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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 18 December 1989


Public Libraries

Mr. Boswell : To ask the Prime Minister what recent representations she has received on public libraries.

The Prime Minister : None.

Official Travel (Rail)

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister when she last travelled on official business on a public transport train in (a) London and (b) Singapore.

The Prime Minister : I regret that for reasons of practicality and security it is difficult for me to travel by rail on official business. I do so when a suitable opportunity arises. I last travelled by train from King's Cross, London to an official function on 31 August 1989. I last made a journey on the mass rapid transport system in Singapore on 31 July 1988.


Disabled People

107. Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Minister for the Civil Service what percentage of staff employed within the Civil Service on 1 November were then registered as disabled persons.

Mr. Luce : The latest figure available is 1.3 per cent.


A1 (Roadworks)

Mr. Devlin : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether, pursuant to his reply of Monday 4 December, Official Report, column 93, to the hon. Member for Stockton, South, he will make a statement on the extensive roadworks being undertaken on the A1 in Yorkshire.

Mr. Atkins : The roadworks now being carried out on the A1 in Yorkshire are essential maintenance works to protect the structural integrity of the road and at the same time keep it in a safe condition. The present scheme at Scotch Corner is for major resurfacing, whereas the other schemes in progress are short-term minor works. In accordance with the Department's policy, the works are phased and spaced out as much as possible to keep traffic disruption to a minimum.

Travel Concessions

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to make an order under section 93(7)(f) of the Transport Act 1985 to enable men between the ages of 60 and 64 years to receive the same travel concessions as are currently available to women.

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Mr. Portillo : I have no plans to change the present arrangements which link eligibility for travel concession for the elderly to state pensionable age.

Air Services

Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what restrictions he sets down on the number of hours that crews of British airlines may fly ; and what information he has on the restrictions that apply to foreign registered and operated air services.

Mr. McLoughlin : It is the Civil Aviation Authority that is responsible for the regulation of the working hours of crews of British airlines, in accordance with the Air Navigation Order 1989. The order requires that no member of the flight crew may fly for more than 100 hours in any consecutive 28-day periods or more than 900 hours during the period of 12 months expiring at the end of the previous month.

Furthermore, the order requires operators to establish a scheme for the regulation of crew duty times and the scheme must be approved by the Civil Aviation Authority. The Civil Aviation Authority provides guidelines, CAP 371, to assist operators to develop acceptable schemes. The guidelines cover such matters as rest periods, standby duty, days off, extended range operations by two pilots, delayed reporting times, acclimatisation to local time, the records that must be kept and the reports that must be made.

Guidelines are also issued by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. I understand that other states' regulations are in general comparable with the Civil Aviation Authority's requirements.

A40, Acton

Mr. Shersby : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport why the work of cutting down shrubs on the central reservation of the A40 Western avenue at Acton was scheduled for the current time of year ; what assessment he has made of the effect of the work on the journey time from Uxbridge to London ; and if he will give intructions for this work to be postponed until the new year.

Mr. Atkins : This work is part of a rolling programme to provide central reservation safety fencing and guard railing on trunk roads. The work along the A40 Western avenue is being co-ordinated by the Department's agent, the London borough of Ealing, and is being carried out in the interests of safety. Some disruption is inevitable, but efforts will continue to be made to minimise any inconvenience to the public.

Work will be suspended over the Christmas and new year holiday and should then be completed in mid-January.

A40, Ealing

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how long the present work on the central reservation of the A40 in the London borough of Ealing has taken ; what it is costing ; when it is expected to end ; and if he will make a statement.

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Mr. Atkins : These works are part of a rolling programme to provide central reserve safety fencing and pedestrian guard railing on the A40 Western avenue in the London borough of Ealing. The current phase of these works began in mid-September and is expected to be completed by mid-January 1990. The total cost of these works is approximately £960,000.

Further works will be required in the coming months. I will write to my hon. Friend when the contractual arrangements have been finalised.

