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Traffic on motorways in Great Britain billion vehicle kilometres Year |All motor |Cars |Goods |vehicles<1> |vehicles ------------------------------------------------------------ 1973 |18.6 |13.2 |4.0 1980 |29.4 |21.8 |5.2 1990 |61.6 |46.9 |9.0 1992 |61.0 |46.9 |8.4 <1>Includes light vans, buses and coaches and motorcycles in addition to cars and goods vehicles.
Mr. Robathan : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of his projections of future traffic growth is expected to be heavy goods traffic ; and what proportion is expected to be private cars.
Mr. Key : Car traffic forecasts do not differentiate between private and commercial use. The growth in car traffic forecast in the national road traffic forecast between 1994 and 2025 is between 57 per cent. and 87 per cent. The growth in heavy goods vehicle traffic over the same period is forecast to be between 54 per cent. and 110 per cent.
Mr. Key : It is projected in the NRTF that all motor vehicle traffic will grow by between 58 per cent. and 94per cent. between 1994 and 2025. The forecast range results from differing assumptions about economic growth and fuel prices.
Mr. Key : In deciding which road safety measures to introduce we apply the general principle that resources should be used in a way which is most likely to be effective in reducing casualties. There may be cases where lighting should be installed, but there are also many other ways of improving roads to reduce deaths and serious injuries. Lighting will not always be the most effective solution.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will specify the measures his Department is taking to encourage freight traffic to use rail and passengers to use public transport.
Mr. Key : Government policies are designed to encourage passengers and freight to transfer from road to public transport where that makes economic and environmental sense. Some 90 per cent. of passenger and inland freight traffic goes by road, but next year about 40 per cent. of total transport expenditure will be used to improve public transport. The existing freight facilities grant scheme is also to be extended by the Railways Act 1993 and our new track access grant for freight services will start in April.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of roadworks begun on or since 1 April 1993 are accompanied by a sign displaying the name of the organisation for which the work is being carried out and an emergency telephone number.
Mr. Key : Under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, the information described by the hon. Member is required to be displayed at works carried out by public utilities and others with apparatus in the road. The requirement does not apply to roadworks carried out by the highway authority. Compliance appears to be generally good but precise figures are not available.
The Department is the highway authority for the trunk roads and motorways in England. On these roads, all new construction works, and maintenance works other than short duration works, are accompanied by a sign naming the Department and giving other information about the work.
Mr. Bayley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what percentage of (a) major and (b) all road maintenance contracts let between July 1992 and July 1993 were covered by lane rental agreements ;
(2) what percentage of (a) major and (b) all road maintenance contracts let between July 1992 and July 1993 have contained direct financial incentives to minimise the amount of road coned off and to finish the work quickly.
Mr. Key : Three quarters of all major maintenance contracts let between July 1992 and July 1993 were lane rental. These contracts provide direct financial incentive to finish work quickly. Figures for non-major maintenance works are not available. It is a requirement in all trunk road maintenance contracts that traffic lanes should not be coned off unnecessarily.
Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy not to debar insulin-dependent patients from holding heavy goods vehicle and public service vehicle licences.
Mr. Key : The advice of the honorary advisory board on driving and diabetes is that to allow insulin-treated diabetics to drive these large vehicles would constitute an unnecessarily high risk to road
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimates he has made of the effect of Her Majesty's Government's plans for increasing the number of cars on the road and Her Majesty's Government's efforts to reduce pollution with technology such as filters and catalysts.
Mr. Key : Road traffic growth is largely a function of economic growth; current projections suggest that road traffic will increase by 58 to 94 per cent. by 2025. The forecasts of traffic demand do not represent targets which the Government are seeking to meet. The Government have agreed tight emission standards for both cars and lorries within the European Union. As a result, most new cars have needed catalytic converters since the beginning of 1993. These reduce harmful emissions by about 70 per cent.
Unanimous agreement of a common position on vehicle emissions has been reached at the recent EC Council which will significantly tighten emission standards for new cars registered after 1 January 1997. Standards will be tightened further by the year 2000. As a result of these standards, we expect ambient levels of most vehicle related pollutants to decline until well into the next century.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what study he has made of reports from the Centre for Exploitation of Science and Technology in relation to toxic effects of pollutants; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Key : The Centre for Exploitation of Science and Technology produced a report on road transport and the environment as part of the United Kingdom environmental foresight project. The report contains a wide ranging review of environmental policies and aims to indentify future trends. In reaching views on these matters the Government take advice from a number of expert groups including the expert panel on air quality standards, established by the Department of the Environment, the Advisory Group on the Medical Aspects of Air Pollution Episodes and the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, which report to the Department of Health.
