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North-west Traffic Area Office

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 5 December, Official Report, column 723, on the north-west traffic area office, what will be the amount of the payment to cover dilapidations. [8423]

Mr. Bowis: Negotiations on the amount of dilapidations are in progress between our agents and the landlord. To date, no figure has been agreed.

Seat Belts

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will estimate how many (a) drivers, (b) front-seat passengers and (c) back-seat passengers have been (i) killed and (ii) injured as a result of not wearing a seat belt in a vehicle in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [8229]

Mr. Bowis: Statistics for seat belt wearing are available only until 1993 and only for the occupants of cars and vans. The position of front and back-seat passengers is available only for car passengers. The following table shows the recorded numbers of such drivers and passengers killed and injured in Great Britain while not wearing a seat belt whether or not one was fitted. The table does not include figures for the casualties where the wearing of a belt was not reported--about a quarter of all accidents.

11 Dec 1996 : Column: 253

1991 1992 1993
KilledInjuredKilledInjuredKilledInjured
Car or van drivers2093,3071993,2721513,143
Car or van passengers25813,26921110,9831809,322
Front seat car passengers571,367521,428551,379
Rear seat car passengers17611,1941428,9851197,481
All van passengers25708175706462

11 Dec 1996 : Column: 255

It is known how many of these casualties were as a direct result of not wearing a seat belt, but it is estimated that 510 lives and 8,800 serious injuries have been saved each year as a result of seat belts being worn.

Roads Programme

Mr. Roy Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what criteria have been altered to amend the decisions made in the 1995 review of the road programme in respect of the removal of schemes from the main programme and the promotion of schemes from the longer-term programme. [8617]

Mr. Watts: Since the review published in November 1995 as "Managing the Trunk Road Programme", the Government's Green Paper "Transport--The Way Forward", Cm 3234, has been published affecting the Government's view of priorities and there have been changes in the circumstances of individual schemes. In some cases, schemes have been reviewed to reduce their cost and scope; in some cases, costs and benefits have been updated; there has been public consultation on some schemes; some schemes have been taken forward as part of the design, build, finance and operate programme; and, in some cases, local circumstances have changed.

Mr. Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list in respect of each of the schemes remaining in the road programme and for each scheme removed from the programme, what is the latest figure available on the ratio between current traffic and the critical traffic flow on that link and when the CTF ratio exceeded 100 per cent. or is forecast to exceed 100 per cent. [8619]

Mr. Watts: I will write to the hon. Member with details and place a copy of my letter in the Library.

Mr. Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the appraisal methodology used to determine which trunk road improvements will (a) remain and (b) cease to be part of the road programme. [8368]

Mr. Watts: Decisions on which schemes should be included within the £6 billion road programme announced by my right hon. Friend on 26 November were taken in the light of a number of factors for each scheme, including the benefit to cost ratio, the environmental impact, the importance of the route on which the scheme was situated, the perceived importance of the scheme in the region, the actual or potential statutory or generalised blight generated by the scheme and the time at which the unimproved road was likely to experience substantial congestion. Longer-term schemes, for many of which little detailed information was yet available, were mostly withdrawn.

Mr. Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the regional priorities for road schemes given by the Government offices as part of the latest review of the road programme. [8365]

Mr. Watts: No. These were prepared for the purpose of the Department's internal consideration of policy options and were only one of a range of factors taken

11 Dec 1996 : Column: 256

into account in reaching decisions on the content of the road programme.

Traffic Cones and Road Signs

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (i) traffic cones and (ii) road signs have been stolen in the last year; at what cost; what plans his Department has to try to reduce such figures; and if he will make a statement. [8316]

Mr. Watts: Traffic management at roadworks is provided under contract and it is the contractor's responsibility to take action to prevent theft of his equipment. No central record is kept of thefts of traffic cones or temporary road signs. We are not aware of any cases of theft of permanent road signs on the trunk road network. I understand that some local highway authorities have experienced problems and are dealing with them. This is a matter for the authorities concerned.

A1

Mr. Roy Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what impact the decision to cease the upgrading of the A1 south of Alconbury and north of Peterborough will have on the concession awarded for the upgrading by DBFO--design, build, finance and operate--of the Alconbury to Peterborough section; and what representations he has received from the concessionaires on the decision. [8367]

Mr. Watts: I have asked the chief executive of the Highways Agency to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mr. Roy Hughes, dated 11 December 1996:

The Secretary of State for Transport has asked me to reply to your recent question about changes made to the Government's trunk road programme following the Chancellor's Autumn Statement. You ask what implication there might be for the A1(M) Alconbury to Peterborough Design, Build, Finance and Operate (DBFO) scheme in the light of the decision taken to withdraw other A1(M) schemes from the programme.


Cones Hotline

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what final estimate he has made of the (a) average daily and (b) total gross cost to all the Departments and agencies involved in the national cone hotline; and if he will make a statement. [8313]

Mr. Watts: I refer the hon. Member to the replies I gave him on 26 March 1996, Official Report, column 547,

11 Dec 1996 : Column: 257

and on 10 July 1995, Official Report, column 403, and to the letter the chief executive of the Highways Agency wrote to the hon. Member for Gordon (Mr. Bruce) on 6 November 1995, Official Report, columns 759-60.

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many calls to the national cone hotline (a) were made and (b) required remedial action to be taken; and if he will make a statement. [8314]

Mr. Watts: I refer the hon. Member to the letter the chief executive of the Highways Agency wrote to the hon. Member for Gordon (Mr. Bruce) on 6 November 1995, Official Report, columns 759-60.

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which other countries in the (a) EU and (b) Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Department have begun operating a system similar to the national cone hotline (i) prior to, (ii) during and (iii) after the British initiative; and if he will make a statement. [8315]

Mr. Watts: In France, the Centre National d'Information Routiere operates an information line service, providing motorists with information on road conditions and the opportunity to make complaints relating to the road network. We do not have readily available details of the systems operating in other EU and OECD countries, or of the dates on which other countries' systems started.


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