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Driving Test

Mr. Charles Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what assessment of the difficulties faced by persons living more than one hour's drive away from a motorway the Driving Standards Agency has made in its consideration of the inclusion of motorway driving in the driving test. [22666]

Ms Glenda Jackson: No detailed assessment has been made as we have no current plans to introduce motorway driving into the car test. The issue of adequate exposure to fast multi-carriageway driving in the practical test is one of those that will be addressed in the research into the practical car driving test that is currently being undertaken. Results are expected in two to three years' time.

Health and Safety Laboratory

Mr. Eric Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when the Health and Safety Laboratory intends to publish its Annual Report and Accounts for 1996-97. [22568]

12 Jan 1998 : Column: 13

Angela Eagle: The Health and Safety Laboratory has today published the 1996-97 Annual Report and Accounts, and copies have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

A590 Bypass

Mr. Collins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what is the current status of his review of the proposed A590 bypass at High and Low Newton; and if he will make a statement. [21959]

Ms Glenda Jackson: We are currently undertaking a strategic review of the Trunk Roads Programme. The A590 bypass at High and Low Newton is being considered within the context of that review, the results of which we hope to announce later this year.

Council Tax

Sir Norman Fowler: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will place in the Library a table showing the band D council tax increase for each notifiable authority in England (a) in cash terms and (b) in percentage terms based on the assumption that all councils spend at the provisional capping limit. [22277]

Mr. Raynsford: I have today placed in the Library of the House a table showing the information requested.

Selby Bypass

Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many representations have been made to his Department regarding the Selby bypass in response to the roads review consultation exercise. [22698]

Ms Glenda Jackson: Over 4,600 representations have been received on the proposed Selby bypass. Nearly all were completed pro-forma postcards supporting its construction.

Housing Developments (Hertfordshire)

Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many cards conveying opposition to Hertfordshire County Council's plans to build 10,000 houses in the Green Belt he has received. [22589]

Mr. Caborn: We have so far received approximately six and a half thousand identical postcards requesting that the Secretary of State call in the proposals in Hertfordshire County Council's Structure Plan Review for major development in the Green Belt west of Stevenage.

Rail Crash (Wrexham)

Dr. Marek: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 22 December 1997, Official Report, column 435, when he expects the Health and Safety Executive to complete their investigation of the rail crash at Wrexham General Station. [22746]

Ms Glenda Jackson: I am advised by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that follow-up work relating to the accident at Wrexham General Station on 24 April

12 Jan 1998 : Column: 14

1997 will soon be complete. I understand that HSE has concluded that the derailment of a single wagon was caused by defects in the track, though further investigations are continuing into the underlying causes.

Local Authority Planning Services

Sir Brian Mawhinney: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what are the average national performance indicator values for local authority planning services; and how these relate to the indicators for Peterborough District Council in each of the last three years. [22211]

Mr. Raynsford: The Department publishes a six-monthly Planning Performance Checklist showing the performance of English local planning authorities against the Government's target that they should decide 80 per cent. of applications within eight weeks of receipt. The performance of Peterborough District Council against the national average over the past three financial years is given in the table.

Percentage decided in eight weeks

National average performancePeterborough District Council
Year to 31 March 19956557.3
Year to 30 September 19956555.8
Year to 31 March 19966558.7
Year to 30 September 19966563.4
Year to 31 March 19976466.4

Lake Windermere (Speed Limit)

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement regarding his Department's plans for a speed limit on Windermere. [22524]

Angela Eagle: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is considering whether or not to confirm byelaws made by the Lake District Special Planning Board (now the Lake District National Park Authority) which would impose a speed limit of 10mph on power-driven vessels on Windermere. In November the High Court quashed the decision by the last Secretary of State not to confirm the byelaws. In reaching a decision, we shall take account of all the representations so far made in relation to the proposed byelaws and any fresh representations made to us by 6 February.

Structure Plan (Gloucestershire)

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he has received a copy of Gloucestershire County Council's revised structure plan; if he will be accepting the reduced number of new houses proposed for the period covered; and if he will make a statement. [22525]

Mr. Caborn: The Secretary of State has received a copy of the Deposit version of the Gloucestershire Structure Plan which, I understand, was placed on deposit today. Any representations or objections he wishes to make will be sent to the County Council before the end of the statutory six weeks consultation period.

12 Jan 1998 : Column: 15

It would not be appropriate for me to comment further on the content of the plan because of the Secretary of State's formal role on planning matters.

Celtic Seas Area

Mr. John D. Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he intends to publish a quality status report for the Celtic Seas area including the Irish Sea. [22534]

Angela Eagle: The United Kingdom is working with the other Contracting Parties to the OSPAR Convention to prepare an overall quality status report on the North East Atlantic. As part of this, a regional report on the Celtic Seas, including the Irish Sea, will be prepared alongside other regional reports on the Arctic, the North Sea, the Bay of Biscay/Gulf of Gascony and the deep Atlantic. Publication is planned for 2000.

