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Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport under what circumstances other than the absence of an effective service during periods of strike action British Rail would extend a season ticket.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what present view he has of the performance advantages of TBT coatings over tin- free coatings for anti-fouling paint on ships ; and if he will place the technical justification for that view in the Library ;
(2) what expenditures were incurred on the investigation of anti-fouling paints carried out for the International Maritime Organisation.
Mr. Norris : Research funded by the Department's Marine Safety Agency into the use of triorganotin compounds in anti-fouling paints indicates that the performance gap between TBT-based and modern tin-free coatings has narrowed. A copy of the research report "Critical Review of Current and Future Marine Antifouling Coatings" by Lloyd's Register Engineering Services will be placed in the Library. The cost of this research was £21,362.
Mr. Norris : The United Kingdom Government's policies for our commercial ports over the past decade and more have reflected our broad policies to promote the encouragement of choice and competition, to allow transport to operate as far as possible in an unrestricted market, with intervention limited to areas such as safety and environmental issues. These policies will be continued.
The Government's ports strategy has enabled the United Kingdom ports industry to take full advantage of commercial opportunities, improvements in productivity and efficiency, and be in the forefront of technological progress. Privatisation has achieved major benefits in terms of reduced costs, increased productivity and improved service to the consumer and the user.
I have every confidence that our policies will provide the basis for further successful development of the ports industry ; in particular, the Government believe that the future of a number of the remaining trust ports should be within the private sector.
Mr. Key : We are taking forward the measures announced by my right hon. Friend on 9 February, Official Report, columns 270-71. We are developing road safety education material for the 16-plus age group in schools and colleges, a scheme for post-test driver training linked to lower insurance premiums, and a separate theory element to be included in the driving test from 1996 ; and are considering the introduction of a scheme requiring newly qualified drivers to retake the driving test if they commit serious traffic offences.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will take action to press the EU Council Advisory Committee--CREST--to maintain the current balance of funding for research and development towards maritime transport and inland waterways ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) if he will take action to press the European Commission to resist the separation of maritime transport and inland
waterway-related research and development.
Mr. Norris : Whereas annex I to the European Commission's specific proposal for transport research in the fourth framework programme for research and technological development 1994-98 distinguishes research on inland waterway transport from that on maritime transport, the allocation of funds suggested in annex II of the proposal combines the two. I am content with this approach. Of the six modal sub-themes in part B of the proposal, the Commission suggests that maritime and inland waterway research should be given the biggest allocation of funds. The United Kingdom Government's view is that the most severe problems, of congestion and safety, are in the road and air transport sectors, for which the suggested allocations should be increased. Given that the total funding for the transport research programme is fixed, these changes can be made only if compensating decreases are accepted in other sub-themes. I do not therefore propose to press CREST to maintain the Commission's suggested level of funding for maritime and inland waterway research.
Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how much compensation has been paid out by London Underground to commuters for the delays incurred as a result of the power failure on the Central line in November 1993 ;
(2) what was the overall cost of remedying the cause of the power failure on the Central line of the London Underground in November 1993.
Mr. Norris : London Underground estimates that the total cost which it has incurred as a result of November's power failure has been around £1,723,000. This figure includes the effect of the failure on ticket sales, and the cost of providing emergency bus services, as well as the direct engineering costs of putting right the fault. It also
Column 519incorporates approximately £193,000 of claims paid out under the terms of London Underground's customer charter.
Mr. Norris : My Department and the Ministry of Defence will go out to consultation soon with industry on the way in which the private sector could be involved in making better use of the existing capacity for civil operations at RAF Northolt.
Sir Michael Grylls : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he intends to publish the Standing Advisory Committee on Trunk Road Assessment report and his response to that report ; and if he will place copies of the report in the Library.
Mr. Key : I refer my hon. Friend to the responses that I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Dartford (Mr. Dunn) and the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) on 20 May 1994, Official Report, columns 596 and 599.
On publication, the report and the Government's response will be placed in the Library.
Mrs. Roche : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he last met (a) Her Majesty's railway inspectorate and (b) London Underground to discuss progress in implementing the outstanding recommendations of the Fennell report into the King's Cross fire.
Mr. Norris : My right hon. Friend has regular meetings with London Underground and Her Majesty's railways inspectorate to discuss a variety of issues. In addition, he receives annual progress reports from London Transport on the implementation of the Fennell report's recommendations.
Mrs. Roche : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 23 May, Official Report , column 59 , what assessment he has been given by London Underground and Her Majesty's railways inspectorate of when each recommendation of the Fennell report will be implemented.
Mr. Norris : The time scale for completing implementation of the 10 remaining recommendations of the Fennell report remains under discussion between HM railways inspectorate and London Underground. Dates for completion of implementation have still to be determined.
Ms Glenda Jackson : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 23 May, Official Report , column 59 , which recommendation of the Fennell report was not accepted by London Underground Ltd. ; and by what other means it has been completed.
