|Previous Section||Home Page|
(ii) The Defence Scientific Advisory Council and Committee ; (
(iii) The Review Board for Government Contracts ;
(iv) The Independent Board of Visitors for the Military Corrective Training Centre.
(a) The Dartmoor Steering Group and Working Party was established on a statutory basis under Command No. 6837.
(b) The Independent Board of Visitors was established in accordance with the Naval Detention Quarters Rules 1973 for the RN Detention Quarters, and the imprisonment and Detention Rules Army 1979 for Military Corrective Training Centres.
Mr. Hanley : The South Georgia garrison is visited every six weeks by ships based in the Falkland islands. A padre regularly accompanies these sailings and services are held either aboard ship or on the island. Those based in South Georgia have a direct radio link to the Falkland islands and there is a resident service padre at Mount Pleasant as well as a Roman Catholic priest in Port Stanley. The Roman Catholic priest is an officiating padre to the British forces. Either of these can be contacted and consulted as necessary.
Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 21 June, Official Report, column 118, if he will list (a) the countries to which arms have been sold over the last 12 months and (b) those countries to which arms have not been sold because of human rights abuse.
Mr. Aitken : United Kingdom defence statistics, table 1.11, contains information on United Kingdom exports of defence equipment by region--the 1994 edition will be published in mid-July this year--and the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms covers transfers of certain major arms by country. It has not been the practice of this or preceding Administrations to list all arms sales by country. It would be for my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary to address the question of human rights abuses.
Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the policy adopted by his Department towards the publication of external consultants' reports in relation to market testing.
Mr. Aitken : In accordance with the Government's policy of extending access to official information so as to improve public understanding of the way that Government works, the Ministry of Defence would normally expect to be able to publish consultants' reports in relation to its market testing and other "Competing for Quality" programmes except where there is a clear need to observe commercial confidences, the disclosure of which would damage the competitive position of companies or in-house bid teams.
Column 627"Competing for Quality" programme over the period 1 April 1992 to 31 December 1993 to the Treasury and Civil Service Select Committee as part of its inquiry into the civil service. The Ministry's expenditure on external consultancy support in relation to the "Competing for Quality" programme for the period was £36,000. Expenditure figures for consultancy support contracts let for the current programme period, which ends on 31 September 1994, are not yet available.
Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list those stretches of motorway and trunk roads where porous asphalt has been used in construction ; what cost benefit analysis he has carried out in relation to the full costs and savings of using porous asphalt in road construction and repair ; and if he will make a statement.
Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Ms Joan Walley, dated 27 June 1994 :
You asked the Secretary of State to list those stretches of motorway and trunk roads where porous asphalt has been used in construction ; what cost benefit analysis he has carried out in relation to the full costs and savings using porous asphalt in road construction and repair. I have been asked to reply.
Porous asphalt has been laid as trials on A38 at Burton, M1 (South) Leeds and M6 north of Junction 18. These trials have been successful and led to the announcement on 28 July 1992 about the wider use of porous asphalt where conditions are suitable and it is cost effective. Porous asphalt will be used on 14 schemes in the Roads Programme, in due course.
The most recent representations in favour of legislation to regulate wheel clamping on private land have come from hon. Members in the House and in another place during proceedings of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill. In response the Government have indicated that they are well aware of public concern about the excesses of some wheel clamping operators and that they are actively considering a range of solutions.
During the public consultation exercise organised by my Department, the views of all interested parties, including the motoring organisations, were invited. The Automobile Association and the Royal Automobile Club both sent in their views.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what was the cost of the Coastguard Agency reception on the Royal Yacht Britannia to mark the launching of the agency ; and who was invited to attend the event.
Mr. Norris : The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Lord MacKay, hosted an official reception on board HMY Britannia, to mark the launch of the Coastguard Agency--Coastguard--and the Marine Safety Agency-- MSA. The approximate cost was £1,600 to which may be added any necessary harbour dues.
In addition to eighty members of staff from Coastguard and MSA the guest list included 10 senior representatives of the Department of Transport, six local dignitaries and Members of Parliament, 13 officials of other United Kingdom and European Government Departments and the EC, 14 representatives of major suppliers and contractors to the agencies, and 87 representatives of shipping and maritime industries, services and associations.
directives/United Kingdom safety laws have been complied with during the move of his staff to St. Christopher house, London ; and if all visual display unit work stations have had full risk assessments carried out.
Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody, dated 28 June 1994 :
The Minister for Roads and Traffic, Mr. Key, has asked me to write to you in reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the move of Highways Agency staff to St. Christopher House.
You asked what assessment had been made of whether all relevant EC Directives/UK Safety Laws have been complied with during the move and if all VDU workstations have had full risk assessments carried out. We have replaced light fitting in the new offices and replaced chairs at VDU workstations where necessary to comply with EC Directives.
