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Mr. Jenkin: The hon. Gentleman talks about the health service, but the Government have increased social

18 Mar 1999 : Column 1364

security spending--tax credit spending--by £38.4 billion and are squandering billions of pounds on the so-called new deal for the unemployed, ignorant of the fact that their other policies are throwing people straight back on the dole.

Two years into the Parliament, we have only endless consultation and not a single transport Bill. Britain needs a Government who can think creatively about solving Britain's transport problems. Labour inherited creative thinking from the Conservatives--for example, a £20 billion investment programme for the railways--and that is how we transformed so many state-owned transport industries.

We provided the new ideas in the past, and the Conservatives will have to provide the new ideas in the future, to get Britain moving again. Two years ago, Labour promised an integrated transport policy, but it is delivering a standstill Britain.

6.50 pm

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Ms Glenda Jackson): The hon. Member for North Essex (Mr. Jenkin) made his only salient point at the beginning of his contribution: he confessed, albeit without apology, that the Government inherited a mess in respect of road and rail transport because of the previous Government's total failure even to begin to consider what is central to our policies--an integrated transport strategy.

An integrated transport strategy was supported bymy hon. Friends the Members for Forest of Dean (Mrs. Organ), for Castle Point (Mrs. Butler), for Doncaster, Central (Ms Winterton), for Bury, North (Mr. Chaytor) and for Shipley (Mr. Leslie). Each and every one of them could detail to the House how the Government are improving the lives of their constituents by introducing policies and funds to create integrated transport strategies. Those strategies relieve overdependence on the private car and play their part in reducing not only congestion, but pollution.

Every contribution made from the Conservative Benches was fascinating, because the Conservative party is doing a major U-turn on every transport policy that it inflicted on this country for 18 years.

Mr. Faber: Will the Minister give way?

Ms Jackson: No, I am afraid that I am almost out of time.

The right hon. Member for South Norfolk(Mr. MacGregor) made a particularly interesting contribution. Apparently, he managed to obtain 13 bypasses for his constituency, but he complains that he needs another two. If I remember rightly, he agreed that we had to move away from what had been Conservative party policy--predict and provide--because putting more and more tarmac on our roads does nothing but encourage more car journeys.

The right hon. Gentleman's contribution was also interesting because he wants to introduce motorway tolls, which I understand is not Conservative party policy, although we know that the Conservatives would introduce congestion charging. However, they would never, ever hypothecate the sums so raised to the improvement of transport, which is our policy in respect of the Greater London authority. [Interruption.] It is in the Bill.

18 Mar 1999 : Column 1365

The hon. Member for Lewes (Mr. Baker) somewhat ungraciously neglected to accord to the Government credit for the help that they gave to the hon. Member for Ceredigion (Mr. Dafis) when he took his Road Traffic Reduction (National Targets) Bill through the House. The hon. Gentleman asked particular questions; no, of course I cannot guarantee that there will be the reduction in traffic about which he spoke by the end of this Parliament. As my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport made clear in his opening remarks, changing direction is like manoeuvring a supertanker, which cannot be turned on a sixpence. However, our commitment to achieving not only a reduction in road traffic, but an absolute reduction, stands firm.

Two central themes emanated from the contributionsof Conservative Members: their unwillingness to acknowledge that they introduced the fuel duty escalator and their inability to accept that the major rises in the escalator occurred under the previous Administration, as we have had occasion to say. The price of DERV has risen by 7p since May 1997; under the previous Government, it rose by 26p.

Conservative Members also made much of the fact that they put funding into trunk road maintenance and local road schemes. This Government have increased funding for local road maintenance to almost £2 billion--the figure was frozen for four years by the previous Administration--and there is almost £250,000 in additional funding for the bridge programme. We have given a clear commitment on the 37 road schemes which we announced, with a budget of £1.4 billion. The figures for trunk road maintenance are £651 million for1998-99 and £780 million for 2001-02, and there has been an additional £550 million for making better use of our roads.

Conservative Members were much concerned about what they claimed was an unbearable burden on our freight industry. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport will meet representatives of the haulage industry. Conservative Members do no favours to the companies in their constituencies if they do not point out to those hauliers the facts of the case. If hauliers moved to the continent, the real burden would be the infinitely higher rates of corporation tax--the United Kingdom has the lowest--and infinitely higher social costs on the mainland of Europe.

