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15 Oct 2001 : Column: 884W
are available to enable local authorities to upgrade local roads to deal with the changes in traffic volumes arising from the Government's housing quotas. 
Ms Keeble: The Government do not issue housing quotas. Housing requirements are established by local authorities and Regional Planning Bodies through the Regional Planning Guidance process and finalised by the Secretary of State.
Government planning policy seeks to promote more sustainable transport choices and to reduce the need to travel, especially by car, by accommodating housing principally on previously-developed land within urban areas and at locations highly accessible by walking, cycling and public transport.
Capital funding for local road improvements for authorities in England outside London is available through the local transport plan system. In developing and implementing their local transport plans, authorities need to ensure consistency between their proposed transport strategies and housing proposals contained within the relevant regional and local development plans.
Ms Keeble: The Government will introduce legislation giving local authorities powers to deal with complaints about high hedges in residential areas as soon as there is space in the parliamentary timetable.
Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will introduce legislation to give local authorities the power to fell nuisance cupressocyparis leylandii on private land. 
Ms Keeble: As soon as there is space in the parliamentary timetable, we will introduce legislation giving local authorities the power to deal with complaints about high hedges on private land. Under our proposals, authorities would be able to require landowners to keep the height of problem hedges within specified limits, but their powers would not extend to felling.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what assessment he has made of the impact on European and British air traffic cover of the postponement of the construction of the Prestwick air traffic control centre; 
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(4) what meetings she (a) has had and (b) has planned to discuss the postponement of the construction of the Prestwick air traffic control centre; 
(5) if he will make a statement on progress with plans to construct an air traffic control centre at Prestwick. 
Sandra Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what recent changes there have been to the timetable for the planned operational date of the new Scottish air traffic control centre; and what ministerial approval is required for such changes. 
Mr. Jamieson: National Air Traffic Services (NATS) remains committed to investing in the New Scottish Centre (NSC) at Prestwick as part of its two-centre strategy. However, the events of 11 September have led to a review of the phasing of NATS' capital investment plan, and my officials have been in close and continuing discussion with NATS and the Airline Group on these matters.
As a result of this review, and in the light of reduced traffic demand, the Government have agreed to a proposal to delay work on the NSC, which will result in a later operational date than originally planned. Work on the building will be suspended, following completion of the building design and piling contracts at the end of 2001. However, work will continue on evaluating systems solutions for this new centre. NATS will keep the position under review, and launch further work as soon as traffic forecasts make it prudent to do so.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what discussions he has had with the Airline Group since 11 September on the future of National Air Traffic Services; 
Sandra Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what discussions he has had with the Airline Group following the reduction in transatlantic air traffic; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: The events of 11 September are having a wide-ranging impact on the airline industry. National Air Traffic Services and the Airline Group are preparing their business plan in the light of this, and my officials are in close and continuing discussion with them.
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Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what his estimate is of the effect on Exchequer revenues of the sell-off of the National Air Traffic Services; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Government have received proceeds totalling almost £770 million from the sale of a minority share in National Air Traffic Services to the Airline Group. There is a further £35 million due as deferred proceeds.
Mr. Jamieson: The Strategic Rail Authority has carried out, with the help of consultants, a high level review into Central Railway's proposals and has forwarded its report to my Department. The Government will take a view on the issues raised by the report and respond to Central Railway in due course.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the total number of passenger miles travelled by bus in each of the last four years. 
Ms Keeble: The Department does not collect separate information on bus passenger miles. Estimates are made of combined bus and coach passenger mileage, but these are not sufficiently robust to provide accurate year-on- year comparisons.
The number of passenger journeys is considered to be a better measure of bus use, and we have set a target to increase bus passenger journeys in England by 10 per cent. by 2010. We are monitoring this through a large annual sample survey, and the most recent figures for England are as follows:
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many accidents including injury or fatalities to humans have taken place around the British coastline involving jet-skis in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Jamieson: HM Coastguard incident reports record a total of 586 incidents involving personal watercraft between January 1997 and 30 September 2001 around the UK coastline. Four fatalities were recorded. No
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information is available on the number of injuries. Records for 1996 are not readily available but a breakdown by year is provided in the following table.
|Year||Number of incidents||Number of fatalities|
(14) to 30 September 2001
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list those bids he has received from local authorities under the key worker housing grant scheme involving NHS staff. 
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