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66. Mr. Madel : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has any further information from British Rail as to what its decision will be concerning the proposed reopening of the Luton to Dunstable line for passenger traffic ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins : The most effective way of reducing such accidents is the increasing recognition by drivers that society will not tolerate drinking and driving. I welcome this change in attitude, reflected in the reduced number of accidents linked with alcohol misuse. But it is still a major cause of death and injury on the road. We shall continue through publicity, through working with the drinks industry to encourage responsible behaviour, through enforcement action by the police and through effective application of the law to seek to cut this waste of human lives.
Mr. Atkins : In 1988, a total of 281 adults and 28 children were killed in road accidents that took place within 50m of a zebra or pelican crossing and, in particular, 222 of the adults and 24 of the children were pedestrians at the time of the accidents.
Of the pedestrian fatalities, 41 per cent. of the adults and 50 per cent. of the children were in the carriageway using the pedestrian crossing. Most of the remainder were in the carriageway, either within the zig-zag lines on the approach and exit to the crossing, or at some other point within a distance of 50m of the crossing. One child and six adults were on the footpath at the time of the accident.
Mr. Portillo : Work is under way on extending the docklands light railway to Bank in the City of London and through the royal docks area to Beckton. London Regional Transport is developing a case for a southern extension under the River Thames to Greenwich and Lewisham.
Mr. Atkins : Assisting local road schemes through transport supplementary grant ; constructing trunk roads where appropriate ; providing grant under section 56 of the Transport Act 1968 for public transport ; and consolidating the regeneration of London's docklands with the approval of the Jubilee line extension.
Mr. Rogers : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his reply of 30 January, Official Report, column 31, what type of radar there is at RAF Aldergrove ; and whether it detects meteorite activity or tracks attributable to associated ionisation effects on Saturday 11 November 1989, at or around 2028 GMT, particularly on or near a position three nautical miles east of Kirkistown and at around 11,000 ft.
Mr. McLoughlin : There is no radar at RAF Aldergrove. There is a National Air Traffic Service Plessey Watchman EN 4000 radar at Belfast (Aldergrove) airport. It did not detect any unusual activity on 11 November 1989.
Mr. John D. Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how Irish Lights is funded ; what contribution is made to it by the Governments of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland ; and whether fishing boats from the Republic of Ireland are required to pay similar levies to Irish Lights to those paid by Northern Irish vessels.
Mr. McLoughlin : The Commissioners of Irish Lights are funded from the general lighthouse fund established by section 1 of the Merchant Shipping (Mercantile Marine Fund) Act 1898. The fund's principal income is from light dues levied on shipping using ports in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Following an agreement entered into in 1985, the Irish Government make an annual contribution into the fund which, when added to light dues collected in the Republic, now meets half the costs of the Commissioners deemed to be incurred in the Republic. The most recent such contribution was in January 1990 in the sum of £2 million Irish pounds. The United Kingdom Government make no contribution to the fund. Light dues in the Republic are determined by the Irish Minister of the Marine and the Irish Government have made no decision to extend light dues to fishing vessels in the Republic. Such vessels are liable to the United Kingdom dues if they call at a United Kingdom port.
Mr. Atkins : Of the cars registered for the first time in a company name in 1989, 51 per cent. were produced in Great Britain. The figures for Northern Ireland are not available. Therefore, figures given are for Great Britain only.
Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much is raised in vehicle excise duty from owners of cars which have (a) a 1 litre engine, (b) a 1.5 litre engine, (c) a 2 litre engine, (d) a 2.5 litre engine and (e) a 3 litre engine ; and what is the income and regional distribution of the car owners in each of these cases.
Estimated vehicle excise duty revenue from cars 1988-89 |Estimated |vehicle excise |duty revenue |£ million --------------------------------------------- Engine size in litres <1 |245 1 to 1.5 |795 1.5 to 2 |765 2 to 2.5 |80 2.5 to 3 |50 >3 |35 |------- Total |1,970 Source: DVLC licensing statistics 1988-89.
The following tables give estimated annual income of main drivers and regional distributions for cars with these engine sizes.
