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Mr. Atkins : Our consultation paper issued on 20 December last year at column 278 invited comments by 28 February. One motoring organisation is among those who have so far written. I shall develop the proposals in the light of all the comments received.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list (a) by date, (b) by type of aircraft and (c) by reason all civil aircraft that have had to divert to Royal Air Force Finningley during the last 10 years.
Mr. McLoughlin : RAF Finningley, being a military airfield, is not nominated as a diversion airfield for civil commercial air traffic required to nominate such a diversion airfield in the flight plan. Records are not available prior to 1985 but since that date only one aircraft has made a diversion and emergency landing at RAF Finningley. This occurred on Sunday, 27 November 1988, when an American-registered private microlight aircraft, call sign N85BZ, experienced an engine malfunction. Rather than continue with the flight, the pilot elected to land at Finningley, which was the nearest airfield available.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his reply of 16 January to the hon. Member for Don Valley, Official Report, column 153, if he will list the locations where the three air misses occurred.
Mr. McLoughlin : The incident on 2 November 1986 involving a civilian glider and a civilian Cessna 172 occurred at a height of 1, 500 ft, 10 miles south-south-west of Doncaster. The incident involving an RAF Buccaneer and a civilian Cessna 152 on 1 July 1987 occurred at a height of 2,000 ft, four miles east of Mansfield. The incident on 27 January 1988 involving an RAF Tornado and a civilian Cessna 152 occurred at a height of 800 ft, close to Netherthorpe aerodrome.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what amounts were deducted from his payments to the British Railways Board in the previous year 1988-89 in respect of retrospective charges made by him against payments to it in earlier years ; on what basis the deductions were made ; and in what manner he publicised them.
Mr. Portillo : A recovery of £64.5 million was made from PSO grant in 1988-89 for overpayments made in 1986-87 and in 1987-88. In both years grant was paid subject to a final adjustment once a review by my Department and British Rail of cost allocation between railway sectors was completed. British Rail made a number of accounting changes in 1988-89 and the Department recovered grant overpaid in 1986-87 and 1987-88 in accordance with the conditions of the grant settlements for those years. British Rail's annual report
Column 131and accounts for 1988-89, published on 5 July 1989, reported the outcome. Copies were placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Fearn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he will be in a position to reply to Mersey Travel's case for Government assistance ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Portillo : The case is being given consideration. A decision will be made as soon as possible.
Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the messages received by Milford Haven coastguard and passed on to Swansea coastguard relating to the 999 call by Mr. Kevin Richards reporting an incident relating to Mark Woodward who was drowned on 16 August 1989 in Rappanee cove, Ilfracombe.
Mr. McLoughlin : The call received by Milford Haven coastguard, relating to this incident, and the action taken by it, was listed in my reply of 27 November 1989, at column 82, final paragraph.
Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library a transcript of the coastguard tape relating to the drowning on 16 August 1989 of Mark Woodward.
Mr. McLoughlin : The tapes referred to are not an official record, but extracts taken from the multi-track tapes for ease of use at the coroner's inquest. The tapes were heard by the Woodward family on Friday 26 January, following which they were made public, and available to anyone who wishes to hear them. It should be emphasised that the tapes are only extracts, do not contain associated conversations and cannot be linked to time. However a copy will be placed in the Library as soon as a transcription has been made.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what studies have been made of the problems of evacuating civilians in the event of a nuclear convoy accident in-transit through south Yorkshire.
Mr. Atkins : The preparation of evacuation plans is the responsibility of local authorities.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the merchant ships flying foreign flags and carrying British personnel which have been lost in the past five years ; and if he will report on the progress of inquiries into the causes of loss by the authorities of the countries in which the vessels were, in each case, registered.
Mr. McLoughlin : Merchant ships flying foreign flags are the responsibility of the flag state. No records are available in the United Kingdom showing which foreign ships carry British personnel.
Mr. Butler : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received regarding speed limits on the A57 Liverpool road/Sankey way in Warrington ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins : Cheshire county council is the highway authority for the A57 in Warrington but would need my right hon. Friend's consent to a speed limit. The north-west regional office advised the council in November that a 50 mph limit for Liverpool road/Sankey way would not be justified by our nationally applied criteria and practice.
Mr. Lewis : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with which organisations his Department has had consultations regarding (a) section 2 M56 to M62, and (b) section 3 M62 to M66 of the Greater Manchester western and northern relief road.
Mr. Atkins : No consultations have yet been carried out.
