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Mr. Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on progress towards financing and construction of the Scottish air traffic control centre II.
Mr. Norris: Within the next few months, the Civil Aviation Authority expects to be in a position to invite tenders from the private sector for the design, building, maintenance and financing of the centre. The target date for completion of the centre is 2000.
Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to restore the Landscape Advisory Committee.
Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to publish the results of research into the effects on pedestrians of bull bars fixed to the fronts of vehicles.
Mr. Norris: Current research is concentrating on identifying accidents involving vehicles with bull bars to determine whether they are causing increased injuries. The results of this exercise are not expected until early next year.
Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will arrange for television recordings of tests of vehicle injury bars striking models of child pedestrians.
Mr. Norris: A video of impact tests on a bull bar using an instrumented child-size headform was made by the Transport Research Laboratory and shown on BBC breakfast television on 16 June 1994.
Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to fund Transport Research Laboratory research into the dangers of bull bars.
Mr. Norris [holding answer 21 July 1994]: The Department has already funded impact tests at the Transport Research Laboratory using an instrumented child-size headform and other instrumented impactors on a bull bar. Some have shown that the severity of an impact on a bull bar appears significantly more severe than on a flexible bonnet. The Department has also taken steps to identify accidents where a pedestrian has been struck by a vehicle fitted with a bull bar. We shall be letting a contract to determine, on the basis of this data, whether bull bars are causing increased injuries.
Mr. Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many times during the 1993 94 Session information requested in parliamentary questions has been refused on the grounds of commercial confidentiality.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will initiate a study of the extent to which all county, borough and district highway authorities are able to co-ordinate and control highway excavations for purposes other than emergencies; and if he will list those bodies authorised to do so without local authorities' prior consent.
Mr. Norris: I see no need for a specific study of this kind. The Department keeps in close touch with the Association of County Councils and the Association of Metropolitan Authorities about the operation of the street works provisions of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, and we stand ready to strengthen any of the regulations and codes of practice issued under the Act where there is a case for doing so. Undertakers execute street works by virtue either of a statutory right or of a licence granted under the Act and do not need prior consent from the street authority. For most non-emergency street works there is, however, a requirement for undertakers to give the street authority a specified period of notice.
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much has been spent by his Department in each of the last three years to (a) produce public information in alternative formats for visually impaired people and (b) publicise the availability of accessible information amongst visually impaired people.
Mr. Norris: The cost of providing public information in separate audio tape, Braille and other formats for visually impaired people is not readily available. The budgets for certain departmental publications and for mobility unit information cover the cost of producing these materials.
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will indicate which departmental publications are currently available (a) in Braille, (b) in large print and (c) on tape; and if he will indicate what efforts have been made by his Department to inform
Column 103visually impaired people about the availability of publications in alternative formats to normal print.
Mr. Norris: The following departmental publications are currently available on audiotape:
Door To Door--A Guide to Transport for People with Disabilities How to Use a Puffin Crossing
The Mobility Unit Annual Review
One departmental publication is available in Braille:
The Use of Tactile Surface and Dropped Kerbs at Pedestrian Crossing Points- -DU Circular 1/91.
In addition, the Department's mobility unit can make available on request some printed material on audiotape or in braille. The availability of these publications in special format is made known, directly and via the media, to organisations representing visually impaired people and to inquirers.
Mr. Gareth Wardell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many responses to the consultation paper on the proposal to ban coaches from the third lane of motorways have been received by his Department (a) in favour and (b) against the proposal; and when a decision will be made.
Mr. Norris: The Department received 74 responses to this consultation paper. Of these, 13 were in favour and 61 against the proposal. Of those opposed to the proposal, 40 were coach operators or representative organisations. A decision will be taken in the near future.
Ms. Hodge: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a detailed statement on the future use of Ripple lane sidings and freight terminal both in terms of existing networks serving the channel tunnel and in respect of the proposed channel tunnel rail link; if he will make it his policy that no intermodal freight facilities will be located in the Barking areas; and if he will conduct a study of the traffic congestion, noise and pollution already experienced in the area.
Mr. Watts: It is the Government's intention to encourage freight to use rail haulage for as much of its journey as possible. We are concerned about the potential problems which would result from railheading intermodal freight in east London. Therefore, we shall not authorise works which would allow large-gauge intermodal traffic to transfer to road here, unless there is infrastructure in place to allow such traffic to travel beyond the London area by rail. It is a commercial matter for the railway operators involved what use to make of the existing facility at Ripple lane.