Mr. Norris : The recommendation in question was No. 117 which suggested that junior station staff be provided with paging equipment as an alternative to personal radios. London Transport felt this recommendation to be unnecessary as they had already accepted recommendation 116, which required the issue of radios to station staff, and were committed to providing all underground station staff with personal radios. This has now been done.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give for the last financial year (a) the target and (b) the actual outturn for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's vehicle excise duty enforcement.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what has been the total cost to public funds to date of the DVLA vehicle registration office review ; and what is the total budget for the review.
Mr. Key : As part of their work, the consultants were asked to recognise and balance the interests and requirements of various and separate VRO customer groups. Accordingly, the consultants met representatives of ACPO and a number of other organisations during the course of the review.
Mr. Key : We estimate that in 1991-92, some 115,000 evaders or would -be evaders were encouraged to relicense their vehicles as a direct result of vehicle excise duty enforcement activity, realising some £8.4 million in revenue which would not otherwise have been collected. In 1993- 94, following the introduction of the red windscreen warning notice scheme, some 345,000 motorists were encouraged to relicense with revenue recovery of around £28 million.
Mr. Key : The main reason for not proceeding with vehicle excise duty offence reports is that checks of the DVLA vehicle register reveal that the vehicles are in fact licensed and no offence has been committed. Other cases
Column 521are not completed because of defects in offence reports, more than one report being received for the same offence, problems in tracking down offenders, difficulties in serving summonses and availability of resources.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list by each "no further steps" code the number of vehicle excise offence reports that the DVLA closed in the last financial year.
|Number -------------------------------------------------------------------- NFS 1-8 (see note) |492,000 NFS 9 (arrears of duty paid) |5,563 NFS 10 (case returned unheard by court) |7,927 NFS 11 (induced relicensing brought about by excise offence report or out of court settlement) |130,000 NFS 12 (induced relicensing brought about by windscreen warning notices) |2,897
CODE 1 Unable to trace offender.
CODE 2 No Offence, e.g., vehicle not on public road.
CODE 3 Summons not served.
CODE 4 Unable to interview/establish responsibility for vehicle. CODE 5 Prosecution discontinued by Crown Prosecution/Police. CODE 6 Specified difficulties, e.g., keeper deceased, bankruptcy. CODE 7 Out of time.
CODE 8 Unactioned, e.g., information on Excise Offence Report insufficient/incorrect.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the success of the automatic first registration and licensing user acceptance run by the DVLA ; (2) what measures the DVLA intends to take to prevent fraud or misuse during the automated first registration and licensing trial in Bristol ;
(3) if he will make a statement on the negotiations between the DVLA, motor car manufacturers and dealers over the introduction of automatic first registration and licensing ;
(4) what security measures are in place for dealers or manufacturers taking part in the automated first registration and licensing trial run by the DVLA to protect the vehicle excise duty discs ;
(5) what is the start date for the automatic first registration and licensing pilot ; how many dealers and manufacturers are involved in the trial ; what is the length of the trial ; and what is the estimated number of transactions the dealers and manufacturers will handle during the trial period ;
(6) which dealers have withdrawn from the automatic first registration and licensing pilot being run by the DVLA ; and if he will make a statement ;
(7) which registration year the dealers and manufacturers taking part in the automated first registration and licensing pilot scheme run by the DVLA will use ;
(8) what was the original date of the automatic first registration and licensing user acceptance trial carried out by the DVLA ; what is now the start date ; and what are the reasons for the discrepancy ; (9) what sanctions are available to the DVLA against dealers refusing to sign up to the automatic first registration and licensing scheme when it goes live across the country.
Mr. Key : It was hoped that the first phase of the automated first registration and licensing scheme could have begun on 23 May. Unfortunately, user acceptance trials prior to that showed that more work needed doing on the computer programs, and the start date is now scheduled for 11 July, currently with the originally designated dealerships. Vehicles registered under the AFRL scheme will be allocated registration marks for the appropriate year.
Participation by dealers and manufacturers in auto-mated first registration and licensing is voluntary, but I am confident that they will find the scheme offers a number of advantages. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and the Retail Motor Industry Federation with which we have negotiated and co-operated throughout the scheme are confident of a high take-up rate. Two manufacturers are expected to take part in the initial phase, which will cover three months, but others may join either in this or the one to take place in the autumn. I expect 2,000 vehicles to be registered by computer over the three months. Vehicle excise discs will be kept in a secure environment as required of all of our current licensing agents.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information on the owners of vehicles the DVLA gave to community charge collectors in Scotland in 1993-94 ; who was responsible for releasing this information ; and what action is being taken.
Mr. Robert Key : Under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Bill the Secretary of State can release the names and addresses of vehicle keepers to local authorities to assist in the investigation of an offence or where "reasonable cause" can be shown. The pursuit of unpaid debts by community charge collectors is covered by both these provisions and the information is accordingly released to local authorities by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.
