situation 10 and 20 years ago.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Average vehicle speeds are taken as an indicator of urban traffic congestion. In London surveys have been maintained since 1968. The results were published recently by my right hon. Friend in his "Statement on Transport in London." Copies have been placed in the Library. Comparable information is not available for other urban areas in Britain, though the Department carried out a series of studies of traffic speeds in 13 urban areas outside London in the 1960's and 1970's. The results showed the importance of limiting on-street parking density in the interest of securing good average traffic speeds during peak and non- peak hours.
Column 96responses to the document entitled "Statement on Transport in London" which he published on Thursday 26 January.
Mr Portillo : The statement on transport in London is not a consultation document. It is a technical publication prepared for the London local authorities and other interested bodies to provide them with a framework within which they can plan their own transport related decisions.
36. Mr. Brazier : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the NATO study on supply and demand for shipping in crisis and war commissioned by the senior civil emergencies planning committee at the request of the planning board for ocean shipping, is expected to be completed ; if there will be any intermediate report ; and when and in what form the results will be published.
Mr. Portillo : This is not a matter for me, but I understand that British Rail will be considering this alternative before reaching a decision on its preferred route between London and the Channel tunnel.
Other trunk road schemes, although not denoted bypasses, have a bypassing effect.
Mr. Portillo : It is normal practice for British Rail to take appropriate environmental protection measures when they undertake new railway works. The costs involved form part of the total cost of the project for the purposes of establishing the case for the investment, and are financed in the same way as the rest of the project.
The AAIB's practice is to communicate important findings, as it reaches them, to the Civil Aviation Authority or other relevant quarters, without waiting for completion of the full report.
46. Mr. Franks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many objections have been received regarding the preferred route for the A590 Dalton-in-Furness bypass in Cumbria ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The objection period for the published orders end on the 28 February. So far four objections have been received. A public inquiry may be necessary if these and any further objections are not withdrawn.
48. Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the road construction projects, together with their cost, which have been approved, started or completed since 1979 in north Devon from M5- Tiverton to South Molton, Barnstaple area and the River Torridge, together with connecting roads.
Scheme |Works cost £ million ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A361 North Devon link road stage 1 (M5 Sampford Peverell to Tiverton) |17.3 |Completed March 1984 A361 North Devon link road stage 2A (Tiverton to Newtown) |27.6 |Completed November 1988 A361 North Devon link road stage 2B (Newtown to Barnstaple) |25.3 |Started October 1987 A39 Barnstaple bypass |20.5 |Started August 1987 A39 Bideford bypass |18.3 |Completed May 1987 The cost of connecting roads are included.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : On the A1 it is proposed to replace the existing lighting between Astwick and the Edworth turn in Bedfordshire (2.4 km), and to extend lighting between Biggleswade and Beeston also in Bedfordshire (3.2 km). It is also planned that 8.8 km of the Newcastle western bypass, which will be designated part of the A1 when complete, will be lit.
On the M1 it is planned to replace the existing lighting between the Scratchwood service area and junction 5(9.5 km) and to extend lighting from junction 17 to junction 20 (14.5 km).
Subject to the availability of funds, it is hoped that these proposals will have all been implemented by 1990-91.
50. Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list all organisations that have made representations in favour of increasing tolls across estuarial crossings to his Department since 1979.
Column 98Commission to introduce a uniform driver licensing system, with specific reference to the position of drivers who operate voluntary community transport schemes ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The consultation document on proposals for a new unified driver licensing system published by the Department in January 1988 outlined the likely impact of the EC initiatives. Some 480 responses were received. A total of 84 per cent. of these expressed concern at the adverse effects that tighter controls on minibus drivers would have on Community and charitable organisations. Some 148 letters have also been received from hon. Members on this issue.
The Government have expressed their strong concern about these proposals not only to the Commission but to other member states and the European Parliament. We shall continue to stress the importance of not damaging the mobility of individuals and groups, including disabled and elderly people, children, and community groups. The latest statistical evidence about the good safety record of minibuses in Britain is being made available to the Commission, other member states, and the European Parliament. Our aim in the negotiations is to secure the flexibility that is needed.
55. Mr. Favell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information was given to him by the airlines concerned at the time of application for licence as to the anticipated passenger loads of (a) American
Column 99Airlines on its Manchester/Chicago route and (b) British Airways on its Manchester/New York route ; and what steps he takes to monitor the accuracy of those estimates.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : There is no requirement for United States airlines to provide information on anticipated passenger loads in respect of their services to the United Kingdom. The licence for British Airways to serve the Manchester/New York route was granted prior to the establishment of the Civil Aviation Authority in 1972 ; any information provided at the time on anticipated passenger loads is not readily available. The Civil Aviation Authority collects and publishes operating and traffic statistics in respect of all carriers serving United Kingdom airports, and provides reports to the Department in appropriate circumstances.
56. Mr. Skinner : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many fires were reported on board passenger ferries in 1988 ; what was the comparable figure for each of the last five years ; and if he will make a statement.
Year |Number --------------------- 1983 |5 1984 |3 1985 |6 1986 |4 1987 |2
Mr. Portillo : My right hon. Friend announced the closure on 31 January. Both he and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy are confident that the closure will not affect the coastguards' ability to handle any future incidents in the offshore oil fields, and moreover that the associated reinforcing of the Aberdeen maritime rescue co-ordination centre will in fact enhance the coastguards' capability to deal with such incidents. The closure of the Moray MRSC will take place on 30 March.
59. Mr. Madel : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to be able to announce the 1989-90 100 per cent. grants to Bedfordshire county council for roads ; and if he will make a statement.
60. Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to give encouragement and support to the increasing use of local rail networks in city areas and between major cities and their hinterlands.
