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Mr. Ainger : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what physical assistance has been offered to the United Nations commission of inquiry into alleged war crimes in former Yugoslavia to excavate alleged mass burial sites ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The United Kingdom has offered no physical assistance to the excavation of alleged mass graves. Instead the United Kingdom has concentrated its efforts on the collation of substantiated evidence on war crimes by the MOD's defence debriefing team. Three batches of evidence have so far been submitted to the United Nations commission of experts.
39. Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what international agreements cover the provision of assistance for clearing land mines.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : Article 9 of protocol II to the 1981 UN weaponry convention provides that at the end of a conflict
Column 753"the parties shall endeavour to reach agreement, both among themselves and, where appropriate, with other States and with international organizations"
on assistance to remove or render ineffective minefields and mines.
40. Mr. Ian Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to boost trade links with Latin America.
Mr. Goodlad : All Foreign and Commonwealth Office posts in Latin America have export promotion as a top priority. They seek out export opportunities, advise British companies on the business to be won in their markets, lobby on their behalf for major contracts and against discrimination, organise visits by trade missions and Ministers with the specific object of winning business amongst other tasks. I am happy to say that our exports to Latin America have increased by 26 per cent. over the past 12 months.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what has been the cost of the military operation in Somalia in 1993.
Mr. Douglas Hogg : The total cost to the United Nations of UNOSOM in 1993 was $487,363,740. The United Kingdom pays 6.373 per cent. of peacekeeping costs on the United Nations scale of assessment. The United Kingdom contribution to UNOSOM in 1993 was therefore $30,982, 123.
Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which of the public appointments for which he is responsible require advance notice to and consultation with the Chief Whip's office ; and which appointments made since 1979 have been so notified and consulted upon.
Mr. Goodlad : It is not the practice of Her Majesty's Government to answer parliamentary questions about discussions and consultations between Departments and offices of Government relating to public appointments.
Mr. Ingram : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will provide figures for the amount his Department has been reimbursed by the Department of Social Security in respect of statutory sick pay provision for each of the past three years.
Mr. Goodlad : The DSS has reimbursed the following amounts to the FCO and the ODA in respect of statutory sick pay provision over the past three financial years :
Financial year |FCO |ODA |£ |£ ------------------------------------------------------------ 1991-92 |142,550.24 |41,683.55 1992-93 |167,586.00 |50,137.02 <1>1993-94 |111,067.08 |36,655.78 <1>April to December 1993.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what legal provisions govern the British Government in contributing to the ECOMOG initiative in Liberia and other regional peace- keeping troops.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The United Kingdom made a $1million contribution to the United Nations trust fund for Liberia, and this contribution was restricted to humanitarian relief purposes. It is a long-standing policy of successive Administrations that overseas aid is not used for defence purposes.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what changes have been made to the United Kingdom's relations with Liberia following the passage of Security Council resolution 788.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : We have given strong support in the United Nations Security Council to the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, to bring about a ceasefire in Liberia. We look forward to the establishment of a Liberian national transitional government.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent changes have been made to United Kingdom sanctions against the military Government of Nigeria.
Mr. Lennox-Boyd : I refer the hon. Member to the written reply given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State to the hon. Member for Clydebank and Milngavie (Mr. Worthington) on 2 December 1993, at column 680.
Mrs. Angela Knight : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs who will replace the Earl of Kimberley as a Lords member of the United Kingdom delegation to the North Atlantic Assembly.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : My noble Friend Lord Lyell has been approached and has indicated that he would be content to do so.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 15 December, Official Report, column 709, if consultants from the firm Touche Ross have talked to any vehicle registration office staff as part of the advice of the agency on its overall marketing testing strategy.
Mr. Key : In advising DVLA on its market testing strategy Touche Ross consultants interviewed the senior management of the vehicle registration offices.
