|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mrs. Brinton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what information he has collated on the engine life of vehicles propelled by (a) petrol, (b) diesel and (c) LPG; and what assessment he has made of the consequent whole life sustainability of fuel technology. 
Mr. Hill: The Government have not undertaken any specific research on the durability of different engine types. Motor manufacturers design engines which easily last the lifetime of the average vehicle, which for passenger cars is around 13 years in the UK. It is widely acknowledged, however, that diesel engines tend to be more durable than petrol engines, due to their combustion characteristics. We have no evidence to suggest the durability of a petrol engine is affected by conversion to LPG.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what his estimate is of the total number of public forecourt refuelling stations and sites in the UK; how many of these provided LPG (a) in the first quarter 1999, (b) in the first quarter 2000 and (c) at the latest date for which figures are available; and what estimates he has on the future rate of increase of public forecourt LPG refuelling sites. 
Mr. Hill: At the end of December 1999, there were some 13,700 branded forecourt refuelling stations in the UK.
Currently there are approximately 230 forecourt sites that retail LPG, an increase of over 100 in the last 12 months. Figures dealing with the number of sites in the first quarter of 1999 are unavailable. My Department estimates that the number of LPG refuelling sites in total will rise to over 1,000 by the end of 2001, with approximately one third of these expected to be public forecourt stations.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what financial assistance his Department has given in conjunction with
26 Jan 2001 : Column: 737W
the London borough councils in seeking to improve their boroughs' priority bus routes in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hill: The London Bus Priority Network received an allocation of £15 million in the 2000-01 London local transport settlement. Future allocations will be the responsibility of the Mayor.
Mrs. Dean: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how much his Department has made available for highway maintenance for Staffordshire County Council in each year from 1990-91 to 2000-01. 
Mr. Hill: Maintenance expenditure for Staffordshire from 1991-92 until 2000-01 is shown. It should be noted that from 1996-97 onwards Stoke-on-Trent became Unitary and received its separate maintenance allocation which is also shown.
(2) Stoke-on-Trent allocated separate maintenance budget in 1997-98
(3) Provisional LTP allocation
Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what benefits have arisen from the imposition of a 40 mph speed limit on the elevated section of the M4 in West London. 
Mr. Hill: There has been a reduction in personal injury accidents on the elevated section of the M4 in West London since the introduction of a 40 mph speed limit.
This is an encouraging and welcome trend, but is too early to say it is a long term benefit.
Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what benefits have arisen from the imposition of a 50 mph speed limit on the M4 eastbound section between Heathrow Airport and the elevated section. 
Mr. Hill: The introduction of a 50 mph speed limit on the eastbound M4 between Heathrow and the elevated section has led to a decrease in personal injury accidents.
This is an encouraging and welcome trend, but is too early to say if it is a long term benefit.
In addition, the independent Transport Research Laboratory's (TRL) report of their monitoring of the M4 bus lane during the first year calculates that during off peak periods, noise levels are one dBA lower, CO 2
26 Jan 2001 : Column: 738W
emissions have reduced by 16 per cent. and fuel consumption of vehicles using the road has improved by 16 per cent.
Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions for what policy reason taxi-cabs are (a) permitted to use the bus lane on the M4 and (b) not permitted to use the bus lane on the Heathrow Airport spur road. 
Mr. Hill: There are no policy reasons for taxi-cabs being permitted to use the M4 bus lane but not the one on the Heathrow Airport spur road. The decisions were based on the need to obtain the best traffic flows in each situation. Allowing taxis to use the spur road bus lane would overload the traffic signals at the end of the spur and delay traffic. The end of the M4 bus lane has sufficient capacity to allow excluded traffic to merge easily with bus lane traffic.
Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what assessment he has made of the impact of cyclist boxes at traffic signals in terms of (a) the danger to cyclists and (b) the delay to motorists. 
Mr. Hill: Advanced Stop Lines for cyclists (ASLs) were introduced to reduce the vulnerability of cyclists at traffic signal junctions from other vehicles. Assessments since 1986 when the first ASL was installed have shown that enabling cyclists to be at the head of queuing traffic can greatly improve their safety, because of the ability to clear the junction ahead of other traffic. Observations have shown that delays to other vehicles are minimal. Further research is being carried out into the effects of ASLs on capacity.
Ms Kingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what research has been undertaken by his Department into the suitability of footpath stiles for use by people with vision impairment. 
Mr. Hill: My Department has not undertaken any research to look specifically at this question. However, the Countryside Agency are at the moment looking at ways of increasing access to the countryside for disabled people as part of their remit of increasing access to the wider countryside. This work will include recommending specifications for path furniture including ages and stiles. As part of this process they will consult organisations representing disabled people, including the Royal National Institute for the Blind, and intend to pilot the developing designs in a variety of countryside settings.
Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what funding has been provided for the maintenance of local highways in the north east of England in each of the last 10 years. 
26 Jan 2001 : Column: 739W
Mr. Hill: Funding through Local Transport Capital Settlement (Transport Policies and Programmes and Local Transport Plans) and Revenue Support Grant has provided the following for the maintenance of local highways in the north east of England over the last 10 years:
|Year||Capital funding||Revenue funding||Total|
26 Jan 2001 : Column: 740W
Mr. Stevenson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list for each year since May 1997 the total amount of funding made available by his Department in the City of Stoke-on-Trent. 
Ms Armstrong: The City of Stoke-on-Trent has benefited from a range of Government Initiatives since 2 May 1997 including:
26 Jan 2001 : Column: 739W
|Capital Receipts Initiative||0.916||3.141||2.894||--||--||6.951|
|Additional PSR support(5)||0.3||1.238||0.117||--||--||1.655|
|Indicative Major Repair Allowance||--||--||--||--||11||11|
(4) The HIP figure for 1997-98 was already allocated by the previous Government.
(5) PSR = Private Sector Renewal. From 2000-01 onwards these became part of the Housing Single Capital pot and separate allocations are no longer provided.
(6) Capital Challenge was not a specific housing programme but the resources could be used for any capital priority. It was a three year pilot programme introduced by the previous Administration; the present Government continued the commitments.
26 Jan 2001 : Column: 739W
|Year||Total||Block allocation||Maintenance||Major schemes|
|Year||Total||Block allocation integrated transport||Maintenance|
26 Jan 2001 : Column: 740W
|Revenue support grant||94.320||98.644||97.407|
|National non-domestic rates||59.968||64.651||72.444|
Figures may not sum exactly due to rounding
|SRB allocation||£ million|
(7) 2000-01 figures are forecast outturn.
1. 1999-2000 figures include SRB (£9.696 million), L & P £1.506 million), SDF (£0.600 million), RRF (£0.171 million).
2. 2000-01 figures include SRB (£8.708 million), L & P (£1.038 million), ICF (£0.390 million), RRF (£0.301 million).
26 Jan 2001 : Column: 741W
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|