Sir Eldon Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the approximate number of cars, heavy goods vehicles and passenger service vehicles that he estimates have used the A45 highway between Cambridge and the Haven ports of Ipswich and Felixstowe during each of the past 10 years ; and how many he expects to use this stretch of road over the next 10 years.
|Number ----------------------------------- Heavy goods vehicles |4,500 Cars and taxis |14,500 Buses and coaches |100
Estimates of traffic levels on individual roads are made annually but the margins of error are too great to allow growth trends to be deduced.
No specific forecasts have been made for growth of traffic on this road. It is forecast by my Department that traffic in Great Britain will grow by between 20 and 35 per cent. betweeen 1990 and 2000.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many accidents have taken place during the last 12 months around the coastline of Great Britain, that have involved (a) United Kingdom registered vessels and (b) foreign registered vessels ; and what are the comparable figures for (i) five years and (ii) 10 years ago.
Mr. McLoughlin : The information is only available for United Kingdom vessels on a worldwide basis. The numbers of accidents to United Kingdom registered vessels worldwide for 1979, 1984 and 1988 (the latest year completed statistics are available) are 421, 261 and 178 respectively. The information in respect of accidents to foreign registered vessels around the coastline of Great Britain is not kept in statistical form and is not therefore readily available.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he has made any study of the contribution that could be made to the reduction of carbon dioxide releases from transport from the introduction of solar- powered cars ;
(2) what research his Department has initiated to evaluate the potential for solar-powered cars for short urban journeys.
Mr. Atkins : The Department keeps in touch with the various developments world wide on applying solar power to transport. At present the potential for solar powered cars to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the United Kingdom is small.
Mr. Atkins : Car alarms are already required by regulations to stop emitting continuous noise after five minutes. Limiting the time of intermittent sounding of alarms would have to be agreed in the European Community. We propose to seek Community agreement for tighter standards for car alarms.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what ongoing monitoring of the condition of the recently resurfaced stretch of the A1 in west Yorkshire, immediately to the north of its junction with the M62, will be undertaken by his Department.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport who were the analysts responsible for sampling and testing materials used in the major resurfacing work recently undertaken on the A1 in west Yorkshire immediately to the north of its junction with the M62.
Mr. Atkins : Under the Department's specification, the onus for bulk testing falls upon the contractors. Certificates of compliance are issued to the engineer who also arranges check tests. The engineer's analysts were Messrs. Sandberg of 40 Grosvenor gardens, London, SW1W 0LB.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport who were the contractors responsible for the major resurfacing work undertaken on the A1 in west Yorkshire immediately to the north of its junction with the M62.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what period the contractor responsible for the resurfacing work undertaken recently on the A1 in west Yorkshire immediately to the north of its junction with the M62 will remain responsible for its condition.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if the materials used during the major resurfacing work recently completed on the A1 in west Yorkshire immediately to the north of its junction with the M62 were properly tested and sampled ; and with what results.
Column 677Mr. Atkins : All materials were sampled and tested in accordance with the Department of Transport specification for highway works. Results showed that the requirements were satisfied.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made off the adequacy of the supervision of the contract for the major resurfacing work undertaken on both carriageways of the A1 in west Yorkshire immediately to the north of the junction with the M62.
Mr. Atkins : The works were supervised by Frank Graham and Partners as the Department's agents for maintenance works in this area. There is no reason to doubt that the contract was adequately supervised in accordance with the agreement between the Department and Frank Graham and Partners.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has received representations from (a) the Lancashire Trust for Nature Conservation, (b) the Council for the Protection of Rural England and (c) Save the Heart of Lancashire, opposing the M65 extension.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what are the estimated indirect costs in improvements to connecting roads and other areas to be borne (a) by his Department and (b) Lancashire county council, as a result of the construction of the M65 extension.
Mr. Atkins : The cost of alterations to side roads directly affected by the M65 Blackburn southern bypass is included in the capital cost of the scheme. Improvements to other local roads are a matter for the Lancashire county council, as highway authority, to consider.
Mr. Lewis : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he is yet in a position to give a precise date when the full roads report, referred to in paragraph 32 of the White Paper, Roads for Prosperity, will be published.
M6 to M56 : 8 June 1988.
M56 to M62 : 12 October 1989.
M62 to M66 : Preliminary investigations into this section of the relief road are being carried out by consultants who were appointed on 14 October 1987 to advise on the widening of the M62 motorway between junctions 12 and 18.
Mr. Lewis : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the estimated construction cost of each section of the greater Manchester western and northern relief road at prices consistent with those indicated in the White Paper, Roads for Prosperity.
M6 to M56 : £45 million
M56 to M62 : £105 million
M62 to M66 : £150 million
Mr. Lewis : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the next stage in the public consultation process for the proposed section one M6 to M56, of the greater Manchester western and northern relief road.
Mr. Atkins : Public consultation has just ended. We are now considering all the comments received. The next formal stage will be the announcement of a preferred route as a basis for orders under the Highways Acts.
Mr. Lewis : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what was the attendance by interested persons at each of the public consultation meetings regarding the proposals for section one M6 to M56 of the greater Manchester western and northern relief road.
Mr. Lewis : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when it is anticipated that section three M62 to M66, of the greater Manchester western and northern relief road will be open for public consultation.
