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Mr. Cope : The Government's small firms service, now run by the Training Agency, advises small firms on a wide range of business problems. Where detailed knowledge is required, inquirers are referred to specialists.
Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what information he has on the average weekly earnings for the last four years of dock workers in (a) the Netherlands, (b) West Germany, (c) France, (d) Denmark, (e) Sweden, (f) Italy and (g) Spain.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the estimated expenditure by his Department and the Training Agency, respectively, in 1989-90 on publicity on the same basis as used in his answer of 19 April to the hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras about the estimated expenditure for 1988-89.
The planned expenditure by my Department on general publicity in 1989-90, to include that for the Training Agency, remains as stated in table 7.29 on page 25 of the public expenditure White Paper, Cm. 607, published in January 1989. No further detailed information is yet available.
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list in the Official Report those organisations and individuals responding to the wages councils consultative document whose responses were deemed to be for abolition, against abolition, or inconclusive according to the table in his reply to the hon. Member for Mid Kent (Mr. Rowe) on 21 March, Official Report , column 556 .
Mr. Nicholls : I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State on 23 March, at columns 798-802 , in reply to a question from the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Meacher). This listed the organisations which responded. It is not this Department's practice to reveal the names of individuals who respond or the content of submissions made by either individuals or organisations.
Mr. Nellist : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what materials are provided by his Department to inform people covered by wages councils of their legal entitlements ; and what plans he has to improve these materials and their availabilty.
Mr. Nicholls : Information on statutory minimum rates set by wages councils is published in the form of notices which are simple to understand and give details of where further information and advice can be obtained. Notices are sent to every employer known to be affected and the law requires employers to display copies where they can be read by all workers affected and to send a copy to each home worker. Where appropriate the notices are printed in up to eight languages as well as English. There are no plans at present to change the style, content or availability of the notices.
Mr. Fowler : I have received the ACAS report for 1988, which will be laid before both Houses of Parliament tomorrow. The report is also to be published tomorrow and copies will then be available from the Vote Office.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, what progress is being made by the Health and Safety Executive in the establishment of a formal framework on safety-related software ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 438framwork for safety-related computer software. It is due to be completed in June 1989, when it is intended the proposals will be published, to allow wider commentary before being finalised.
14. Mr. Dicks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will identify the increases in service and cuts in fares that have occurred as a result of the European aviation liberalisation package agreed in December 1987.
Mr. Channon : The European Commission has not yet produced a report on the overall effect of the package, but I am glad to say that we have designated airlines on new routes from London to Arrecife, Mahon, Ibiza, Treviso and Palermo, and second airlines on routes from London to Madrid, Athens, Rome and Milan. Air Europe has reduced fares from London to Paris, Munich, Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm by between 12 and 16 per cent. ; and many airlines have cut fares for leisure travel.
15. Mr. Patnick : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made in implementing the recommendations contained in the Audit Commission report, "Improving the Condition of Local Authority Roads."
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The main action is for local authorities. We have encouraged implementation through discussion with the local authority associations. We are discussing with them the recommendations for changes in legislation.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The total cost of stage 1 of the studies was about £3 million. It is estimated that stage 2 will cost £4 million to complete. In comparison, personal injury accidents on roads in the east London assessment study area alone cost some £50 million each year.
54. Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many houses in London have been blighted as a result of the publication, by him of stage 2a of the London assessment studies ; and whether he will accept blight notices on these.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Some of the correspondents on the assessment studies have inquired at various times about the likely timing of decisions. They have been assured that we will try to end the uncertainty caused by rumour and speculation about the outcome as soon as possible.
21. Mr. Adley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will now review the criteria by which his Department assesses costs and benefits of road and rail investment proposals ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Channon : Broadly comparable criteria are used for appraising investment in roads and railways. They take account of the different ways in which each mode is financed and operated, the main difference being that benefits to rail users can be recovered through fares. Our views were set out last year in the Government's response to the Transport Committee's report on the financing of rail services, and in our recent statement on transport in London.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Traffic flows on the network will benefit from our support to a range of traffic management measures throughout London, including advanced and responsive urban traffic control systems and more effective control of parking and from our promotion of safe, efficient and attractive public transport services.
Column 440We are helping to improve the flow of traffic on the strategic London road network through the national trunk road programme in London and small improvement schemes.
We are providing financial support to appropriate borough road schemes and have issued a traffic management guidance circular to the boroughs.
Mr. Channon : The aviation measures adopted in the EC last year created opportunities for routes to be established between United Kingdom regional airports and the continent. New opportunities have recently been won for services between Manchester and Hong Kong and Malaysia and Pakistan. We are at present negotiating for further Manchester routes with the United States and Singapore.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Downwards. Deaths in road accidents reached a post-war peak of 7,985 in 1966. They have fallen steadily since then, to 6,614 in 1977 and to 5,125 in 1987. The estimated number of road deaths in 1988 was 5,041.
