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Mr. Hannam : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people attended the Mobility roadshow ; how many motor manufacturers exhibited at the Mobility roadshow ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The fourth Mobility roadshow, organised by the Department of Transport, took place over three days last month at the Department's Transport and Road Research Laboratory in Berkshire. It was attended by about 20,000 people, the majority of whom were disabled.
Eleven major motor manufacturers exhibited the latest models of standard production cars suitable for adaptation for disabled people. Nearly 4,000 test drives were taken in adapted cars on the laboratory's private road system.
Among the show's other 140 exhibitors were manufacturers of buses, minibuses, vans, vehicle lifts, hand control equipment, wheelchairs and small powered vehicles and many other products, as well as a range of organisations offering services and advice to people with disabilities.
Plans are in hand for the fifth show to be held in the summer of 1991.
Sir William Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much has been spent on safety fencing on the M4 during the year 1988-89 ; how much is expected to be spent in 1989-90 ; and, of the amounts spent or to be spent, how much is attributable to replacements of faulty safety fencing.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : It is estimated that some £270,000 was spent in 1988-89 on the replacement and maintenance of safety fences on the M4. The replacement of fences is undertaken for various reasons such as changes in road surface levels as a result of resurfacing, or damage caused by impacts, and it is not possible to attribute the amounts spent to particular reasons. We are not aware of any safety fencing having to be replaced because of inadequate
Column 257performance. Some £380,000 has been allocated for replacement and maintenance in 1989-90. Actual expenditure will depend on the extent of unpredictable factors such as accident damage. All safety fences continue to be regularly inspected and maintenanced.
The Department neither issues nor withdraws badges.
The national scheme was created to help people not capable of walking.
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has of the number of people with severely deformed or no arms who have difficulty in shopping unless special provision is made for them.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : This information is not available. The OPCS survey into disability in Great Britain states that there are 1.23 million people with reaching and stretching disabilities and 1.737 million with dexterity problems. Caution is needed in using any of the figures in the report because :
(i) a relatively low threshold of disability was used for the report.
(ii) people with both reaching and stretching and dexterity problems would be counted twice.
(iii) the survey was designed to be a survey of disability, not of the causes of disability. People could be counted as having reaching or stretching difficulties because they had sight problems or suffered from mental illness etc.
The Department of Health has advised that there were 12,800 upper limb amputees in England and Wales in 1986. This figure represents only people seen by artificial limb centres and so does not represent the total number of amputees. It is not known how many of those artificial upper limb users would have actual difficulty in carrying shopping. Many will have one missing limb rather than two.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The Department's Mobility roadshow held at the Transport and Road Research Laboratory (16-18 June) attracted 20, 000 people from many parts of the country to view and test a wide range of adapted vehicles and other mobility aids and products. We are constantly on the look out for new ideas and ways of helping people with all kinds of disabilities.
We are supporting the Parking Bill currently before Parliament. This would provide for the wider use of systems of payment such as magnetic cards or vouchers rather than coins. These new systems can be more convenient for many disabled drivers, particularly those with dexterity problems.
We tabled an amendment to the Bill which would give the Secretary of State power to require local authorities to
Column 258display information at the entrance to off- street car parks, including the availability of allocated spaces for disabled people. The British Standards Institution is currently developing a code of practice on information required at public car parks.
The British Standards Institution is also working on a range of new standards for parking control equipment. Equipment manufacturers and disabled people are represented on the relevant technical committee. The standards will take account of features such as the height of displays and the ease of operation of equipment.
We give advice to organisations which seek to make it easier for disabled people to use their cars.
We advise individual disabled motorists through our mobility advice and vehicle information service (MAVIS).
Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research has been done into the range of activities for which disabled people use the orange badge ; and to what extent it is used in connection with shopping.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The orange badge scheme allows people with severe mobility problems to park closer to their destinations and to stay longer than normal parking regulations permit. The scheme helps badge holders to engage in as wide a range of activities as they can manage.
The design of buildings and their external spaces is also important. Much progress has been made by Government, local authorities, and private bodies over recent years. Shop mobility schemes are operated by voluntary bodies in many parts of the country. We have preferred to concentrate our efforts in practical ways, rather than to commission research into particular issues such as shopping.
