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Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the capital projects agreed in Shrewsbury and Atcham to improve (a) bus services, (b) train services, (c) cycle routes and (d) other public transport investments since 1 May 1997 and their cost; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will publish the advice obtained by the Countryside Agency on the handling of the Access to Hastings study. 
Mr. Hill: I understand that the Countryside Agency has commissioned a review of the access to Hastings multi-modal study. The agency is currently analysing the findings of the review and copies have been made available to my officials. This report will be made available in line with our open government policy.
Mr. Bennett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the regulations which he plans to make under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 in order to bring it into force; and what the target dates for making each set of regulations are. 
Mrs. Lawrence: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when paragraphs 6 and 7 of schedule 7 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 will come into effect. 
Mr. Robert Ainsworth: Paragraph 6 of schedule 7 will insert a new section 34A into the Road Traffic Act 1988. This will enable a defence to a charge of driving a vehicle on certain classes of rights of way and land not forming part of a road, brought under section 34 of the 1988 Act (as amended by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000), to be raised in limited circumstances. The effect of section 34A will be to restrict those who can put forward evidence to rebut a presumption created by section 34 that the right of way shown on the definitive map carries only the rights applicable to that class of way.
Provision has been made in section 34A for regulations to be made specifying additional circumstances in which such evidence can be put forward. We hope to consult on proposals for such regulations later this year.
Mr. Bennett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what percentage of footpaths are open in each local authority area in England; which authorities have applied for grant money to help with reopening of paths; how much money they have received; and if he will publish this information each week. 
Ms Beverley Hughes: I refer to the answer I gave my hon. Friend on 3 May 2001, Official Report, column 754W. The Countryside Agency's website (http://www.countryside.gov.uk/footandmouth/) provides information about the reopening of rights of way for every local highway authority in England, including the percentage of the length of rights of way open in each area, where this information is available. The agency's website is continually updated.
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I also draw my hon. Friend's attention to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Thurrock (Mr. Mackinlay) on 8 May 2001, Official Report, column 37W, and to my Department's press release on the same day which listed the percentage of public rights of way open for each county council area in England.
The Countryside Agency has so far received 47 applications for grants to help meet the costs of reopening paths, and has made offers of grant in response to these applications. A list of those authorities which have applied for grants and the amount of grant offered by the Countryside Agency are set out in the table. I shall provide further information on progress with the grant scheme in due course.
|Region/Authority||Grant offer (£)|
|Lake District National Park Authority||45,000|
|Northumberland National park||15,750|
|City of Sunderland||4,800|
|Dartmoor National Park||33,765|
|South East and London|
|Isle of Wight Council||22,500|
|West Berkshire CC||10,594|
|Royal Borough Windsor and Maidenhead||11,625|
|East of England|
|Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Yorkshire Dales National Park and Craven DC||25,122|
|North Yorkshire Moors National Park||11,475|
|North Yorkshire CC etc.||24,776|
|City of York||11,625|
|East Riding CC||17,262|
|Hambleton DC (via North Yorks CC)||3,582|
|Telford and Wrekin CC||5,000|
|Peak District National Park||25,275|
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what proportion of senior grade civil servants in his Department have signed waivers to work voluntarily more than 48 hours a week; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 26 April 2001, Official Report, columns 313-15W, on regional impact assessments, if the criteria taken into account by the regional co-ordination unit included (a) the
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availability of previously developed urban land from region to region and (b) other considerations of environmental capacity. 
Ms Beverley Hughes: The criteria used by the regional co-ordination unit does not specifically include these considerations, which properly fall to the Departments and others putting forward proposals.
Mr. Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 26 April 2001, Official Report, columns 313-15W, on regional impact assessments, if the large number of other initiatives referred to included (a) regional selective assistance and (b) funding for the regional development agencies. 
Ms Beverley Hughes: The regional co-ordination unit has not assessed any initiatives which have included regional selective assistance or funding for the regional development agencies. The initiatives looked at were proposals for new area based activity.
The examination in public for the north-west RPG concluded in February 2001 and the panel's report is due next month. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will consult on proposed changes then proceed to issue final RPG. It is hoped that this process can be completed by the end of the year.
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|Region||Draft RPG advice to Secretary of State||Public examination into RPG||Target for issue of revised RPG|
|Eastern (RPG6)(1)||August 1998(2)||February 1999||November 2000(3)|
|North East (RPG1)||December 1999||June/July 2000||Autumn 2001|
|East Midlands (RPG8)||November 1999||June 2000||Summer 2001|
|South East (RPG9)(4)||December 1998||May 1999||March 2001(3)|
|South West (RPG10)||August 1999||March/April 2000||Summer 2001|
|West Midlands (RPG11)||Autumn 2001||Early 2002||Winter 2002-03|
|Yorkshire and the Humber (RPG12)||October 1999||June/July 2000||Summer 2001|
|North West (RPG13)||June/July 2000||February 2001||End 2001|
(1) The entry against Eastern Region is for RPG6 covering East Anglia. Bedfordshire, Essex and Hertfordshire are covered by the review of the RPG for the greater South East region
(2) Issued for consultation by GO
(4) The review of RPG9 covers London, the Government Office area for the South East and Bedfordshire, Essex and Hertfordshire
1. Last updated 9 May 2000
2. Instead of non-statutory Regional Planning Guidance in London there will be a statutory spatial development strategy (SDS) for London following the establishment of the GLA. Hence there is no separate entry for London. The draft SDS is due to be submitted to the Secretary of State in early summer 2001. The public examination is due in early 2002 and the aim is to publish the final SDS in autumn 2002
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