Mr. Donohoe : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many employment agencies for seamen have (a) been licensed, (b) had applications for licensing as an employment agency for seamen refused and (c) had their licences revoked in each year since 1973.
Mr. Norris : Ninety-three licences in total have been granted to employment agencies for seamen since 1973. Prior to 1988 the Department of Transport refused licences to commercial agencies, and there were only nine licence holders. These consisted of seven Merchant Navy establishment administration offices, which all closed by 1990, and two unions. Information is not available as to when these nine licences were first issued. Since then, one licence was issued in 1988, 29 in 1990, 19 in 1991, 21 in 1992, 13 in 1993 and one in 1994. No licences have been refused since 1990 but two were revoked in 1993.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to take into account in considerations on the crossrail project for central London the benefits that scheme might have for Wales; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norris : We remain committed to achieving the benefits of the crossrail project, which is a scheme of wide-ranging significance. Benefits to passengers travelling to and from points beyond the London area are taken into account in evaluations of the scheme. This includes benefits to people travelling to and from Wales.
In urban areas, there will be cases where on economic or environmental grounds it is neither practicable nor desirable to meet demand by road construction. In these cases, the answer may lie in a mix of traffic management measures--including priority routes in London, parking controls, encouraging public transport, car sharing and park-and-ride schemes. A wide -ranging study of urban traffic congestion is being carried out. It includes the possible role of city congestion charging. The introduction of the "package approach" will encourage local authorities to develop a coherent strategy for dealing with urban transport problems, and provide more flexibility for funding between modes.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proposals he is considering to bring responsibility for policing the ports of the United Kingdom under the direction and control of the British Transport police ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norris : A member of the Port of Liverpool police made such a proposal in a letter copied widely to Members of the House. I do not support the proposal. Rather, it is for each port to decide about its policing arrangements.
Mr. Norris : The Secretary of State is responsible for works co- ordination on motorways and trunk roads. Our own planned highway works are discussed with other London highway authorities with Metropolitan police and statutory undertakers to help to minimise inconvenience to the public. In addition, our consultant and borough agents receive advance details of certain types of street works proposed by statutory undertakers on trunk roads on our behalf ; to enable co-ordination of all these activities to take place.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will name all those London roads for which his Department is responsible and which are currently undergoing roadworks ; and if he will name in each case the body responsible for the works.
National Improvement Schemes
A406 Silver Street to Hall Lane
A406 Hanger Lane to Harrow Road
A406 East of Falloden Way to East of High Road Finchley A40 Long Lane
A40 Widening, Long Lane to West End Road
A12 Hackney Wick to M11 Link Road
A13 West India Dock Road Junction
Maintenance and Small Improvement Schemes
M1 Junction 4-5--carriageway patching work
M1 Junction 1-5--communication cable laying
M4 Heston Road to Elevated section--overlay and partial reconstruction
M4 Heathrow Spur--overlay and partial reconstruction
A3 Hook Underpass--maintenance work
A3 Coombe Lane Flyover--replacement of expansion joints A3 Malden Way-- replacement of expansion joints on Hogsmill River Bridge
A4 Great West Road/Sutton Lane and Heston Road junction--improved right turn facilities
A4 West Cromwell Road Bridge and viaduct--replacement of expansion joints
A10 Church Street--junction improvements
A10 Bullsmore Lane to Carterhatch Lane--installation of cycle facilities
Column 104A13 New Road to Lambs Lane and Sandy Lane-- resurfacing works A13 Old Roding Bridge--bridgeworks
A13 Butcher Row/Branch Road--junction improvements
A23 Hermitage Bridge--maintenance work
A23 Foxley Lane Railway Bridge--maintenance work
A41 South of Brent Cross Flyover--drainage works
A406/A5 Staples Corner Flyover--bridge repairs
The upkeep of the trunk road network is an ongoing daily task requiring maintenance and improvement works.
Mr. Norris : None of the Secretary of State's bridges across the River Thames is currently closed or affected by road works. Roadworks are in progress on Blackfriars bridge and Lambeth bridge. I am advised by the local highway authorities that Westminster bridge, Albert bridge, Putney bridge and possibly London bridge are likely to be affected by works during the remainder of 1994.
Mr. Loyden : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) inspections and (b) prosecutions were carried out by the Traffic Commission in respect of public transport in the Liverpool area (i) in the two years preceding and (ii) since deregulation.
