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Local Government (Camden)

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what representations he has had about Camden Council's decision to reject an executive structure. [106321]

Ms Armstrong: Ministers have spoken on a number of occasions to interested parties about Camden's plans for modernisation.

Car Statistics

Mr. Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many cars per mile there were on Britain's roads in (a) 1996, (b) 1997, (c) 1998 and (d) 1999. [106688]

Mr. Hill: The calculations are shown in the table. Data for road length in 1999 are not available.

1996199719981999
Total road length (miles)229,185229,835230,914--
Number of cars21,639,46222,298,30422,984,33623,458,476
Cars per mile94.497.099.5--

Road lengths are as of 1 April each year. For the number of cars, figures are from 31 March for 1997, 1998 and 1999 but the 1996 figure is an estimate based upon figures from the end of 1995 and the end of June 1996. The road lengths do not necessarily reflect the amount of carriageway available to cars. For example, a mile of motorway is treated the same as a mile of minor road.

DVLA

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 13 January 2000, Official Report, column 210W, concerning the DVLA, what percentage of (a) car and motorcycle and (b) lorry and bus licence applications in which the applicant declared a medical condition were processed within the published standards in each month of 1999; and how many were outstanding with the DVLA for longer than the published standards in each month. [106716]

Mr. Hill [holding answer 24 January 2000]: The published standards contain a time allowance for the receipt of advice from third parties necessary to complete the Agency's consideration. Taking that into account, the percentage number is as follows.

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Percentage

MonthsCar/motorcycleLorry/bus
January 19995572
February5776
March5475
April5072
May5464
June4661
July4359
August3763
September4064
October4074
November3971
December4164

The number of new cases opened each month which either exceeded at closure or are still currently exceeding the published service standards was:

MonthsCar/motorcycleLorry/bus
January 199910,1501,497
February11,5511,281
March11,5141,304
April11,7051,003
May9,118999
June12,9231,369
July11,6871,105
August10,164972
September14,4051,137
October12,734790
November14,485978
December9,185786

As at 31 December the number of current cases outstanding which has exceeded the published service standards totalled 35,490 (car/motorcycle) and 1,981 (lorry/bus).

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 13 January 2000, Official Report, column 210W, concerning the DVLA, how many people were advised by the DVLA that the Medical Unit would take longer than the published standards of five to seven weeks to complete its investigations in each year since 1995. [106734]

Mr. Hill [holding answer 24 January 2000]: Figures were not produced for 1995-96 financial year and earlier. The figures for subsequent completed years are as follows:

YearLetters sent
1996-9741,987
1997-9852,285
1998-9984,600
1999-2000(26)69,338

(26) To date.


Customers will also be advised of progress by telephone but no summary records are kept of this means of notification.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 13 January 2000, Official Report, column 210W, concerning the DVLA, how many people

27 Jan 2000 : Column: 277W

currently have an application with the DVLA for a (a) car and motorcycle and (b) lorry and bus licence in which the applicant declared a medical condition, which has been outstanding for longer than the published standards of five to seven weeks. [106717]

Mr. Hill [holding answer 24 January 2000]: The Agency deals with an annual total of some 320,000 applicants and notifications, involving medical investigations. At close of business on 20 January 2000, there were (a) 33,699 car and motorcycle and (b) 1,881 lorry and bus transactions which had been outstanding for longer than the published standards. This includes drivers who have notified a medical condition but are not currently applying for a licence.

Standard Spending Assessments

Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list for each shire county, the SSA and actual expenditure, with the deviation as a percentage of SSA for (a) social services and (b) education for each year for which data are available since 1990-91. [106558]

Ms Beverley Hughes: The requested information has been placed in the Library of the House.

Driving Licences

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what assessment he has made of the advantages and disadvantages of allowing applicants for driving licences to present alternative forms of identification from those currently required; and if he will make a statement. [106680]

Mr. Hill: The documents required in support of a photocard driving licence application have been agreed by the Ministerial Group on Welfare Reform. The requirements are the same for all driving licence applicants and are in line with Government policy on combating welfare fraud. To accept alternative documents from certain applicants would mean different standards of identity checking and a two-tier system.

A more flexible arrangement to assist individuals whose cases are under consideration by the Immigration and Nationality Department of the Home Office is being looked into as a temporary measure.

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what assistance is offered to applicants for driving licences who are awaiting the issue of travel documents or naturalisation papers by the Home Office, in proving their identity for the purpose of obtaining driving licences; and if he will make a statement. [106683]

Mr. Hill: Driving licence applicants who are awaiting the issue of travel documents or naturalisation papers by the Home Office are advised to contact the Home Office to ask for confirmation of details to be provided for driving licence application purposes.

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what arrangements are in place to assist applicants for driving licences who cannot produce the original documents required to prove their identity, due to these being

27 Jan 2000 : Column: 278W

(a) held, and (b) not yet issued by the Immigration and Nationality Department for immigration or nationality purposes; and if he will make a statement. [106684]

Mr. Hill: Driving licence applicants whose documents are being held or not yet issued by the Immigration and Nationality Department are advised to contact that Department to ask for confirmation of details to be provided for driving licence application purposes.

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many applications for driving licences were not proceeded with in the last year for which figures are available because the applicant was unable to produce the necessary identification on the grounds that it was (a) being held and (b) had not been issued by the Immigration and Nationality Department; and if he will made a statement. [106682]

Mr. Hill: Since August 1999, following Home Office advice on evidence of identity some 7,500 photocard driving licence applications have been rejected because the applicant was unable to produce the necessary identification on the grounds that (a) it was being held or (b) had not been issued by the Home Office. It should be noted that those persons included in (b) may never become eligible for the issue of a necessary identity document by the Home Office.

Air Service Agreements

Mr. Goggins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what assessment he has made of the balance of benefits to the United Kingdom regions and to the South East of England in pursuing a mini-deal on transatlantic bilateral air service agreements with the USA. [106788]

Mr. Mullin: Transatlantic air services between the UK and the US are governed by the provisions of an air services agreement, commonly referred to as Bermuda II. The Government will contemplate changes to Bermuda II only on terms which are no less advantageous to the generality of UK interests than to US interests. In determining this balance, the Government have regard not only to the interests of airlines but to the interests of airports (London and regional), the regions in which those airports are situated and the interests of consumers. This approach has guided the Government's consideration of a range of options for a possible mini-deal during the current round of talks.


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