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Railway Stations

43. Mr. Yeo : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many railway stations have been opened in the last 10 years.

Mr. Portillo : A total of 132 stations have been opened or re-opened since the beginning of 1979.

Airport Services

44. Mr. McCrindle : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many representations he has received in 1989 from airlines and passengers, respectively, on the services provided at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : My right hon. Friend has received one such representation about the portering service at Heathrow. He has also received many letters about aviation security, some of which contain representations about services provided at various United Kingdom airports. The number relating to Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted could not be established without disproportionate cost.

London Underground (Automatic Ticket Barriers)

46. Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent representations he has received about the new automatic barriers on the London Underground system.

Mr. Portillo : In addition to two early-day motions, about 30 representations have been received from Members of Parliament and members of the public since 1 January.

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Kent County Council

47. Mr. Prescott : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he last met representatives of Kent county council ; and what matters were discussed.

Mr. Channon : I have had no recent requests to receive a delegation but we are frequently in touch with county council representatives about a wide range of transport matters.

Burscough-Rufford Bypasss

49. Mr. Hind : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on his intentions for the Burscough-Rufford bypass.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : Proposals for a bypas of Burscough and Rufford have not been abandoned, although the orders considered at the 1986 public inquiry will be withdrawn shortly. Further consideration is being given to the trunk road network in the Preston to Liverpool corridor.

I have written to my hon. Friend.

Taxi Trade

51. Mr. Ken Hargreaves : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to discover the needs of the taxi trade and its passengers.

Mr. Portillo : I have recently asked the Department's transport and road research laboratory to conduct a survey of taxi journeys in London to provide information on the current demand for and pattern of taxi journeys. The main survey will be in May with a pilot run on 21 March. TRRL has in the past reported on taxis in provincial towns and I am arranging for this work to be updated. We also recently conducted a consultation exercise to seek the views of all interested parties on possible changes to taxi and private hire vehicle legislation.

West Sussex (TSG)

52. Mr. Soames : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the level of transport supplementary grant paid to West Sussex county council in 1989-90.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : Transport supplementary grant of £1.526 million will be paid to West Sussex county council in support of capital expenditure on roads of more than local importance in 1989-90.

This sum includes support of over £1.3 million for major schemes, including the newly accepted A259 Rustington bypass, and over £200, 000 for minor works.

Grant is less than for 1988-89 because four major schemes are expected to have opened to traffic by the end of March and so expenditure on them in 1989-90 will be small.

Central London Rail Study

55. Dr. Twinn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he proposes to announce a decision on the central London rail study.

Mr. Portillo : We hope to announce decisions later this year once the views of the interested parties and the results of the further work currently in hand have been considered.

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Airport Security

57. Mr. Snape : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport in the light of the recent international conference on aviation security in Montreal, what action he intends to take to improve security at British airports.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State attended the ministerial meeting of the ICAO council on 15-16 February. We explained to my hon. Friend for Spelthorne (Mr. Wilshire) on 21 February at column 556 that the purpose of that meeting was to agree work which member states will take forward through ICAO rather than individually.

Crime Statistics

Mr. Gordon Brown : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what was the total number of reported (a) violent crimes and (b) other crimes on (i) London Underground, (ii) British Rail and (iii) all public transport in 1979 and 1988.

Mr. Portillo : London Underground and British Rail figures for 1979 and 1987 are as follows ; comparable figures for 1988 are not yet available. Information on crimes on other forms of public transport is not held centrally.


                                  |1979  |1987         


London Underground                                     

  (i) violence against the person |646   |1,045        

  (ii) other crimes               |15,645|18,952       


British Rail<1>                                        

  (i) violence against the person |1,365 |1,908        

  (ii) other crimes               |58,354|64,375       

<1> includes Sealink services.                         

Select Committees (Recommendations)

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many Select Committee recommendations have been made about, and how many accepted, by his Department since June 1987.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : There have been three inquiries completed by the Select Committee on Transport since June 1987 :

(i) The decline in the United Kingdom-registered Merchant Fleet ; (ii) The Government's Expenditure Plans for Transport 1988-89 to 1990-91 ;

(iii) Airline Competition : Computer Reservation Systems. The Government's responses to these reports have been published by the Committee as HC681, HC128, and HC61 respectively.


Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what arrangements there are for consulting consumers on the work and decisions of his Department.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : The Department consults extensively on all aspects of its work and decision-making. It issues many consultative documents ranging from specific surveys of customer attitudes to Green Papers. It fully complies with all statutory obligations to hold public inquiries and goes beyond these obligations in consulting the public at an early stage on road scheme proposals.

