Previous Section Index Home Page

Children (Christmas Holidays)

Mr. Fearn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many non-resident parents were denied the opportunity to see their children over Christmas and New Year holiday as a result of decisions made by parents with care; and how many children were thus affected. [146168]

Jane Kennedy: I have been asked to reply.

This information is not available.

Porton Down

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what methods his Department is using to alert the NHS and GPs to the existence of the Medical Assessment Programme for volunteers who took part in experiments at the chemical defence establishment, Porton Down. [146649]

Dr. Moonie: I have been asked to reply.

The Department of Health sent an electronic message about the Medical Assessment Programme for Porton Down volunteers to Directors of Public Health in England on 21 November 2000. This message was then forwarded to General Practitioners, Chief Executives of Health Authorities, Chairs of Primary Care Groups, Primary Care Medical Advisers, Project managers/Nurse leads in Walk-in Centres and Leads at nurse-led Personal Medical Services Pilots. A copy of the message was also sent to the Library of the House and is available on the Department of Health website at cmo3.htm. The Health Departments of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have disseminated this message to GPs and Health Board Directors of Public Health within their area of responsibility.

The Porton Down Volunteers' Medical Assessment Programme has only just started and it is therefore too early to consider the analysis of its data. The data about specific individuals' referral to the Medical Assessment Programme will be medically confidential. However, it is planned to aggregate and anonymise the data to form a case series for analysis. Such data could, with volunteers' consent, be made available to independent researchers.


GM Crops

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will assess the benefits of introducing a liabilities regime in respect of contamination and damage from GM crops. [144224]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 17 January 2001]: I shall be considering this year a range of options concerning possible new provisions for liability in respect of any damage from GM crops. In this regard I will take into account the European Commission's proposals on environmental liability due later this year. My review will assess the benefits of such provisions as well as the difficulties that would have to be addressed.

Such benefits might include reassurance for the public and nearby farmers, an effective mechanism for ensuring the remediation of environmental damage, and greater

24 Jan 2001 : Column: 604W

responsibility by producers of GM seeds and growers of GM crops in assessing their obligations to other farmers and the public.

Unsafe Vessels

Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what powers of intervention his representative has to allow the entry of unsafe vessels to ports. [146157]

Mr. Hill: A harbour master may give directions under the Dangerous Vessels Act 1985 prohibiting the entry into, or requiring the removal from, the harbour of any vessel if its condition, or the nature or condition of anything it contains, is such that its presence in the harbour might involve a grave and imminent danger to the safety of persons or property or a risk that the vessel may, by sinking or foundering in the harbour, prevent or seriously prejudice the use of the harbour by other vessels. Such directions given by the harbour master may be over-ridden by the Secretary of State or his representative. There are also powers in Sections 137 and 138 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, as amended by the Merchant Shipping and Maritime Security Act 1997 and the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Pollution) (Foreign Ships) Order 1997. These powers enable the Secretary of State, or his representative, to give directions to allow, or if appropriate refuse, the entry of a vessel to a port for the purpose of preventing or minimising pollution, or the threat of pollution, following a maritime accident.

Traffic Changes

Mrs. Brinton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what the year on year changes were in (a) all road traffic, (b) non- motorway traffic, (c) passenger rail use, (d) rail freight, (e) motorcycle use and (f) bicycle use (i) between 1997 and 1999 and (ii) since October 2000; and what the latest forecasts for changes in these categories are. [147027]

Mr. Hill: The information requested is as follows:

Percentage change on previous year

Great Britain19981999
All traffic (vehicle kilometres)1.51.7
Non-motorway traffic (veh-kms)0.91.5
Passenger rail use (passenger kms)4.76.2
Rail freight (tonne-kms)2.44.1
Motorcycle use (veh-kms)-518
Bicycle use (veh-kms)-25

Information about road traffic since October 2000 is due to be published on 8 February 2001; information about rail passenger use and rail freight since October 2000 will be published in March 2001.

The latest forecasts are those prepared for the Government's 10-year-plan for transport, published in July 2000. They take into account the expected effect of the measures set out in the plan. There are no forecasts of motorcycle use, as there is at present insufficient evidence of its relationship with economic or other variables on which to base sound forecasts.

24 Jan 2001 : Column: 605W

Percentage change 2010 compared to 2000
All traffic (vehicle-kms England)17
Non-motorway traffic15
Passenger rail use (passenger km, GB)50
Rail freight (tonne-km, GB)80
Bicycle use (trips, England)200


Mrs. Brinton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many buses running on (a) road fuel gases and (b) other alternative fuels there were at the latest date for which figures are available. [147029]

Mr. Hill: Figures provided by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency show that, for the end of the third quarter of 2000, 114 buses were registered as being powered by road fuel gases. There were also eight buses registered as being powered solely by electricity. Data for other types of alternative fuel are not collected.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Mrs. Brinton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what the average levels of new car carbon dioxide emissions were in (a) the United Kingdom and (b) the EU in (i) 1995 and (ii) 1999. [147028]

Mr. Hill: The following table shows average new car carbon dioxide emissions in grams per kilometre for the UK and the EU for both 1995 and 1999.




Mr. Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will introduce legislation to allow local authorities to close off alleyways causing a public nuisance if requested to do so by the police; and if he will make a statement. [146577]

Mr. Hill: The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 gives local highway authorities powers to make special extinguishment and special diversion orders for closing or diverting public rights of way (which may include alleyways) for the purpose of preventing or reducing crime where premises near a right of way are affected by high levels of crime and the existence of that right of way is facilitating the persistent commission of offences.

Regeneration (Wandsworth)

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how much public funding has been allocated for regeneration purposes to the London Borough of Wandsworth since May 1997. [146500]

24 Jan 2001 : Column: 606W

Ms Armstrong: The information requested is, as far as possible, given in the following paragraph:

Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) funding figures relate to the lifetime amount awarded to schemes since round 3 (round 3 being the 1997-98 award period). As these are lifetime figures this does not reflect the annual amount spent; rather the figures represent the amount paid plus the amount outstanding within the award. However where an award is agreed, in principle, funding is released on an annual basis and this release is dependent upon the total available budget at the time of the annual review. Figures are given for those schemes where the relevant Borough Council is the Accountable Body. Funding may have been awarded to organisations within the borough, or working within the borough, over and above these figures. Figures provided reflect the amounts which were awarded directly to the Local Authority only--source London Development Agency.

Next Section Index Home Page