Mr. Channon : I have no plans to do so at the moment, but I expect very shortly to receive from the chairman the progress report mentioned in the reply given to the hon. Member for Hayes and Harlington (Mr. Dicks) on 31 January, at column 146. I will then consider whether a further meeting with the chairman would be desirable.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if his Department intends to make new recommendations on the manufacture or maintenance of the systems for securing lorry wheels to axles in the light of the fatal accident at Rogerstone, Newport, Gwent on 7 April 1988 ;
(2) if any investigation was undertaken into the safety of lorry wheels following the fatal accident at Rogerstone, Newport, Gwent on 7 April 1988.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The Department takes a continuing interest in the safety of lorry wheels through the setting of regulations, certification of vehicle components, annual testing and spot-checks. It is currently involved in consideration being given by the BSI to the recent reports by the Motor Industry Research Association, in order to see if changes are required in the current British Standard and regulations.
The importance of good maintenance standards is regularly discussed with the freight industry. Vehicles are banned or operators' licences withdrawn where maintenance is unsatisfactory. Last year 77,937 roadside spot-checks were carried out on heavy goods vehicles--36 per cent. up on the previous year.
Mr. Paul Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will set out the information his Department has collected on accidents in the past three years that have been caused by wheels becoming detached from lorries and other large vehicles ; (2) if there has been any increase detected by his Department in the number of accidents involving wheels becoming detached from lorries.
|Number --------------------- 1986 |37 1987 |41 1988 |30
Mr. McCrindle : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his policy with regard to providing additional funds for the construction of bypasses around important towns on trunk roads ; if he will consider assistance to Essex county council for such a bypass around Ongar ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : There are some 140 bypasses in the trunk road programme. These contribute to the Government's objectives for the programme, which include the improvement of the environment by removing through traffic from unsuitable roads in towns and villages.
Ongar is served by local roads. Transport supplementary grant is available to help fund local highway authorities' programmes of capital expenditure on these roads. In determining how much of an authority's
Column 442expenditure to accept for TSG, the Secretary of State considers the extent to which the roads concerned are of more than local importance, the extent to which the people working or living in the authority's area would be relieved of the effects of heavy through traffic, and the merits of competing bids for limited resources.
If Essex county council includes proposals for an Ongar bypass in its annual transport policies and programme submission, my right hon. Friend will be pleased to consider them.
Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list (a) the lengths of the M25 for which his Department gave assurances, or made public statements, at public inquiries or elsewhere, that they would not be lit, (b) the lengths in miles and the standard of the motorway affected and (c) for which of these sections lighting is now being planned.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : No undertakings were given at public inquiries that sections of the M25 would not be lit at some future date, but undertakings were given that the following three sections would not be lit at the outset :
The section between junctions 3 and 5, Swanley to Sevenoaks, 8.6 miles dual 3 lane ;
the section between junctions 8 and 10, Reigate--Leatherhead--Wisley, 13.3 miles dual 3 lane ; and
the section between junctions 18 and 19 at Chorleywood 3.1 miles dual 3 lane.
The section between junctions 18 and 19 at Chorleywood may have lighting installed this year. The need for lighting on remaining unlit sections is being considered as part of the M25 review currently in progress.
Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list those lengths of the M25 and adjacent motorway sections on which there are sensors to measure average traffic speed and detect incidents and unstable flow ; how far apart the sensors are located ; whether they are placed in all lanes ; for which sections they can give an indication of average speed, and average hourly flow per lane ; and if he will give the current average peak-hour and off-peak speed, for all lanes averaged, for those sections so monitored.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The equipment currently in operation measures traffic flows. It does not measure average traffic speeds (which are surveyed separately) or detect incidents or unstable flow. An incident detection system is soon to be commissioned on the approach to and within the Holmesdale and Bell Common tunnels. This will use sensors at 500 m intervals, with a threshold alarm, to warn the police of slow moving traffic queues. The need for wider use of automatic incident detection equipment is being considered in the review of the motorway.
Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many miles of the M25 can, in practice, be observed by a closed-circuit television camera for incident verification, and guidance to emergency services when an incident is being handled on the motorway ; what M25 interchanges are currently covered by closed-circuit television ; and how many miles of the M25 main carriageways can be observed by these cameras.
Column 443departmental standard which defines the "Criteria for the provision of CCTV on motorways". At present CCTV coverage is available to the police at the Homesdale and Bell Common tunnels and at junctions 15, 20 to 23, 25 to 27. Contracts have been let which will progressively extend this CCTV coverage to almost all M25 junctions by the summer of 1990.
The carriageway mileage which can be observed by the cameras cannot be quoted since their range varies at each individual location depending upon physical positioning, geographical topography and the weather at any given time.
Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the average response time between an incident occurring on the M25 and (a) its identification and (b) a rescue or breakdown truck reaching the incident, where the vehicles immobilised are blocking one or more lanes of a carriageway.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : This information is not available. Incidents are mainly reported to, or identified by the police via the emergency telephone system, vehicle patrols and the use of closed circuit television at some locations. Response times vary according to the time of day, location and nature of the incident.
Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether, on the existing dual-four lane sections of the M25 between the A30 and the M4, the outermost lane acts as part of the means of carrying through traffic, or as a merge and diverge facility for traffic using the adjacent junctions to this section of the motorway.
Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many directional miles of the M25 have specially constructed noise or visual mounds alongside the hard shoulder to mitigate the impact of the motorway.
Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the average five-day and seven-day traffic flows for both 16-hour and 24-hour days for each section of the M25, and for the Dartford tunnel and approach roads, for (a) 1986 and (b) the latest available year, indicating the month of the count in each case.
|c|Estimates of M25 annual average flows: 1986 and 1987|c| |c|All motor vehicles: thousands|c| 1986 1987 Link |Month of count|7 day/24 hour |5 day/24 hour |5 day/16 hour |Month of count|7 day/24 hour |5 day/24 hour |5 day/16 hour ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1A-1B |6 |62 |64 |61 |4 |75 |80 |75 1B-2 |6 |69 |71 |67 |5 |81 |83 |78 2-3 |6 |60 |66 |62 |4 |70 |76 |71 3-4 |6 |48 |53 |50 |4 |55 |60 |57 4-5 |6 |56 |61 |58 |4 |60 |65 |61 5-6 |6 |72 |78 |74 |10 |76 |81 |77 6-7 |6 |79 |85 |81 |10 |83 |86 |81 7-8 |6 |85 |92 |87 |4 |94 |100 |95 8-9 |6 |77 |83 |78 |5 |84 |92 |87 9-10 |6 |77 |83 |78 |5 |88 |94 |88 10-11 |6 |96 |105 |99 |9 |107 |113 |107 11-12 |6 |111 |1211 |114 |10 |119 |126 |119 12-13 |6 |110 |119 |112 |5 |121 |131 |123 13-14 |6 |112 |121 |115 |5 |131 |139 |131 14-15 |6 |99 |107 |101 |7 |123 |129 |121 15-16 |6 |90 |97 |92 |4 |119 |129 |122 16-17 |5 |79 |85 |80 |5 |105 |112 |106 17-18 |6 |79 |86 |82 |4 |108 |115 |109 18-19 |6 |80 |87 |82 |4 |114 |121 |114 19-20 |n.a. |n.a. |n.a. |n.a. |4 |95 |103 |98 20-21 |n.a. |n.a. |n.a. |n.a. |4 |97 |106 |100 21-22 |n.a. |n.a. |n.a. |n.a. |4 |79 |87 |82 22-23 |n.a. |n.a. |n.a. |n.a. |4 |89 |95 |90 23-24 |6 |56 |62 |58 |5 |93 |102 |96 24-25 |6 |60 |66 |62 |5 |87 |95 |90 25-26 |5 |66 |71 |67 |5 |84 |90 |85 26-27 |n.a. |64 |69 |65 |n.a. |80 |n.a. |n.a. 27-28 |6 |69 |76 |71 |4 |88 |94 |89 28-29 |6 |62 |69 |65 |5 |74 |79 |74 29-30 |n.a. |66 |69 |57 |5 |68 |75 |70 30-31 |6 |48 |53 |49 |5 |61 |66 |62 31-01 |9 |68 |72 |68 |5 |75 |n.a. |n.a. Note: Estimates of average daily flow are not corrected for seasonal effects, so the figures given above are influenced by the month of count. Estimates for 1988 are not yet available. n.a. Data not available.
Column 444average evening peak-hour traffic flow entering the M25 at each of the entrance slip roads from other roads or motorways ;
Column 445(2) if he will list the latest available average daily, average weekday, average morning peak-hour and average evening peak-hour traffic flow leaving the M25 at each of its exit slip roads to other roads or motorways.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Our consultants conducting the M25 review are obtaining figures of traffic entering or leaving the M25 at each junction to show the average daily Monday-Thursday flow, and the average morning and evening peak flows. These will be available in due course.
Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many patrolling breakdown and rescue trucks are in service on the M25 during normal weekday commuting and working hours (a) on the motorway as a whole and (b) per each 20 directional miles ; and who funds and directs the operation and placing of these vehicles.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Dedicated recovery vehicles do not patrol the M25. Recovery vehicles are stationed at major roadworks to deal with accidents and breakdowns within those works. They are also stationed at the Dartford tunnel. Elsewhere, recovery vehicles are summoned by the police, who select them in rotation from a list of local garages. Alternatively, drivers may elect to use their own recovery organisation. Vehicle owners pay for recovery except within major roadworks where the Department provides the service.
We are examining the present arrangements, in consultation with the police and the Department's agent authorities, with the aim of reducing the times for which carriageways are obstructed by accidents and other incidents.