Through its work on developing the A13 improvement schemes, my Department fully appreciates traffic conditions in the area. The full environmental effects of the major improvement scheme at the Movers lane junction have already been studied, including noise, air and water quality, landscape and natural habitats. The environmental impact of the schemes east of Heathway were studied in a similar manner. No additional studies are planned.
Dr. Marek: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give the present salary and grade of the directing board members of the Vehicle Inspectorate.
Mr. Norris: The current directing board, excluding non-executive members is the chief executive, grade 4, a grade 5 director and a grade 6 director. Their salaries, exclusive of bonuses, are respectively £52,286, £45,981, and £39,949.
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department has received a response to its request to the Singapore authorities to investigate the circumstances whereby a Singapore-registered tanker entered the area to be avoided off Shetland on 30 January and was observed approximately 1 km south off Sumburgh Head; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norris [holding answer 21 July 1994]: The Singapore authorities have now concluded their investigations. The Master of the North Pacific has been given a serious warning for his actions.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what are the present working arrangements for surveyors in respect of the ship reporting system; what assessments he has made of the effect of these arrangements on his proposed mandatory ship reporting system; and if he will make arrangements for there to be surveyors at work 24 hours per day and seven days per week when the mandatory system is introduced.
Mr. Norris [holding answer 21 July 1994]: Reports from the Coastguard Agency and other sources forwarded to the Marine Safety Agency are investigated during normal working hours.
These arrangements are under review in the light of developments on mandatory ship-reporting systems, both internationally at IMO and within the European Union, and also recommendations made in Lord Donaldson's report, "Safer Ships, Cleaner Seas".
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport in what country the company was based which was awarded the A38 Marsh Mills viaducts replacement contract; what were the circumstances which resulted in this company being awarded the contract; what was the cost of the contract; if the competition was open to companies from all European countries; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Watts [holding answer 21 July 1994]: Since April, responsibility for managing, maintaining and improving the national road network in England now lies with the Highways Agency. As the information requested by my hon. Friend relates to these responsibilities, I have asked the chief executive to write to my hon. Friend.
Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mr. Anthony Steen, dated 17 October 1994:
The Minister for Railways and Roads, Mr. John Watts, has asked me to reply to your Parliamentary Question on the contract for the A38 Marsh Mills replacement viaducts.
This design and build contract was won by Hochtief UK Ltd of Melksham, Wiltshire, it is a subsidiary company of Hochtief AG
Column 105whose head office is in Essen, Germany. The contract was awarded in March this year in the sum of £12,229,225 on the basis of the most economically advantageous bid received. The competition involved four contractors which were selected from 22 firms and joint ventures which responded to an advertisement placed in the Office Journal of the European Communities. All highways contracts with an estimated value of £1 million or more are so advertised and all contractors, whether based in the EU or beyond, are welcome to apply to be selected to tender.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what studies have been undertaken to estimate the impact on the local motorway and road networks of the development of Redhill aerodrome into an international airport.
Mr. Norris [holding answer 21 July 1994]: At the Redhill aerodrome planning inquiry, the Department's traffic evidence was based on traffic assessments it had commissioned for the proposed M23 widening, supplemented by traffic survey data supplied by the applicant in support of his proposals. The assessments, which were checked by independent consultants employed specifically for the purpose, showed that the impact on the M23 would not be significant. Surrey county council made an assessment of the likely impact on local roads which revealed a potential problem on the A22 at M25 junction 6.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has on the impact of air traffic movements at Gatwick airport if similar movements at Redhill aerodrome rise above six per hour.
Mr. Norris [holding answer 21 July 1994]: The impact on Gatwick air traffic movements as a consequence of development of use of Redhill arose in evidence from a number of parties at the recent public inquiry into development of Redhill aerodrome. I have no other information than that put forward at the inquiry and contained in the RUCATSE report.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many special advisers have (a) joined and (b) left his Department in each of the last five years.
Dr. Mawhinney [holding answer 20 July 1994]: Successive Secretaries of State for Transport have each appointed a political adviser who has left the Department at the same time as the Secretary of State who appointed him or her. Over the last five years, appointments and departures have been as follows:
|Joined|Left ------------------------------------- 1990 |- |1 1991 |1 |- 1992 |1 |1 1993 |- |- 1994 (to date) |- |1
Sir George Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the oral statement of the hon. Member for Salisbury (Mr Key) of 4 July, Official Report, column 1269 , and his answer of 7 March, Official Report, column 1 , what is the cost per mile for the total
Column 106reconstruction using (a) porous asphalt road surface material, (b) a hot rolled asphalt surface and (c) a typical concrete surface for (i) single carriageway roads, (ii) two-lane dual carriageway roads, (iii) three-lane dual carriageway roads and (iv) four- lane dual carriageway roads.