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Few consumers fail to offer their experience, views, advice and comments.

Computer Information (Confidentiality)

Miss Emma Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what are the potential security risks of the computerised driving licence systems ; and what steps he intends to take to guard against these risks.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : There are bound to be potential security risks in any system. We would prefer not to publicise them or our counter- measures. We are satisfied that the regular scrutiny of the DVLC driving licence system both by the Department and by Government experts in computer security, coupled with firm management controls and staff training, represent a good level of security.

If my hon. Friend has any particular potential security risk in mind, perhaps she would tell me or write to Mr. P. G. Collis, Head of driver licensing division, Room 27, D9, Department of Transport, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Centre, Longview road, Swansea SA6 7JL.

Roads (Hampshire)

Sir David Price : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list all road schemes in Hampshire which he is financing directly and those which he is helping the Hampshire county council to finance for each of the next five years.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : The following trunk road schemes to be financed by the Department are in preparation.

M3 Bar End-Compton

M3 Compton-Bassett

A339 Basingstoke Northern bypass stage 3 dualling

A3 Liphook and Petersfield bypasses

A36 West Wellow bypass

A339 Headley bypass

A31 Picket Post junction improvement

A31 Stoney Cross junction improvement

A36 Maureys lane, West Wellow junction improve- ment A339 Black Dam roundabout, Basingstoke improve- ment 19 minor improvements

8 schemes to install central reserve safety fencing.

Information cannot be provided on an annual basis as timing of construction depends generally on progress of design and statutory procedures.

Transport supplementary grant is available for the following Hampshire county council schemes :

A3 Market way, Portsmouth

A33 Six Dials, Southampton

A326 West Totton bypass (Stage 2)

A331 Blackwater valley route

A335 Portswood/Swaythling bypass

B3340 Hook bypass underbridge

Minor schemes to the value of £511,000.

No decisions have yet been made about transport supplementary grant for county council schemes starting in 1990-91 and subsequent years.

Merchant Shipping

Sir David Price : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking in the Council of Ministers to ensure that there is a level playing field within the European Community in respect of merchant shipping, and that other member Governments abandon their fiscal preferences to their own ships.

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Mr. Portillo : We press at every opportunity for the liberalisation of shipping cabotage. Substantive discus-sions are scheduled for the June Transport Council. We are still waiting for the Commission to produce proposals on the harmonisation of state aids and ways of improving the competitiveness of Community fleets. In the meantime we have registered with the Commission our strong opposition to any preferential treatment for intra-Community shipping.

Sir David Price : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the current size of the United Kingdom-owned trading fleet ; how it is distributed between mainland United Kingdom registration, Crown dependencies, dependent territories and foreign registration ; and what were the comparable figures in 1979.

Mr. Portillo : The following table gives the information requested for vessels of 500 gross registered tons and over at 31 December 1988.


|c|United Kingdom-owned trading vessels (500 grt and over) at 31|c|               

|c|December 1988|c|                                                               

Registered in:        |Number        |(GRT) million |(DWT) million                


United Kingdom        |350           |4.3           |5.4                          

Crown dependencies    |87            |1.8           |3.2                          

Dependent territories |91            |3.3           |6.0                          

Foreign countries     |93            |1.2           |1.9                          

                      |--            |--            |--                           

Total                 |621           |10.6          |16.5                         

The comparable figures for vessels registered in the United Kingdom or Crown dependencies at 31 December 1987 were 1,194 vessels (22.5 million grt and 35.7 million dwt). Information is not available for 1979 for Crown dependencies separately or for dependent territory and foreign registered United Kingdom-owned ships.


Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the latest figure for the estimated spending in 1988-89 by his Department on (a) television advertising, (b) radio advertising, (c) newspaper advertising and (d) other promotional material ; and what is the 1989-90 budget for each of these categories of spending.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : The latest estimate for spending by the Department of Transport in 1988-89 on publicity and advertising is £5,708,000. The 1989-90 budget is £5,878,000. These figures are broken down as follows :

                           |1988-89  |1989-90            

                           |£        |£                  


Television advertising     |1,867,000|1,930,000          

Radio advertising          |110,000  |113,000            

Newspaper advertising      |365,000  |332,000            

Other promotional material |3,367,000|3,503,000          

                           |-------  |-------            


Press and Public Relations

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what are the latest figures for the number of staff presently employed, and the full complement of staff

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including vacant posts, in the press and public relations office of his Department ; and what is the proposed complement for 1989-90.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : The Department has a current complement within its information division of 17 posts for press and public relations with no vacancies. The proposed complement for 1989-90 is 16.