Mr. Madel : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects the contractors to complete their current work around junction 9 on the M1 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Key : The contractors expect the work to widen the M1 between junctions 9 and 10 to be substantially complete by the middle of February, but this date could be affected by adverse weather conditions. Minor operations will continue beyond then but should not cause delays to traffic.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list all proposed road-widening schemes in England with the year when he expects the work to begin and be completed together with the estimated cost of each scheme.
Mr. Key : My right hon. Friend will announce, in the near future, the national road schemes on which works are planned to start in 1994-95, and the results of the current review of road programme priorities.
Sir Thomas Arnold : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the latest cost of the A6(M) Stockport north-south bypass.
Mr. Key : The estimated cost of the published proposals for A6(M) Stockport north-south bypass is £113 million.
Mr. Ottaway : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the rail regulator's statutory powers under the Railways Act 1993 come into force.
Mr. Freeman : Section 1 of and schedule 1 to the Railways Act 1993, which provide for the appointment of the Rail Regulator and for remuneration, staff and other procedural matters arising from his appointment, came into force on the passing of the Act on 5 November 1993. The remaining statutory powers of the regulator are expected to come into force at the beginning of April 1994 when the main provisions of the Railways Act are due to be commenced.
Mr. Fry : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 19 January, Official Report, column 600, if he will list each of the three underbridges on motorways and the 65 underbridges on all- purpose trunk roads.
Mr. Key : The list is as follows :
Motorways Road |Bridge name --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- M4 |Cutbridge No. 2 M54 |Queensway M621 (S) |South Leeds I/C 13 Railway
All Purpose Trunk Roads Road |Bridge name |Road |Bridge name -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A1 |Ease Drain extension |A11 |Bourne A11 |Barton Mills five ways |A140 |Thwaite A16 |Lucks |A16 |Surfleet A16 |Kelsey |A17 |Beckingham A31 |Malwood farm CC South A33 |Itchen No. 1 |A33 |Compton flyover north A34 |Strongford O/A widening |A4 |Henley branch railway A4 |Loddon (Tyford) |A4 |Old river (north) A40 |Wilton east bound extension|A41 |Stone A41 |Heath |A41 |Nell railway A41 |Greenfield lock canal |A417 |Abbey way A423 |Henley |A423 |Kidlington Canal A423 |Duchess |A446 |Railway flood No. 17A A45 |Sowe |A465 |Wormbridge A47 |Constitution hill |A483 |Llynclys A49 |Wayford |A49 |Beeston canal A5 |Caves Inn N/B extension |A5 |Montford A50 |Dove flood culvert No. 3 |A500 |Hough railway A51 |Wardle canal |A51 |Henhull canal A556 |Heyeswood railway main line|A556 |Allens west A556 |Nether Tabley |A57 |Tom Otter's A590 |Yarl (Orig M/Arch) |A595 |Loop road No. 1 A596 |Micklethwaite 2 |A596 |Micklethwaite 3 A6 |Leicester road railway |A6 |Clophill A61 |A61 interchange west |A61 |A61 interchange east A61 |Alfreton brook (M/Arch) |A61 |Sowell A railway A629 |Eastburn works (M/Arch) |A269 |Mill Ing A630 |Railway bridge No. 71 |A638 |Rossington south A638 |Rossington north |A646 |Hepton new A646 |Luddenden foot extension |A646 |Mytholmyroyd canal A65 |Townend Hellifield |A65 |Coniston Aire A650 |Hard Ings road |A66 |Eden A696 |Ponteland |A7 |Longtown
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much money has been allocated by his Department to each local highway authority in transport supplementary grant and credit approvals for the maintenance of principal roads of more than local importance in each year since 1989.
