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Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many tonnes of freight were carried by BR's Railfreight distribution company in each of the last five years ; and how much it is estimated will be carried in 1993-94, 1994-95 and 1995-96 ;
(2) how many tonnes of (a) coal, (b) petroleum, (c) metals and (d) construction materials were carried by BR's Trainload freight company in each of the last five years ; and how much it is estimated will be carried in (i) 1993-94, (ii) 1994-95 and (iii) 1995-96.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if his Department will seek to use freight facilities grant, or other grants, to ensure that fuel oil is once again carried from Stanlow to Aberystwyth by rail.
Mr. Freeman : If the company concerned felt that an application for freight facilities grant or the new track access grant, which will be available from 5 April, could be of assistance in returning this business to rail, I would be happy to consider it.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will investigate whether the crew of the Bowbelle had been made aware of the availability of walkie talkies on the night of the Marchioness disaster.
Mr. Norris : The matter was investigated during the marine accident investigation branch inquiry. The master was aware of the presence of hand- held VHF sets on board Bowbelle ; sections 8.9 and 17.1 of the chief inspector's report refer. At least one of the seamen on the fo'c'sle was aware that sets were carried.
Mr. Dowd : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made in the co-ordination of works involving Thames bridges as a result of consultation between his officials and the Association of London Borough Engineers and Surveyors.
Mr. Norris : Ways in which the co-ordination of works, including those on Thames bridges, could be improved feature regularly in discussions between officials of the Department and the Association of London Borough Engineers and Surveyors. A "Riparian" group of borough highway authorities, which have responsibility for most river crossings within London, has been set up under the chairmanship of the City of London. One of the main aims of this group, which has now met twice, is to reduce the inconvenience to traffic and pedestrians caused by roadworks on those structures.
Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will give, by region, figures for the number of vehicles which have been issued Q plates for each of the last five years ; and how many of these vehicles were later found to be stolen.
O |1989 |1990 |1991 |1992 |1993 |Total ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Scotland and North |1,957 |1,834 |1,969 |2,022 |1,930 |9,712 Midlands |2,240 |2,423 |2,037 |2,198 |2,179 |11,077 Southern |2,109 |1,993 |1,897 |1,756 |1,701 |9,456 South Wales/South West |1,908 |1,717 |1,375 |1,316 |1,223 |7,539 North and North Wales |2,268 |2,305 |2,461 |2,013 |2,070 |11,117 London and Eastern |2,141 |1,829 |1,716 |1,434 |1,414 |8,534 |-------|-------|-------|-------|-------|------- Total |12,632 |12,101 |11,455 |10,739 |10,517 |57,435
Information on the number later found to be stolen is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Dowd : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what major road improvement schemes on trunk roads in London have been (a) completed, (b) started or (c) planned to start in the current financial year.
(a) Trunk road schemes in London completed in 1993-94 : A13 Blackwall Tunnel/Cotton Street "dedicated lane"
(a) Trunk road schemes in London started in 1993-94 : A13 West India Dock Road Junction Final Scheme
A406 East of Falloden Way to Finchley High Road
A406 Dysons Road Phase 2
A406 M1 Junction 1 Improvement
A12 Hackney-M11 Contract 4
A40 Long Lane to West End Road Junction
A13 Heathway--Wennington Advance Works
A13 Butcher Row Junction
(c) Trunk Road schemes planned to start in London 1993-94 A13 Thames Avenue to Wennington
A13 Blackwall Tunnel/Cotton Street Main Works
A406 Dysons Road Phase 1
Mrs. Anne Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what future role that grade of senior executive officer will play in the structure of the vehicle inspectorate ; and what will be the significance of the grade's duties.
Mr. Key : Senior enforcement officers (traffic) are and will continue to be key members of the area management teams of the road traffic enforcement division of the vehicle inspectorate. In addition, they provide expert advice on traffic enforcement matters for traffic commissioners, lorry and bus operators and other enforcement agencies.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on progress made in his review of the safety of tanker transport established after the Braer oil tanker accident.
In addition, the Department made specific proposals on tanker routing to the International Maritime Organisation. These entered into force on 28 November.
Column 417Recommended routes will be introduced for the Fair Isle channel subject to the successful completion in 1994 of further hydrographic surveys.
