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Mr. Byers: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what properties are owned or leased by his Department for the use of Ministers; what was the total running cost for each property for the latest year available broken down into (a) furniture and fittings, (b) maintenance, (c) staffing, including the number of butlers, cooks and housekeepers, (d) food and hospitality and (e) other costs; what is the estimated value of each property; and how many times in the latest year the property was stayed in by a Minister.
Mr. Robert G. Hughes: Excluding departmental office buildings, we have no such properties for the use of Ministers.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list all the European Community directives that have to be taken into consideration in the preparations for new road schemes.
Mr. Watts: This is an operational matter for the Highways Agency. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.
Column 1307Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mr. Harry Cohen, dated 3 November 1994:
John Watts, the Minister for Railways and Roads, has asked me to write to you about your question in the House on which European Community directives are taken into consideration in the preparations for the new road schemes.
The Highways Agency takes into account all relevant European Community Directives that have been implemented in United Kingdom law in the preparation of new Trunk Road schemes.
The directives which have a major impact on the work of the Highways Agency are listed in the attached Annex.
European Community Directives - Having an impact on Highways Agency Work Number |Title ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 93/36/EEC |Public Supplies Contracts 93/37/EEC |Public Works Contracts 92/50/EEC |Public Services Contracts 89/665/EEC |Remedies 83/189/EEC |\ 88/182/EEC | | |Notification of Standards and | | | Regulations 90/230/EEC |/ 89/106/EEC |Construction Products 89/686/EEC |Personal Protective Equipment 93/95/EEC |Personal Protective Equipment 89/336/EEC |Electromagnetic Compatibility 92/31/EEC |Electromagnetic Compatibility 89/391/EEC |Health and Safety 89/392/EEC |\ 91/368/EEC | | |Machine Safety 93/44/EEC |/ 73/23/EEC |Low Voltage 71/354/EEC |Units of Measurement 80/181/EEC |Units of Measurement 85/384/EEC |Architects Professional |Qualifications 89/48/EEC |Professional Qualifications 85/337/EEC<1> |Environmental Assessment 92/43/EEC<1> |Habitats <1> These are examples of EC Environmental Directives that affect HA, it is not possible to list all of them or assess their impact on HA work.
Mr. Mills: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will act to purchase those houses suffering from planning blight as a result of his proposals to widen the M42 in the constituency of Meriden; and if he will make a statement.
(2) if he will reconsider his proposal for widening the M42 by two lanes each side in the constituency of Meriden; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Watts: These questions are operational matters for the Highways Agency. I have asked the chief executive to write to my hon. Friend.
Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mr. Iain Mills, dated 3 November 1994:
The Minister of State for Railways and Roads has asked me to write to you in response to your Parliamentary Questions about the M42 widening in Meriden since they are operational matters for the Highways Agency.
I can confirm that all properties which fulfil the conditions of the statutory blight legislation will be bought by the Highways Agency. In addition, those properties which satisfy the criteria for discretionary purchase will also be bought. The criteria require that the proposed roadworks should be predicted to have a serious effect on a property, as defined in the criteria and that there should be a case on hardship grounds for acquiring it. Twenty one properties in the vicinity of junction 5 have so far been purchased and other
Column 1308applications are being considered. I understand that Steven Norris has now written to you about enquiries from four of your constituents.
Compensation is also available after construction for depreciation in value of property caused by widening and eligibility for noise insulation will be assessed.
The proposals for the widening were presented to the public earlier this year. This was so that they could express views about the options. The many comments received since then are still being assessed, but will be taken into account by the Secretary of State in deciding on the future progress of the proposals.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what sums were made available from public funds to the relatives of victims in respect of expenses arising for the public inquiries concerning (a) the King's Cross and (b) Clapham railway disasters.
Mr. Watts: I will write to the hon. Member.
Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to take steps to monitor the effectiveness of traffic control and parking; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norris: Counties, metropolitan districts and London boroughs, as local traffic authorities, are primarily responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of traffic control and parking on all local roads in their areas. My right hon. Friend monitors the effectiveness of the legal framework within which the local traffic authorities must work.
Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what properties are owned or leased by his Department for the use of Ministers; what was the total running cost for each property for the latest year available broken down into (a) furniture and fittings, (b) maintenance, (c) staffing, including the number of butlers, cooks and housekeepers, (d) food and hospitality and (e) other costs; what is the estimated value of each property; and how many times in the latest year the property was stayed in overnight by a Minister.
Mr. Norris: My Department does not own or lease any property for ministerial use as an official residence.
Mr. Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 31 October, what representations he has received regarding the adequacy of the guidance laid down in the highway code governing the safety clothing and markings for horse riders at night; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norris: We received 34 communications in the last year on road safety for horse-riders. Ascertaining how many of these mentioned conspicuity could be done only at disproportionate expense.
Mr. Raynsford: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what report he has received from London Underground Ltd. as to when Westminster underground station will reopen;
Column 1309(2) what steps he is taking to prevent further disruption of transport services in London following the incidents at Heathrow and Westminster underground stations.
