Previous Section Index Home Page


ENVIRONMENT, TRANSPORT AND THE REGIONS

Radioactive Waste

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if his Department has applied the tests set out in the Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee's September 1997 report on the Import and Export of Radioactive Waste to the reprocessing of German spent nuclear fuel at Sellafield. [82469]

8 Jun 1999 : Column: 215

Mr. Collins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) what plans he has to introduce legislation to make mandatory the tests set out by the Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee in its 1997 report on The Import and Export of Radioactive Waste; and if he will make a statement; [85463]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 26 May 1999]: The Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee's September 1997 report on The Import and Export of Radioactive Waste suggests


As spent nuclear fuel has not traditionally been defined as radioactive waste, the tests outlined do not apply to the import of materials for reprocessing.

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what discussions he has had with (a) BNFL and (b) the United States Nuclear Authorities in respect of BNFL proposals to import irradiated spent nuclear fuel from the US-based Yankee Power utility for storage at Sellafield. [85615]

Mr. Meacher: DETR has not entered into discussions with either party on this issue, neither has it been party to any discussions BNFL might have had.

Genetically Modified Crops

Ms Drown: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 12 May 1999, Official Report, column 151, on genetically-modified crops, how much money the Government will spend in total on (a) funding and (b) subsidising (i) farm-scale evaluations and (ii) other trial sites for genetically-modified crops in 1999; and how much money has been allocated for the same purposes in 2000. [85272]

Mr. Meacher: The total cost to Government of funding ecological studies as part of the farm scale evaluations in 1999-2000 is £233,000, this includes all the farms, not just the one near Swindon. The expected figure for 2000-01 is £702,000. There is no subsidy. The industry grouping SCIMAC is covering the whole cost of growing the crops for the farm scale evaluations. SCIMAC are providing the GM seeds for the paired comparisons of GM and non GM crops, and funding their growing and management on the farm and the disposal of the produce.

8 Jun 1999 : Column: 216

The Government are not spending any public money on the funding or subsidising of other trial sites of genetically modified crops in either year.

Road Noise Mitigation

Mr. Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Chatham and Aylesford (Mr. Shaw) of 22 March 1999, Official Report, columns 50-1, on road noise mitigation if tunnel roads include motorways; over what period the 80dB(A) noise level will be measured; and whether local authorities will be provided with the noise level predictions for the design years of the roads which may qualify in their area. [85439]

Ms Glenda Jackson: Nearly all motorways are included within the trunk road network.

The noise level criterion of 80dB(A) is applied to an estimate of roadside noise based on readily available traffic information such as vehicle types, speeds and road surface. The estimate used is the average hourly L 1 0 level over a typical weekday between the hours of 6am and 12 midnight.

On request, local authorities can be provided with information in this form.

Ministerial Meetings

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the occasions since 1 May 1997 on which (a) he and (b) his ministers have had meetings concerning the implementation of the Government's transport policy with the Road Haulage Association, indicating in each case (i) the purpose and nature of the meeting, (ii) the duration of the meeting, (iii) the location of the meeting and (iv) those who attended. [85484]

Ms Glenda Jackson: Full details in answer to this question can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and his transport ministerial team since the General Election, have had many meetings both formal and informal with senior representatives of the Road Haulage Association (RHA) at which transport issues have been discussed. The inaugural meeting of the Road Haulage Forum was recently chaired by the then Minister for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Hamilton, North and Bellshill (Dr. Reid) and attended by my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State on 8 April. My right hon. Friend, the then Minister for Transport also attended the RHA annual dinner on 11 May.

Barnet Football Club

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on the progress in respect of its planning decision in relation to Barnet Football Club, Copthall Stadium. [85617]

Mr. Caborn: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State refused planning permission on 3 June. A copy of the decision letter has been sent to my hon. Friend.

8 Jun 1999 : Column: 217

Regional Development Agencies

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when regional development agencies will publish their required strategies. [86100]

Mr. Caborn: We expect RDAs to submit their initial strategies to Ministers in the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions by October 1999. The RDAs have all begun involving regional partners in drawing up their regional strategies. Draft versions of the strategies will be produced for consultation over the summer.

Thameslink

Mr. Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what assessment he has made of passenger loading on the Thameslink rail route. [85691]

Ms Glenda Jackson: Passenger counts are required by the terms of Thameslink's franchise agreement. The last counts were undertaken in the Autumn of 1998; and the results published on 29 March 1999 showed passenger loadings to be above the contractual threshold. In accordance with the contractual obligations of their franchise agreement Thameslink is producing for the Franchising Director a Feasibility Study considering options for additional capacity.

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on the planned reduction in service by Thameslink, to and from Hendon. [85712]

Ms Glenda Jackson: Thameslink have made marginal changes to peak services in their Summer 1999 timetable. One morning train no longer calls at Hendon. The minimum level of service which the operator must provide is set out in the Passenger Service Requirement (PSR) which is the key part of the franchise agreement under which services are provided. PSRs are based on the services which were being operated by British Rail at the time of franchising. Thameslink's PSR specifies a weekly half hourly service between Hendon and London. In the Summer 1999 timetable Hendon continues to receive 60 services from London Kings Cross Thameslink and 63 services to London Kings Cross Thameslink.

Railway Rolling Stock

Mr. Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what discussions he has had with the Rail Regulator on the transfer of rolling stock between Train Operating Companies to reduce over-crowding. [85692]

Ms Glenda Jackson: Overcrowding is an issue addressed in franchise agreements between the Franchising Director and the Train Operating Companies (TOCs). The Franchising Director has facilitated discussions between TOCs for the transfer of rolling stock to address overcrowding. Such transfers are contractual matters between TOCs and discussions are currently taking place which if implemented would reduce overcrowding on some of the worst affected services in the South East.

8 Jun 1999 : Column: 218


Next Section Index Home Page