Mr. Key : Transport supplementary grant and credit approvals were first allocated for structural maintenance of principal roads forming part of the primary route network in 1992-93. This was extended to cover all principal roads in 1993-94. The figures are :
Structural maintenance-accepted expenditure in £k Authority |1992-93 |1993-94 |1994-95 --------------------------------------------------------------- City of London |0 |0 |0 Barking and Dagenham |0 |867 |399 Barnet |0 |140 |175 Bexley |0 |847 |1,103 Brent |0 |287 |828 Bromley |212 |420 |432 Camden |1,617 |1,566 |1,139 Croydon |0 |1,480 |1,144 Ealing |0 |285 |386 Enfield |0 |270 |309 Greenwich |379 |510 |477 Hackney |185 |385 |600 Hammersmith and Fulham |0 |420 |761 Haringey |255 |1,270 |1,012 Harrow |0 |0 |318 Havering |0 |90 |69 Hillingdon |0 |170 |278 Hounslow |0 |215 |414 Islington |900 |730 |935 Kensington and Chelsea |0 |0 |142 Kingston upon Thames |820 |563 |472 Lambeth |145 |255 |537 Lewisham |100 |50 |231 Merton |250 |140 |189 Newham |30 |140 |204 Redbridge |0 |765 |535 Richmond upon Thames |41 |111 |200 Southwark |0 |0 |381 Sutton |150 |170 |180 Tower Hamlets |1,847 |6,995 |3,440 Waltham Forest |170 |415 |251 Wandsworth |275 |503 |664 Westminster |570 |480 |336 Bolton |550 |1,015 |722 Bury |300 |630 |688 Manchester |779 |1,330 |1,363 Oldham |200 |775 |779 Rochdale |500 |315 |686 Salford |970 |940 |964 Stockport |222 |350 |955 Tameside |431 |1,285 |938 Trafford |140 |290 |251 Wigan |435 |370 |536 Knowsley |456 |860 |953 Liverpool |1,400 |1,500 |2,200 St. Helens |95 |160 |142 Sefton |378 |550 |185 Wirral |190 |360 |259 Barnsley |536 |565 |750 Doncaster |1,445 |1,421 |1,129 Rotherham |219 |522 |478 Sheffield |1,000 |2,711 |2,773 Gateshead |185 |275 |300 Newcastle upon Tyne |541 |736 |1,300 North Tyneside |200 |840 |650 South Tyneside |93 |385 |560 Sunderland |1,044 |2,006 |1,482 Birmingham |2,000 |4,392 |3,196 Coventry |854 |825 |406 Dudley |670 |1,400 |1,256 Sandwell |1,555 |1,740 |1,644 Solihull |125 |120 |151 Walsall |110 |770 |755 Wolverhampton |460 |880 |791 Bradford |1,000 |2,100 |1,454 Calderdale |352 |1,277 |2,262 Kirklees |1,795 |3,510 |2,609 Leeds |1,000 |6,086 |3,271 Wakefield |827 |1,686 |1,300 Avon |2,530 |2,470 |1,660 Bedfordshire |777 |1,210 |1,041 Berkshire |1,370 |2,150 |1,346 Buckinghamshire |1,350 |2,190 |1,412 Cambridgeshire |1,410 |2,555 |1,801 Cheshire |4,480 |7,520 |5,429 Cleveland |856 |1,940 |1,715 Cornwall |1,490 |2,340 |2,008 Cumbria |1,916 |2,100 |1,426 Derbyshire |1,592 |1,810 |1,394 Devon |2,570 |4,040 |3,893 Dorset |400 |1,295 |926 Durham |1,106 |1,255 |1,252 East Sussex |890 |1,963 |1,913 Essex |1,652 |2,588 |2,949 Gloucestershire |1,054 |1,500 |1,409 Hampshire |1,200 |4,985 |4,183 Hereford and Worcester |1,332 |2,030 |1,744 Hertfordshire |500 |2,870 |1,954 Humberside |2,342 |3,856 |3,035 Isle of Wight |0 |600 |594 Kent |4,340 |7,879 |7,273 Lancashire |2,004 |2,160 |3,381 Leicestershire |2,240 |1,915 |2,011 Lincolnshire |1,360 |2,027 |2,146 Norfolk |2,616 |3,542 |2,730 Northamptonshire |3,431 |3,800 |2,076 Northumberland |1,007 |2,210 |1,998 North Yorkshire |2,332 |4,575 |3,752 Nottinghamshire |1,733 |3,530 |2,990 Oxfordshire |1,789 |1,833 |1,791 Shropshire |1,109 |1,750 |1,680 Somerset |710 |1,733 |1,390 Staffordshire |4,000 |5,420 |4,323 Suffolk |2,411 |3,050 |3,075 Surrey |443 |2,712 |3,484 Warwickshire |560 |1,050 |1,710 West Sussex |1,375 |1,738 |1,859 Wiltshire |0 |1,292 |1,348
Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which of the public appointments for which he is responsible require advance notice to and consultation with the Chief Whip's office ; and which appointments made since 1979 have been so notified and consulted upon.