We are continuing to carry out checks to ensure compliance with all the relevant EC Directives and UK Safety Laws following the move. A six-week assessment of the operation of new VDU workstations will be completed shortly.
Following completion of these checks, I am confident that we will fully meet all safety requirements.
I trust this information is helpful.
Column 629Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mr. Harry Cohen, dated 29 June 1994 :
Environmental impact assessments on road schemes--
The Minister for Roads and Traffic, Mr. Robert Key, has asked me to write to you in reply to your recent Parliamentary question about environmental assessments.
An environmental assessment is carried out for each scheme in the national roads programme and an Environmental Statement is published for those schemes which are likely to have a significant effect on the environment.
The environmental assessment commences at a very early stage in the development of a scheme. The Trunk Road in England 1994 Review identifies the schemes in the national road programme together with their priority.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what criteria his Department's pre-1985 environmental assessment of the M11 link road was based upon ; and if he will place a copy of these criteria in the Library ;
(2) if he will give details of the schemes considered by his Department for the proposed M11 link road which fully complied with EC directive 85/337/EEC ; what was the environmental impact and cost of each ; and if he will highlight the differences of each from the scheme approved ;
(3) when, before the 1985 decision to authorise construction of the M11 link road, the environmental effects of the scheme were assessed ; and if he will place in the Library a summary of the main factors and considerations taken into account ;
(4) if he will list all aspects of the current M11 Link Road project that do not comply with European directive 85/337/EEC ; (5) why the EC standards set out in European directive 85/337/EEC were not considered by the subsequent public inquiries into the M11 link road ; if it is policy that the rules of such inquiries should allow consideration of such relevant environmental factors ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norris : These questions all relate to the A12 Hackney Wick to M11 link road, which is an operational matter for the Highways Agency, and I have therefore asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.
Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mr. Harry Cohen, dated 28 June 1994 :
The Minister for Roads and Traffic has asked me to write to you in response to your Parliamentary Questions about the environmental assessment of and the application of Directive 85/337/EEC to, the A12 Hackney Wick to M11 Link Road since they are operational matters for the Highways Agency.
Prior to the 1985 decision to proceed with the Link Road environmental assessments were carried out in preparation for the Public Inquiry held in 1983. These were in accordance with current knowledge of methods of assessment at that time and made use of frameworks as laid down by the 1977 report of the Standing Advisory Committee on Trunk Road Assessment (SACTRA). A copy of that report is already available in the House of Commons Library. I enclose a copy of the framework relating to the Link Road. The best available summaries of the main factors and considerations then taken into account are contained in the Inspector's Report and the decision letter of the Secretaries of State, copies of both of which I understand were sent to you at the time they were published since you gave evidence at the public inquiry.
Directive 85/337/EEC as implemented by section 105(A) of the Highways Act 1981 requires that where the Secretary of State has under consideration a proposed new highway he shall determine whether or not it requires an environmental assessment, and if so, that an Environmental Statement be published and the public be allowed to comment on it. The
Column 630Secretary of State is required to consider the Environmental Statement and any opinion expressed on it and to publish his decision as to whether or not initiate the project. The European Commission has accepted that the Link Road project was begun before the Directive came into force in the UK and so the question of whether there are aspects of the Link Road which do not comply with the Directive, or of there being alternative schemes which do or do not comply, does not arise.
No references were made to the Directive at the 1987 and 1989/90 public inquiries into the Link Road because development consent for the project had already been granted. Consideration has always been given to environmental factors at public inquiries where it was relevant to do so.
I have also been asked to write to you in connection with your Parliamentary Question about the employment of Bray's Detective Agency, and since the reply concerns a number of road schemes I will send you a separate letter ; however, for the sake of completeness of the record I will just mention here that the Link Road is one of those schemes.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many and what proportion of the Department of Transport road schemes in the last five years have not been recommended by public inquiry inspectors ; and of those recommendations for rejection, how many have been endorsed by the Secretaries of State for Environment and Transport.
Mr. Key [holding answer 23 June 1994] : As the information requested relates to operational matters of the Highways Agency, I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member. Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mr. Simon Hughes, dated 28 June 1994 :
I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about how many and what proportion of the Department of Transport road schemes in the last five years, have not been recommended by public inquiry inspectors ; and of those recommendations for rejection, how many have been endorsed by the Secretaries of State for Environment and Transport.
In the last five years, five schemes have not been recommended by public inquiry inspectors out of a total of 146 schemes which have been to public inquiry.
Of those five recommendations for rejection, the Secretaries of State for the Environment and Transport endorsed all but one small regional scheme. This has led to the removal of the schemes from the programme, or fresh orders being published.
In about 40 cases the modifications, recommended by the Inspectors, have been endorsed.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department has paid in bonuses on road construction contracts ; and how much his Department has received in penalty payments on road construction contracts, over the past five years.