Mr. Watts [holding answer 21 July 94]: This question relates to operational matters of the Highways Agency. I have asked the chief executive to write to my hon. Friend.
Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Sir George Gardiner, dated 17 October 1994:
The Minister for Railways and Roads, Mr John Watts MP, has asked me to write to you in reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning the cost per mile of reconstructing roads.
The earlier statement as recorded within Hansard, for 7 March column 1 reflected the cost of providing porous asphalt surface or a concrete surface. Because the concrete surface also forms the main road structure, the two costs are not directly comparable. This ws confirmed by the Minister for Roads and Traffic during the 14 July Adjourment Debate on M25 (Noise Pollution).
Costs of reconstructing roads vary enormously between contracts and are influenced by geographical location, depth of reconstruction, complexity of traffic management and associated works such as drainage. There are also differences which reflect market conditions. It is our experience that these factors are such that the costs of flexible construction with conventional rolled asphalt and concrete are comparable. The costs given within the table below are broadly indicative bearing in mind the limited experience in the use of porous asphalt.
To avoid confusion and for comparative purposes, the costs have been calculated on the basis of the road pavement structure only. Other costs are broadly similar between options.
Approximate £ thousand cost/mile |Flexible pavement |Flexible pavement |with porous asphalt|with |hot rolled |asphalt/Typical |concrete ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Single carriageway |520 |450 2-lane dual carriageway all purpose |1,050 |900 motorway |1,280 |1,100 3-lane dual carriageway all purpose |1,470 |1,260 motorway |1,600 |1,380 4-lane dual carriageway all purpose |- |- motorway |2,040 |1,750
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (i) if tree surgery and felling, carried out on the site of the Swainswick/Batheaston bypass, has been carried out within regulations and guidelines issued by his Department; and if he will publish the regulations together with details of action taken to enforce them; (2) if he will order an inquiry into the circumstances relating to the injuries sustained by Mr. Martin Ellis on Thursday 5 July at the site of the Batheaston bypass.
Mr. Watts [holding answers 21 July 1994]: These questions are operational matters for the Highways Agency. The chief executive is writing to the hon. Member.
Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mr. Don Foster, dated 17 October 1994:
The Minister for Railways and Roads Mr. John Watts has asked me to write to you in reply to your two Parliamentary Questions about an accident and the work of the tree surgeons at the
Batheaston/Swainswick Bypass construction site.
I do not consider that an enquiry into the accident is necessary. It is clear that the injuries sustained by the trespasser were a direct result of his own actions. We have made statements to the Avon and Somerset Constabulary and if they consider further investigation to be necessary, we shall assist in whatever way we can.
The specialist tree surgeons working at the construction site are employed not by the Highways Agency but by our contractors, Amey Construction Limited. The tree surgeons work to their own code of conduct within the Health and Safety Regulations. Like all our other contractors and sub- contractors, the tree surgeons carry their own insurance and are required to indemnify the Highways Agency claims for compensation by third parties.
In addition, special advisers with expert knowledge in particular sectors have been appointed from time to time. Over the last five years, appointments and departures have been as follows:
|Joined|Left ------------------------------------ 1990 |1 |1 1991 |- |- 1992 |2 |- 1993 |2 |3 1994 (to date) |- |1
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many special advisers who left his Department in each of the last five years became (a) management consultants and (b) joined a firm of consultants;
(2) if he will publish the names of the employers joined by special advisers who left his Department in each of the last five years.
Dr. Mawhinney [holding answers 20 July 1994]: There is no requirement for special advisers to provide details of their employers after leaving Government service.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what measures have now been implemented by (a) the Driving Standards Agency, (b) the Vehicle Inspectorate, (c) the Transport Research Laboratory, (d) the Coastguard Agency and (e) the Marine Safety Agency to comply with his request of 9 May for increased productivity;
(2) how many jobs he expects will be lost within (a) the Driving Standards Agency, (b) the Vehicle Inspectorate, (c) the Transport Research Laboratory, (d) the Coastguard Agency and (e) the Marine Safety Agency as a result of his policy announcement of 9 May for these bodies to achieve increases in their productivity over the next two years;
(3) whether (a) the Driving Standards Agency, (b) the Vehicle Inspectorate, (c) the Transport Research Laboratory, (d) the Coastguard Agency and (e) the Marine Safety Agency are currently planning or considering further job losses amongst their staff.
