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Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on the principal elements in the cost of car ownership in (a) 1970, (b) 1980, (c) 1990 and (d) the latest date for which figures are available, indicating in each year the percentage of these costs of average earnings. 
Mr. Hill: The principal elements in the costs of car ownership are set out in the table with a baseline figure of 100 for 1970. A similar index for average earnings is included and all figures are adjusted for overall inflation:
|All motoring expenditure:||100||103||90||100|
|Motor vehicle purchase:||100||98||77||67|
|Petrol and oil:||100||112||92||122|
|Tax and insurance:||100||71||83||113|
The information on changing costs comes from the Retail Prices Index, which monitors price changes over time for a standard collection of goods and services. Average earnings data are collected at April each year by means of a survey and represent the gross pay of adults working full-time whose pay is unaffected by absence. All figures are for Great Britain.
Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what have been the changes in the costs of (a) private car ownership, (b) rail travel and (c) bus travel since 1970. 
Mr. Hill: Information on relative price changes is collected by the Office for National Statistics for use in the Retail Prices Index (RPI). The DETR also collects specific information on changes to average bus fares. Setting indices to a base figure of 100 in 1970 changes, without allowing for inflation, are as follows:
6 Nov 2000 : Column: 23W
Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what the (a) amount and (b) percentage was of (i) carbon dioxide and (ii) nitrogen oxide emissions in (1) 1970, (2) 1980, (3) 1990 and (4) the last year for which figures are available in the road transport sector. 
Mr. Hill: Official estimates of the annual emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions in the UK since 1970 are contained in my Department's National Atmospheric Emission Inventory. The table shows road transport's contribution to national emissions of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides by source category in 1970, 1980, 1990 and 1998. 1998 is the last year official data are currently available.
|CO 2 emissions from road transport|
|Percentage of total UK emissions||8.8||12.9||18.7||21.2|
|NOx emissions from road transport|
|Percentage of total UK emissions||30.8||38.2||47.6||45.6|
(2) As carbon
Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when information and advice from the Highways Agency will be available on the priorities for resurfacing concrete roads up to 2010. 
Mr. Hill: Information on the initial priorities for resurfacing concrete roads will be available next spring after the Highways Agency has obtained and considered the views of local authorities on the approach they propose for prioritising the work.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what investigations he has instigated to ascertain the safety of Firestone tyres fitted to Ford Explorer vehicles imported from the United States of America. 
Mr. Hill [holding answer 31 October 2000]: There is a possibility that under certain circumstances and operating conditions that tread separation and rapid tyre deflation may occur in the case of Firestone P235/75 R 15 Radial ATX, ATX11 and Wilderness AT--all "S" rated tyres fitted to Ford Explorer vehicles.
The Secretary of State's power in this respect is limited to checking compliance on the part of Bridgestone/Firestone UK Ltd. with the voluntary Code of Practice on the recall of tyres drawn up by the Department and the Tyre Industry Council.
Vehicle Inspectorate Vehicle Safety Branch is satisfied that the company has taken the appropriate action in recalling Firestone P235/75 R 15 Radial ATX, ATX11 and Wilderness AT--all "S" rated--tyres fitted to Ford
6 Nov 2000 : Column: 24W
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many people were killed in road accidents in (a) 1997, (b) 1998 and (c) 1999 in Devon; and how many of these were children. 
(3) Aged 0 to 15
Mrs. Brinton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if there is an exemption order for the fleet of new Class 170/3 trains to be introduced into service by South West Trains Ltd. in respect of the provisions of the Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations 1998; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hill: We have received an application from South West Trains Ltd. relating to the new Class 170/3 trains they wish to introduce into service. The exemptions have been discussed with our statutory advisers, the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee. An exemption Order relating to the exemption of these trains was laid before Parliament on 3 November 2000. Copies are available from the Library.
Further applications for exemption from certain aspects of the Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations 1998 have also been received from Gatwick Express for their Class 460 vehicles, Chiltern Railways Ltd. for their Class 168/1 vehicles and South West Trains in relation to their Class 458 vehicles. The exemptions sought were also discussed with the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee. The exemption Order relating to the Gatwick Express vehicles was laid before Parliament on 1 September 2000 while the Orders relating to the Chiltern Railways and South West Trains vehicles were both laid before Parliament on 8 September 2000.
The exemptions will not prevent disabled people from using the new trains. Indeed, we believe that their introduction will make a significant contribution to improving mobility opportunities for disabled people.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what recent representations he has received concerning the introduction of legislation to improve access to transport
6 Nov 2000 : Column: 25W
for disabled people; what has been his response; what proposals he has to improve access for disabled people; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hill: The Department has held widespread consultations with disability organisations and with the transport industries in the course of developing proposals to implement the transport provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
Regulations have been in place since the end of 1998 to require all new trains to meet detailed technical standards to guarantee accessibility. In the order of 250 trains in service are already DDA compliant. Regulations setting similar standards for buses used on local or scheduled services are also in place and will take effect from 31 December this year. A package of measures to introduce access requirements for licensed taxis is being finalised and will be subject to further consultation.
Mr. Dawson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what powers he has (a) to deal with the problem of smell from animal render plants and (b) to ensure that regulations are enforced by local authorities. 
Mr. Meacher: Animal rendering plants are regulated under the air pollution control regime established by Part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Regulation is transferring to the Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999 over a transitional period.
In accordance with the 1990 Act, rendering plant must be authorised and regulators must include in authorisations conditions aimed at ensuring the use of the Best Available Techniques Not Entailing Excessive Cost (BATNEEC) to prevent, minimise and render harmless emissions. "Harm" is defined in the Act as including offence to the senses and hence local authorities must address any odour issues. The statutory guidance issued to regulators concerning BATNEEC for animal rendering plant focuses especially on the odour issue and we updated and strengthened the guidance earlier this year.
The 1990 Act gives regulatory responsibility for animal rendering plant to local authorities. It additionally provides the Secretary of State with a number of reserve powers which could be exercised in the event of regulatory failings. These include the power to direct what conditions should be imposed in a given case, to direct whether an enforcement notice should be served or whether an authorisation should be revoked, to direct that regulatory responsibility be transferred to the Environment Agency, and to direct that an application for authorisation be referred to him for determination.
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