Road Schemes

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the road schemes, by local authority, for which the Government has suspended funding during 1998-99, indicating for each if this was on the grounds of (a) changes in policy and (b) increases in financial costs. [22450]

Ms Glenda Jackson: The following table shows the local authority road schemes which were funded in 1997-98 but for which no financial support has been provided for 1998-99. Schemes for which no bids were received have not been included. In each case, the decision not to continue funding was in accordance with established procedures which take account of progress made on the scheme and the extent of previous financial support. In no case was increased cost the sole factor. None were suspended because of changes in policy.

Local authorityRoadScheme name
NewhamA117East Ham Town Centre Relief Road
NewhamA11Stratford Gyratory Modifications
ManchesterA6010Intermediate Ring Road Stage 2
DoncasterA630Wheatley Hall Road
BirminghamA5127Lichfield Road Improvement Phase 1
BirminghamA47Heartlands Spine Road Phase 3
BirminghamA34/A435South Birmingham Study Implementation
WakefieldA628Hemsworth Bypass
BuckinghamshireA413Wendover Bypass
DerbyshireA6London Road
LincolnshireA57B1003 Lincoln Ropewalk to Carholme Road
NorthamptonshireA605Warmington Bypass and Tansor Improvements
NottinghamshireA6096Awsworth and Cossall Bypass
NottinghamshireA6117Mansfield Eastern Outer Ring Road (Phase 2)
StaffordshireA527Tunstall Western Bypas Phases I and II
WorcestershireA422Worcester Western Bypass and Link Roads
North SomersetA370Weston-Super-Mare P.D.R. Stages IVB VC and VI
StockportA34A34 Byupass-Etchells Road to Schools Hill
LeedsEast Leeds Radial
East SussexA22Nightingale Farm to A27
HampshireA331Blackwater Valley Route North
HampshireA326Totton Western Bypass Stage 3
NorfolkA143Brockdish Bypass
SomersetA39Glastonbury Western Relief Road
SurreyA31Runfold Diversion and Blackwater Valley Route
BerkshireA33A33 Relief Road Kiln Lane to IDR
CheshireA34Handorth and Wilmslow Bypass
EssexA133Little Clacton Bypass and Gorse Lane Link Stage 2
NottinghamshireA6009Mansfield Inner Ring Road Stage 3

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Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what is the Government's policy in respect of reviewing local authority road schemes previously funded through the TPP system against the criteria of (a) integration, (b) accessibility, (c) safety, (d) economy and (e) environmental impact. [22452]

Ms Glenda Jackson: All current local authority road schemes were accepted for funding with a commitment to continue financial support provided that reasonable progress was made towards their completion. It would therefore be unreasonable to assess existing schemes against different criteria from those used when the schemes were first accepted for funding.

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) what was the total number of new packages submitted by local authorities in their TPP bids for 1998-99; [22453]

Ms Glenda Jackson: Bids for 69 new packages were received. Among 10 new packages to receive full approval in the settlement, one was for a predominantly rural area. It was Cumbria County Council's Lake District package.

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the number of major new road schemes for which each local authority bid for funding under the TPP system for 1998-99. [22451]

Ms Glenda Jackson: The schemes are as listed:

BucksA4146Linslade Western Bypass
BucksA4146Stoke Hammond Bypass
CambsA605King's Dyke Railway Bridge
CambsA142Fordham Bypass
EssexA131Great Leigh Bypass
LincsA46Faldingworth Bypass
LutonA6Inner Ring Road Phase I, Villa Link
NorfolkA143Broome/Ellingham Bypass
NottsA6002Nottingham W. Outer Loop Road Ph 2
BexleyBexleyheath Town Centre Traffic Management
SuttonA24A217 Link Road
SuttonB272Beddington Lane/Beddington Farm Link Road
LiverpoolA565Great Howard Street/Derby Road Improvement
St. HelensA58Blackbrook Diversion
DurhamA688Wheatley Hill to Bowburn Bypass
NorthumberlandA197A1 to S.E. Northumberland Link Road
StocktonSouth Stockton Link Road
East SussexBexhill and Hastings Link Roads
OxonA40Bus Lane; Witney Bypass to Wolvercote Roundabout
SurreyA24Clarks Green to County Boundary Bypass
West SussexA24Horsham-Capel Improvements
CornwallA391St. Austell N.E. Distributer Road
CornwallA39Playing Place-Carnon Gate Bypass
DorsetA354Weymouth: Mt. Pleasant to Ridgeway Bypass
DevonA383Newton Abbott: Jetty Marsh Relief Road
DevonBraunton-Velator Link Road
GloucsCotswold Eastern Spine Road- A417/A419 Link Road
GloucsA4136Strategic Whole Route Improvement
TorbayA380Torbay Ring Road Stage 4
StaffsA51Rugeley Bypass
StaffsA5190Burntwood Bypasses
StaffsA527Biddulph Bypass
WarwicksA429Barford Bypass
WorcsA441Bordesley Bypass
WorcsA4538Wyre Piddle Northern Bypass
DoncasterA19North Bridge Relief road
KirkleesA62Central Huddersfield Improvements

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Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the road schemes by local authority which make up the existing commitments in the local transport settlement 1998-99, indicating for each (a) the money awarded in the 1998-99 local transport settlement and (b) the total costs. [22449]

Ms Glenda Jackson: The information is given in the table.