Near-Miss, London-Belfast Route

Mr. Rogers : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will ask the accident investigation branch to investigate the near-miss involving a civilian aircraft travelling from London to Belfast on the evening of 11 November and then publish the results of the inquiry.

Mr. McLoughlin : No near-miss, or airmiss, was reported for the date and time referred to. However, a mandatory occurrence report was filed with the Civil Aviation Authority by the captain of a British Midland aircraft en route from London to Belfast.

It is for the chief inspector of air accidents to determine whether an investigation into an incident or accident shall be carried out. I understand that the chief inspector has found no reason for instituting an investigation in this case. It is thought possible that there may be a meteorological explanation to the phenomenon observed.

Driving Licences

Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many motorists have had their licences withdrawn as a result of medical advice given to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Centre regarding lack of fitness to drive a motor vehicle ; and if he will make a statement on the procedure for advising the licensing authorities on such matters.

Mr. Atkins : The figures available are given in the table :



1984-85 |5,821        

1985-86 |8,216        

1986-87 |9,318        

1987-88 |10,442       

1988-89 |10,891       

Advice about the obligation to notify the onset or worsening of medical conditions which might affect ability to drive safely is printed on all driving licences. Further information is available in the leaflet "What you need to know about driver licensing", Form D100, which is available from most Post Offices.

I will write to my hon. Friend to give fuller details about the statutory powers available to the Secretary of State in this area of driver licensing and how the driver licensing centre carries out its medical investigation of drivers.

Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many motorists over the age of 75 years hold current driving licences ; and what proportion of these has been declared medically fit to operate a moter vehicle.

Mr. Atkins : No details are available of the number of drivers over the age of 75 years.

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There are 1,656,818 current licence holders over the age of 70, all of whom have been considered to be medically fit to hold a driving licence ; 117,586 of these drivers are recorded as having a medical condition. All drivers are obliged by law to notify DVLC of the onset or worsening of medical condition which could affect their ability to drive safely.

American Airlines

Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what attempts are being made by the Government to persuade American airlines to adopt a more flexible attitude towards new routes and services ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. McLoughlin : The United Kingdom pressed the US Government during talks held between 29 November and 1 December to join the United Kingdom in addressing the broad question of liberalising the air services arrangements between our two countries. We also suggested an exchange of opportunities to meet the shorter-term ambitions of the airlines of both sides. Arrangements are in hand to resume these talks shortly.

Foulridge Bypass

Mr. Lee : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his latest assessment of the level of overcrowding in the Foulridge bypass ; if he will bring about an early start to the construction of the Foulridge bypass ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Atkins : These are matters of Lancashire county council as the highway authority for the A56 north of Burnley. I understand that the council hopes to start construction of a Colne-Foulridge bypass in late 1991. I shall write to my hon. Friend.

London Assessment Studies

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what budget he has set aside for information to the public on the London assessment studies after publication of the next stage of the London assessment studies.

Mr. Atkins : The cost of providing information is included in the overall budget for the studies.

Free copies of the reports have been provided to local authorities throughout the study areas with a request that they should be put on display to the public in main libraries and suitable locations. They will also be sent to representative organisations in the study areas. Summaries of the consultants' work and leaflets giving the Department's initial views and request for comments are also available at those locations, or free of charge direct from the consultants. A short summary in Bengali of the options for consultations in east London will be available from Ove Arup.

East London River Crossing

Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many residential properties his Department has acquired along the line of the east London river crossing ; how many have been offered to housing authorities ; how many have been refused ; and how many are currently unoccupied.

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Mr. Atkins : The Department owns 111 residential properties along the line of the east London river crossing ; 54 are let to the London borough of Greenwich and three to the London borough of Bexley ; 35 are let to various housing associations ; 13 are let directly to individual tenants ; and six are currently unoccupied.

There is no readily available record of refusals.

Disabled People

Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has any plans to introduce a national corporate orange badge scheme to enable essential medical staff to park to visit disabled people in city centre areas.

