Mr. Batiste : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what studies he is making into the effect on road safety on motorways of sudden transition from lit to unlit sections during hours of darkness or in other poor lighting conditions.
Mr. Atkins : None. Research into driver reaction times in changing from lit to unlit conditions was carried out in the 1970s. I have no evidence to suppose that its conclusions are no longer appropriate. But I am considering the introduction of lighting on further stretches of the motorways network where this can be justified. Lighting can reduce night- time accidents by 30 per cent. This has to be balanced against cost and environmental intrusion.
Mr. Batiste : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he proposes to stagger the transition on motorways from lit to unlit sections to enable drivers to adjust more easily to the changing conditions.
Mr. Atkins : No. Research has shown that the average driver adapts from lit to unlit conditions at night in approximately one second. I am considering the introduction of lighting on further sections of motorway where the economic and safety advantages outweigh the cost and environmental intrusion. The introduction of lighting to fill existing gaps on the network would reduce the number of transitions between lit and unlit sections.
Ms. Abbott : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many studies of transport within the Greater London area, by or sponsored by his Department, are in progress at the moment ; and what is the cost of such studies (a) in internal departmental costs and (b) in terms of fees and payments to consultants, research organisations, and so on.
Study |Cost £ ------------------------------------------------------------------------- For four London assessment studies |<1>8,550,000 Central London rail study (jointly with BR and LRT) |800,000 East London rail study (jointly with DOE and LRT) |320,000 A4/M4 corridor study |250,000 Primary route signing review |470,000 Development of traffic management and accident prevention measures |1,700,000 Company assisted travel |155,000 Heathrow and South West London orbital movement study (HASQUAD) |700,000 Tourist coaches in London |168,000 <1>Total cost to date.
Some of the studies require the use of the London transportation survey model. The total costs of development, maintenance and use of this model between April 1986 and August 1989 was £2,300,000. All costs relate to fees. There is no figure available for the internal departmental costs associated with these studies.
Ms. Abbott : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport in the methodology adopted by his Department and its consultants, in the assessment of the effects of new or improved roads, what account is taken of the new traffic generated by the changes.
Mr. Atkins : The amount of entirely new traffic generated by most road schemes is not significant. However, where new traffic may be generated on a significant scale, special techniques are used including traffic models suited to the circumstances of the proposed road. We have asked the standing advisory committee on trunk road assessment to consider the significance of traffic generation and redistribution, and to advise if any changes in methods are required.
Ms. Abbott : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what are the Government's capital plans for investment in road and rail in the east London assessment study area over the next 10 years ; how much is allocated to (a) rail and (b) roads ; and how much this has changed following recent developments.
Mr. Atkins : The Department's current trunk road programme includes several schemes that are wholly or partly within the east London assessment area with a total works cost of about £150 million (1987 prices). These include the A12 Hackney to M11 link road and several schemes to upgrade the A13. Other schemes in the Department's programme outside the study boundary will also improve access to and conditions within the area. In addition, the London docklands development corporation is carrying out a number of schemes to improve movement within its area.
British Rail and London Regional Transport are responsible for determining long-term investment plans and priorities for rail services within the overall resources available to them. Their plans include major rail investments which will benefit that area of London. Schemes include the introduction of modern rolling stock on many lines ; greater capacity on the north London line ; resignalling of lines into Liverpool Street station and the major redevelopment of the station itself. Further plans include new stock and resignalling on the London-Tilbury-Southend lines.
Column 109Improvements in Underground services include the £720 million modernisation of the Central Line and the reconstruction of Angel station. The City and Beckton extensions of the Docklands light railway are now under way at a cost of over £400 million.
Ms. Abbott : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the consultants carrying out the east London assessment study will be instructed to revise their study in the light of decisions regarding the jubilee line extension and the British Railway crossrail link ; and what will be the impact of these rail schemes on the study.