Mr. MacGregor : It is not the practice of Her Majesty's Government to answer parliamentary questions about discussions and consultations between Departments and offices of Government relating to public appointments.
Sir Thomas Arnold : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the amount of money paid to the travelling public by British Rail under the terms of the citizens charter.
Mr. Freeman : British Rail launched the passengers charter in March 1992. I understand that between April 1992 and November 1993 it paid £4.4 million in compensation to passengers under the terms of the charter.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his estimate of the amount of money for contract administration and monitoring that will be added to client costs under the proposed full competition for local authority highway works in England ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Key : I expect that any additional costs incurred by local authorities will, on average, be more than recouped by the efficiency and financial benefits gained.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the details of the special arrangements for emergency work referred to in the announcement of the introduction of full competition for local authority highway works in England ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Key : I am consulting the local authority associations on a proposal that emergency works should continue to remain exempt from competition requirements. This would give local authorities maximum flexibility in responding to unpredictable situations.
Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether training of drivers undertaken under the Road Traffic (Carriage of Dangerous Substances, Packets etc.) Regulation 1986 will be accepted under the Road Traffic (Training of Drivers of Vehicles Carrying Dangerous Goods) Regulations 1990 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Key : Drivers of vehicles over 3.5 tonnes gross weight carrying dangerous goods in packages must
Column 759undertake approved training and hold a vocational training certificate from 1 January 1995, as required by EC directive 684/89. The training requirements have been well publicised and were introduced after full consultation.
The 1992 regulations allowed a two-and-a-half year transitional period until the end of 1994 for drivers of vehicles carrying dangerous goods in packages to obtain a certificate.
Mrs. Beckett : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what has been the total cost of the traffic cones hotline to date ; and what is the precise purpose of the hotline.
Mr. Key : Separate costs of the cones hotline are not available since they have been met from the existing running costs budget. No staff have been employed exclusively on hotline activity. The purpose of the hotline is to enable road users to complain to the Department if they see parts of the trunk road and motorway network which appear to have been coned off unnecessarily. The complaint is then followed up within the Department.
In most cases there will be a good reason, although not necessarily an obvious one, for the cones to be in place, and the Department undertakes on request to provide a written explanation of what it is. If there is no good reason, the Department undertakes to get the cones removed.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research he has commissioned into high speed electronic debiting for urban motorways.
Mr. Key : We are currently putting in hand a programme of research and trials to develop an electronic charging system suitable for use on the British motorway network. We shall shortly be inviting industry to submit proposals and equipment for study and assessment.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects the design, build, finance unit to commence work ; and if he will give details of staffing appointments.