Mr. Atkins : Arrangements already exist whereby police and traffic wardens exercise discretion in respect of parking controls where doctors or nursing staff on urgent visits display the authorised British Medical Association badge. We are not aware of any reasons to extend these arrangements.

By contrast, the orange badge scheme conveys specific parking concessions to enable severely disabled people themselves to get close to their destinations.


Mr. John Browne : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has had negotiations with the main contractor on the Compton to Bassett section of the M3 to widen all bridges and gantries to enable his Department to construct a fourth lane at some time in the future ; and if he will make a statement as to his policy for a fourth dual lane on the M3 at Winchester.

Mr. Atkins : The section of the Compton to Bassett section of the M3 motorway north of Leigh road, Eastleigh, is being constructed with dual three-lane carriageways. However, as a prudent measure my Department has negotiated with the contractor a small modification in the design of one bridge to allow for any possible future widening that may be required.

As my hon. Friend is aware, proposals for the remaining section of the proposed M3 motorway round Winchester were considered at the 1985 public inquiry and the re-opened inquiry in 1987-88. My right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for the Environment and for Transport are considering the reports of the independent inspectors who conducted the inquiries and they will announce their joint decisions as soon as possible. I am sure my hon. Friend will understand that it would not be appropriate for me to comment further until that decision is announced.

Severn Bridge

Mr. Roy Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make an early statement concerning resurfacing work on the Severn bridge and associated problems and the consequent hold-ups on the M4 motorway.

Mr. Atkins : From Tuesday 12 December eastbound traffic on Severn bridge was restricted to a single lane in the interests of road safety due to unexpected difficulties with skid resistance on the new road surface. This caused

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extensive delays. Two-lane working was restored on Friday 15 December. The underlying cause of the problem is being investigated.

SCOOT Programme

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many countries have bought the SCOOT programme for traffic signals developed by his Department.

Mr. Atkins : Six.

Jubilee Line

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much of the cost of constructing the Jubilee line extension will be paid for by (a) developers, (b) fare payers, and (c) the Treasury.

Mr. Portillo : In my right hon. Friend's written answer of 16 November to the hon. Member for Hendon, South (Mr. Marshall) Official Report column 398, he said :

"The Jubilee extension will cost about £1 billion in today's prices to which developers will over time be making a cash contribution of over £400 million."

We do not yet know the full total of developer contribution as negotiations with some are still continuing. London Regional Transport's present fare revenue is not earmarked to particular projects ; and the fare revenue that will be generated by the Jubilee line extension itself will depend upon decisions on fare structures and levels that will not be determined by London Regional Transport until much nearer the opening of the line. In the meantime the Government will meet that proportion of the costs of the line not covered by developer contributions.

Panamanian Registered Ships

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what calculation he has made of the likely impact on British owned Panamanian registered ships which will arise when the United States Administration bans Panamanian flag carriers from United States ports ;

(2) what information he has on British owned Panamanian registered ships re -flagging as a result of the impending ban on Panamanian flag carriers from United States ports ;

(3) what representations he has received from British shipowners following the decision of the United States Administration to ban Panamanian registered ships from United States ports.

Mr. McLoughlin : The General Council of British Shipping has objected to the ban on principle. It has told us of one United Kingdom shipowner who may re-register a Panamanian flagged vessel that operates in the United States trades.

Traffic Pollution

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has of the likely atmospheric pollution caused by the increase in traffic as forecast by his Department ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Atkins : My Department's traffic forecasts are of demand up to 2025. But it is not possible to foresee the

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extent to which it will be possible or desirable to meet forecast levels of demand for such a long period ahead. Another cause of uncertainty is that the total level of vehicle emissions will depend upon the progress of current initiatives to reduce emissions by individual vehicles.

Port of London Authority

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the rank and function of Mr. P. Graham Hewett within his Department ; if he will indicate on how many occasions Mr. Hewett had meetings with (a) officials of the Port of London Authority and (b) the authority itself in the period 1 January to 31 July ; and if he will indicate the purpose of such meetings and the subject matters discussed.