Mr. Portillo : We are prepared to support investment in urban rail services wherever it offers value for money. The Government's policies on the funding of such investment are set out in their observations on the third report of the Transport Committee (1986-87 Session)--HC 420, annex C.
The Association of Chief Police Officers has said that it would like to be given wider powers to stop and test drivers. On 1 February, at column 251, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in answering a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Derby, North (Mr. Knight), set out the three options under consideration in response to the police request and invited views by 30 April.
We are now bringing the amount of drinking and driving down more effectively in this country than is the case elsewhere. What matters is that we should continue to change public attitudes and behaviour.
63. Mr. Higgins : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will install on the central reservation of the M25 motorway appropriate traffic lights and gates at suitable intervals which can be opened by the police to allow vehicles in major traffic jams on one carriageway to enter the carriageway going in the opposite direction in order to leave the motorway.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Any benefit from such an arrangement would be outweighed by the practical difficulties of establishing and operating it, and by the adverse safety implications to which it would give rise.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to make an announcement concerning his conclusions following receipt of the study of alternative designs for the proposed east London river crossing bridge ; and if he will place a copy of the study in the Library.
Mr. Skinner : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many transport police are assigned to the (a) District, (b) Central, (c) Northern, (d) Bakerloo, (e) Metropolitan, (f) Piccadilly, (g) Victoria, and (h) Jubilee lines of the London Underground at the latest available date ; and what were the figures for (i) 1985, (ii) 1986 and (iii) 1987.
Mr. Skinner : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many railway staff with security responsibilities are assigned to the (a) District, (b) Central, (c) Northern, (d) Bakerloo, (e) Metropolitan, (f) Piccadilly, (g) Victoria, and (h) Jubilee lines of the London Underground at the latest available date ; and what were the figures for (i) 1985, (ii) 1986 and (iii) 1987.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received regarding his decision to shut down the Transport and Road Research Laboratory database on bus services ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Portillo : None. The database has served a useful purpose in providing speedy information during the first 18 months of deregulation but it would be unduly costly to continue. The Department receives regular statistical returns from bus operators which enable it to monitor longer term changes in the bus industry. TRRL continues to conduct studies into specific aspects of deregulation.
|£ ------------------------ 1985-86 |50,000 1986-87 |250,000 1987-88 |250,000 1988-89 |150,000
Mr. Portillo : None. The database is not to be extended but it will be retained as a source of information for TRRL's studies on deregulation and to deal with requests for information. In addition, the database is to be published in April and will be available, on tapes, for research purposes.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to develop a primary road network in Nottinghamshire suitable for the advent of the Channel tunnel and the European single market.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The primary road network in the county has been agreed between the Department and the county council. Nottinghamshire is well served by trunk roads such as M1 and A1. There is already a full programme of national and regional trunk road schemes in the county.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Major repairs to the M1 motorway between the Trowell service area and junction 26 at Nuthall were carried out in 1985. Further major repairs are unlikely to be required before the year 2000. If the hon. Member believes that we have missed a stretch, perhaps he would let me know.
(2) who directs to what airport an aircraft in distress should be directed ;
(3) if he will list the relative lengths of the airstrips at Glasgow, Campbeltown and Belfast ; and what back-up facilities exist at each airport ;
(4) what criteria are used in an on-board emergency as far as the direction of the aircraft to a suitable airport is concerned ; (5) what emergency facilities exist at Glasgow airport ; (6) what emergency facilities exist at Aldergrove airport ; (7) what emergency facilities exist at Prestwick and Campbeltown airports ;
(8) what role the Civil Aviation Authority plays in the laying of ground rules for the direction of air traffic ;
(9) what criteria exist to enable air traffic controllers to direct any aircraft in distress away from populated areas.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : These matters concerning aviation safety are the statutory responsibility of the Civil Aviation Authority and have been drawn to the attention of the chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action he intends to take in respect of the proposal of the European Economic Community transport commissioners for high-speed rail links from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Cardiff via London through the Channel tunnel to western Europe ; what discussions he has with the Community of European Railways in respect of all these proposals ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Portillo : I assume that the hon. Member is referring to the proposals recently published by the Community of European Railways. We are not aware of any proposals by the European Commission. It is for British Rail to bring forward any proposals for further investment which it considers appropriate in the light of the CER report. The Government are always happy to approve proposals by British Rail for rail investment which is commercially justified.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the expected cost to public funds of the northern Europe sub-committee of the Planning Board for European Inland Surface Transport at the civil defence college this spring ; and what subjects will be discussed.
Mr. Warren : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will introduce legislation to provide that all air navigation orders affecting changes in the use of United Kingdom airspace be approved by Parliament before they come into force.
Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he intends to publish the feasibility study into extending light dues to yachts and pleasure craft being undertaken by the British Ports Authority at his request on its completion.
Mr. McCrindle : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what measures are being taken to ensure port state control is vigorously enforced to eliminate sub-standard ships and crews from United Kingdom and European Economic Community ports ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Portillo : All European Community coastal states have signed the Paris memorandum of understanding on port state control, agreeing to inspect 25 per cent. of foreign merchant ships visiting their ports. The United Kingdom has inspected more than 25 per cent. in each of the past five years.
Mr. Portillo : The west coast main line already offers a high-speed service, and further improvements over the next few years will raise the maximum line speed further on much of the route. Journey time will also be reduced as a result of revised maintenance procedures. I am not aware of any plans to build a new line.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Cleaning of verges is one of the tasks carried out by the local authorities and consultants who act as the Department's agents for motorway maintenance. Standards for this are laid down in a code of practice for routine maintenance.
We are currently considering what further action may be needed to deal with litter on motorways.