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"Tiredness Can Kill"

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what role concessionaires at motorway service areas have in respect of the siting of "Tiredness Kills" notices. [156834]

Mr. Hill: The Highways Agency has occasionally provided "Tiredness Can Kill" signs at locations, like the main holiday routes, where motorists are especially likely to drive for long periods without a rest. Motorway service area (MSA) operators were not involved in these decisions.

More recently, MSA operators have approached the Agency about providing these signs at their own expense. The Agency will normally agree unless there are site-specific reasons for refusing. There are no formal rules, but we have sought to ensure that, where provided, these signs are placed no more than a mile or two ahead of an MSA where drivers can stop safely.

Child Road Deaths

Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many child road deaths were caused by defective child car seats in each of the last three years. [157096]

Mr. Hill [holding answer 5 April 2001]: Statistics on road accident fatalities in which defective child car seats were a contributory factor are not available.

Town and Country Planning

(Control of Advertisements) Regulations

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on his plans to strengthen enforcement action in relation to the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992. [157159]

Ms Beverley Hughes: In June I announced amendments we proposed to make to the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992. One of the proposals is an amendment to section 225 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to allow local authorities to act at their own discretion to remove posters where they consider them to be illegal. This would bring the legislation into line with current practice and protect the rights of property owners

9 Apr 2001 : Column: 371W

and those advertising legally. The amendment will be made when a suitable legislative opportunity arises.

Departmental Policies (Amber Valley)

Judy Mallaber: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Amber Valley constituency, the effects on Amber Valley of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [157129]

9 Apr 2001 : Column: 372W

Ms Beverley Hughes: The principal funding that this Department has provided to Amber Valley Borough Council and Derbyshire County Council between 1997-98 and 2001-02 is shown in the tables. These include grants and borrowing approvals for revenue and capital expenditure.

It is not possible to determine how much of this money Derbyshire County Council has spent on Amber Valley constituency. It is for the local authority to decide where within its boundary these resources are applied.

9 Apr 2001 : Column: 371W

£ million

Nature of funding 1997-981998-991999-20002000-01(2)2001-02
Amber Valley Borough Council
Revenue Support Grant2.3522.2712.1691.9932.464
Income from National Non-Domestic Rates3.6473.6963.9934.4414.437
Housing Investment Programme1.2931.3551.4193.4764.793(3)
Capital Receipts Initiative--0.8200.858----
Housing Revenue Account Subsidy (Management and Maintenance Allowance)£689.50 per property £715.81 per property£741.62 per property£770.91 per property£768.67 per property
SRB funding(4)0.1170.4490.6190.5640.264
Derbyshire County Council(5)
Transport Supplementary Grant1.0081.0601.132----
Transport Annual Capital Guideline1.0081.0601.132----
Transport Block Supplementary Credit Approval0.9700.8912.3715.93918.008
Rural Bus Challenge Grant (from 1999-2000)----0.8000.1550.600
Rural Bus Subsidy Grant (from 1998-99)--0.7140.7140.7140.912

(2) Where known.

(3) Includes Major Repairs Allowance.

(4) SRB scheme aims to improve industrial estates and enhance the environmental performance of the businesses, whilst tackling low levels of literacy and numeracy through training based projects.

(5) Figures for Derbyshire County Council exclude funds allocated for the Derby Local Transport Plan area.


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Access Forums

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) when he will publish regulations on the establishment of access forums; [157155]

Mr. Meacher: We expect to consult on the proposed requirements for local access forums in England during the summer. Our proposals will include provision for the appointment of forum members and consultation by authorities with relevant interests prior to making appointments. We expect to lay regulations before Parliament before the end of the year.

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list those local authorities that have established an access forum; if, in each case, the proposed establishment of the body was (a) advertised locally and (b) notified to rights of way groups; and if he will make a statement. [157154]

Mr. Meacher: No local access forums can be established under Part V of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 until regulations have been made by the Secretary of State under section 94 of the Act. Some local authorities operate informal consultative groups to discuss issues relating to access and rights of way. No information

9 Apr 2001 : Column: 372W

is held centrally about which authorities have done so. We welcome initiatives by local authorities to set up such groups ahead of any statutory system, and the Countryside Agency has issued guidance to authorities on how best this might be done.

Motor Vehicle Repairs

Mr. Stevenson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if the Vehicle Inspectorate routinely tests non-original equipment parts used in the motor vehicle body repair industry. [157122]

Mr. Hill: No. Testing and approval of components and vehicles prior to sale or registration is carried out by the Vehicle Certification Agency in the UK. However, there is no statutory approval standard for non original replacement body panels and so they are not tested or approved.

Mr. Stevenson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will take steps to require vehicles that have been repaired following a serious accident to be subjected to independent tests. [157126]

Mr. Hill: Under new provisions which have recently been approved by Parliament, such vehicles will, in future, need to be inspected by officials from the Department's Vehicle Inspectorate before they can legally be returned to the road.

The objective of inspecting such vehicles will be to ensure that they are genuine, rather than having been stolen and disguised with the identity of similar

9 Apr 2001 : Column: 373W

accident-damaged ones. At present in the region of 40,000 stolen cars annually are sold on in this way to unsuspecting purchasers. The new inspection scheme will help to eliminate this criminal activity.

The new inspection scheme is not intended to check on the adequacy of the accident repair--and this point will be made very clear to vehicle presenters. That would have made the scheme very costly and unnecessarily cumbersome. However, we are naturally very concerned to do all we can to see that only safe vehicles are used on the road and we will therefore be encouraging motorists to have vehicles independently checked by experts if there is any doubt at all about the quality of repair.

Mr. Stevenson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what regulations govern the disposal of vehicles that have been written off after accidents. [157123]

Mr. Hill: There are no regulations which deal specifically with this subject.

In practice when a vehicle is written off after an accident it might either end up being crushed or broken for spare parts. Alternatively, where the damage is not so severe, it might be repaired and returned to the road.

In all cases where a vehicle is crushed or broken the owner is required by Regulation 13 of the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 1971 to notify the Secretary of State of that fact and at the same time to surrender the registration document to him. This requirement is to be strengthened by a European Directive concerned with the disposal of motor vehicles when they have reached the "end of life".

In future, in all cases where a written-off vehicle is repaired and returned to the road it will firstly need to be inspected by officials from the Department's Vehicle Inspectorate. The objective of inspecting such vehicles will be to ensure that they are genuine, rather than stolen vehicles disguised with the identity of similar accident- damaged ones.

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Mr. Stevenson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what annual usage of volatile organic compounds require motor vehicle body repair shops to register with their local authority. [157138]

Mr. Hill: The Environmental Protection (Prescribed Processes and Substances) Regulations 1991, as amended, made under Part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 set thresholds for annual usage of organic solvents in coating processes. The regulations include a requirement that the following processes be authorised by the relevant local authority:


Additionally, under the Solvent Emissions Directive (1999/13/EC) motor vehicle body repair shops that use between 0.5 and 1 tonne per annum of organic solvents will also be required to be regulated to control volatile organic compound emissions. However, for existing processes, the provisions of the Directive will not fully apply until October 2007.


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