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Mr. Hoon [holding answer 9 November 2000]: A contract was signed on 2 September for the lease of four C-17 aircraft for seven years, commencing in mid 2001, to meet our Short Term Strategic Airlift requirement. The exact contract price is commercially confidential, but in broad terms we expect the overall cost to be in the order of £500 million, including maintenance of the aircraft. The aircraft will be used to carry material rather than troops.
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contribution English Partnerships has made towards (a) the regeneration of the Greenwich peninsula and (b) the Millennium Dome; and how much English Partnerships is expected to receive from the sale of the Millennium Dome. 
Mr. Prescott: English Partnerships' financial contribution to the regeneration of the Greenwich Peninsula as a whole is some £222 million. English Partnerships has made no financial contribution to the construction and fitting out of the Millennium Dome, its contents, or associated buildings and structures.
English Partnerships paid £20 million to British Gas for the purchase of its property interest across the whole of the Peninsula. In addition, English Partnerships has incurred expenditure of £144 million in remediating, servicing, landscaping and providing the infrastructure necessary for the long term regeneration of the northern Peninsula--including provision of the central park and other permanent features. The Environment Agency made a contribution of £2.5 million towards the environmental improvements of the riverwall works. English Partnerships' expenditure included £22.8 million to meet the New Millennium Experience Company's requirements--for which the full amount is being reimbursed to English Partnerships by NMEC.
On the Southern part of the Peninsula, which is already undergoing long term regeneration, English Partnerships has incurred expenditure of some £58 million in remediating, servicing, and landscaping the site, together with the construction of a new school and health centre for use by the existing and emerging local community.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what progress is being made in his review of policy on children's seat belts installation and testing. 
Mr. Hill: Following my hon. Friends' meeting with my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State on 2 August, we undertook to raise this matter at the Department's next MOT trade liaison meeting. This meeting will be held on 5 December which will enable us to enlist industry's views on what more might feasibly be done in this area.
In parallel with this, we are embarking on a series of measures to aid and promote safety with child seat installation. A radio and publicity campaign will be launched by the Department in February to highlight the need for vehicle owners to check the fitment of restraint belts before they are used. In addition, we will be producing 'credit card' style tips for motorists about child restraints. These cards will be passed on to motorists at MOT testing stations and we will also instruct testers to offer advice on the general condition of child restraints.
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investigations are being undertaken into the safety of the railway track in Wales; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hill: The Health and Safety Executive's (HSE's) Railway Inspectorate have had meetings with each senior Railtrack zone manager following the derailment at Hatfield to ensure that the zones and their contractors are implementing the criteria for examination and inspection set down by Railtrack.
Railtrack is taking whatever action is necessary to identify all track defects and where they cannot be remedied speedily, the necessary mitigation measures (ie speed restrictions, increased inspection, traffic limitations) will be implemented to maintain the safety of passengers.
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will issue guidance to the Environment Agency concerning prosecutions by Agency staff of breaches of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 by unauthorised campers. 
Mr. Mullin: It is neither appropriate nor necessary for my right hon. Friend to issue guidance on this issue to the Environment Agency. The waste management controls of part II of the Environmental Protection act 1990 apply to campers as they do to other members of the public and businesses. It rests with the Environment Agency to take decisions about prosecutions on the facts of each case and the available evidence. Where there is evidence of contravention, we expect the Agency to take action in line with its national Enforcement Policy--which is published on its website http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/epns/epp.htm.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many inspectors are employed by the safety regulations group within the CAA; and what plans the CAA has to alter their number following the completion of the National Air Traffic Services Public Private Partnership. 
Mr. Mullin: The Air Traffic Services Standards Department, within the CAA's Safety Regulation Group, currently employs 27 inspectors dealing directly with operational safety issues. This figure includes Air Traffic Service Inspectors and Engineering Inspectors, but does not include managerial, requirements production, and administrative support staff.
The CAA currently has no intention to alter the number of inspectors as a result of the completion of the National Air Traffic Services Public Private Partnership. It has, however, recently increased the number of inspectors to deal with the NATS Swanwick Centre approval and preliminary work on the New Scottish Centre Project, and will continue to adjust the numbers of inspectors according to work load, and projected demand.
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Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 31 October 2000, Official Report, column 387W, on road improvements (Gloucestershire) if he will undertake feasibility studies for a Nettleton Bolter Relief Road, a gyratory system at the Air Balloon Pub and an extra lane at Crickley Hill. 
Mr. Hill [holding answer 9 November 2000]: The A417 trunk road between Nettleton and the Brockworth Bypass is a particularly difficult section of road for which there are no quick or easy solutions. Any road based solution is likely to be costly and challenging given the environmental constraints of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Government Office for the South West is considering with the Highways Agency how the traffic problems of this section of the A417 might best be addressed.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has for further negotiations with his US counterpart on air service agreements; and what timescale he proposes for their conclusion. 
Mr. Mullin [holding answer 9 November 2000]: My officials are in regular contact with their US counterparts. We hope to make further progress on securing our goal of a liberalised UK-US aviation market in the coming months.
Mr. Mullin: Since the early 1990s, the Ministry of Defence had been considering the sale of Farnborough Airfield. The DETR has maintained an interest in developments and there have been a number of discussions at official level between the two Departments on this issue during this period.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 will be implemented in full; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hill: The consultation on the text of the draft regulations and administrative rules for the licensing of London private hire vehicle operators, jointly undertaken by the Department and the Public Carriage Office, has now been completed. Having carefully considered the responses, we are currently preparing the final version of the regulations, which I expect to make this month. Transport for London will be responsible for taking forward the second and third phases of implementation which will cover the regulation of private hire drivers and vehicles.
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