Mr. McLoughlin : Mr. Hewett is an assistant secretary currently employed in the European and general division of the Department. Between January and November this year he was seconded to the Port of London Authority at its request in connection with the financial reconstruction of the authority. The terms of his secondment and his work there were entirely for the PLA ; Mr. Hewett, during his endorsement, did not report to my Department.

Congestion, London

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what measures he is taking to reduce congestion in London ; and when he expects to see the first results.

Mr. Atkins : I refer the hon. Member to the statement made to the House on 14 December ( Official Report, columns 1184-86) by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State.

Coastguard Service

Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his reply of 12 December, Official Report, column 538, what was the cause of the technical fault on the Swansea coastguard line, timed at 15.25 ; how it was detected ; and how it was made good before the 999 call to Swansea timed at 15.35 on 16 August.

Mr. McLoughlin : This information can be obtained only from British Telecom.

Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his reply of 27 November, Official Report, column 81-82, what was the origin of the VHF radio call timed at 15.22.

Mr. McLoughlin : The radio call, from Milford Haven coastguard to Swansea coastguard, passed information received as a result of a re-routed 999 call, concerning an incident at Ilfracombe. The logged time of 15.25 at Milford Haven reflects completion of both the telephone call and the relaying of the information to Swansea, while the logged time of 15.22 at Swansea reflects the initial radio call from Milford Haven indicating distress information.

Roads (Funding)

Mr. Higgins : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much local authority expenditure he intends to accept for transport supplementary grant in

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1990-91 ; what supplementary credit approvals and what level of annual capital guidelines he will be issuing for local roads expenditure ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Parkinson : I have decided to accept £466 million of local authority highway expenditure for transport supplementary grant in 1990-91. Grant will be paid on this expenditure at a flate rate of 50 per cent. The total of £233 million TSG is nearly 15 per cent. higher than for 1989- 90.

I have also decided to issue supplementary credit approvals of £50 million and total annual capital guidelines of £352 million, bringing coverage for local roads and parking for 1990-91 to £635 million. The capital allocation for 1989-90 is £513 million.

Seventy new major (over £1 million) schemes will be supported through TSG for the first time. Among these are the Birmingham Heartlands spine road ; a major new link road from the M57 to the A562 in Merseyside ; the Littlehampton bypass ; further stages of both the Avon ring road and the Leeds inner ring road ; as well as the Thornaby bypass and the Beddington- Mitcham relief road other important improvements in both urban and rural areas. Twenty-two of these schemes will directly assist inner cities.

Some 270 other major schemes will continue to receive TSG support, including 90 in inner-city areas. Most of these are already under construction or are due to start in the current financial year. Local authorities have reported completion of 59 TSG-supported schemes costing £245 million in 1988-89 and a start of works on 65 such schemes costing £401 million. During 1989-90, they plan to complete a further 62 schemes costing £290 million and start 76 costing £538 million.

In deciding the distribution of transport supplementary grant for 1990-91, I have considered carefully the transport policies and programme document submitted by each local highway authority, and have looked at the extent to which authorities' programmes relate to roads of more than local importance. Many local authority roads--such as major urban roads and roads on the primary route network--carry significant amounts of through traffic, and thus complement the trunk road network. Improvements to such roads are important locally because they save lives, reduce congestion and relieve communities from the effects of through traffic. They are also of national benefit by aiding the efficient flow of goods, people and services. TSG reflects the national taxpayer's interest in helping local authorities to improve these roads.

I have also given special priority this year to schemes which will assist in the regeneration of our inner cities. New and improved roads are often crucial in unlocking inner-city potential, either by removing through traffic from inner-city streets, thereby relieving congestion, increasing safety and improving the environment, or by providing high-quality access to the motorway network for inner-city industry and commerce.

Many smaller schemes on heavily trafficked roads produce very significant accident savings and other benefits. My right hon. Friend has therefore also taken into account £38 million of expenditure on minor (under £1 million) schemes for grant in 1990-91.

