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Mr. Norris : The current winter season lasts from 24 October 1993 until 27 March this year. During the preceding consultation, we received representations from local authorities, environmental groups, the airports, airlines and aviation bodies. We have aimed to maintain the balance between the needs of the aviation industry and the concerns of local people.
Mr. Norris : The relevant local authorities feel it prudent to take a closer look at the condition and operation of Tower bridge and Rotherhithe tunnel. I am sure they are right to do so. The results will help them to decide what, if any, further steps are needed. Therefore, no plans for new river crossings currently exist or are being pursued.
Mr. Key : The introduction of tolling on existing motorways will depend on the development of suitable electronic technology and on Parliament's approval of the necessary legislation. It is not possible to give a target date, although we expect tolling to be technically feasible within about five years.
The privately financed Birmingham northern relief road, a new road which is being promoted under existing legislation, could be open at about the turn of the century, subject to satisfactory completion of the necessary statutory procedures.
25. Mr. Gale : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he can give comparative figures for the level of motorway charges in other European countries compared with the levels mentioned in his Green Paper, "Paying for Better Motorways".
Mr. Key : As I said in my answer of 24 January, Official Report, column 79, average tolls for cars on motorways in France, Italy, Spain and Portugal are between about 5p and 10p per mile. In Greece, they are up to 4p per mile. The levels of electronic tolls for cars discussed in the Green Paper were between 0.5p and 1.5p per mile.
22. Mr. McAllion : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has held with local authorities in the north-east of Scotland relating to the electrification of the east coast main line between Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
Mr. Denham : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) on what date the contract with Bray's Detective Agency for surveillance of the Twyford down section of the M3 began ; and on what date it will end ;
(2) what is the total cost to date of the contract with Bray's Detective Agency for surveillance of the M3, Twyford down section.
Mr. Key : Bray's Detective Agency, Southampton, has been employed since March 1992 to service papers and collect evidence of trespass on the M3 construction site. At present, its contract runs until the end of July 1994. By the end of January this year, the agency had been paid approximately £228,000.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the estimated cost to date of running the vehicle registration office review in the DVLA ; and what budget has been set aside for the whole review.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what was the total running cost of the voluntary redundancy scheme in the DVLA last year ; what were the numbers and grades of the staff taking advantage of the scheme ; and from which budget the money originated.
Grade |Numbers ------------------------------------------ Support grades 2 |22 Support grades 1 |2 Adninistrative assistants |51 Administrative officers |66 Executive officers |26 Higher executive officers |11 Senior executive officers |3 Grade 7 |4 Medical officer |1 Typists |5 Personal secretary |1 Typing manager |1 Chief typing manager |1 Stores officer Gd D |1 |-- |194
The total running costs of the scheme, including advance funding of the principal civil service pension fund, amounted to some £3 million from the agency's voted running costs provision.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many grade 7s and above in the DVLA received bonus payments and what was the total cost of those payments, in 1990-91, 1991-92 and 1992-93.
|Number of |Total Value |Payments ------------------------------------------------ 1990-91: |1 |£400 1991-92: |5 |£2,500 1992-93: |1 |£2,250
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list each visit made by the chief executive of the DVLA to the Department of Transport Headquarters in Marsham street in the last six months.
Mr. Key : Between August 1993 and January 1994, the chief executive visited the headquarters on 3 August, 2, 17, 22, 27 and 28 September, 12, 22, 27 and 28 October, 4, 5, 12, 23 and 29 November, 7 and 15 December, 10, 12, 13, 17 and 30 January.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much additional funding was made available this financial year to vehicle registration office staff to clear unactioned reports ; and from which budget this money came.
Mr. Key : Some £100,000 was made available in November 1993 for selected offices to recruit casual staff or work overtime until 31 March 1994 to meet very high receipts of offence reports from police and traffic wardens. This sum was made available from in-year efficiency savings on other activities of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.
Six months August 1993 to January 1994 £3,530
12 months February 1993 to January 1994 £8,100
Column 83the DVLA to clear unactioned reports this financial year ; and whether extra funds will be made available for the same purpose next year.