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the latest figure for (a) the estimated expenditure by his Department on press and public relations during 1988-89 and (b) the budget for 1989-90.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : The latest figure for information division press and public relations costs for 1988-89 is £451,000. The budget for 1989-90 is £446,000. These figures cover the overall costs of running the press office, calculated using the Her Majesty's Treasury simplified ready reckoner for staff and other costs.

Statistical Staff

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give the latest figures for the number of staff presently employed, and the full complement of staff including vacant posts, by grade, in the statistical divisions in his Department ; if he will differentiate between staff in statistical posts and staff in administrative posts ; and if he will give the staffing complements by grade, and differentiated between statistical and administrative posts, proposed for 1989-90.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : I praise the directorate for the latest figures they produce on a regular basis.

The Department's directorate of statistics had 110 staff in post at 1 March 1989. The current complement is 116 and that proposed for 1989-90 is 119.5. The division between grades is as follows :

                      At 1 March 1989                                                            

                     |Complement        |Staff-in-post     |Complement 1989-90                   


Statistician Posts   |34                |32                |36.0                                 

Grade 3              |1                 |1                 |1.0                                  

Grade 5              |4                 |4                 |4.0                                  

Grade 7              |23                |23                |23.0                                 

(Senior) Assistant                                                                               

 Statistician        |6                 |4                 |8.0                                  



 Posts               |78                |73                |77.0                                 

Senior Executive                                                                                 

 Officer             |1                 |1                 |1.0                                  

Higher Executive                                                                                 

 Officer             |10                |10                |9.0                                  

Executive Officer    |30                |28                |32.0                                 


 Officer             |26                |25                |25.0                                 


 Assistant           |6                 |4                 |4.0                                  

Senior Personal                                                                                  

 Secretary           |1                 |1                 |1.0                                  

Personal Secretary   |4                 |3                 |4.0                                  

Typographer          |0                 |1                 |1.0                                  


Other Posts          |4                 |5                 |6.5                                  

Principal Scientific                                                                             

 Officer             |Nil               |1                 |Nil                                  

Higher Scientific                                                                                

 Officer             |Nil               |Nil               |0.5                                  



 and Technical                                                                                   

 Officer             |2                 |2                 |2.0                                  

Scientific Officer   |Nil               |Nil               |2.0                                  

Professional and                                                                                 


 Officer             |2                 |2                 |2.0                                  

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Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what was the total sum paid out in fees to outside organisations in the furtherance of privatisation by his Department in 1979-80 and each year to date ; and what is the estimate for 1989-90.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : The sums involved are as follows :

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Privatisation                        |1981-82         |1982-83         |1983-84         |1984-85         |1985-86         |1986-87         |1987-88         |Estimate 1988-89|Estimate 1989-90                 


Sale of shares in National Freight                                                                                                                                                                             

 Corporation                         |151             |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-                                

Sale of shares in Associated British                                                                                                                                                                           

 Ports                               |-               |1,809           |260             |1,494           |-               |-               |-               |-               |-                                

Sale of shares in British Airways                                                                                                                                                                              

 plc                                 |-               |-               |50              |1,012           |674             |20,804          |11,364          |100             |580                              

Sale of shares in BAA plc            |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |564             |41,149          |3,200           |-                                

Sale of National Bus Company                                                                                                                                                                                   

 operations                          |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |635             |324             |140             |40                               

British Rail privatisation study                                                                                                                                                                               

 (consultants fees)                  |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |-               |300             |300                              

No expenditure was incurred before 1981-82.

Management Consultants

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what were the total fees paid out by his Department to management consultants in 1979 -80 and each year to date ; and what is the estimate for the current year.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : The total fees paid by the Department to management consultants since 1 April 1984 were as follows :



1984-85 |250,000        

1985-86 |272,000        

1986-87 |218,000        

1987-88 |371,000        

The latest estimate for 1988-89 is £595,000.