Mr. Norris: The prevention of further disruption of transport services in London following the incidents affecting Heathrow and Westminster underground stations is a matter for the transport operators concerned.
At Heathrow, the British Airports Authority has set up an inquiry into the causes of the Heathrow express project tunnel collapse, and are working with the contractors to secure the continued safe operation of the airport and minimise inconveniences to passengers. London Underground Limited will resume services through the Piccadilly line underground tunnels serving Heathrow terminal 4 as soon as it and the Health and Safety Executive's railway inspectorate have determined that it is safe to do so.
At Westminster, London Underground is taking urgent remedial measures to prevent further incidents associated with the construction works there, and to enable the earliest possible reopening of the station.
Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will estimate the relationships between changes in traffic and (a) increases in road capacity and (b) economic growth.
Mr. Watts: During the last 15 years, traffic has grown at about one and a half times the rate of growth in gross domestic product. The Department's publication "National Road Traffic Forecast Great Britain (1989)" describes the close relationship between national traffic growth and national economic growth.
The relationship between traffic growth and increases in road capacity is a complex subject, which has been studied by the Department's standing advisory committee on trunk road assessment. The report will be published with the Government's response in due course.
Mr. Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will list those public investment projects within his Department's responsibility which have attracted private capital and which have been commenced since November 1993;
(2) how much private capital has been invested in public investment projects within his Department's responsibility since the 1992 autumn statement.
Mr. Norris: The following such projects have been commenced since November 1993
Ashford International Passenger Station (£40 million)
London Underground Track Maintenance £0.5 million)
London Underground Information Technology Services (£10 million) Between the 1992 autumn statement and the end of the current financial year, an estimated £370 million of private capital will have been invested, with forward commitments for a further £1.1 billion.
Additional schemes with an estimated total value of some £3.5 billion are currently subject to competition.
Mr. Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 31 October, what representations he has received regarding the adequacy of the regulations and the guidance contained in the highway code in respect of lamps, reflectors and safety clothing for cyclists riding at night; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norris: In the past 12 months I have replied to seven representations about the adequacy of the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989. In addition, the Department receives a large number of representations on bicycle safety. Ascertaining how many of these mentioned conspicuity could be done only at disproportionate expense.
Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many contracts his Department or Government agencies responsible to his Department have entered into with Spencer Stuart consultants in last two years.
Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he will announce the next sets of road casualty figures.
Mr. Norris: Third quarter 1994 provisional estimates will be announced on 12 January 1995.
Mr. Butcher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what studies he (a) has conducted and (b) plans to conduct into the speed at which buses complete their journeys using bus-only lanes compared to journey completion times for buses without the benefit of bus-only lanes on same route.
Mr. Norris: We are monitoring several schemes to see what effect they have on bus journey times. Reports will be published in due course.
Mr. Butcher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will conduct a study of the extent to which bus-only lanes cause increased traffic congestion and pollution.
Mr. Norris: I have no plans to do so at present.
Mr. Butcher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made as to whether stationary traffic causes more pollution than moving traffic in urban areas.
Mr. Norris: Research is regularly undertaken by the Transport Research Laboratory and other laboratories to assess the emissions characteristics of motor vehicles operating under a variety of driving conditions. This shows that below an optimum speed of some 40 to 50 miles per hour, the slower the speed the greater the level of emissions from the vehicle. The higher density of stationary or very slow moving traffic compared with free moving traffic will also affect overall levels of emissions.
Mr. Butcher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will conduct a review of the extent to
Column 1311which left-turn only and right-turn only lanes have slowed down traffic flow through junctions.
Mr. Norris: Traffic management is a matter for the local highway authority. Right--and left--turn only lanes are necessary in some cases for the safe and efficient flow of traffic through junctions and we have no evidence that they are in general being used inappropriately. I do not currently plan to review their use.
Mr. Butcher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the impact of reductions in queuing at junctions on traffic congestion and urban pollution.
Mr. Norris: Delays and queues at junctions are the primary cause of traffic congestion in urban areas, thus reducing queuing at junctions has a direct effect on congestion. Where road and junction schemes in urban areas are proposed to reduce congestion, the impact of reductions in queuing at junctions is assessed as a matter of course.
Stop-start traffic generates more exhaust gases per vehicle than smoothly flowing traffic. A reduction in queuing can be expected to reduce local air pollution levels.
Mr. Butcher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made on whether traffic light phasing at junctions where congestion occurs regularly is examined and, if necessary, re-phased frequently enough.
Mr. Norris: The timing of traffic lights is for local highway authorities, who make their own arrangements for assessment. In London, reviews are normally on a three year cycle, to allow for changes in traffic densities. But modern systems of urban traffic control where they are installed are self-adapting and so do not need regular review.
Mr. Butcher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will visit the United States of America to examine the effect on urban traffic flow of permitting traffic to turn right through red lights if the driver is satisfied that there is no oncoming traffic entering the junction from the left.
Mr. Norris: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport will take every opportunity to listen to United States experience on a range of topics including all aspects of urban traffic flow.
Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what have been the costs to date of advertising and running the cones hotline.