Mr. Raynsford : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish a table showing the punctuality performance of each of the Network SouthEast divisions as compared to target performance in the four- week periods ending 3 December and 31 December 1993.
Division Punctuality Performance four weeks ending |standard |3 December |31 December |Per cent. |1993 |1993 |Per cent. |Per cent. -------------------------------------------------------------------- Great Northern |90.0 |86.5 |93.8 Northampton Line |90.0 |90.6 |87.5 Chiltern |90.0 |91.3 |92.6 West Anglia |90.0 |82.1 |98.1 Thameslink |89.0 |83.2 |89.5 South Western Lines |88.0 |82.8 |87.8 Kent Link |88.0 |68.6 |81.6 South London Lines |88.0 |82.4 |84.4 North London Lines |87.0 |82.5 |87.0 Great Eastern |86.0 |80.9 |88.7 Solent and Wessex |86.0 |76.9 |83.6 Thames |85.0 |87.7 |89.6 London Tilbury and Southend |85.0 |88.3 |93.2 Sussex Coast |83.0 |84.0 |78.6 Kent Coast |82.0 |70.7 |77.1
On average over 1993, 12 out of the 15 groups met or exceeded their punctuality standards.
Mr. Spellar : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what are his Department's proposals for sound reduction measures on existing rail routes that will be part of the network to the channel tunnel.
Mr. Freeman : For some locations on the existing rail routes where the concentration of international traffic will be heaviest, between the channel tunnel and west London, BR has agreed with local authorities jointly funded non-statutory schemes for the provision of noise barriers. Beyond London, international traffic will be spread over a number of routes without the same degree of concentration. The new international rolling stock which is to be introduced on all the routes concerned has been designed so as to minimise noise levels.
Mr. Key : Tenders have now been returned for the installation of traffic signals at both A6116 junctions with the A43, and for road lighting from south of the southern A43 junction at Stanton northwards to the existing lighting on the Weldon bypass. Work is programmed to start in February.
Mr. Key : The vehicle inspectorate is conducting a review of the future role of the indoor enforcement offices--now called group support offices. This is expected to report by the end of Feburary and decisions about their future will be taken in the light of the recommendations of the review team. Interested parties, including the staff and trade unions are being consulted.
Mr. Heald : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information his Department has published in advance of the outcome of the planning inquiry into Radwell motorway services station concerning the sites of such stations on the A1(M) motorway ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Dowd : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many miles of the 1,000-mile cycle network in London have now been completed ; and what action his Department has taken to speed up its completion.
Mr. Norris : Responsibility for the provision of the 1,000 mile network in London rests primarily with the 33 London boroughs. Cycle schemes on local authority routes are eligible for Government funding support. Approximately a third of the network is in existence or in preparation. We have agreed to provide, where practicable, all the routes that have been proposed for trunk roads as well as cycle crossing points of the trunk road network. We continue to encourage local authorities to provide cycle facilities.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give the approximate passenger mileage on British Railway's InterCity services travelled by passengers paying (a) first-class fares, (b) normal standard fares, (c) saver and supersaver fares and (d) period on fare past tickets, together with the approximate revenue per year for each category of ticket.
Column 419(a) into, (b) out of and (c) within (i) South Yorkshire, (ii) Humberside, (iii) North Yorkshire and (iv) West Yorkshire, each day on British Rail ; and what are the comparable figures for (1) 1979, (2) 1983 and (3) 1989.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of whether the discretion afforded to an inspector appointed by the chief inspector of marine accidents under the regulations concerning the conduct of inquiries into maritime collisions (SI, 1989, No. 1172) is compatible with the open policy objectives of Her Majesty's Government.
Mr. Hardy : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects the A1-M1 link road serving the Dearne valley area to be completed ; and what proportion of this highway is currently able to carry traffic.
Mr. Dykes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to abolish or reduce the existing restrictions on heavy goods vehicles over 16.5 tonnes entering the Greater London restriction zone.
Mr. Norris : I am considering proposals aimed at reducing the bureaucracy associated with the administration of the Londonwide night and weekend lorry ban while maintaining the environmental protection it offers. These will be published shortly.
Mr. Ingram : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the impact of the changes to statutory sick pay provision upon his departmental budget for the financial year 1994-95.