Mr. Paterson: Will the hon. Lady give way?

Ms Jackson: No.

The net differential with haulage companies in France has been estimated at almost £450,000 in France, almost £600,000 in the Netherlands, and more than £800,000 in Belgium. If Conservative Members are seriously committed to their constituents and are really concerned about retaining jobs in their areas, they should give the industry the facts, as my right hon. Friend most certainly will.

Another issue which was raised by more than one hon. Member was detrunking. The hon. Member for Westbury (Mr. Faber) spoke of a particularly tragic incident in his constituency on the road that is proposed for detrunking. Detrunking does not mean a reduction in status, and discussions are continuing between the local authorities and my Department. Nor does it mean that there will be inadequate funds to maintain such roads throughout their lifetime. I hope that that will reassure the hon. Gentleman.

18 Mar 1999 : Column 1366

My hon. Friends made many valid points on safety. The Government are committed to ensuring that our roads are safe. We want there to be a shift and we want to offer real choices for travel, so that we begin to reduce the dangers on our roads. Conservative Members would apparently abolish the fuel duty escalator. They have clearly given up any commitment to meeting the environmental targets of Kyoto. [Interruption.] They have washed their hands of taking any steps to improve our environment and to reduce congestion on our roads. They would go back to the old predict and provide strategy on road building. [Interruption.]

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. The House must come to order. There is far too much noise in the Chamber.

Ms Jackson: Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

Conservative Members shed crocodile tears about what they regard as the horrendous impact on rural communities of the fuel duty escalator. The Conservative Government pillaged rural communities. They took away roads, jobs, houses, health care, village shops and village schools. Now, suddenly, Conservative Members are caring, but what was significantly missing from their contributions was any mention of the 30 per cent. of people in this country who have no access to private transport. Where would those people be now if Conservative policies had continued?

Mr. James Arbuthnot (North-East Hampshire) rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.

Question, That the Question be now put, put and agreed to.

Question accordingly put, That the original words stand part of the Question:--

The House divided: Ayes 121, Noes 302.

Division No. 119
[6.59 pm


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Arbuthnot, Rt Hon James
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Body, Sir Richard
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Bottomley, Rt Hon Mrs Virginia
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter
Browning, Mrs Angela
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)
Burns, Simon
Butterfill, John
Chapman, Sir Sydney
(Chipping Barnet)
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Clark, Rt Hon Alan (Kensington)
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Colvin, Michael
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Cran, James
Curry, Rt Hon David
Davies, Quentin (Grantham)
Davis, Rt Hon David (Haltemprice & Howden)
Day, Stephen
Dorrell, Rt Hon Stephen
Duncan, Alan
Duncan Smith, Iain
Faber, David
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Forth, Rt Hon Eric
Fraser, Christopher
Gibb, Nick
Gill, Christopher
Goodlad, Rt Hon Sir Alastair
Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Gray, James
Green, Damian
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Gummer, Rt Hon John
Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archie
Hawkins, Nick
Hayes, John
Heathcoat-Amory, Rt Hon David
Horam, John
Howard, Rt Hon Michael
Hunter, Andrew
Jack, Rt Hon Michael
Jenkin, Bernard
Johnson Smith,
Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lansley, Andrew
Leigh, Edward
Lidington, David
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham)
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
MacGregor, Rt Hon John
McIntosh, Miss Anne
MacKay, Rt Hon Andrew
Maclean, Rt Hon David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Madel, Sir David
Malins, Humfrey
Maples, John
Maude, Rt Hon Francis
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Sir Brian
May, Mrs Theresa
Moss, Malcolm
Nicholls, Patrick
Norman, Archie
Ottaway, Richard
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Paterson, Owen
Pickles, Eric
Prior, David
Randall, John
Redwood, Rt Hon John
Robathan, Andrew
Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)
Rowe, Andrew (Faversham)
Ruffley, David
St Aubyn, Nick
Shephard, Rt Hon Mrs Gillian
Shepherd, Richard
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spring, Richard
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Steen, Anthony
Streeter, Gary
Syms, Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Ian (Esher & Walton)
Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Townend, John
Tredinnick, David
Trend, Michael
Tyrie, Andrew
Wardle, Charles
Waterson, Nigel
Wells, Bowen
Whitney, Sir Raymond
Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann
Wilkinson, John
Wilshire, David
Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Young, Rt Hon Sir George

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Oliver Heald and
Mr. Tim Collins.