Sir John Stradling Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will discuss with the chairman of British Rail the provision of services on the south Wales-Shrewsbury line.
Mr. Portillo : The Government set quality of service objectives for provincial sector services in July 1989. We shall monitor them closely and discuss any problems with the board.
Sir Trevor Skeet : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many lighthouses there are around the United Kingdom, detailing the number with resident keepers and the number electronically controlled from land bases ; and when he expects all lighthouses to be radio-controlled from land bases.
Mr. McLoughlin : The general lighthouse authorities operate 289 lighthouses around the United Kingdom. Of these, 58 are manned ; 73 are monitored from other bases ; and 158 are neither manned nor monitored from other bases. The automation of the remaining manned lighthouses, except those designed as area control stations, is planned to be complete by 1998 ; but a substantial number will remain neither manned nor monitored from other bases. I have no information on lighthouses operated by local lighthouse authorities.
Mr. Allan Stewart : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action he is taking following the helicopter crash at Eastwood Toll ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. McLoughlin : The accident is the subject of an investigation by the Department of Transport's air accidents investigation branch. A team of specialists in both engineering and operations arrived at the site a few hours after the accident and began work immediately. The wreckage has subsequently been removed to the AAIB's base at Farnborough, where work is continuing.
Mr. Burt : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to undertake the pruning of the trees on the M66 at Ramsbottom ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins : The planned work was completed on 10 October.
Mr. Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport who will represent his Department at the EC Council of Transport Ministers meetings on 29 March and 14 to 16 June ; and what will be the agenda for both meetings.
Mr. Portillo : It is the intention of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to attend the Transport Councils in March and June.
Subjects likely to be discussed include the international carriage of goods by road, air transport liberalisation, cabotage, transport infrastructure, and maritime relations with Third countries.
Mr. Oakes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what are his plans for new regulations regarding the use of reflective material for advertising on the rear of heavy goods vehicles ; (2) which colours he intends to permit for advertising in reflective material on the rear of heavy goods vehicles ; and which he intends to prohibit.
Mr. Atkins : We have no plans to change the general regulations governing the colour of reflective material fitted to vehicles. Generally, the only colour of reflective material which may be fitted to the rear of a vehicle is red.
There is no regulation to prohibit the use of red reflective material fitted to the rear of a heavy goods vehicle for advertising purposes.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish the details of the alignment of the new roads and widened roads envisaged in the east London assessment studies.
Mr. Atkins : More detailed alignments will be produced only if decisions are taken to proceed further with any scheme following consideration of the comments received on the consultants' suggested options.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received concerning the time allowed for consultation under stage 2 of the east London assessment studies.
Mr. Atkins : I have received a number of representations. Opinions are divided between those who request more time and those who wish decisions to be reached as soon as possible.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to appoint the traffic commissioner outlined in his announcement on "Traffic in London," on 14 December 1989 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins : A decision on the appointment of a London traffic director will be taken in the light of consultation on the "Traffic in London" discussion document. Comments on the initiatives in the document have been requested by 28 February 1990.
Mr. Amos : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list all those contracts let by his Department from 1 November 1989 to date and these contracts which his Department hopes to let by the end of March.
Mr. Atkins : The following contracts worth more than £1 million have been awarded since 1 November 1989 :
£ million |Contract Scheme and successful tenderer |price ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ A1/M1 link contract 1, Catthorpe interchange, Leicestershire Tarmac Construction Limited |3.1 A1/M1 link contract 5s, Northamptonshire Balfour Beatty |30.7 A1/M1 link contract 4, Rothwell to Kettering, Northamptonshire May Gurney and Co. Limited |4.4 A16 Louth bypass, Lincolnshire Clugston Construction Limited |4.9 A47 Eye bypass, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire Redland Aggregates |5.1
Tenders have been invited for the following schemes and it is expected that the contracts will be awarded before the end of March :
A1 Improvements at Brampton Hut, Cambridgeshire
A1 Improvements at Girtford, Sandy, Cambridgeshire
A6 Quorn and Mountsorrel bypass, Leicestershire
A12 Grade separated junction at Capel St. Mary, Suffolk A16 Boston Algakirk diversion, Lincolnshire
A23 Warninglid to Brighton (Sayers Common to Muddleswood) A30 Plusha to Bolventor, Cornwall
A42 Castle Donnington North, contract 2, Leicestershire A43 Blisworth Bypass, Northamptonshire
A47 Castor and Ailsworth bypass, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire A47 Improvement at East Norton, Lincolnshire
A140 Dickleburgh bypass, Norfolk
A523 Macclesfield bypass, Cheshire
A650 Drighlington bypass, Humberside
A1079 Market Weighton bypass, Humberside
Mr. John Browne : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his policy with regard to widening the M3 to four lanes each way between Bar End and Compton at Winchester.