Mr. Watts: This is an operational matter for the Highways Agency, I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.
Mr. Butcher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many traffic bollards have been installed in the most recent 12-month period of which figures are available.
(2) what information he has on how many bollards are currently in place.
Mr. Norris: The Department is not responsible for monitoring the installation of bollards on local authority roads and no information is held centrally about the number installed in any 12-month period. Research carried out for the Department is 1993 suggests that there are approximately 131,000 bollard-mounted traffic signs in England.
Mr. Butcher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether visual amenity is part of the planning consideration for the acceptability of white lines or yellow lines on all roads other than trunk roads.
Mr. Norris: DOT guidance to local authorities advises that a lighter shade of yellow may be used for regulatory road markings in environmentally sensitive areas.
Mr. Butcher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received from the Department of the Environment regarding the extent of white lines and yellow lines on country lanes, minor roads and suburban roads.
Mr. Norris: We are engaged in ongoing discussions with other interested Departments, including DOE, on the use of road markings in environmentally sensitive areas, but we have not received any representations on this particular issue.
Mr. Butcher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many traffic lights there are in England and Wales currently; and how many there were in (a) 1984, (b) 1974 and (c) 1964.
Mr. Norris: The information is not available in the form requested.
Mr. Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will make a further statement on the implementation of his policy on the introduction of private sector management of motorways; (2) if he will make a further statement on the implementation of his policy on motorway tolling;
(3) what response he has received from the private sector to his policy on electronic charging for motorway use and the private management of motorways.
Mr. Watts: Policy on these matters was set out by the then Secretary of State for Transport on 2 December 1993 at column 650 . Some 30 consortia comprising over 70 companies have submitted proposals for electronic tolling systems for the programme of research, development and trials announced in that statement. We are now assessing these in order to select a limited number for test-track and on-road trials next year.
The statement also announced our intention to identify projects under which the private sector would design, build, finance and operate roads for which they would receive payment from Government in relation to use. Four such DBFO projects have been identified for the first contracts, two of which will involve private sector management of motorways. Pre-qualifying bids have been received from 17 consortia comprising over 70 firms.
Mr. Gunnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what arrangements currently exist for the refurbishment of railway rolling stock; and when he expects the arrangements needed under the Railways Act 1993 to be in place.
Mr. Watts: Refurbishment of British Rails's passenger rolling-stock is the responsibility, within BR, of the three rolling-stock leasing companies.
Mr. Tyler: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much revenue was raised by vehicle excise duty in each of the last 10 years.
Mr. Norris: The net receipts after allowing for refunds and other adjustments were:
Year |Vehicle Excise Duty |£ millions ------------------------------------------------------------ 1984-85 |2,264 1985-86 |2,426 1986-87 |2,520 1987-88 |2,598 1988-89 |2,767 1989-90 |2,948 1990-91 |2,923 1991-92 |2,931 1992-93 |3,225 1993-94 |3,655
Mr. Ainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the times at which, during exercise Operation Seafire on 17 October off the west Wales coast (a) a call was received from Stena Sea Lynx for helicopter assistance and firefighters, (b) a request was made by HM Coastguard for helicopter assistance from RAF Chivenor and RAF Valley, (c) helicopters took off from RAF Chivenor and RAF Valley, (d) a helicopter from RAF Chivenor landed in West Glamorgan to pick up firefighters, (e) the helicopter took off from West Glamorgan, (f) the helicopter arrived over Stena Sea Lynx, (g) firefighters began to be lowered on to Stena Sea Lynx and (h) lowering firefighters was completed.
Mr. Norris: During exercise Seafire on 10 October:
c) RAF Chivenor at 0649 and RAF Valley at 0658 and 0706 d) 0705
h) not recorded.
Mr. William O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will consider taking no further action on road development schemes in west Yorkshire until the Secretary of State for Health publishes the results of all current studies on air pollution; and if he will make a statement;
Column 1314(2) what consultations his Department is involved in with the Department of Health on the impact of road schemes on west Yorkshire on the health of communities and in particular the health of children; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Watts: These are operational matters for the Highways Agency, I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.
Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his current calculation of the costs of preparation for market testing in his Department in terms of (a) payments to consultants and (b) other costs.
Mr. Norris: Payments to consultants for work on those items in the Department's 1992 93 and 1993 94 competing for quality programmes completed by 30 June 1994 totalled £1.815 million. Expenditure on the Department's own market testing staff amounted to £0.268 million up to 30 June 1994.
Ms Jowell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received regarding compensation for people living alongside rail lines being used by channel tunnel passenger and freight services who are affected by increased noise and vibration; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Watts: A number of representations have been received. The Land Compensation Act 1973 provides for compensation to be paid in certain circumstances when the value of property is reduced as a result of physical factors such as noise and vibration arising from the use of new or altered public works or where there has been a change of use in respect of the works - other than an intensification of an existing use. It is for people who believe they have claims for compensation to submit them to the responsible authority, in this case Railtrack, for consideration. Further information is given in a guide recently produced by Railtrack for householders who may be considering claims. A copy is being placed in the Library.