This excludes fees on computing consultancies. Information for earlier years could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Blackwall Tunnel

Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the general level of traffic on (a) Saturdays and (b) Sundays in winter, in PCUs per hour flowing through the southbound bore of the Blackwall tunnel and along the A13 at the northern entrance to the Blackwall tunnel, together with the maximum flow capability of that road between that point and the northern portal of the Rotherhithe tunnel ; and what adjustments were made to signal phasing at the junctions adjacent to the northern portals of both tunnels on Saturday and Sunday 4 and 5 March.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : In winter, normal hourly traffic flows southbound through the Blackwall tunnel vary between 200 vehicles and 2,100 vehicles on Saturday, and between 200 vehicles and 1,800 vehicles on Sunday. The lowest flows occur in the early hours of the morning, the highest usually in the early afternoon. Occasionally flows

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of about 2,500 vehicles are observed on Saturdays between 5 pm and 6 pm probably as a result of sporting events in the vicinity. The information is not available in terms of passenger car units. Detailed information on weekend and hourly traffic flows and maximum flow capability along the A13 near the northern entrance of the Blackwall tunnel is not available. Estimates of annual average daily two-way traffic flow, based upon traffic counts taken in 1986 and 1987, are available as follows :

Section                                         |All motor vehicles                   


A102M (Blackwall Tunnels) to A1206 (Cotton St.) |52,500                               

A1206 (Cotton St.) to A1205 (Burdett Rd.)       |43,500                               

A1205 (Burdett Rd.) to A101 (Rotherhithe Tunnel                                       

 approaches)                                    |35,500                               

Traffic flows on Saturday and Sunday are generally below the average for the whole week.

The capacity of an all-purpose urban road depends on a number of factors including traffic pattern and composition, junctions, access, bus lanes, numbers of pedestrians, etc., and it is not possible to give a maximum figure.

The traffic signals at the A13/Blackwall northern approach road were adjusted to account for the planned closure. The police were able to monitor the junction by closed circuit television and make further adjustments as necessary. No change was made in the phasing of the signals at the Rotherhithe tunnel junction. The closure of the tunnel while an accident was cleared was too short to allow adjustments to be made.

Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what was the area of maximum congestion on Saturday and Sunday 4 and 5 March, respectively, occasioned by the closure of the south bound bore of the Blackwall tunnel ; and what was the general level of time penalty experienced by travellers on the main east-west and north-south routes, respectively.

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Mr. Peter Bottomley : The worst delays were on the A13 from Gardiners corner east to Prince Regent lane. On Saturday morning these delays were equivalent to those experienced on a weekday rush-hour at their peak.

The delays were aggravated by other factors, including an accident in Rotherhithe tunnel, the closure of Tower bridge, and a strike by Woolwich ferry operators.

Ms. Gordon : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reason the southbound bore of the Blackwall tunnel was closed on 4 and 5 March ; what consideration he has given (a) to confining such closures to 12-hour periods from 2100 hours to 0900 hours over each night or (b) to confining traffic to smaller vehicles using one lane through the tunnel or approach roads ; and what would be the additional cost of these or similar measures to minimise congestion.

Mr. Peter Bottomley : The Department announced in February that the southbound bore of the Blackwall tunnel would be closed for annual maintenance from 10 pm on 4 March to 5 am on 6 March, and during the same hours on the two succeeding weekends.

Good progress has been made with the work. The tunnel was re-opened ahead of schedule at 6.15 pm on 5 March, and the final proposed closure may not be necessary.

Alternative arrangements for these closures were considered and rejected either for reasons of safety or because they would increase the overall closure period required.

Automatic Train Protection

Mr. Robert Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish in the Official Report the commencement date of British Rail's pilot schemes to test and develop a system of automatic train protection ; how much finance is committed to the project ; how long it will last ; where the pilot scheme will be carried out ; and when it is anticipated evaluation will be completed.

Mr. Portillo : I understand that BR have been considering the possibility of introducing an automatic train protection (ATP) system for some time. On 16 November 1988 it agreed that proposals for ATP should be progressed without delay, and on 6 March its investment committee authorised an initial £1 million for development. My right hon. Friend's approval was not needed.

Although some automatic train protection systems have been or are being installed on a few other railway systems, none of them is at present technically compatible with BR's signalling system. The development programme will investigate and test hardware to enable a specification to be drawn up which will be suitable for application in differing locations and situations on BR's network.

As part of the development programme BR plans to undertake pilot schemes, which are likely to be on the Chiltern lines and the Great Western main line. BR has made financial provision for the pilot schemes, but the amounts are not yet finalised. BR hopes to commence installation of the first pilot scheme in October 1990. Assuming tests are satisfactorily completed, a programme for national introduction could start in 1992.

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