12 Jan 1998 : Column: 17

Road Schemes by Local Authorities

Local authorityRoadScheme name1998-99 allocation (£000) Total gross cost (£000)
Medway TownsA289Wainscott Northern Bypass13,22667,416
Medway TownsA289Gillingham Northern Link19,00044,685
BuckinghamshireA421Tingewick Bypass2,80912,802
East SussexA22New route Dittons to Eastbourne3,50027,866
HampshireA331Blackwater Valley route (centre)2,29539,338
HampshireA325Woolmer Link Road3682,803
Block allocation for following schemes29,000
KentA299 Thanet way dualling (sections 1-7a)--184,605
KentA206 South Thames-side Devt Route Stage 1--20,850
KentA228 Hale Street Bypass-10,400
KentA256 Whitfield to Eastry/Whitfield Bypass--37,770
KentA28/A20 Barracks Link Ashford--3,950
KentA226 South Thames-side development route--18,354
KentA289 Wainscott Northern Bypass--67,416
KentA289 Gillingham Northern Link--44,685
OxfordshireB4031Tingewick Bypass1,51012,802
SurreyBlack Valley route80078,586
West SussexA2300Burgess Hill Link Road5946,032
CornwallA39Trispen Bypass and A30 Link4726,050
DorsetA37A37 Improvements-section B and C3508,869
GloucestershireA430Gloucester South West Bypass1,00022,290
SomersetA39Wells Relief Road50014,163
SomersetA37Yeovil to Dorset Boundary Phase 11,4235,813
South GloucestershireA4174Avon Ring Road II5,00029,530
BirminghamA47Heartlands Spine Road Phase 22,00058,220
CoventryA444North-South Road Phase 150022,586
CoventryA444North-South Road Phase 250022,270
DudleyA461Dudley Southern Bypass13,00055,000
HartlepoolA179A179 Improvement5005,180
Leicester CityA563Leicester A46/47 Link Road2,5009,058
SandwellA4034Churchbridge Improvement Sandwell3373,840
SolihullA45West Midlands Renaissance Area65018,528
WolverhamptonA4124Wednesfield Bypass5,00025,325
StaffordshireA50Uttoxeter Town Centre Bypass60017,224
WorcestershireA44Broadway Bypass1,8008,405
ManchesterInner Relief Road7,20015,000
OldhamA62/A627Oldham Way Improvements1,6745,850
SalfordA5063Trafford Road (The Quays-White City)10020,782
TraffordA56City Link/White City Interchange1,50036,721
TraffordA5063Trafford Road Improvement90823,952
CheshireA533Davenham Bypass35018,150
CheshireA534Wheelock Bypass5,25011,548
LancashireA6/A582South Ribble M65 Interface96812,727
KnowsleyA5300M57-A562 Link Road30047,334
SeftonA59Aintree Park Lane Improvement2,5423,300
Redcar and ClevelandA174Skelton and Brotton Bypass2,67712,260
Stockton-on-TeesA1046Portrack Lane Dualling3507,791
Newcastle upon TyneA6082West Central Route5,50020,996
NorthumberlandA189North Seaton Duplication Stage 11,00010,645
Kingson upon HullA1033Ennerdale Link Road30030,487
North East LincolnshireA16Grimsby Peakes Parkway7,74025,048
North YorkshireA61Ripon Bypass/Distributor Roads30019,667
BarnsleyA6195Dearne Towns Link Road7,66139,510
SheffieldA6102Outer Ring Road (Darnall) Stages II-IV50020,669
SheffieldInner Ring Road Stage I3,66012,908
LeedsLeeds Inner Ring Road Stages 6 and 76,20078,821
LeedsLeeds City Centre Loop Phase 31,0008,079
LincolnshireA15/A16Market Deeping Bypass62110,561
NottinghamshireA608M1 to A611 Improvement Annesley3005,099
NottinghamshireA617Rainworth Bypass2498,509
PeterboroughA15Werrington to Glinton Phase 27731,300
BedfordshireA507Arlesey-Stotfold Bypass30014,030
HertfordshireA121Cheshunt Link Road56516,297
BexleyA207Bexleyheath SRR and Pedestrianisation3786,443
BexleyA2016Erith-Thamesmead Spine Road (Phase IV)1,32533,339
EnfieldA110Nags Head Road/High Street2584,857
GreenwichA206Woolwich Road Improvement5,11924,159
HarrowA409Wealdstone Bypass44616,517
HarrowA409Sheepcote Road Widening8612,905
HillingdonA4020Uxbridge Town Centre3752,281
HounslowA315Hounslow Centre-Urban Relief Road34010,885
Kensington and ChelseaA404Harrow Road Junction2009,171
Kingston upon ThamesA240North-South Strategy-A240 Corridor7684,494
WestminsterA404Harrow Road/Ladbroke Grove Widening6844,398

12 Jan 1998 : Column: 19

12 Jan 1998 : Column: 19

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