Annual capital guidelines, together with supplementary credit approvals, will provide local highway authorities with the necessary resources to meet the balance of their

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TSG-accepted expenditure and to undertake a further wide range of improvements and expenditure to which TSG support does not extend. The amount of expenditure accepted for TSG, the amount of grant, the annual capital guideline, and the

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supplementary credit approvals which the Government intend to issue for highway expenditure for each local highway authority are set out in the table. Councils are being informed individually today of their own figures.

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Local authority capital expenditure on roads 1990-91                                                             

Authority                   |Net expenditure |Transport       |Supplementary   |Annual capital                   

                            |accepted for    |supplementary   |credit approvals|guideline                        

                            |TSG             |grant                                                              

                            |£ million       |£ million       |£ million       |£ million                        


Metropolitan districts                                                                                           

Bolton                      |2.684           |1.342           |0.000           |1.945                            

Bury                        |1.698           |0.849           |0.000           |1.315                            

Manchester                  |9.632           |4.816           |0.187           |8.198                            

Oldham                      |1.228           |0.614           |0.000           |2.443                            

Rochdale                    |0.378           |0.189           |0.000           |1.036                            

Salford                     |5.096           |2.548           |0.000           |3.882                            

Stockport                   |0.916           |0.458           |0.000           |0.959                            

Tameside                    |0.806           |0.403           |0.000           |1.438                            

Trafford                    |0.778           |0.389           |0.000           |1.566                            

Wigan                       |1.744           |0.872           |0.000           |2.065                            

Knowsley                    |1.792           |0.896           |0.000           |1.397                            

Liverpool                   |1.500           |0.750           |0.000           |2.506                            

St. Helens                  |5.882           |2.941           |0.340           |3.007                            

Sefton                      |0.738           |0.369           |0.282           |0.689                            

Wirral                      |0.900           |0.450           |0.220           |1.299                            

Barnsley                    |3.148           |1.574           |0.132           |2.142                            

Doncaster                   |1.414           |0.707           |0.000           |1.897                            

Rotherham                   |2.486           |1.243           |0.000           |1.908                            

Sheffield                   |11.092          |5.546           |0.270           |6.191                            

Gateshead                   |1.944           |0.972           |0.000           |1.991                            

Newcastle upon Tyne         |0.124           |0.062           |0.000           |2.920                            

North Tyneside              |0.306           |0.153           |0.000           |0.542                            

South Tyneside              |1.400           |0.700           |0.000           |1.242                            

Sunderland                  |1.694           |0.847           |0.000           |3.033                            

Birmingham                  |15.790          |7.895           |0.744           |9.811                            

Coventry                    |2.948           |1.474           |0.825           |1.537                            

Dudley                      |1.150           |0.575           |0.000           |2.272                            

Sandwell                    |1.504           |0.752           |0.000           |2.672                            

Solihull                    |0.856           |0.428           |0.000           |1.325                            

Walsall                     |5.502           |2.751           |2.693           |0.490                            

Wolverhampton               |5.684           |2.842           |2.111           |1.748                            

Bradford                    |4.934           |2.467           |0.127           |4.115                            

Calderdale                  |0.192           |0.096           |0.000           |1.428                            

Kirklees                    |0.120           |0.060           |0.000           |0.735                            

Leeds                       |5.264           |2.632           |0.088           |3.876                            

Wakefield                   |0.314           |0.157           |0.000           |2.457                            


Shire Counties                                                                                                   

Avon                        |13.428          |6.714           |0.491           |7.230                            

Bedfordshire                |5.182           |2.591           |0.132           |3.659                            

Berkshire                   |3.764           |1.882           |0.239           |5.723                            

Buckinghamshire             |2.306           |1.153           |0.000           |2.087                            

Cambridgeshire              |3.864           |1.932           |0.000           |4.316                            

Cheshire                    |8.308           |4.154           |0.000           |6.174                            

Cleveland                   |10.884          |5.442           |0.000           |6.351                            