Dr. Mawhinney [holding answers 20 July 1994]: Consultations about the proposals prepared in response to my announcement of 9 May have started. In most cases it is too early to judge the implications for jobs. However, the Vehicle Inspectorate announced proposals on 19 July which would save some 470 posts. In addition, the Transport Research Laboratory announced on 16 June that, in the light of an expected decline in demand for its services, it was initiating a programme of job reductions in 1994 95 which would reduce its staffing by 140.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which bodies under the operational control of his Department are expected to implement the productivity increases announced by him on 9 May.
Dr. Mawhinney [holding answer 20 July 1994]: My 9 May announcement applied to the Department of Transport, including its executive agencies. It did not apply to any nationalised industry, non- departmental public body or other body funded or supported by the Department.
Dr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the size of the operational budgets of (a) the Driving Standards Agency, (b) the Vehicle Inspectorate, (c) the Transport Research Laboratory, (d) the Coastguard Agency and (e) the Marine Safety Agency over the last two years; and if he will give figures for the size of these agencies' budgets in each of the next two financial years.
Dr. Mawhinney [holding answer 20 July 1994]: Figures for 1993 94, where applicable, and for 1994 95 are below. Budgets have not yet been set for the next two financial years.
|1993-94 £ million|1994-95 £ million ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Driving Standards Agency |51 |50 Vehicle Inspectorate |51 |50 Transport Research Laboratory |34 |29 Coastguard Agency |(a) |50 Marine Safety Agency |(a) |31 (a) Agency formed on 1 April 1994
Mr.Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish the powers and duties of Railtrack; and if he will place a copy in the Library.
Mr. Watts [holding answer 20 July 1994]: Railtrack is bound by the terms of its network operator's licence, which is available for inspection on the register maintained by the Rail Regulator under section 72 of the Railways Act, and by the memorandum and articles of association of the company as well as by the objectives set for its chairman by the Secretary of State. These documents have been placed in the Library.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list each meeting he has had with the chairman of Railtrack since 15 June, giving its date, time and location.
Dr. Mawhinney: Since 15 June, my predecessor had meetings with the chairman of Railtrack on 20, 27 and 30 June and on 7 July and I have had meetings on 25 July, 4 August and 6 September at various times either at the Department of Transport or elsewhere.
Mr. Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many road signs advertising the cones hotline have been distributed (a) nationally and (b) in the east midlands; (2) what is the cost of producing and distributing the signs advertising the cones hotline number (a) nationally and (b) in the east midlands. (3) what is the total cost of the cones hotline since its inception (a) in the east midlands and (b) nationally.
Mr. Norris [holding answer 18 July 1994]: As these are now operating matters for the Highways Agency, the chief executive has written to the hon. Member.
Letter from Laurie Haynes to Mr Paddy Tipping, dated 20 July 1994:
You asked the Secretary of State for Transport for information on the Cones Hotline. As this is now an operational matter for the Highways Agency, I am replying to your questions.
1. To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many road signs advertising the Cons Hotline have been distributed (a) nationally and (b) in the East Midlands.
Separately identifiable figures for the total number of road signs installed are not available. Signs are erected by contractors or their traffic management sub-contractors as part of the contract arrangement. Neither the Department nor the Agency are responsible for the day to day management of signs.
2. To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what is the cost of producing and distributing the signs advertising the Cones Hotline number (a) nationally (b) in the East Midlands.
Separately identifiable costs of signs are not available. Their provision is included in the overall contract costs.
3. To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what is the total cost of he Cones Hotline since its inception (a) in the East Midlands and (b) nationally.
Since the beginning of the current financial year the cost of the dedicated telephone line has been about £450 per month, including call charges. The Hotline previously operated on the Department's general switchboard. There have been no other separately identifiable costs, either in previous years or in the current year, because the Hotline has operated within running cost structures agreed before its inception. No staff are employed exclusively on Hotline activity and there are no budgets allocated specifically to the provision of the Hotline service.
I hope this information is helpful.
Mr. Loyden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will arrange for a traffic survey to be carried out of heavy traffic using Queen's drive, Liverpool, to travel to the north docks and to take samples of exhaust emissions along the route.
Mr. Norris [holding answer 18 July 1994]: Queen's drive, Liverpool is not a trunk road, so responsibility for traffic surveys lies with the local highway authority, Liverpool city council. Department of Transport vehicle examiners make a visual assessment of emissions at the roadside as part of wider roadworthiness inspections. There are two locations close to Queen's drive where examiners already carry out spot checks on vehicles, which will include a check of emissions.
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the number of (a) fixed-term appointment, (b) casual and (c) agency staff employed in each of the offices of his Department and executive agencies in the London travel-to-work area.
Mr. Norris: I refer to my earlier answer, of 5 July Official Report, columns 150 56 , on this subject. We do not retain a central record of agency staff.