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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 31 January 2000



Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many cases of computer (a) fraud, including fraudulent use of computer chips and (b) theft his Department has recorded in the last five years. [106211]

Dr. Reid: Between April 1994 and March 1999, two cases of computer fraud were reported in the Scottish Office; neither case involved computer chips. There were also 26 cases of theft of computer equipment.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on how many occasions in each of the past five years computer systems in his Department have been illegally accessed by computer hackers (a) within and (b) outside his Department. [106235]

Dr. Reid: Between April 1994 and March 1999, there were no reported illegal accesses to Scottish Office computer systems from either inside or outside the Department.


Asset Sales

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the items in the National Asset Register sold by his Department, its agencies and associated public bodies since 22 February 1999, stating in each case the amount of money realised; if he will estimate the total amount raised from such sales to date; and if he will make a statement. [104487]

Ms Beverley Hughes: Details regarding asset sales from items listed with National Asset Register of November 1997 and sold up to November 1997 were set out in the answer given by my hon. Friend the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, the hon. Member for Mansfield (Mr. Meale), on 22 February 1999, Official Report, columns 74-76W.

National Asset Register: Sales up to 31 December 1999

Part of DETRType of asset soldAmount realised (£)
DETR(C)Motor vehicles67,911
The Highways Agency500 surplus properties and properties retained for construction45,880,627
Various items of plants and equipment87,878
DVLASale of van100
MCALand and buildings: auxiliary station, sector base, strip of land, Deal, Kent34,000
Vehicles and boats14,000
Other plant and machinery1,000
VCAOther plant and machinery1,134
Sub total:46,598,650
Commission for the New TownMortgages, built assets and land awaiting development120,051,900
English NatureLand and buildings50,700
English PartnershipBuilding, plant and computer equipment542,502
Environment AgencyLand and buildings, plant and machinery and fixtures and fittings1,957,000
Health SafetyMachinery, equipment, computers and plant and vehicles, furniture and office machinery396,238
Waltham Forest Housing ActionOffice equipment and computers3,300
Housing CorporationComputer equipment, other office equipment and motor cars40,164
Nationalised Industries
British Railways BoardBuilding and infrastructure, rolling stock, plant and equipment and investments31,800,000
British Waterways BoardInvestment and craft, plant and equipment15,948,000
Civil Aviation AuthorityVehicles658,143
London Regional TransportLand and property and plant and machinery2,080,000
Non Ministerial Government Department
Office of Passenger Rail FranchisingEquipment375
Office of Rail RegulatorIT equipment and fixtures and fittings3,150
Office of Water ServicesIT equipment and fixtures and fittings3,677
Government Department
Ordnance SurveyPlant, equipment and computers, fixtures and fittings and vehicles29,477
Sub total:173,564,626
Grand total:220,163,276

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Departmental Fees

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the fees his Department, its agencies and associated public bodies collect; how much has been raised or it is anticipated will be raised from each of these fees from 1989-90 to 2004-05; and which of these fees count as negative expenditure. [106002]

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Ms Beverley Hughes: The list of fees with income of £1 million or more collected by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions for 1997-98 and 1998-99 is as follows:

All the other fees listed can be used to offset relevant expenditure.

In some cases retained receipts will count as negative expenditure in national accounts aggregates, but in other cases they may score as tax revenues.

Further information can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

DETR fees with income of £1 million or more per annum collected in 1997-98 and 1998-99 £000

Development Plan Inquiries4,1823,451
QEII Conference Centre7,1148,066
Driver Licensing34,04839,519
Vehicle Registration067,655
Sale of Cherished Registration Marks36,24647,089
Assignment, Retention and Transfer of Registration Marks30,47433,277
Other Vehicle Fee Services3,0113,519
Marine Surveys3,8423,678
Vehicle Type Approval Service3,4632,893
Management System Certification1,3221,494
Theory Tests18,76918,858
Car Tests37,85840,365
Vocational Tests3,7114,595
Motorcycle Tests3,1103,741
Approved Driving Instructors/Compulsory Basic Training5,0054,555
Heavy Goods Vehicle Testing22,03523,201
Public Service Vehicle Testing3,1943,940
MOT Standard Control and Document Issue9,98412,408
Single Vehicle Approval Testing01,646
Goods Vehicle Operator Licensing23,56023,637
Public Service Vehicle Operator Licensing5,0125,287
Water Resources Management85,19291,552
Integrated Pollution Control14,78516,850
Radioactive Substances4,0935,924
Waste Regulations29,57432,352
Charges for Discharges42,73247,752
Navigation Services to Boaters3,5543,925
Licensing Nuclear Installations17,24717,074
Safety Related Research in the Nuclear Industry1,9831,570
Electrical Equipment Certification Service2,4212,537
Priced Publications5,0785,092
Approval of Non-Agricultural Pesticides1,6721,821


Mr. Gill: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to reinstate improvements to the A40 in London in the roads programme. [106315]

Mr. Hill: In September 1998 we announced a three stage strategy involving local improvements at Western Circus, Gypsy Corner and the replacement of the narrow

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railway bridges and widening between Gypsy Corner and Western Circus to bring the road up to a consistent dual three lane standard. The work at Western Circus has been completed at Gypsy Corner is planned for later this year. Design work has started on the third stage and it is anticipated that this would start in about 2002. A decision on the start date for this project will be for Transport for London. There are no plans to reinstate the major schemes at Gypsy Corner and Western Circus which were cancelled in 1997.

Mr. Gill: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what nugatory costs were incurred in relation to the cancelled improvement of the A40 in London. [106314]

Mr. Hill: The majority of the £27 million costs incurred for the cancelled schemes have been in acquiring land and properties over a long period and much of this will be recovered from its resale. Outline planning permission is being sought from the local authorities for its development following which the sale will take place. All other purchased properties which were not demolished have been or are about to be sold.

Mr. Gill: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if land and buildings purchased for the purpose of improving the A40 in London will be retained. [106316]

Mr. Hill: Nearly all the land purchased for the cancelled scheme is to be sold. Some will be retained to enable the narrow bridges to be replaced.

Mr. Gill: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what assessment he has made of the effect of traffic jams on the A40 in West London upon (a) quality of life of adjoining residents, (b) pollution levels, (c) additional fuel consumption and (d) the cost to businesses and individuals. [106317]

Mr. Hill: The three stage improvement programme announced in September 1998 addresses all these concerns. The completion of the first stage at Western Circus has already brought benefits of improved traffic flows, particularly eastbound into London. It has also provided safer and pleasant conditions for local residents with improved pedestrian facilities and by the closure of some local roads onto the A40 to prevent rat-running.

Mr. Gill: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what assessment he has made of the year on year increase in traffic holdups on the A40 in West London. [106318]

Mr. Hill: The Highways Agency, on behalf of the Secretary of State, monitors traffic flows on all trunk roads throughout the network, including the A40 in West London.

Westbound queues on the A40 in Acton have not changed significantly in the last decade, while eastbound queues have reduced significantly as a result of the improvements recently completed at Western Circus. The improvements planned at Gypsy Corner this year and the bridge replacements in 2002 will further improve traffic flow at this location.

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