Cornwall                    |5.594           |2.797           |0.000           |4.670                            

Cumbria                     |4.652           |2.326           |0.000           |3.326                            

Derbyshire                  |1.164           |0.582           |0.000           |4.353                            

Devon                       |6.788           |3.394           |0.407           |7.622                            

Dorset                      |5.732           |2.866           |0.000           |4.544                            

Durham                      |4.820           |2.410           |0.000           |2.932                            

East Sussex                 |6.142           |3.071           |0.660           |5.082                            

Essex                       |13.372          |6.686           |0.373           |11.533                           

Gloucestershire             |3.866           |1.933           |0.000           |3.215                            

Hampshire                   |15.278          |7.639           |5.910           |4.274                            

Herefordshire and Worcester |2.676           |1.338           |0.000           |2.585                            

Hertfordshire               |6.050           |3.025           |0.000           |4.700                            

Humberside                  |10.624          |5.312           |0.000           |7.677                            

Isle of Wight               |0.828           |0.414           |0.000           |1.202                            

Kent                        |25.100          |12.550          |9.853           |8.869                            

Lancashire                  |25.746          |12.873          |0.000           |16.496                           

Leicestershire              |6.094           |3.047           |0.081           |4.477                            

Lincolnshire                |3.148           |1.574           |0.000           |2.481                            

Norfolk                     |11.346          |5.673           |2.889           |4.428                            

Northamptonshire            |5.698           |2.849           |0.000           |5.115                            

Northumberland              |2.962           |1.481           |0.000           |2.265                            

North Yorkshire             |6.888           |3.444           |0.000           |4.909                            

Nottinghamshire             |3.828           |1.914           |0.000           |3.986                            

Oxfordshire                 |4.924           |2.462           |0.000           |5.352                            

Shropshire                  |3.132           |1.566           |0.000           |3.540                            

Somerset                    |6.312           |3.156           |0.000           |4.486                            

Staffordshire               |5.826           |2.913           |0.000           |4.390                            

Suffolk                     |6.374           |3.187           |0.000           |5.782                            

Surrey                      |12.660          |6.330           |2.746           |6.359                            

Warwickshire                |0.984           |0.492           |0.328           |2.112                            

West Sussex                 |9.064           |4.532           |0.000           |6.045                            

Wiltshire                   |5.970           |2.985           |0.000           |4.714                            


London Boroughs                                                                                                  

City of London              |0.202           |0.101           |0.000           |0.461                            

Barking and Dagenham        |3.496           |1.748           |0.000           |3.622                            

Barnet                      |0.322           |0.161           |0.000           |0.571                            

Bexley                      |4.268           |2.134           |0.000           |2.869                            

Brent                       |0.014           |0.007           |0.000           |0.736                            

Bromley                     |7.668           |3.834           |0.000           |4.328                            

Camden                      |0.378           |0.189           |0.000           |1.095                            

Croydon                     |1.776           |0.888           |0.000           |1.890                            

Ealing                      |4.858           |2.429           |1.710           |3.592                            

Enfield                     |9.762           |4.881           |6.480           |0.429                            

Hackney                     |0.372           |0.186           |0.000           |0.791                            

Hammersmith and Fulham      |0.296           |0.148           |0.000           |1.303                            

Haringey                    |5.442           |2.721           |2.780           |0.661                            

Harrow                      |6.428           |3.214           |0.000           |5.668                            

Havering                    |0.430           |0.215           |0.000           |0.568                            

Hillingdon                  |5.484           |2.742           |4.917           |2.297                            

Hounslow                    |0.558           |0.279           |0.279           |0.540                            

Islington                   |0.336           |0.168           |0.000           |0.549                            

Kensington and Chelsea      |0.570           |0.285           |0.000           |0.694                            

Kingston upon Thames        |1.132           |0.566           |0.000           |1.881                            

Lambeth                     |0.308           |0.154           |0.000           |0.280                            

Lewisham                    |3.974           |1.987           |0.000           |3.081                            