Ms. Abbott : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what account the east London assessment study will take of (a) the outcome of the M11 link inquiry, (b) the development of the road infrastructure serving docklands and (c) the Channel terminus and King's Cross developments ;
(2) what consultation will take place regarding the east London assessment study phase IIB report, to be published in December ; when consultations will begin and end ; who will be consulted ; and what is the revised timetable for phase III ;
(3) what is the estimated cost of the east London assessment study IIB study ; when the results will be made public ; and how detailed information will be made available to the public ;
(4) what was the cost of the east London assessment study phase IIA study ; how many copies of the east London assessment study phase IIA report were printed ; what was the cost of printing these copies ; how many of these were distributed to (a) members of the public , (b) hon. Members, (c) Government Departments, (d) statutory public bodies, (e) other public bodies, (f) press, (g) commercial organisations and (h) others ; how much per copy these categories were charged ; and what was the total gross income from each category ;
(5) which options in the east London assessment study impinge on Lea valley and Victoria park.
Details of the consultant's work on the east London assessment study which takes account of developments at docklands and King's Cross will be available when the reports are published in December. The outcome of the M11 link inquiry will not be known by this date. For the purpose of the study it has been assumed that the scheme will be carried out.
Arrangements for inviting public comment will be announced when the reports are published. There are no plans for a stage III for the study.
The total cost of the study is estimated at about £2.5 million. The stage 2A report was a consultant's
Column 110publication and the information requested on its publication cost, sales and distribution is not readily available.
Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many written parliamentary questions to him in Session 1988-89 received answers that the information (a) was not available, (b) was not separately recorded, (c) was not centrally recorded, (d) was not recorded in Government statistics or (e) could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Atkins : Although the Department does not collect many statistics from businesses, there have been some reductions in information gathered in respect of the ports and bus industries since 1979. There have also been changes in the sources and methods used for compiling and publishing statistics. Relieving the burden on suppliers of data has been a major consideration in determining these changes.
The principal reductions in data collection were :
Bus and coach industry : Rationalisation of 35 separate financial and operational data flows into simpler returns. Quarterly return dropped in 1989.
Ports : Reduction in statistics required from ports when DTp took over functions of the National Ports Council in 1980. Some reduction in published data.
Road freight : discontinuation of goods vehicle list because data from DVLC were found to be a satisfactory alternative. A small survey of market conditions in the international road haulage industry for the European Community is now conducted by a private sector organisation.
Publication of statistics has expanded. The latest issue of "Transport Statistics Great Britain" is a larger volume than the 1979 edition, but, as a result of the introduction of desktop publishing methods, the cover price has remained virtually unchanged.
(2) on what date the Churchill flyovers in Liverpool were opened ; when they were closed for repair ; when is the expected date for reopening ; and if he will make a statement ;
(3) what was the cost of building the Churchill flyovers in Liverpool ; and what is the estimated cost of repair.
Mr. Atkins : The Liverpool city council is the highway authority for the Churchill way flyovers and these are questions for the council. However, I understand that the southern flyover is open to traffic although the northern one remains closed.
representations from my hon. Friend and others, I have decided that there is a case for requiring buses carrying school children to be marked with a distinctive sign. I shall shortly circulate proposals for consultation in the usual way. This need not stop local authorities making their own plans for improving safety on school buses in advance of new regulations. I understand that Devon county council is planning to introduce new signs on its buses on an experimental basis from next January.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what regulations exist relating to seating capacity on designated school buses ; and if he has any plans to introduce regulations requiring school buses to be fitted with seat belts.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 13 November 1989] : The Public Service Vehicles (Carrying Capacity) Regulations 1984 (SI 1984/1406) allow three seated children under the age of 14 to be counted as two passengers.
We already require seat belts on the front seats on new coaches and minibuses. As I told my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Staffordshire (Mr. Heddle) on 27 July our aim is to get this provision extended to all the seats in coaches and minibuses. Meanwhile, we are encouraging local education authorities to specify that wherever possible vehicles used to transport children are fitted with belts and to see that they are worn.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what regulations exist relating to the safety of children who are fare-paying passengers on designated school buses ; what regulations exist relating to the supervision of such children ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 13 November 1989] : All vehicles used to carry fare-paying passengers including school buses must comply with the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 (SI 1986/1078) as amended, and the Public Service Vehicles (Conditions of Fitness, Equipment and Use) Regulations 1981 (SI 1981/257) as amended.