Mr. Key : A reorganisation of the Department's staff has established a small unit to develop design, build, finance and operate contracts. This will put into effect the policy announced by the Secretary of State on 2 December, in response to the results of the consultation paper "Paying for Better Motorways". The units' staffing is building up as the workload increases.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish a table setting out each contract or project for which his Department is currently inviting bids from (a) financial, (b) political or (c) other consultants, the nature of each contract or project and the bidding time scale for each project ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. MacGregor [holding answer 19 January 1994] : The information is as follows :
Consultancy contracts or projects for which bids are currently invited Nature of contract |Bidding timescale or project |(Tender return date) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (a) Financial consultants Insurance advice consultancy |13 December 1993 Channel tunnel rail link: Reporting accountants |4 January 1994 Review of DVOIT Ltd. balance sheet |13 January 1994 Study into DBFO contracts |February 1994 (b) Political consultants (c) Other consultants Channel tunnel rail link; technical advisers |8 December 1993 The effective sealing of cracks and fissures in pavements |15 December 1993 National roads network assessment system: Software program |4 November 1993 Specialist consultancy support for MSSD |15 October 1993 Coastguard magazine |12 November 1993 DOT newspaper |12 November 1993 Appointment of a consultant to update and survey the network using DOT's high speed road monitor |21 December 1993 Design and supervision of the installation of new national motorway communications system (M1 J24 to J30) |27 January 1993 South London trunk roads: Maintenace and improvement |9 December 1993 River Thames working group-Analysis of transport potential of the River Thames |10 February 1994 Arbitration on user charges at United States airports |10 January 1994 Accident/Incident database |6 January 1994 1991 LATS database appointment of marketing agents |14 January 1994 Recruitment of a property consultant |4 January 1994 Trial audit of free issue equipment |4 January 1994 Investigation into the integrity of transmission stations |February 1994 Investigation into alternative methods of connecting police control offices to the motorway transmission system |February 1994 Market research into the accuracy of the DVLA database |Early February 1994 PACT (Pilot actions for combined transport) study |7 February 1994 Site supervision of installation of new communications equipment (M1 J38 to J42) |17 January 1994 Assignment based technology for modelling within congested areas |20 January 1994 Monitoring of bus priorities |28 January 1994 Exhaust emission testing |21 January 1994 Advice on surveys on use of accessible buses |24 January 1994 Monitor and survey of lighting on trunk roads in London |not available West London trunk roads: Maintenance and improvement |not available Birmingham northern relief road: Financial and technical resolution panel |not available
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish a table setting out each separate contract or project awarded to (a) financial, (b) political or (c) other consultants by his Department in connection with any schemes or proposals for inclusion in the private finance initiative or joint public/private funding, the dates on which each contract or project was commissioned by his Department, the successful company or individual awarded the contract or project and the total amount paid to each company or consultant ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. MacGregor [holding answer 19 January 1994] : The information is as follows :
Private finance initiative and joint public/private funding contracts and projects Contract let date |Project |Company |Value |(£ thousands) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (a) Financial Consultants 1986 |Dartford-Thurrock Crossing: Assessment of Proposals |J. Henry Schroder Wagg |Not available 13 November 1989 |Birmingham Northern Relief Road: Assessment of Proposals and |Coopers & Lybrand |1,374 |Financial Advice on Concessions Agreement 5 August 1991 |Birmingham Western Orbital Route: Assessment of Proposals |West Merchant Bank |276 26 April 1992 |Second Severn Crossing: Financial and Technical Disputes |12 individuals |98 |Resolution Panel 28 January 1992 |Independent Review of Union Railways' work on CTRL |Samuel Montagu & Co. Ltd. |223 27 May 1992 |Channel Tunnel Rail Link |Samuel Montague |342 27 May 1992 |Birmingham Northern Relief Road: Financial