Mr. Key : Some £100,000 was made available to deal with specific problems of high levels of unactioned reports. The extra funding is expected to produce 10,000 more successful cases this year worth £640,000 in additional revenue.
The targets and budgets for next year have yet to be decided.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the cost of the official car supplied to the chief executive of the DVLA ; what was the cost of purchase ; and what are then actual running costs.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list each visit made by the chief executive of the DVLA to vehicle registration offices, London enforcement offices and DVLA area offices in the last six months.
Stoke on Trent vehicle registration office, 5 August.
Birmingham vehicle registration office, 6 August and28 January. Edinburgh vehicle registration office and the area office,18 November.
Dundee vehicle registration office, 18 November.
London enforcement office, Great Marlborough street,13 December.
Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what was the cause of a 10-mile tailback on the M1 north of the junction with the M25 on Monday 14 February ; and what steps were taken to issue warning of extensive delays on BBC and other radio stations.
Mr. Key : Following adverse weather conditions, and despite treatment of the carriageways, there were numerous breakdowns on the M1 and M25 motorways during Monday 14 February. As a result there were queues of traffic much greater than normally experienced on Monday mornings.
As is usual in such situations, the media and motoring associations were in regular contact with the police. General and specific warnings of delays and extreme driving conditions were given by national and local radio stations, based on the information provided.
Mr. Key : Provision of an over-the-counter service will be determined by a number of factors including the variable demand for this service at different offices and at different times ; the need for inspection of the donor vehicle, the availability of trained staff and limitations on parking for vehicles to be inspected. Currently the service availability is as follows :
Offices providing an over-the-counter service, where no inspection is required.
Aberdeen, Bangor, Bristol, Cardiff, Chester, Exeter, Gloucester, Guildford, Haverfordwest, Hull, Liverpool, Sheffield, Swansea, Taunton.
Offices providing a service within 24 hours, where no inspection is required.
Birmingham, Bournemouth, Leicester, Northampton, Nottingham, Oxford, Portsmouth, Preston, Reading, Shrewsbury, Stoke, Truro.
Offices providing a service within 10 working days.
Brighton, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Coventry, Croydon, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Huddersfield, Ilford, Inverness, Ipswich, Leeds, Lincoln, London Central, Luton, Maidstone, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Norwich, Peterborough, Stanmore, Swindon, Worcester. Of the 51 offices, 14 provide an over-the-counter service, 12 offices provide a 24-hour service, the remaining 25 offices meet the 10-day target date. The majority complete the full processing including inspection within five days.
Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what decision has been made with regard to the application by Blackburn borough council for the closure to vehicles of St. Paul's avenue, Blackburn.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what account will be taken in the vehicle registration office review of the effect on people with disabilities of the possible closure of the VRO network.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to discuss with the Police Federation or any disabled groups as part of phase 2 of the vehicle registration office review the options arising from phase 1 of the review.
Mr. Key : The consultants conducting the review on my behalf are taking into account the views of representatives of the police and disabled organisations and other VRO customers in making recommendations on the future of the VRO network.
(a) Drink-drive convictions for offences committed between 19 December and 1 January, male and female: Year |Male |Female|Total ------------------------------------ 1990-91 |4,195 |356 |4,551 1991-92 |3,955 |343 |4,298 1992-93 |2,994 |264 |3,258
(b) Age distribution of drivers convicted under (a): Year |20 or less|20-30 |Over 30 |Per cent. |Per cent. |Per cent. ------------------------------------------------------- 1990-91 |11.6 |39.9 |48.5 1991-92 |9.6 |41.5 |48.9 1992-93 |10.0 |38.8 |51.2
Information on occupation or socio-economic group of drivers convicted is not available.
Mr. David Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) drink related accidents, (b) fatal accidents arising from drink- driving and (c) drink-related accidents during the Christmas period campaigns occurred in each year since 1986.
