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15 Feb 2001 : Column: 211W
representations he has received concerning his Department's decision to permit building on the flood plain at Arlesey, Bedfordshire. 
Mr. Raynsford: The original decision to grant outline planning permission was made by a planning inspector. I have therefore asked the planning inspectorate's chief executive to write to the right hon. and learned Member. A copy of his reply will be placed in the Library.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what steps he is taking to reduce disturbance from aircraft noise in the Waverley area; what representations he has received from the Quieter Skies Campaign with regard to the situation at Gatwick; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Robert Ainsworth: The Secretary of State regulates noise from operations at Gatwick under section 78 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982. These regulations include night restrictions, noise preferential routes, departures noise limits and operational procedures. They are reviewed as necessary, and we consult widely on any proposals for major change.
My officials have responded to a number of letters and calls from members and supporters of the Quieter Skies Campaign. My predecessor, the hon. Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin), responded to points the right hon. lady raised on behalf of QSC in the Adjournment debate on 11 January last year, and in correspondence. More recently, on 1 February, officials attended a noise and track seminar organised by Gatwick Airport, at which Mr. John Burgess of QSC gave a presentation on the campaign's concerns, and I understand that a constructive discussion ensued.
Mr. Fearn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many lorries used major roads in (a) north-west England and (b) Merseyside on the most recent date for which figures are suitable. 
Mr. Fearn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on the change in traffic speed on the trunk road network in the north-west of England over the last 12 months. 
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A national survey of trunk road speeds was last carried out in 1998. The DETR publication, "Traffic Speeds on English Trunk Road: 1998", reported an overall reduction in speeds on the network, including the north-west, since a previous survey in 1995.
The next survey is due to be undertaken this summer 2001 and results will become available in winter 2001. This will allow comparison of average speed in 2001 with those previously observed in 1998. It should be noted that the survey allows comparison of average speeds across the region. Due to the way the speeds are collected, however, the survey does not allow statistically reliable comparison at the detailed level of individual junctions on the network.
Mr. Fearn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what estimate he has made of the percentage of householders on Merseyside who own and use (a) a car and (b) more than one car. 
Mr. Hill: The average expenditure on motoring per car per week for people living in the north-west region was £51.10, averaged over the period 1979-98 to 1999-2000. Data are not available for Merseyside, or for single years, because of small sample sizes.
Mr. Michael J. Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) what is the value of the area cost adjustment, in calculating the education Standard Spending Assessment, for each local education authority in England; 
(3) pursuant to the answers of 8 February 2001, Official Report, columns 646-47W, what ethnicity indicator was used in the education SSA calculation, for local authorities in England. 
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Report, columns 646-47W, which service provision costs are higher in London and the south-east than in Worcestershire. 
Ms Beverley Hughes: The higher cost of service provision in London and the south-east are reflected in the area cost adjustment, which takes into account the higher employment costs and rate costs there compared to the rest of the country, including Worcestershire.
Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the SSA per head of population for Cambridgeshire, expressed in real terms, for each year since 1990-91. 
There are a number of discontinuities in the figures. The most important changes are the transfer of funding of colleges of further education and sixth-form colleges from local authorities to the Further Education Funding Council on 1 April 1993, the transfer of policing responsibilities from county councils to the new police authorities on 1 April 1995 and the establishment of the Peterborough unitary authority on 1 April 1998. The figures for Peterborough cover both lower and upper tier services; in the remainder of Cambridgeshire lower tier services are provided by the district councils.
Dr. Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what information he received on the contents of the Education and Employment Committee's report on access to higher education, and the proceedings of the Committee prior to the publication of the report. 
Ms Beverley Hughes [holding answer 12 February 2001]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him by the Under-Secretary of State for Education and Employment, my hon. Friend the Member for Croydon, North (Mr. Wicks), on 14 February 2001, Official Report, column 162W.
Mr. McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on the Government's policies to promote (a) cycling and (b) road safety. 
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Mr. Hill: The Government are committed to tripling the number of cycling trips from a 2,000 base by 2010 and quadrupling them from a 1996 base by 2012. £8.4 billion of Government funding has been provided to local authorities in the recent local transport settlement. This will help to promote sustainable transport measures, including cycling. The cycling strategies included in the authorities' local transport plans (LTPs) should identify gaps in the local cycle network and improvements to the cycling infrastructure. Initial monitoring suggests that the strategies will result in considerable additional provision for cycling.
We have taken the initiative in marketing the main messages of the national cycling strategy. Early outcomes are the launch of an NCS website, development of a promotional video and, during spring 2001, a number of cycling seminars throughout England aimed at local authorities, major employers and health and education practitioners.
We set out our policies for pursuing the Government's road safety strategy in "Tomorrow's Roads--Safer for Everyone", which was launched on 1 March last year. It sets a new target to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on the roads by 40 per cent. by the year 2010, a separate target of 50 per cent. for children, and a 10 per cent. reduction in the slight casualty rate.
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