Advisers |Coopers Lybrand Deloitte |300 8 August 1993 |Project Structure and Competition to appoint private sector |Hill Samuel Bank |366 |participant in CTRL (b) Political Consultants - |- |- |- (c) Other Consultants 16 August 1984 and |Second Severn Crossing: Development of Requirements, |G. Maunsell & Partners 17 September 1991 |Assessment of proposals and Government Agent |W. S. Atkins |3,624 9 July 1987 |Dartford-Thurrock Crossing: Engineering |Mott MacDonald |2,130 13 April 1989 |Second Severn Crossing: Drafting of the Concession Agreement |McKenna & Co. |504 10 October 1989 |Birmingham Northern Relief Road: Development of Proposals |Sir Owen Williams |2,199 |& Partners 1990 |Birmingham-Manchester Corridor |Sir Owen Williams & |13 |& Partners 19 December 1990 |Birmingham Northern Relief Road: Drafting of Concessions |McKenna & Co. |890 |Agreement May 1990 |Dartford-Thurrock Crossing: Communications and Signals |Mott MacDonald |306 14 August 1991 |Severn Crossing: Government Representative for existing bridge|Flint & Neill Partnership |1,190 29 November 1991 |New Tamar Crossing: Route identification study |W. S. Atkins |414 August 1991 |Mersey Crossing: Route identification study |Oscar Faber TPA |202 June 1991 |Birmingham Western Orbital Route: Advice on traffic capacity |Oscar Faber TPA |25 October 1991 |Birmingham Western Orbital Route: Development of Proposals |Rendell Palmer Tritton |41 14 May 1992 |Lower Thames Crossing: Feasibility Study |Consortium led by G. |785 |Maunsell & Partners 22 June 1992 |Independent Review of Union Railway's work on CTRL: |W. S. Atkins |166 |Engineering advice 22 June 1992 |Channel Tunnel Rail Link; Appointment of Engineering |W. S. Atkins Planning |90 |Consultants to Assist Financial Advisers |Consultants 23 November 1992 |Channel Tunnel Risk Assessment Study |Electrowatt Engineering |Phase 1 = 15 |Services Ltd. |Phase 2 =550 17 December 1992 |Legal advice on competition for private sector partner in CTRL|McKenna & Co. |Not available 15 December 1993 |Channel Tunnel Rail Link; Appointment of Engineering |W. S. Atkins Planning |12 |Consultants to Assist Financial Advisers (Extn) |Consultants 27 January 1993 |Channel Tunnel Rail Link; Independent Review |W. S. Atkins Planning |15 |Consultants
Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his Department's policy for dealing with employees found guilty of fraud.
Mr.Norris [holding answer 1 February 1994] : Employees convicted of fraud are subject to the Department's disciplinary procedures and are liable to dismissal.
Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many employees were judged to be guilty of fraud in his Department in each year since 1989 ; and how many were dismissed.
Mr. Norris [holding answer 1 February 1994] : The figures for 1989 are not immediately available.
Since 1990, two employees were judged guilty of fraud in the Department : one in 1992 and one in 1993. On both occasions the individual concerned was dismissed.
Column 763In addition, in application of departmental policy, two employees who had been convicted of fraud outside the Department were also dismissed, one in 1991 and one in 1992.
Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what publicly funded research has taken place into the provision of transparent traffic cones in those situations where security is an important consideration.
Mr. Howard : I have been asked to reply.
Proposals for enhancing public security are always considered with care. In this case the proposal from one of my hon. Friend's constituents for the development of a transparent traffic cone was referred to the Metropolitan police anti-terrorist branch and the police scientific development branch. The police have concluded that transparent cones are unlikely to be of significant security benefit in Great Britain. Publicly funded research on possible designs, and in particular on whether a transparent cone could be produced which conformed to BS standard 873, has not therefore been carried out.
Mrs. Anne Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy that airlines should be given specific opportunities to operate from London Stansted airport to the United States of America as part of a new air service bilateral agreement.
Mr. Norris : The United Kingdom has already offered the immediate removal of all restrictions on United States and United Kingdom carriers' access to Stansted as part of a proposal made last December for a liberalised United Kingdom/United States air services agreement.
Mrs. Anne Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which American airlines have been refused licences to operate from London Stansted airport since 1990 under the transatlantic air travel bilateral restrictions.