Mr. Norris : The abolition of the 80 per cent. statutory sick pay reimbursement rate will be offset, at least in part, by a reduction in employers' national insurance contributions. Any additional costs will be absorbed within the Department's existing running costs baseline.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Environment and the Attorney-General in regard to the implications for areas covered by EC habitats and species directives by his roads development programme.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the total cost of producing the North Yorkshire district benefit agency's 1993-94 business plan and yearbook ; how many copies were produced ; and to whom they have been given.
Letter from M. Bichard to Mr. Hugh Bayley, dated 14 January 1994 :
The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking details about the cost and production of the North Yorkshire Benefits Agency's 1993-94 Business Plan and Yearbook.
The Benefits Agency requires its District Offices to produce Business plans for external customers. In total 460 copies of the North Yorkshire District Benefits Agency 1993-94 Business Plan and Yearbook were produced and distributed to client representatives in the North Yorkshire Area. Of these 330 copies were distributed to local councillors and Members of Parliament and 65 copies to Statutory and Voluntary organisations, for whom the year book is intended as a reference document. Other copies were distributed internally.
The majority of the preparation work was done locally, all the photographs being provided by the District Office staff and the document was produced on recycled paper. With the exception of 70 copies issued by second class post, all other copies were distributed at nil cost.
Some of the design and artwork was completed by Benefits Agency Publishing House at a staffing cost of £999.42 met from their own budget allocation. HMSO printing costs were covered out of the Benefits Agency's printing budget.
I hope you find this reply helpful.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list for the United Kingdom and by standard region, including Greater London, the number of households and the proportion of all households claiming income support for each year since 1989.
Claimants, Partners and Dependants in receipt of Income Support-May 1989. Region |Number of |Percentage of |beneficiaries|Population -------------------------------------------------------- North Eastern |1,179,000 |- London North |1,029,000 |- South Western |419,000 |- Midlands |1,163,000 |- North Western |1,142,000 |- London South |878,000 |- England |5,811,000 |12.2 Wales |413,000 |14.4 Scotland |799,000 |15.7 Great Britain |7,023,000 |12.6
Claimants, Partners and Dependants in receipt of Income Support-May 1990. Region |Number of |Percentage of |beneficiaries|Population -------------------------------------------------------- North Eastern |1,137,000 |- London North |1,092,000 |- South Western |432,000 |- Midlands |1,150,000 |- North Western |1,103,000 |- London South |907,000 |- England |5,821,000 |12.2 Wales |424,000 |14.7 Scotland |777,000 |15.2 Great Britain |7,023,000 |12.6
Claimants, Partners and Dependants in receipt of Income Support-May 1991 Region |Number of |Percentage of |beneficiaries|population -------------------------------------------------------- North Eastern |1,216,000 |- London North |1,289,000 |- South Western |524,000 |- Midlands |1,233,000 |- North Western |1,155,000 |- London South |1,083,000 |- England |6,500,000 |13.5 Wales |442,000 |15.3 Scotland |805,000 |15.8 Great Britain |7,747,000 |13.8
Claimants, Partners and Dependants in receipt of Income Support-May 1992 Region |Number of |Percentage of |beneficiaries|population -------------------------------------------------------- North Eastern |1,319,000 |- London North |1,604,000 |- South Western |613,000 |- Midlands |1,414,000 |- North Western |1,269,000 |- London South |1,284,000 |- England |7,502,000 |15.5 Wales |496,000 |17.1 Scotland |855,000 |16.7 Great Britain |8,853,000 |15.7
Claimants, Partners and Dependants in receipt of Income Support- February 1993 Region |Number of |Percentage of |beneficiaries|population -------------------------------------------------------- North Eastern |1,443,000 |<1> London North |1,758,000 |<1> South Western |702,000 |<1> Midlands |1,598,000 |<1> North Western |1,390,000 |<1> London South |1,537,000 |<1> England |8,428,000 |17.4 Wales |541,000 |18.7 Scotland |898,000 |17.6 Great Britain |9,868,000 |17.5 Sources of all tables: Income support statistics annual inquiries May 1989 to 1992. Income support statistics quarterly inquiry February 1993. Office of Population Censuses and Surveys. Notes to tables: 1. All figures rounded to nearest thousand. Percentages correct to one decimal place. Figures may not sum due to rounding. 2. <1>Indicates that figures are not available. 3. The tables refer to Great Britain only. Figures for Northern Ireland are the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. 4. Information on the number of households claiming income support is not available. The tables show the number of claimants, partners and dependants in receipt of income support. 5. Information on the number of income support claims is not collected by standard regions. The tables show Department of Social Security administrative regions as used by the Department prior to 1988. Population figures for these regions are not available. 6. The latest available figures for numbers receiving income support are taken from the February 1993 quarterly statistical inquiry. 7. The latest population figures available are for mid-1992. Therefore these have been used to calculate both the May 1992 and February 1993 proportions.
Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what steps his Department is taking to ensure that claimants with disabling medical conditions are given due consideration in any assessment of eligibility for incapacity benefits ; and if he will make it his policy that claimants' existing medical histories will be taken fully into account in these assessments.
Mr. Scott : The proposed new medical incapacity test will accurately assess the limiting effect of all medical conditions on a claimant's capacity for work. In applying the test, all relevant factors, including the claimant's medical history, will be taken into account.
Mr. Bradley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if people receiving the new incapacity benefit will be eligible for the income support disability premium from the 28th week of incapacity.
Mr. Scott : The new long-term rate of incapacity benefit, payable after 52 weeks, will act as a passport to the disability premium. For those who have no other means of entitlement to the disability premium, the period of incapacity needed to qualify will be 52 weeks.
Mr. Scott : Incapacity benefit will follow the usual rule that child dependency increases are not payable with short-term contributory benefits, unless the beneficiary has reached pensionable age. They will not normally commence until long-term incapacity benefit comes into payment after 52 weeks.
Mr. Bradley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many applications for special compensation payments have been made in each of the most recent four quarters for which figures are available ; how many were successful ; and what was the average amount of each payment in each quarter.
Mr. Scott : The administration of disability living allowance and attendance allowance are matters for Mr. Michael Bichard, the chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member with such information as is available.
Letter from M. Bichard to Mr. Keith Bradley, dated14 January 1994 :
The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking for details of the special compensation payments made in the most recent four quarters for which figures are available.
Column 423Firstly, I should explain that the Special Compensation Scheme applied to both Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Attendance Allowance (AA) customers.
Scans of both the DLA and AA computer systems were obtained and these lists of customers were then individualy scrutinised for possible entitlement to compensation under the special scheme. There were no applications from customers, indeed the first that the vast majority of customers knew about the scheme was when they actually received their compensation payment.
The scheme has now been completed in its entirety but as there were no monthly or quarterly collations of statistics I have provided the total figures for both benefits below.
|Cases |Cases |Cases not|Cases |Amount |£ ---------------------------------------------------------------------- DLA |33,539 |20,457 |13,082 |20,457 |406,745 AA |44,299 |<1>9,564 |34,735 |<1>9,527 |217,105 The average payment made to both DLA and AA compensation recipients was £20. <1> The difference between AA cases entitled and AA cases paid is 37 and occurred as a result of the death of customers for whom no next of kin could be found.
I hope you find this reply helpful.
Mr. Scott : On 4 April 1992, the latest date for which information is available, additional pension was paid to 1,230,000 invalidity benefit recipients . The average weekly amount of additional pension in payment was £13.40 .
Based on a 1 per cent. sample of claimants in Great Britain, rounded to the nearest thousand.
Rounded to the nearest penny.
Mr. Bradley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many appeals against a decision that an invalidity benefit claimant was fit for work were received by his Department during (a) April to December 1992 and (b) April to December 1993 ; and what percentage of these were found in the claimant's favour.
Appeals registered with Social Security Appeal Tribunals: Invalidity Benefit<1> Quarter ending |Appeals |Heard and |Decided in |lodged |decided<2> |claimant's |favour<2> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 30 June 1992 |2,593 |1,311 |681 30 September 1992 |2,836 |1,236 |670 21 December 1992 |2,834 |1,367 |757 31 March 1993 |3,245 |1,436 |782 Notes: <1> Figures show all invalidity benefit appeals, including those against decisions that the claimant is capable of work. <2> Includes appeals lodged in an earlier quarter.
Mr. Bradley : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many and what percentage of (a) male and (b) female claimants of invalidity benefit are over the age of 45 years where an invalidity allowance is in payment.