Annual income distribution of main drivers of cars by engine size: 1985-86 percentage Income Engine size in litres (£ per annum) |<1 |1-1.5 |1.5-2 |2-2.5 |2.5-3 |>3 |Total ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 0-4,999 |50 |41 |28 |23 |26 |20 |36 5,000-9,999 |35 |39 |36 |31 |28 |28 |37 10,000-14,999 |13 |17 |23 |22 |23 |27 |19 15,000-19,999 |2 |3 |8 |11 |5 |8 |5 20,000-24,999 |1 |1 |3 |5 |7 |4 |2 25,000+ |1 |0 |2 |8 |11 |13 |2 |-- |-- |-- |-- |-- |-- |-- Total |100 |100 |100 |100 |100 |100 |100 Source: National Travel Survey 1985-86.
Regional distribution of cars by engine size: December 1988 percentage Engine size in litres Region |<1 |1-1.5 |1.5-2 |2-2.5 |2.5-3 |>3 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- South West |9 |10 |9 |9 |9 |9 Northern |5 |5 |4 |4 |3 |3 Yorks and Humberside |9 |8 |8 |7 |6 |6 South East |32 |33 |36 |38 |45 |45 East Midlands |7 |7 |7 |7 |7 |7 West Midlands |11 |10 |10 |9 |9 |10 East Anglia |4 |4 |4 |5 |4 |4 North West |12 |11 |10 |9 |9 |8 England |88 |87 |88 |88 |92 |92 Scotland |7 |8 |7 |7 |5 |5 Wales |5 |5 |5 |5 |4 |4 Great Britain |100 |100 |100 |100 |100 |100 Source: DVLC licensing statistics December 1988.
Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much petrol prices would have to be raised for a revenue neutral budget if vehicle excise duty was (a) abolished, (b) frozen at its current rate, (c) abolsihed for cares of less than 1.5 litre engines and (d) abolished for cares of less than 2 litre engines ; and what would be the impact on the retail prices index in each of these cases.
Mr. McLoughlin : The Department's most recent air traffic forecasts, published in December 1988, predict that in 1995 passenger movements at United Kingdom airports will be in the range of 120 million to just under 140 million. In 1988, the first year for which complete statistics are available the corresponding total was 93.2 million.
Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the reports by Allol and Lomax, consulting engineers, into the performance of the consulting engineers employed on the Chapel-en-le-Firth-Whaley Bridge bypass ; and if he will place a copy in the Library.
Mr. Atkins : The report is not yet completed. Phase (iii) of the geotechnical investigation is in hand and phase (iv) may be necessary, depending on the outcome of phase (iii). When the full report is available, consideration will be given to placing a copy in the Library.
Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with the chairman of British Rail about new signalling systems on the Chiltern lines ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Portillo : A scheme to resignal the Chiltern lines forms part of a package of measures to modernise the infrastructure on the route and is one of the prototype schemes for automatic train protection. The railway inspectorate will be discussing the details with British Rail at the appropriate time.
Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has on (a) the percentage of signals (i) nationally and (ii) on the Chiltern lines which are paraffin-lit and (b) that are currently out of action.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he received Merseytravel's submission for Government assistance in relation to the Mersey tunnel's debt issue ; when Merseytravel is required to settle its budget and declare its levy ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins : We received Merseytravel's submission for Government assistance on 28 November 1989, some two months later than expected. We have been considering it carefully. Merseytravel is due to set its budget on 14 February, and we hope to respond by then.
Mr. Kaufman : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his reply on escalators at St. John's Wood to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton, Official Report, 29 January, column 55, what explanation he received from London Underground as to why that escalator was still out of service on 7 February ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Portillo : This is a matter within London Underground's management responsibility, for which it should answer. However, the information given in my previous reply was given in good faith. I understand the repair is taking longer than expected, and that the work should now be complete by 26 February.
Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the quality of service performance indicators that have been introduced into the Vehicle Inspectorate since its establishment as an agency.