Mr. Norris : Several US airlines have expressed interest over this period. Most recently, last June, we turned down a request from TWA for a unilaterial concession. We were disappointed that the United States were not prepared to accept an offer we made at that time which would have allowed this service to go ahead.
Mrs. Anne Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport to what extent the demand for transatlantic services fromn London Stansted airport has been represented at the negotiations on the air travel bilateral restrictions to date.
Mr. Norris : The Airport Operators Association, of which BAA plc is a member, attends the UOIK/US liberalisation negotiations as part of the United Kingdom's delegation team.
Mrs. Anne Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many representations he has received to date in favour of freeing London Stansted airport from the transatlantic air travel bilaterial restrictions.
Mr. Norris : My officials and I have received a variety of written and oral representations in recent months.
Mrs. Anne Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the extent to which air travel bilateral restrictions which frustrate the demand for transatlantic services from London Stansted airport.
Mr. Norris : The UK/US air services bilateral arrangements allow any of the six US carriers currently serving London to operate some or all of their services from Stansted if whey wish to do so. I assess carefully the implications of requests from US carriers for further rights to serve Stansted as they arise.
Sir Patrick McNair-Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what progress is being made in discussions with the French authorities to raise the overall weight limits of microlight aircraft from 390 kilograms to 450 kg ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what progress is being made towards establishing a European standard to define a microlight aircraft ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norris : Responsibility for the safety regulation of civil aviation, including microlights, within the United Kingdom, rests with the Civil Aviation Authority. The Authority also participates fully in discussions, with other national aviation authorities, aimed at developing harmonised aviation requirements. I will therefore ask the chairman of the Authority to write to the hon. Member in response to his questions.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will discuss with local government organisations the changes required in International Maritime Organisation regulations following the incident on 30 December 1993 involving the MT Stort Kestrel, to prevent the dumping of noxious substances and other waste by shipping.
Mr. Norris : My Department is indeed prepared to enter into discussion with local government organisations on the International Maritime Organisation's regulations on the discharge of noxious liquids.
Mr. Luff : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he will take to assist the competitive position of the British shipping industry following the German Government's decision to extend tax concessions for investors in shipping companies.
Mr. Norris : A number of non-fiscal measures have been introduced or are proposed, including those announced on 15 December by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport, Hansard, column 698-99. Issues of fiscal policy are primarily for my right hon. and learned friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what changes he has under consideration relating to the transportation of plutonium nitrate.
Mr. Norris : My Department is preparing to implement the code for the safe carriage of irradiated nuclear fuel,
Column 765plutonium and high-level radioactive wastes in flasks on board ships, which was agreed by the assembly of the International Maritime Organisation in November 1993.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on how many occasions since 1985 the cargo ship MV Iran-Sokan has docked at ports in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Norris : The available information indicates that the Iran-Sokan was in port in London in June 1987 and March 1988, and in Immingham in June 1993.
Mr. Hicks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the A38 trunk road between Exeter and Plymouth meets the necessary criteria to be designated as an A(M) road ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Key : Roads with A(M) and M designations are built to broadly similar engineering standards and are subject to the same legal requirements. The A38 between Exeter and Plymouth does not presently meet the necessary criteria for such roads. However, as my hon. Friend is aware, a study of the future needs of this important but environmentally sensitive route is being carried out as quickly as possible.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) when he was first notified of the recent marine diesel fuel pollution incident off the coasts of Scotland and Northern Ireland ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what actions he has taken, and on what dates, to clear up the marine diesel fuel pollutants recently discovered off the coasts of Scotland and Northern Ireland ; and if he will make a statement ; (3) if he will give full details of the extent of marine diesel pollution in the last 10 days off the coast of Northern Ireland and Scotland ; and which parts of the United Kingdom have been affected ;
(4) if he will instigate an urgent marine accident investigation branch and marine pollution unit investigation into the circumstances causing marine diesel pollution off the coast of Scotland and Northern Ireland.