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Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what his estimate is of the number of vehicles on British roads (a) without insurance and (b) which have not passed their MOT; how many vehicles without insurance were involved in accidents in the last 12-month period for which figures are available; and what estimate he has of the number of vehicles without insurance on UK roads over the next five years. 
Mr. Jamieson: It is estimated that between 4 per cent. and 6 per cent. of motorists drive while uninsured, an offence for which 300,140 people were convicted during 1999. Estimates of MOT evasion are similar. The Motor Insurance Database will go live later this month and while it is too early to make exact estimates, we expect a considerable reduction in insurance evasion as offenders realise that the chances of being caught will be much higher.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the cost of reimbursing local authorities for their concessionary travel schemes in (a) London, (b) England, (c) Scotland and (d) Wales if the age requirement for men and women is equalised at 60. 
Mr. Byers: In Scotland and Wales concessionary travel is devolved, as are the resources to cover for the additional costs. In England it is estimated that equalising entitlement to concessionary travel at age 60 for men and women will cost up to £50 million per year. That figure is broken down as follows:
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to initiate research into voter turnout at the 2001 general election; and if he will make a statement on the efforts to improve voter turnout in local, general and European elections. 
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Dr. Whitehead: The Electoral Commission's report on the general election, to be published at the end of July, is expected to include consideration of the reasons for reduced turnout. The Commission also has a duty to educate and inform the public about the electoral process and the importance of participating in it. We will shortly be inviting local authorities to submit pilot schemes to encourage turnout for next year's local elections.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what proportion of the eventual sale proceeds of the Dome site will be attributable to Lattice Properties plc. 
Ms Keeble [holding answer 9 July 2001]: When English Partnerships acquired land on the Greenwich Peninsula from British Gas in 1997, the sale and purchase agreement provided for British Gas (Lattice Properties plc) to receive a proportion of any onward sale proceeds. This is set at 7.5 per cent. of sale proceeds or open market value.
Mr. Horam: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many signals were passed at danger on railways in the last three years and for this year; what the figures were for Connex South Eastern; and if he will make a statement on the SPAD on Connex Services north of St. Mary Cray on 26 June. 
Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement about the accident on 2 July on the Waterloo to Exeter main line west of Tisbury involving a passenger train and a heavy goods vehicle on an unmanned level crossing; and what steps he is taking to improve safety on such crossings. 
Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 9 July 2001]: The incident is under investigation by the Health and Safety Executive's HM Railway Inspectorate with the assistance of the Health and Safety Laboratories. A meeting will take place on the 20 August between HM Railway Inspectorate and Railtrack's Southern Zone Level Crossings Manager
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to assess the incident and any further actions that are necessary. HM Railway Inspectorate will shortly be asking Railtrack to include this type of level crossing in their system wide review of level crossings
After the road accident that caused a rail collision at Great Heck, Selby, the Deputy Prime Minister asked the Health and Safety Commission to convene and lead a working group that will look at the circumstances of incidents where vehicles have blocked rail lines and whether there are features in common that might have been preventable. Its report will be published in the autumn.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 3 July 2001, Official Report, column 117W, on the M6 motorway, if he will convene an early meeting of right hon. and hon. Members whose constituencies are affected by the MIDMAN study to discuss the recommendations that he receives. 
Mr. Jamieson: The early outcomes of the MIDMAN study will be available by the end of August and a further joint presentation to the MPs affected by the outcomes of both studies will therefore be arranged for early autumn. The Government Office for the West Midlands invited Members to a presentation of this study and the West Midlands Area Study on 18 April 2000 and I have asked them to make the necessary arrangements again.
Mr. Jamieson: The report of Part 2 of Lord Cullen's Inquiry into the Ladbroke Grove train crash, which is looking into the culture, management and regulation of safety on the railways, is expected to be published by the Health and Safety Commission later this year.
Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will estimate the number of businesses in England and Wales that would benefit from the proposed rate relief for small businesses with a rateable value of less than £8,000 as outlined in the Green Paper, 'Modernising Local Government Finance'. 
Dr. Whitehead: The Green Paper 'Modernising Local Government Finance' (September 2000) applied to England only. The National Assembly for Wales set out its proposals in 'Simplifying the System: Local Government Finance in Wales' (September 2000).
The Green Paper proposal was that in England there should be relief of 50 per cent. for properties with rateable values up to £3,000, with the relief then tapering off, so that properties with rateable values of £6,000 would get 20 per cent. relief, and those with rateable values above £8,000 would get no relief.
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There are 977,000 properties in England with rateable values of £8,000 and less. Of these 474,000 have rateable values of £3,000 or less. However the Green Paper also suggested that small properties owned by large businesses might be excluded from the relief scheme, if this could be done without excessive administrative complexity.
In the light of the responses to the Green Paper, and further discussions we have been holding with business organisations, we will be setting out our decisions on the relief scheme in a White Paper later this year.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when the consultation paper on private hire vehicle drivers was issued; and by what date responses are required. 
Mr. Jamieson: Responsibility for the regulation of private hire vehicles in London has been passed to the Mayor. Transport for London issued a consultation paper on proposals for the regulation of private hire vehicle drivers on 13 June, with a closing date for responses of 8 August.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) how many private hire vehicle operators in London had registered for licensing on 1 July with the Public Carriage Office; 
Mr. Jamieson: Responsibility for the regulation of private hire vehicles in London has been passed to the Mayor. The Public Carriage Office undertakes the licensing function as part of Transport for London.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he expects to publish the consultation paper on private hire vehicles under the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998. 
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