Mr. Atkins : I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 18 December 1989 at column 5.
Ms. Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport from what Public Expenditure White Paper budget headings for 1990-91 and 1991-92 and from which subsection of which vote on account for 1990-91, the sums referred to for Manchester Metrolink in his answer of 22 January, Official Report, column 491, are drawn ; how much in total there is, or is expected to be, under each budget heading and vote subsection, respectively for 1990 -91 and 1991-91 ; and how much remains unallocated under each heading.
Mr. Portillo [holding answer 26 January 1990] : The sums for Manchester Metrolink given in my answer of 22 January at column 491 were composed of credit approvals for borrowing by the Greater Manchester passenger transport authority and public transport facilities grant to be paid at the rate of 50 per cent. of eligible costs. Discussions on costs eligible for grant are not yet complete but the PTA has been allocated £20.945 million credit approvals provisionally on the basis of expected Metrolink expenditure in 1990-91.
The national provision for public transport facilities grant and credit approvals planned for 1990-91 and 1991-92 are given in table 7.1 of chapter 7 of the Government's expenditure plans 1990-91 to 1992-93 (Cm. 1007), published today.
The provision and amounts as yet unallocated are :
£ million 1990-91 1991-92 |Credit |Public |Credit |Public |approvals |transport |approvals |transport |(all local |facilities |(all local |facilities |authority |grant |authority |grant |transport) |transport) --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Provision |486 |29 |570 |20 of which now unallocated |25 |not settled|570 |20
Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he plans to use local estate agents to promote sales of properties through the rents into mortgages scheme.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Responsibility for the administration and promotion of the rents to mortgages scheme lies with Scottish Homes and it is for that body to consider the most appropriate methods of encouraging sales under the scheme.
Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a further statement on the techniques Scottish Homes is using to promote the rents into mortgages scheme.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : As a follow-up to the wide press coverage of the formal launch of the rents to mortgages scheme, Scottish Homes has made supplies of its explanatory leaflet available at each of its local offices and at the offices of the new town development corporations. It has also undertaken a mail drop of the leaflet to each of its tenants who are eligible to purchase under the scheme.
In addition to this general coverage, Scottish Homes has commissioned market research to enable it to target more concentrated sales campaigns in identified areas.
Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the proportion of council homes sold in the district council areas of Scotland where Scottish Homes is carrying out his Department's policy of allowing rents to be converted into mortgages ; and what impact he expects this policy will have on the overall level of home ownership in those districts.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The pilot rents to mortgages scheme operates only in areas containing public sector housing rented from Scottish Homes or new town development corporations. The information requested for these areas is contained in the table.
While this is a pilot scheme available only to a specified range of tenants, I expect it to play a significant part in extending owner- occupation in its areas of operation.
Total sales from 1 April 1979 to 30 September 1989 as a percentage of stock in district council areas where Scottish Homes are operating rents to mortgage scheme District Council |Total sales from 1 |Stock as at 30 |Percentage of stock |April 1979 to 30 |September 1978 |sold since 1 April |September 1989 |1979 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Borders Berwickshire |638 |2,864 |22.28 Ettrick and Lauderdale |1,133 |4,940 |22.94 Roxburgh 1 |1,158 |6,269 |18.47 Tweeddale |346 |1,626 |21.28 Central Clackmannan |1,586 |9,547 |16.61 Falkirk |5,705 |33,368 |17.10 Stirling |2,226 |13,117 |16.97 Dumfries and Galloway Annandale and Eskdale |1,194 |4,825 |24.75 Nithsdale |1,998 |8,373 |23.86 Stewartry |726 |2,496 |29.09 Fife Dunfermline |5,104 |23,109 |22.09 Kirkcaldy |5,566 |26,418 |21.07 North East Fife |2,547 |7,851 |32.44 Grampian Aberdeen 1 |4,536 |37,687 |12.04 Banff and Buchan 2 |2,599 |12,393 |20.97 Gordon |1,407 |6,024 |23.36 Kincardine and Deeside |723 |3,565 |20.29 Moray |2,576 |10,543 |24.43 Lothian East Lothian |3,504 |16,210 |21.62 Edinburgh |11,048 |56,664 |19.50 Midlothian |2,899 |13,031 |22.25 West Lothian |2,859 |22,517 |12.70 Strathclyde Argyll and Bute |1,115 |8,105 |13.76 Bearsden and Milngavie |425 |1,817 |23.39 Clydebank |1,465 |11,746 |12.47 Clydesdale |1,099 |9,590 |11.46 Cumbernauld and Kilsyth |681 |4,350 |15.66 Cumnock and Doon Valley 3 |1,096 |10,296 |10.64 Cunninghame |3,475 |23,531 |14.77 Dumbarton |1,244 |13,107 |9.49 Eastwood |506 |2,023 |25.01 Glasgow |14,948 |175,204 |8.53 Hamilton |3,032 |22,803 |13.30 Inverclyde |2,085 |20,014 |10.42 Kilmarnock and Loudoun |2,317 |18,254 |12.69 Kyle and Carrick 1 |3,830 |18,290 |20.94 Monklands 3 |2,285 |28,545 |8.00 Motherwell |3,067 |39,751 |7.72 Renfrew |5,702 |39,430 |14.46 Strathkelvin 1 |2,152 |10,639 |20.23 Tayside Angus |2,743 |14,568 |18.83 Dundee |3,870 |39,845 |9.71 Perth and Kinross |3,465 |16,302 |21.26 Shetland Islands |363 |2,266 |16.02 Western Isles |523 |2,213 |23.63
Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects the first sale to be completed of a Scottish Homes property bought under his Department's rents into mortgages scheme.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : I expect the first sale of a Scottish Homes property under the rents to mortgages scheme to be completed in March of this year.
Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has set a target for the number of homes to be sold through the rents into mortgages scheme by the end of the three-year experimental period.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : At the launch of the rents to mortgages scheme on 30 October last year, my right hon. and learned Friend announced that he expected up to 5,000 applications under the scheme during the three-year period.
Mr. Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what support his Department gives to the Scottish Pre-School Play Association ; and whether he has any plans to increase that support.
Mr. Lang : The Scottish Pre-School Play Association in the current year has received grants totalling £78,000 under the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968. Grants for 1990-91 have yet to be determined, in the light of applications and commitments.
Sir David Steel : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make the number of Road Traffic Act convictions a necessary declaration for those companies bidding for bus routes.
Mr. Rifkind : No. Companies wishing to operate a local bus service, whether commercial or under contract to local authorities must hold a PSV operator's licence. In deciding whether or not to grant an operator's licence, the traffic commissioner takes into account relevant convictions of the operator or his employees. Licence holders are required to make known to the traffic commissioner details of convictions during the currency of the licence.
Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the progress of consultations about school playground supervision.
Mr. Lang : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Tayside, North (Mr. Walker) on 6 December 1989.
Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish in the Official Report the press statement made by the Crown Office on Friday 19 January concerning matters arising from the resignation of a judge at the Court of Session.
Mr. Rifkind : The press statement issued on behalf of Crown Office on 19 January was related to allegations of misconduct by Court of Session judges and was in the following terms :
Column 139"Commenting on allegations of misconduct by Court of Session Judges, a Crown Office spokesman said today :
The Lord Advocate is responsible for investigation and prosecution of crime made known to him. No information or complaint has been provided to him which would allow him to instruct any police force or Procurator Fiscal to carry out a criminal investigation. Any rumour which has been conveyed to him has contained no sufficient specification for such instruction but what checks could be made have been made. They have revealed no basis on which to instruct further investigation.
If at any time the Lord Advocate were to be made aware of sufficiently specific allegations to instruct inquiry, the appropriate steps would of course be taken.
Allegations of non-criminal conduct by Judges are not matters for investigation by the Lord Advocate.' "
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list by location, where creche facilities are provided for working mothers employed in his Department ; and if they have to make any payment for this service.
Mr. Rifkind : My Department does not directly provide creche facilities. The central Edinburgh holiday play-scheme (for school-age children of civil servants), which is largely self-financing, is, however, used by Scottish Office staff.
Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list all the public utterances of the Lord Advocate concerning the appointment and resignation of judges since 1 January ; and if he will place copies and transcripts where available in the Library.
Mr. Rifkind : The Lord Advocate has made no such public statement.
Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he or any official of his tendered advice to the Lord President of the Court of Session in either December 1989 or January 1990 ; and on what subjects.
Mr. Rifkind : It is not the practice to make known the substance of discussions which Ministers or their officials have with the Lord President of the Court of Session.
Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the dates in November and December when officials of the Crown Office held lunchtime meetings with the Lord President of the Court of Session.