Mr. Lewis : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the current plan for the greater Manchester western and northern relief road, as indicated in the White Paper, Roads for Prosperity, was first conceived, and what is the date envisaged for the completion of its construction.
Mr. Atkins : The greater Manchester western and northern relief road was conceived in its present form in 1988 during our review of trunk road needs leading to the publication of the 1989 White Paper "Roads for Prosperity". It is too early in the planning process to say when construction might be completed.
Mr. Lewis : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the consultants' brief for the centre section of the greater Manchester western and northern relief road allows for access and egress to be provided at the A57.
Column 679Mr. Atkins : Connection to the A57 is not specifically provided for in the consultants' brief. This will be a matter for consideration when the consultants report.
Mr. Lewis : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with which organisations his Department has had consultations regarding the greater Manchester western and northern relief road, prior to and since the publication of the White Paper, "Roads for Prosperity".
Mr. Atkins : Twenty-six organisations have been consulted about proposals for the section of the greater Manchester western and northern relief road between the M6 and M56 motorways. These are listed as follows :
Cheshire County Council
Macclesfield Borough Council
Trafford Borough Council
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
Ministry of Defence
Nature Conservancy Council
British Geological Society
North West Water Authority
Warrington Borough Transport
British Waterways Board
Civil Aviation Authority
Crosville Motor Services Ltd.
Smith Shearing Ltd.
Mr. Moynihan : My Department's land use change data show that in 1988 the Ordnance Survey recorded 3,700 hectares of land in England as changing from agricultural to residential use. Figures for 1978 are not available in this series. My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, the Member for Southampton, Itchen (Mr. Chope), gave my hon. Friend some MAFF data for earlier years, including 1978 on 14 December 1988 but the two sets of data are not directly comparable.
Mr. Wilshire : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list in rank order those local authorities whose 1990-91 standard spending assessments are less than 5 per cent. more than their 1989-90
Column 680grant-related expenditure assessments, showing their standard spending assessment, grant-related expenditure assessment and the percentage variation.
Mr. Chris Patten : I have today laid before the House the population report (England), the revenue support grant report (England) 1990-91, the revenue support grant distribution report (England) and the revenue support grant transition report (England). I have also laid the special grant report which makes provision for paying three special grants : towards community charge preparation costs in 1989-90 ; for areas of low rateable values for 1990-91 and for inner London education, also for 1990-91. Together these form the basis of the local authority grant settlement for 1990-91. In all, local authorities will receive £23.1 billion of external support in 1990-91, an increase of 8.5 per cent. over the comparable figure for 1989-90. Of this, £9.490 billion will be revenue support grant. In order to ensure that authorities have adequate cash flow at the start of the new system, I propose to pay £2.373 billion (25 per cent) of this grant in April and May. This is about £800 million more than they might have expected to receive in these two months--a considerable cash flow advantage.
I have considered carefully the representations made to me about the consultation proposals issued in November. I have decided to confirm, and to embody in these reports, the main the proposals which I described in my statement on 6 November and put forward in the consultation paper. These proposals were the result of extensive work and discussions with the local authority associations. They are based on total standard spending of £32.8 billion and aggregate exchequer finance of £23.1 billion. This gives a community charge for standard spending of £278.
The standard spending assessment (SSA) methodology set out in the distribution report is substantively the same as that in the draft report issued on 6 November. I have, however, incorporated a revised formula for the highways maintenance SSA which properly reflects my desired treatment of winter maintenance.
As I proposed in November, there will be an area safety net giving protection against losses of more than £25 per adult, measured on the basis of various assumptions and definitions set out in the transition report. This will be paid for by gaining areas deferring part of their gain for a year.
I have placed in the Library a revised version of the exemplifications issued on 6 November.
The community charge figure shown in table 2 of the
exemplifications is not a prediction of what the community charge will be in each area. It is my calculation of what the charge would be if each authority sought to raise from its residents an amount consistent with its behaviour in 1989-90 and with total standard spending of £32.8 billion for 1990-91. I intend that this assumed charge will also be used for the purposes of the transitional relief scheme.
There are a number of reasons for the differences between these figures and those published on 6 November. I have made a charge to the highways maintenance SSA ; I have also been able to incorporate later figures for 1990-91 credit approvals in the capital financing SSA ; I have also incorporated a better figure for budgeted expenditure by the receiver for the Metropolitan police district. There have been a few other minor changes to SSA data.
As I foreshadowed in November, grant entitlements, business rate income, safety nets and charge levels have
Column 681been affected by the replacement of the population figures used earlier, based on data from the registrar general, by figures based on information from authorities' own charge registers, in accordance with the population report.
Authorities will now have all the information they need to press ahead with their budget setting and charge setting. These tables show that with the amount of external finance available to them the average community charge need be no more than £278, although of course charges will vary around that figure, as table 2 shows. The actual charge levels will depend on authorities' own decisions on spending and service provision.
I firmly believe that authorities should be able to keep their spending down in line with TSS of £32.8 billion. If they do not, the extra spending will fall on community charge payers and will have to be justified to them. I hope that charge payers will take the opportunity of the introduction of this much more accountable system to take a good look at what their authorities are spending. It is right that where this is more than the SSA, charge payers should be able to seek an explanation. And it is right that authorities should bear in mind the effects on charge payers when they make their budget decisions.
I will write to my hon. Friend.