Vehicle Registration Offices with Access to Disabled Customers Aberdeen, Bangor, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Chester, Croydon, Dundee, Edinburgh, Gloucester, Huddersfield, Hull, Ilford, Inverness, Ipswich, Leicester, Lincoln, Liverpool, Luton, Maidstone, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Northampton, Nottingham, Oxford, Portsmouth, Preston, Reading, Stanmore, Stoke, Swansea, Swindon, Taunton, Truro. Where access is not available into Vehicle Registration Offices, alternative arrangements are normally made (eg a bell is available in another part of the building to call for a member of staff to attend the customer). All offices will fully assist disabled customers.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list for the last financial year the number of excise offences reported to the Vehicle Registration Office network in the DVLA, the numbers processed and the money received by (a) out-of-court settlements and (b) successful prosecutions.
|Number ------------------------------------------------------- Number of excise offences reported |1,891,000 Number of cases processed |1,631,000
|£ million ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Revenue from out of court settlements |12.3 Revenue from prosecutions (fines, costs, unpaid duty (S.9 Vehicles Excise Act 1971)) |33.5
Ms Gordon : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many jobs will be created by the construction of the Jubilee line extension ; what measures are being taken to ensure that the residents of Newham, Tower Hamlets, Southwark and Greenwich are employed in them ; what estimate he has made as to the proportion of those jobs will be taken up by the residents in those boroughs ; and how this is being monitored.
Mr. Norris : I understand from London Underground Ltd. that it is estimated that some 22,000 jobs will be created by the construction of the Jubilee line extension, about one third of which will be in the London area. LUL has asked its contractors to ensure that local people are made aware of the employment opportunities and that people trained under local construction training schemes are employed where possible. LUL is monitoring the position with its contractors.
Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many officials at grade 7 or above who have left his Department in the past five years now occupy management positions in any of the companies holding contracts for the construction of roads or which are significant suppliers to them.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received concerning his proposals to remove officer nationality requirements for senior officers on vessels registered in the United Kingdom ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 524slots scheduled for a typical mid-August 1994 week at Heathrow and Gatwick as a proportion of total slots available for both periods.
Mr. Norris : This information is not held by the Department because slot allocation at those airports is carried out by an independent co- ordinator employed by the airport operator. I understand that of the total summer season slots allocated by the start of the season, approximately 54 per cent. at Heathrow and 70 per cent. at Gatwick had been allocated to United Kingdom airlines.
Mr. Key : Average weekday traffic flows on A41 through Aston Clinton in early May were 24,000 vehicles per day--16-hour. Maximum peak hour flows during the week are between 1,000 to 1,200 vehicles per hour in each direction.
Mr. Key : We are making arrangements for a public inquiry to be held this year but at the same time pursuing withdrawal of the remaining objections to the supplementary orders. If successful we may not need a public inquiry. Progress beyond a public inquiry is uncertain and will depend upon its outcome and the availability of resources at the time.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which private sector organisation has been approached formally or informally by officials of his Department or Agencies on the potential for privatisation, market testing or contracting out of the Highways Agency.
Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport in what circumstances it is his Department's practice, when issuing a public consultation document, to inform those consulted that their responses will be made public unless they explicitly ask for them to be kept confidential ; and if he will arrange for his Department to do so in all cases in future.
Mr. Norris : In the Department of Transport, practice when issuing consultation documents has varied in the past. In future, however, the Department will inform those consulted that their responses might be made public unless they explicitly ask for them to be kept confidential.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he decided to cut the running costs of his Department by 20 per cent. ; when the embargo on announcing the decision was lifted ; and who took the decision to impose the embargo.
Mr. MacGregor : My Department's running costs have not been cut. I have set it a requirement to make a 20 per cent. improvement in efficiency with the target of achieving it in the two years from 1 April 1994 to 1 April 1996. The requirement was announced on 9 May. By convention, the announcement was not made in the period immediately preceding the local government elections on 5 May.
Offence |1993 |<1>1994 --------------------------------------------- Attempted murder |2 |0 Grievous bodily harm |19 |4 Wounding |20 |7 Actual bodily harm |356 |102 Common assault |168 |61 Others |14 |4 |---- |---- Total |579 |178 <1>1 January to 30 April.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many job offers were reported by staff in his Department under the requirements of the rules on the acceptance of outside appointments in each of the last 10 years by (a) staff of grade 3 and above, (b) staff below grade 3, (c) staff in sections concerned with procurement or contract work, under section 15 of the rules of 1 February 1993 and (d) staff in other sections, under section 14 ; and how many of these reports were followed by an application to join the company concerned.
Mr. Walden : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the strategic context in which the Highways Agency review of a road linking the M40 near Oxford and the A5 near Leighton Buzzard is being placed.
Mr. Key : When my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport announced the outcome of the roads review it was made clear that the east-west route between the M40 and the M11 would be withdrawn. The strategic study of traffic needs in a corridor from the M40 to the A5 which was announced in January was confirmed. The Department is responsible for the strategic trunk road network and the study is in that context. The scope for the study has not yet been decided.
Delivery of the road programme is for the Highways Agency.