Mr. Key [holding answer 3 February 1994] : Data are not maintained for the Liverpool area alone. The north-western traffic area is the smallest area for which data may be available. Inspections are carried out by traffic examiners, responsible for such matters as drivers hours, tachographs and operator licensing, which may result in prosecution. Vehicle inspections are also carried out by vehicle examiners who are responsible for checking roadworthiness of vehicles. Offences may result in prohibitions. The police and local authority trading standards staff may also bring prosecutions in certain circumstances. Because changes have occurred in the way the figures are recorded, as well as in traffic area office boundaries, it is not possible to provide a consistent series of figures.
In the two years since the boundary change, PSV inspections and prosecutions by traffic examiners in the north-western traffic area were as follows :
|1991 |1992 ------------------------------------ Vehicles examined |4,703|5,421 Prosecutions |53 |77
Mr. Jack : European Union funding is available for research and development under programmes such as FAR and AIR and the Fisheries Departments participate in relevant projects. However such funds are not available for regular monitoring of fish stocks which is funded by member states.
Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what discussions she has had with the European Commission and the Standing Veterinary Committee concerning lifting the ban on the export of live cattle ; and if she will make a statement regarding the ban on the export of live cattle ;
(2) what plans her Department has to exempt highland cattle from the current ban on the export of live cattle ;
(3) what representations she has received regarding the ban on the export of cattle ; what analysis her Department has carried out as to the effects of the ban on the industry in the United Kingdom ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Soames : The export of live cattle over six months of age from the United Kingdom to other member states is prohibited under European Commission decision 89/469/EEC. This is because of the position on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). The EC Scientific Veterinary Committee in conducting a scientific evaluation of BSE in September 1993 endorsed the Community control measures on BSE. There has been no change in this position.
Officials attend the monthly meetings of the animal health standing veterinary committee in Brussels at which regular updates on the BSE situation in the United Kingdom are given. There has been no discussion recently about the lifting of the ban on the export of live cattle for breeding from the United Kingdom and the exemption of certain breeds from the restrictions. This would be a matter for consideration initially by the European Commission who are keeping the position under review and are aware of the improving disease situation in the United Kingdom. Several representations have been received on this subject and are being considered in the light of the present situation on BSE in the European Union.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many fishing boat owners have had their application for decommissioning grant accepted ; how much was paid out in each case ; and how many owners have withdrawn from the scheme after their applications were accepted ; how much money for the first round of the decommissioning scheme is likely to be underspent ; what plans she has to re-allocate that money ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Jack : On 21 September I announced that we were to pay decommissioning grant to the owners of 142 vessels. Since that time the owners of some of those vessels have withdrawn their applications. We currently expect to
Column 106pay decommissioning grant in respect of 137 vessels. As I said on 21 September, payments will average £340 per vessel capacity unit (VCU).
On the question of withdrawals and the reallocation of funds, I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell) on 3 February at column 818.
Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many licences have been issued by her Department for the slaughter of goosanders on the Duke of Devonshire's estates in the Yorkshire dales.
Licences are not issued to cull bird populations. They are granted only where the Ministry is completely satisfied that the applicant has provided sufficient evidence of the serious damage being caused to the fishery and where other methods of non-lethal scaring have been shown to be ineffectual or impractical, not just difficult to implement.
Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will carry out a review of the financial situation of dairy farmers with milking herds of fewer than 40 cows, with particular reference to the problems faced when production exceeds quota ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Jack : There are no plans to carry out such a review. However, among the amendments which the Ministry will be making to the dairy produce quotas regulations from 1 April are provisions which may be of assistance to smaller producers. In particular, we are planning to relax some of the current restrictions on the lease and sale of quota ; and we will be making some technical ajustments which will provide for a more quitable redistribution of unused quota to over-quota groups of producers at the end of the quota year.
Mr. Rooney : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many paper shredding machines there are (a) in her private office and (b) in her Department. Mr. Jack : There are no paper shredding machines in the Minister's private office.
The purchase of paper shredding machines is a decentralised function within this Department and central stock recordse are not kept. To answer the second part of the question would require a survey covering the Department's offices throughout England, Scotland and Wales, which could be done only at a disproportionate cost.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what estimates have been made of the increased cost of subsidies for milk production were bovine somatotropin to become freely available in a non- quota system; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Jack : We have made no such estimate as currently the Community has no policy to dismantle current milk quota arrangements and replace it with an alternative regime. It remains the Government's objective to get rid of