Mr. Atkins : The main quality of service indicators that have been introduced by the Vehicle Inspectorate executive agency are : i. The number of exemption certificates issued annually (an exemption certificate is issued if the Vehicle Inspectorate is unable to test a vehicle by the due test date).
ii. The time taken for dealing with requests for MOT-test documentation.
iii. The extent to which ministerial targets for defined enforcement activities have been met (eg inspections of heavy goods and public service vehicle operators' maintenance facilities ; and inspections of MOT testing stations).
iv. The time taken between the receipt of an operator's application for a test appointment and the grant of an appointment. v. The proportion of tests undertaken at the times and locations requested by operators.
Indicators (i) to (iii) along with other, secondary, measures are published in the inspectorate's 1989-90 business plan and 1988-89 annual report and accounts, copies of which are available in the Library of the House. Indicators (iv) and (v) form part of the inspectorate's internal service quality monitoring system.
Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish a table showing how many historic wrecks are protected by designation orders under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 (a) in total and (b) in each of the past 10 years.
Mr. McLoughlin : Designation orders have been made under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 in respect of 34 wreck sites of historical importance. The numbers of orders made in each of the past 10 years is as follows :
|Orders --------------------- 1980 |3 1981 |2 1982 |2 1983 |1 1984 |2 1985 |1 1986 |1 1987 |- 1988 |1 1989 |2
Mr. McLoughlin : In 1986 the Department contracted the university of St. Andrews to provide a team to inspect both sites proposed for designation under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 because of their archaeological or historical importance and sites already so designated. Under this contract the Department has incurred expenditure as follows :
|£ ---------------------- 1986-87 |75,684 1987-88 |42,884 1988-89 |52,242 1989-90 |73,700
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 8 February 1990] : There is already a good rail service between Lancashire and London, which will benefit further from British Rail's substantial programme of investment. The trunk road network is undergoing a major programme of expansion, as announced in "Roads for Prosperity" ; within this programme are a number of schemes which will benefit links between Lancashire and London, in particular the completion of the M40 and the Birmingham orbital, and widening schemes for the M1 between junctions 6A and 19, the M6 between junctions 1 and 4A, junctions 11 and 21A and junctions 30 and 32. The widening of all present dual three lanes sections of the M25 to dual four lanes will also facilitate travel. The cost of the widening schemes alone will amount to some £1.8 billion. There is also a number of major schemes proposed linking Greater Manchester and other urban areas to the national motorway network. These include the Greater Manchester western and northern relief road, the Manchester outer ring road, the Blackburn southern bypass and the Preston southern and western bypass.
The Government are also considering the timing and scope of the possibility of competitive tendering in the private sector to provide a new route in the Birmingham to Manchester corridor.
The region's airports are controlled by the local airport authorities and are not therefore under the direct responsibility of the Department. It is the policy of the Department to encourage LAAs to develop services to meet fully the demand which exists.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 9 February 1990] : For unclassified but sensitive systems Departments are expected to follow CCTA guidance covering all aspects of IT security and the application of this has been tightened recently. CCTA advice is kept under continuous review and is based on analysis of security risks and requirements using structured methods such as CCTA's risk analysis and management methodology (CRAMM) which has also been made commercially available.