Merton                      |14.200          |7.100           |1.150           |7.282                            

Newham                      |3.582           |1.791           |0.000           |2.869                            

Redbridge                   |0.268           |0.134           |0.000           |0.598                            

Richmond upon Thames        |0.344           |0.172           |0.000           |0.633                            

Southwark                   |0.498           |0.249           |0.000           |1.701                            

Sutton                      |1.180           |0.590           |0.000           |3.168                            

Tower Hamlets               |0.182           |0.091           |0.000           |1.007                            

Waltham Forest              |0.112           |0.056           |0.000           |0.726                            

Wandsworth                  |2.022           |1.011           |0.000           |3.429                            

Westminster                 |0.734           |0.367           |0.000           |4.589                            

Western Environmental Improvement Route

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what response he received to the public consultation on the western environmental improvement route which took place in the spring.

Mr. Atkins : Some 7,000 responses in one form or another were received to the consultation exercise. These, together with any further comments made in the context of the London assessment studies, will be taken fully into account in reaching a decision on the future of the Western environmental improvement route.

Speed Limits

Sir Geoffrey Finsberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 4 December, Official Report, column 84, how many representations he has received in favour of a speed limit (a) higher and (b) lower than 70 miles an hour ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Atkins [holding answer 15 December 1989] : This year I have received 95 letters concerning the 70 mph

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maximum speed limit. Of these 13 were in favour of a higher limit ; 29 asked for a lower limit and 53 for the rigorous enforcement of the existing limit.

The maximum speed limit on motorways was fully reviewed in 1984 and 1985. I am satisfied that the existing limit allows for safe and sensible maximum speeds in normal driving conditions and gives a correct balance between the need for fast, convenient travel and safety.

Car Pollution

Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if his Department has conducted a comparative study of the pollutant gases and particulate matter released from (a) cars run on leaded petrol, (b) cars run on unleaded petrol, (c) cars fitted with catalytic converters run on unleaded patrol and (d) diesel engined cars, each in terms of weight carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and sulphur dioxide per mile.

Mr. Atkins [holding answer 15 December 1989] : The Department has not conducted a comparative study of the type suggested, but the following points may be of

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assistance. There should be no difference in emissions, other than of lead, between non-catalyst vehicles running on leaded or unleaded petrol. Sulphur emissions are directly related to the sulphur content of fuel, which is regulated in the United Kingdom to 0.3 per cent. by weight for diesel and 0.2 per cent. by weight for petrol. Particulate emissions from petrol engines, provided they are not worn out and burning lubricating oil, are negligible compared with particulate emissions from diesel engines.

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In general, the same gaseous emission standards are achieved by both petrol and diesel engines. The emission standards on the current urban cycle type approval tests are expressed in grammes per test (g/test). These standards, recalculated in grammes per mile (g/mile), are as follows :

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                                                                  |Co                 |HC + NOx           |Particulate                            

                                                                  |(g/mile)           |(g/mile)           |((g/miles)                             


EC Directive 83/351 (the current non catalyst standard)           |23-24              |7.6-11.1           |No standard until                      

                                                                                                          |October 1990                           

EC Directive 89/458 (the future standard to be applied from 1992) |7.6                |2.0                |0.44 (diesels only)                    

The standards set by directive 89/458 will be revised when the emission directives are consolidated in the near future. The consolidation will include a revision of the drive cycle used in the test. At present it is 2.58 miles long and simulates urban driving. The revised cycle will be 6.8 miles long and include some high-speed driving. It is likely that a reduction of about 27 per cent. in the particulate limit will also be included in the consolidation.

Health Services

Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many representations he has had to date from organisations treating and providing services for the elderly and chronically sick about the effect of the current National Health Service plans, and how many of these representations are in favour of the proposed changes.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : I have been asked to reply.

We have received a large number of representations from a wide variety of sources. Many ask questions, many support some or all of our proposals, some refer only to specific aspects. It is not possible to distinguish individual representations in the way the hon. Member requests.

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