Mr. Key : The following table gives estimates of the number of road accidents in each year since 1986 in which at least one driver or motorcycle rider was above the legal alcohol limit and at least one person was (a) injured or (b) killed. Similar information relating to the periods of the Chistmas campaigns is not available.
|(a) |(b) |Drink-related |Drink-related |road accidents|fatal road |accidents ------------------------------------------------------------ 1986 |16,940 |850 1987 |15,560 |780 1988 |14,520 |680 1989 |14,390 |700 1990 |13,210 |650 1991 |11,690 |570 1992 |10,840 |510
Mr. Nicholls : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to announce the findings of his review into the provision of seat belts in buses which take children to and from school ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Key : I expect to receive a report on the review of the full technical and cost implications of the compulsory fitment of seat belts in minibuses and coaches within the next few weeks. I cannot anticipate when decisions will be taken ; but we shall be publishing our conclusions.
Mr. Wilson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he is now in a position to announce the external financing limit for British Rail, Railtrack and the franchising director from 1 April for the financial year 1994-95.
Mr. Freeman : The external finance limits for the railway industry were announced in the unified Budget. The division of these external finance limits between British Rail and Railtrack, and the grant level for 1994-95 will be published in the Department of Transport Report in March.
Mr. MacGregor : On 11 November 1993 I announced the Government's intention to privatise EPS by transferring it as part of the Government's financial contribution, to the private sector partner chosen to construct and operate the channel tunnel rail link, CTRL. As a first step in this process I have decided to transfer the company to Government ownership as soon as the necessary legal and contractual changes can be made. Mr. P. J. Butler, CBE, FCA, the immediate past senior partner of KPMG Peat Marwick will become a member of the BR board on 1 March and chairman of EPS in April. Mr. Butler will manage the tranfer of EPS from BR to Government ownership.
Sir Thomas Arnold : To ask the Secretary of State for Tansport if the Civil Aviation Authority has granted full category 4 standard, as laid down by documents CAP 168, at Woodford aerodrome in Greater Manchester ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norris : The Civil Aviation Authority is responsible for the safety regulation of civil aviation in the United Kingdom. Its fire safety branch has informed me that its records show that in accordance with document CAP 168, the scale of rescue and fire-fighting services, RFFS, provided at Woodford aerodrome has been to category 4 standard for the past five years. There is no evidence of a proposal to change the scale of protection currently being provided.
Mr. Kilfoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he will answer the questions from the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton tabled for answer on 27 January regarding the appointments he makes to public bodies.
Mr. Rowe : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what work the railway inspectorate of the health and safety inspectorate has done to determine if a long tunnel under Boxley valley on the channel tunnel rail link would have to be a twin bore tunnel ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman : The extra cost of the mid Kent long tunnel compared with the short tunnel is around £65 million, based on twin track in a single bore, which the Government did not consider was justified. Union Railways needs take no further its safety studies and discussions with Her Majesty's railway inspectorate of the Health and Safety Executive on the acceptability of a single bore for the rejected long tunnel option. Single tracks in twin bores would have cost a further £50 million for the long tunnel.
Mr. Freeman : The Lands Tribunal would settle any disputes on statutory compensation for compulsory purchase and compensation for loss of value due to the physical effects of the operation of the railway-- available 12 months after the railway opens under part I of the Land Compensation Act 1973. If agreement cannot be reached on advance voluntary purchase of homes within the surface safeguarded area, blight notices could be served and any disputes could then be settled by the Lands Tribunal. The purchase scheme in cases of hardship, for homes likely to be affected by noise above the threshold for noise insulation compensation, is not a statutory requirement and decisions are entirely at the discretion of Union Railways. Provision for property purchases has been made within the present public expenditure survey.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list by annual staff report marking the number of typists receiving box 1, box 2, box 3, box 4 and box 5 performance markings in the last year.
Mr. Norris : In the reporting year 1991-92--the last full year for which figures are available--six typists received box 1 ; 147 box 2 ; 181 box 3 ; and four box 4 ASR markings. No typist received a box 5 marking.