Type of area |Population |Average |Percentage of |(thousands) |number of |household |cars per |with at least |household |two cars ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Urban |>250 |0.67 |12 Urban |100-250 |0.78 |15 Urban |50-100 |0.75 |13 Urban |25-50 |0.76 |13 Urban |3-25 |0.86 |16 Rural |1.06 |27 Great Britain |0.78 |15 Source: National Travel Survey
Type of Population Average number of cars Per cent. area |(thousands) |per household|increase |1975-76 to |1975-76 |1985-86 |1985-86 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Urban |>250 |0.53 |0.67 |27 Urban |100-250 |0.58 |0.78 |34 Urban |50-100 |0.58 |0.75 |30 Urban |25-50 |0.68 |0.76 |11 Urban |3-25 |0.70 |0.86 |23 Rural |- |0.83 |1.06 |28 Great Britain 0.63 0.78 Source: National Travel Survey.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research his Department has done into levels of car ownership by income ; and what are the latest figures.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 9 February 1990] : This information is provided by the family expenditure survey 1987, which shows for example that 7 per cent. of households with an income of under £45 per week have a
Column 115car or van available, 54 per cent. of those with incomes between £125 and £150 per week and 98 per cent. of those with incomes over £550 per week. Multiple car ownership occurs at almost all household income levels. At about average household income, 63 per cent. of households have one car or van available, 10 per cent. have two, and 1 per cent. have three or more.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 9 February 1990] : The Department of Transport has done no research on this topic. The most appropriate source of data for this work would be the 1981 census, which can provide data at enumeration district level.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether in the course of research done in connection with the national road traffic forecast 1989 his Department looked at levels and rates of change in car ownership by size of settlement ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins [holding answer 9 February 1990] : The Department makes local forecasts of origins and destinations of car trips at the local authorities district level consistent with the national forecasts, but these forecasts are not differentiated by size of settlement.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement about the environmental impact of road vehicles running on diesel as opposed to petrol ; and what is his policy on the promotion of the use of diesel and petrol.
Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made as to the implications for the Trident programme of the successful completion of the next stage of the CFE talks (CFE II).
Mr. Archie Hamilton : The current CFE negotiations have yet to be completed ; not until that has been accomplished can the Government assess possible further steps on conventional arms control. On the separate issue of nuclear arms control, the United Kingdom's position on including our strategic deterrent in negotiations is well known and I refer the hon. Member to paragraph 215 of the Statement on the Defence Estimates 1989, volume 1 (Cm. 675-1).
Column 116(2) what information he has on whether the United States European intelligence unit will be moving from Germany to Greenham common.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : In the United Kingdom the United States authorities have announced, after consultation with the United Kingdom Government, that RAF Wethersfield is to be returned to the Ministry of Defence by June 1991, RAF Greenham Common will revert to standby status on the departure of the remaining cruise missiles in May 1991 and RAF Fairford will become a standby base in October this year.
Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information he has in regard of the relative costs of the SCRAM-T missile and the Anglo-French air-to-surface missile ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Alan Clark : I assume that the question relates to the assessment of options for the replacement of the WE177 free-fall bomb. These studies are continuing, and it is not yet possible to identify potential costs with any accuracy. However, company costs will be commercially confidential and, in accordance with normal procedures, will not be made public.
Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information he has on the amount of money that has been authorised in the United States budget FY91 for the construction of a satellite communication terminal at RAF Chicksands.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : I understand from the United States authorities that a project for the construction of a satellite communication terminal at RAF Chicksands has been submitted for inclusion in the United States fiscal year 1991 budget. The budget has not yet been approved.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : I understand from the United States authorities that the satellite communications terminal planned for RAF Chicksands, if approved, would be a facility of the United States defence communications system (DCS). The terminal would provide communications services for United States forces at that site and radio relay facilities for other forces in the United Kingdom and Europe.
Mr. John Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the average length of time taken for a precautionary inspection of a nuclear submarine's reactor facility ; and what is the average cost.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : Planned inspections take place during scheduled refits and maintenance periods. With regard to the programme of inspections currently under way, the time taken will vary from one submarine to another. The additional costs of carrying out these inspections are likely to be small, but have not been separately identified.
Mr. John Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the meaning of the term "come alongside" when the decision is taken as a precautionary measure to inspect the reactor of a nuclear submarine.
Mr. John Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether his Department has found it necessary to revise its risk estimates of a nuclear submarine reactor accident either at sea or in dock as a result of faults reported in one of Britain's nuclear-powered submarines ;
(2) if he has any plans to revise the current risk estimates for the likelihood of a maximum design accident as a primary containment failure of a nuclear submarine in dock ; and if he will make a statement with special reference to the spread of radiation emitted in the course of an accident in dock into the atmosphere.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : We continue to be guided by the advice of our independent safety advisers on the operation, in accordance with rigorous safety standards, of our nuclear-powered submarines. Submarines alongside have reactors closed down and present no hazard to the public.