Although there are no regulations relating to the supervision of children on journeys to or from school, we strongly urge local education authorities, schools and parents to ensure that adequate arrangements exist.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 13 November 1989] : A number of parents, school governors, teachers and children have written both direct and through hon. Members, concerning the provision of seat belts and the use of distinguishing signs on vehicles used for carrying children.
Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make it his policy to ban imports from Sarawak in the light of the Malaysian Government's actions against the tribal people of Sarawak.
Mr. Nicholas Baker : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if any assistance or encouragement is being given by his Department to the recycling of freezers so as to dispose of chlorofluorocarbons and provide for their replacement by safer chemicals.
Mr. Forth : Systems are already well established for the recovery and recycling of CFCs used in industrial and commercial refrigerators. Recovery of the small amount of CFCs found in the coolants in domestic refrigerators is
Column 113relatively straightforward, and several companies and local authorities have introduced or are planning schemes for CFC recovery from this source. Extraction of CFCs in foam-based insulants is technically much more difficult. My right hon. Friend has commissioned a wide-ranging study into the recovery, recycling and destruction of CFCs and the Government will take its findings into account when considering whether any action is called for on this issue. The results of the study are expected early next year. Much work is being done to produce substitutes for the range of CFCs currently in use. ICI has recently announced a £30 million plant for manufacturing an alternative to CFC12, used in most fridges. This substitute, known as HFA134A, is the first in a family of planned CFC replacements under development in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if he will publish a table showing the number of voluntary restraint agreements in operation between Japan and the United Kingdom ; when each was introduced ; for what purpose they were introduced ; and what additional sums fall to be paid in each category by consumers in consequence of any assurances required on pricing and other issues; if he will take steps to cancel the restrictions on the imports of cars from Japan: and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood : The Government are aware of only one current voluntary restraint arrangement--that on imports of vehicles from Japan, which came into operation in 1975 following discussions between the United Kingdom and Japanese vehicle industries. The arrangement involves no assurance on prices. There have been several academic and other studies attempting to estimate how far the VRA raises overall car prices in the United Kingdom, with results ranging from 2 to 10 per cent.
As part of the preparations for completion of the single market in 1992, the European Commission is expected shortly to make proposals for an EC- wide policy on Japanese vehicle imports. When proposals are available, the Government will give them careful consideration.
Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the cost to his Department of answering parliamentary (a) oral and (b) written questions in the parliamentary Session 1988-89.
Column 114him in Session 1988-89 received answers that the information (a) was not available, (b) was not separately recorded, (c) was not centrally recorded, (d) was not recorded in Government statistics or (e) could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
1988-89 |Number -------------------------------------------------------------- Not available |56 Not separately recorded |6 Not centrally recorded |8 Not recorded in Government statistics |6 Could be provided only at disproportionate cost |16
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy that the allocation of any aid in the future to Thailand will be unconnected with arms contracts between the United Kingdom and the Thai Government.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contracts have been awarded to Biwaters which have been the subject of Overseas Development Administration financial assistance between 1981 and 1989.
Mrs. Chalker : We do not keep a central record of all the companies with which aid financed contracts are placed. We are aware however, that the following contracts were placed with Biwater, financed from the aid and trade provision :
9 Aid allocation Project |£ million --------------------------------------------------------- 1986 Malaysia rural water supply project |59.460 1988 Sri Lanka hill country water project |2.129 |--- |61.589
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his practice on the provision of financial assistance for projects which have not been the subject of tendering procedures ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Chalker : Where, exceptionally, contracts have been let without competitive tendering, the ODA has sought to ensure value for money in other ways, including, where appropriate, a detailed review of the contract price.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what Overseas Development Administration support has been provided to the republic of Iraq in each year over the last seven years.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what Overseas Development Administration support was provided to the Government of Nigeria for water control and extraction projects in each year since 1979 ; and if he will make a statement on the operation of these projects.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make a statement as to progress on the Overseas Development Administration-supported water extraction and control project on the Euphrates.