Abbott, Ms Diane
Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Allan, Richard
Allen, Graham
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E)
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, John
Baker, Norman
Banks, Tony
Barnes, Harry
Barron, Kevin
Battle, John
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret
Bell, Stuart (Middlesbrough)
Bennett, Andrew F
Benton, Joe
Bermingham, Gerald
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Boateng, Paul
Borrow, David
Bradley, Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Brown, Rt Hon Nick (Newcastle E)
Browne, Desmond
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burstow, Paul
Butler, Mrs Christine
Byers, Rt Hon Stephen
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Rt Hon Menzies
(NE Fife)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Canavan, Dennis
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Chisholm, Malcolm
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Rt Hon Dr David (S Shields)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann
Coaker, Vernon
Coleman, Iain
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cooper, Yvette
Corbett, Robin
Corbyn, Jeremy
Corston, Ms Jean
Cousins, Jim
Cox, Tom
Cranston, Ross
Crausby, David
Cryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cunliffe, Lawrence
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Dalyell, Tam
Darling, Rt Hon Alistair
Darvill, Keith
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, John
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Donohoe, Brian H
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, David
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Edwards, Huw
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Fatchett, Rt Hon Derek
Fearn, Ronnie
Field, Rt Hon Frank
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Foster, Michael J (Worcester)
Foulkes, George
Fyfe, Maria
Galloway, George
Gapes, Mike
Gerrard, Neil
Godman, Dr Norman A
Gorrie, Donald
Grocott, Bruce
Grogan, John
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hancock, Mike
Hanson, David
Harris, Dr Evan
Heath, David (Somerton & Frome)
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, Ms Patricia
Hill, Keith
Hodge, Ms Margaret
Hoey, Kate
Home Robertson, John
Hoon, Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Hurst, Alan
Hutton, John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Illsley, Eric
Jackson, Ms Glenda (Hampstead)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Ms Jenny
(Wolverh'ton SW)
Jones, Dr Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Kelly, Ms Ruth
Kemp, Fraser
Kennedy, Charles (Ross Skye)
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)
Kingham, Ms Tess
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Lawrence, Ms Jackie
Laxton, Bob
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom
Linton, Martin
Love, Andrew
McAllion, John
McAvoy, Thomas
McCafferty, Ms Chris
McDonagh, Siobhain
Macdonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
McIsaac, Shona
McKenna, Mrs Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
McLeish, Henry
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
Mallaber, Judy
Mandelson, Rt Hon Peter
Marek, Dr John
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Martlew, Eric
Maxton, John
Meale, Alan
Milburn, Rt Hon Alan
Mitchell, Austin
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Moore, Michael
Moran, Ms Margaret
Morley, Elliot
Morris, Rt Hon John (Aberavon)
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr Doug
Oaten, Mark
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
O'Hara, Eddie
Olner, Bill
O'Neill, Martin
Öpik, Lembit
Organ, Mrs Diana
Osborne, Ms Sandra
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pearson, Ian
Perham, Ms Linda
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter L
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pond, Chris
Pope, Greg
Powell, Sir Raymond
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Primarolo, Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Rapson, Syd
Raynsford, Nick
Reid, Rt Hon Dr John (Hamilton N)
Rendel, David
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rooker, Jeff
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Rowlands, Ted
Roy, Frank
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Ryan, Ms Joan
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Shipley, Ms Debra
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Miss Geraldine
(Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Snape, Peter
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Ms Helen
Spellar, John
Squire, Ms Rachel
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr Howard
Stott, Roger
Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin
Stringer, Graham
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann
Temple-Morris, Peter
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark
Tonge, Dr Jenny
Touhig, Don
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Tyler, Paul
Vis, Dr Rudi
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Ms Claire
Wareing, Robert N
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
Wills, Michael
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wood, Mike
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, Dr Tony (Cannock)

Tellers for the Noes:

Mrs. Anne McGuire and
Mr. Robert Ainsworth.

Question accordingly negatived.

18 Mar 1999 : Column 1369

Question, That the proposed words be there added, put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 31 (Questions on amendments):--

The House divided: Ayes 272, Noes 123.

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