Mr. Portillo : The Government are fully seized of the need for fire safety in the Channel tunnel. In agreement with the French Government they set up an independent safety authority composed of senior United Kingdom and French experts, to vet all Channel tunnel designs and operational procedures and, when necessary, to advise the intergovernmental commission to reject anything which would not afford a proper degree of safety. Both United Kingdom and French fire experts are members of the authority.
Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give the reasons for (a) making publicly available investigations into accidents involving aircraft and (b) not making publicly available those into accidents involving ships.
Mr. Portillo : Regulations are about to be laid before the House governing the investigation of accidents involving ships. Among other things these provide for the publication of reports or summaries of investigations.
This will put marine and aircraft investigations on broadly the same footing.
I cannot give a date for the release of this report as the investigation is still in progress.
Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give the figures for road deaths for (a) children and (b) adults, killed near pedestrian crossings for each of the last 10 years for which figures are available.
Number of children and adults killed near pedestrian crossings: 1978-87 |Children killed on |Children killed within 50|Adult killed on |Adult killed within 50 |pedestrian crossing |metres of pedestrian |pedestrian crossing |metres of pedestrian |crossing |crossing ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1978 |15 |16 |124 |109 1979 |6 |10 |118 |144 1980 |16 |14 |115 |135 1981 |10 |13 |101 |97 1982 |13 |14 |112 |120 1983 |11 |23 |114 |136 1984 |10 |15 |96 |148 1985 |12 |20 |106 |123 1986 |13 |13 |126 |158 1987 |13 |21 |96 |140
Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to increase the amount of time allowed for pedestrians to make use of pelican crossings when crossing the road.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The recommended timings for pelican crossings were revised in 1987, and are incorporated in the departmental standard TD 28/87 "Pedestrian Crossing ; Pelican and Zebra Crossings". This introduced a two second extension to the crossing time, to be used at the discretion of the highway authority. We are looking at ways in which extended crossing time can be made available specifically for elderly and disabled pedestrians.
Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with the police and traffic authorities to encourage them to take measures to enforce motorists to respect pedestrian rights on zebra and pelican crossings.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : Enforcement of road traffic law is a matter for the police who have to decide on priorities in the light of local conditions. We are in regular contact with the Association of Chief Police Officers and local authority road safety officers on all matters relating to road safety.
All road users should have proper regard for pedestrians wherever they are, and should pay particular attention to rules 56-57 of the highway code.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : We have no such policy. Pelican and zebra crossings are used in different circumstances which reflect different pedestrian and traffic flows, and traffic speeds. Local highway authorities have considerable discretion over the installation of both types of crossing, although the Department of Transport issues guidance as to the most helpful criteria.
Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made with trials of new pedestrian facilities at traffic- signalled junctions including the use of infra-red devices to detect the presence and movement of pedestrians.
A trial site is to be set up later this year at the Department's Transport and Road Research Laboratory. Various new pedestrian facilities, including infra-red detectors, will be developed. Consultation with highway authorities and other interested groups will be undertaken as part of this work.
Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to receive the report of the Transport and Road Research Laboratory on new techniques to identify sites for pelican crossings.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : The final report of the Transport and Road Research Laboratory's study into pedestrian crossing criteria is expected in mid-1990. In the meantime we shall be publishing later this year two reports on the relationship between pedestrian flows and accident rates, which are directly relevant to the problem. In April this year we published a major package of measures aimed at improving pedestrian safety which we intend to implement as quickly as possible.
Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has any information as to whether British Rail has initiated research into the advantages and disadvantages of the electrification of the east midlands railway line.
Mr. Peter Bottomley : There has been a rising trend in the number of trailers failing the annual test over the period 1983-1988. A task force of experts from the Department and the industry was set up to investigate the reasons for failure.
Their interim report has been placed in the Library of the House. A final report will be produced later this summer.
The trailer failure rate appears to be more related to changes in requirements over the period in consideration than to a decline in standards of maintenance of trailers on the road.