Mr. Key [holding answer 23 June 1994] : As the information requested relates to operational matters of the Highways Agency, I have asked for the chief executive to write to the hon. Member. Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mr. Simon Hughes, dated 28 June 1994 :
I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about how much the Department of Transport has paid in bonuses on road construction contracts and how much the Department has received in penalty payments on road construction contracts, over the past five years.
Incentive contracts involving bonuses and charges are used mainly for major maintenance. During the five year period 1989/90 - 1993/94, bonuses paid amounted to £18.3M and charges collected were £2M. These figures are based on contracts for
Column 631which final accounts have been settled and could ultimately be higher. A measure of the ratio of traffic delay costs saved to net bonus payments made is averaging around 5 : 1.
In addition, a total of £7.88M was paid out to two new construction contracts again for the economic advantages of having the new routes ready sooner, but of course the reason for paying bonuses is to reduce the time for the works and, therefore, the disruption caused to the travelling motorist.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list by traffic area office the number of cases taken to public inquiry over the last five years ; and in those cases, how many licence holders had (a) the licences revoked, (b) licences suspended, (c) licences curtailed, (d) warnings issued and (e) no further action taken.
Mr. Key : Some of this information is contained in the annual reports of the Traffic Commissioners and licensing authorities, which have been placed in the Library of the House. The remaining information could be collated only at disproportionate expense.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what has been the total cost to date of the market testing of (a) the records service in his Department and (b) the review currently being undertaken in the records policy and advice unit ; and what is the total budget of the market test.
Mr. Norris : The records service market test has cost £60,466 to date. It has a budget of £85,000. The record policy and advice unit is examining how to improve record management standards and cost effectiveness throughout the Department, especially the review process before files are destroyed. The review process study has cost £7,300.
Mr. Norris : The Marine Safety Agency is currently undertaking a comprehensive survey to assess the quality of reception facilities provided in United Kingdom ports. The survey will indicate the extent to which independent contractors are used to provide facilities. Consideration will be given as to what useful information might be published when the results of the survey have been evaluated.
However, the total number of cases prosecuted by the vehicle inspectorate for not possessing a goods vehicle operator's licence from April 1989 to March 1994 is 4,648. This figure is broken down as follows :
|Number ---------------------------- Scotland |278 North West |590 North East |919 South Wales |458 West Midlands |650 West |239 East |418 South East |1,096
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list by traffic area office the current estimated number of unlicensed LGV operators and the methods used to calculate this figure.
Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the effect on the regions of the United Kingdom of road toll charges ; and if he will make a statement.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Government will take to ensure that cross-checks between oil record books and automatic printout of discharges will become a routine part of port state control inspections.
Mr. Norris : Port state control inspections already include the routine inspection of the oil record book. Further consideration is being given to the minimum extent of routine inspections by our partners in the Paris memorandum of understanding on port state control and the Government are seeking their urgent consideration of all of Lord Donaldson's recommendations on port state control.
Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the inconvenience caused to the travelling public of the non-interchangeability of tickets in the privatised rail companies.
Mr. Freeman : Ticketing arrangements are at present an operational matter for the British Railways board. For the future, the Secretary of State has instructed the franchising director to require franchisees to offer tickets which are inter-available between their services where he believes that the benefits of doing so will outweigh the likely benefits of price competition and service diversity. The franchising director is considering the implementation of this policy in consultation with British Rail and the rail regulator.
Mr. Norris : Decisions on whether to publish reports by external consultants in market tests are taken on a case by case basis in the light of all the relevant circumstances, including commercial confidentiality.
Expenditure to 31 March 1994 £000s, excluding VAT |Cost -------------------------------------------------------------------- Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency: CSL (support for in-house bids) |83 Touche Ross (support for client side and strategy advice) |152 Prime (support for client side and strategy advice) |215 Capita (support for in-house bids) |44 Driving Standards Agency: Shreeveport (support for in-house bids) |- Basis (support for client side) |20 DVOIT: KPMG Peat Marwick (financial advice) |553 Theodore Goddard (legal advice) |317 Dibb Lupton Broomhead (legal advice) |227 Price Waterhouse (reporting accountants) |91 CSL (customer advice) |37 Ernst and Young (customer advice) |106 Transport Research Laboratory: KPMG Peat Marwick (study of options for privatisation and their feasibility) |78 Highways Agency: Touche Ross (advice on approaches to property management) |- Central Transport Group: Shreeveport (support for in-house bids) |19 Basis (support for client side) |29 Admiral (support for client side) |6 Baker Tilly (support for client side) |26 Capita (support for client side) |18 Impact Plus (support for client side) |9
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the safety benefits of marking the road at the sides at pelican crossings ; and what plans he has to introduce such markings.