Interim recommendations are :
1. to develop an acceptable method of testing the braking performance of unladen trailers ;
2. to explore the scope for increasing the service brake force within the upper limits of the European Community requirements ; 3. to provide advice to operators on good maintenance practice ; 4. to undertake regular surveys of random samples of goods vehicles and trailers in use.
Mr. Neubert : It would not be possible, except at disproportionate cost, to produce details of certificates issued from 1986 to date under sections 10(1) and 10(2) of the Crown Proceedings Act 1947. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence has issued a total of 11 certificates during the time in question under section 10(3) of the Act : four in 1986, two in 1987, one in 1988 and four so far in 1989.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the implications of the transit area in the surrounding area of RAF Finningley ; and when Skyguard will be in operation in this area.
Mr. Neubert : The structure of the United Kingdom low flying system in the RAF Finningley area is, as elsewhere, designed to minimise the disturbance to the public. Skyguard is being deployed to assist the RAF police in their task of monitoring low flying in the United Kingdom. As with the general RAF police monitoring programme, however, it would not be appropriate to release details of proposed Skyguard deployments in advance.
Mr. Neubert : Between 1 June 1988 and 31 May 1989 the Ministry of Defence received 6,273 inquiries and complaints about military low-flying training in the United Kingdom. Each inquiry or complaint is carefully considered and appropriate action taken.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if the proposal to station further F111 aircraft of the United States Air Force at RAF Upper Heyford is part of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation decision- making process or a bilateral United States-United Kingdom decision-making process ;
(2) on which date he was first informed of proposals to station further F111 aircraft of the United States Air Force at RAF Upper Heyford ;
(3) what information he has received from the United States Government, or any service or agency answerable to that Government, regarding proposals to station further F111 aircraft of the United States Air Force at RAF Upper Heyford ;
(4) whether in the light of the proposals made at the recent North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, there have been any changes to the proposal to station further F111 aircraft of the United States Air Force at RAF Upper Heyford.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : I have nothing to add to the reply I gave the hon. Members for Glasgow, Pollok (Mr. Dunnachie), Glasgow, Provan (Mr. Wray), and for Bristol, South (Ms. Primarolo) on 13 June 1989 at columns 395-96.
Mrs. Mahon : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will indicate the annual salary of the head of the Defence Exports Services Organisation and the extent of the bonuses for which he could be eligible.
Mr. Sainsbury : The present head of the defence export services, Sir Colin Chandler, is on secondment from British Aerospace, which pays his salary. The Ministry of Defence pays British Aerospace the equivalent of grade 2 Civil Service salary for Sir Colin's services. There is no provision in these arrangements for the payment of bonuses. Mr. Alan Thomas will start taking over from Sir Colin Chandler as head of defence export services in early July and will assume total responsibility for the post in September. He was appointed at a salary of £100,000 a
Column 263year subject to annual review and he will be eligible for a performance bonus within an annual maximum of £25,000.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to make known to the Warsaw pact the circumstances in which he would agree to a nuclear response to a conventional attack upon Germany by a member of the Warsaw pact.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what were the names and ages of the oldest and youngest horses taking part in this year's birthday parade ; where each was bred ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people were arrested by personnel from the Ministry of Defence police acting in support of the Wiltshire constabulary on the morning of 21 June ; and how many of those arrested were charged.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the use of personnel from the Ministry of Defence police in support of the Wiltshire constabulary in operations in the area of Stonehenge on the morning of 21 June.
Mr. Sainsbury : In accordance with the Ministry of Defence Police Act 1987 section 2(2)(d), Ministry of Defence police officers deployed in support of the Wiltshire constabulary in response to the latter force's specific requests of assistance.
Mr. Sainsbury : Since members of the Ministry of Defence police were deployed in the Salisbury plain area in order to protect the property and other interests of my Department it would not be appropriate to make a charge for any assistance which was given to the Wiltshire constabulary in the course of those duties.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the cost to his Department for the use of personnel under the control of his Department in support of the operations by the Wiltshire constabulary in the area of Stonehenge on the morning of 21 June.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the total number of personnel from the Ministry of Defence police deployed in support of the Wiltshire constabulary on the morning of 21 June.