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Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what recent guidance he has given to local councils on the treatment of dry rot and which chemicals are permitted for its treatment. 
Dr. Whitehead: My Department does not provide local councils with guidance on the treatment of dry rot in timber but refers such inquiries to authoritative sources of information such as the Building Research Establishment and the British Wood Preserving and Damp Proofing Association.
Chemicals permitted for treatment of dry rot are approved under the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986. The labels of approved pesticidal products will state which of these can be used specifically against dry rot. A list of all approved products is published in "Pesticides 2001"; this annually updated publication can be found in the Research Section of the House of Commons' Library.
Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the operation of the working time directive in respect of HGV drivers. 
Mr. Jamieson: [holding answer 6 November 2001]: There are two working time proposals that will affect drivers of large goods vehicles. First, parts of the horizontal amending directive (EC2000/34)due to be implemented by 1 August 2003will introduce some changes. Drivers will be subject to the 48 hour average working week, four weeks paid annual leave, health checks for night workers and a provision for adequate rest. As with existing working time legislation, workers will be able to sign an individual opt-out if they want to work longer than the 48 hour average.
The second proposal concerns mobile workers in the road transport sector and is still subject to negotiation in Brussels. The directive will only apply to drivers of large vehicles who are currently subject to EC drivers' hours rules (EC3820/85). It is clear that there will be no individual opt-out from the 48 hour average working week, but other significant issues have still to be resolved with the European Parliament. Negotiations should be complete by the end of this year, and we expect the new directive will be adopted in early 2002. Implementation in the UK will be in a further two to three years.
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what (a) proportion of seriously and fatally injured pedestrians received their injuries from being hit by the fronts of cars and (b) the main types of impacts for pedestrian deaths in serious injuries are. 
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Mr. Jamieson: It is estimated that, in 2000, 53 per cent. of all pedestrians fatally or seriously injured in road accidents received their injuries from being hit by the front of a car.
73 per cent. of pedestrians suffering fatal or serious injury in 2000 were hit by a car in a single vehicle accident; 19 per cent. were hit by other vehicles (i.e. not cars) in single vehicle accidents; and 8 per cent. were hit in accidents which involved more than one vehicle.
Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he will publish the timetable for the implementation of the ring-fenced budget for noise mitigation measures. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Government's policy of reducing the effects of traffic noise is being implemented through two programmes.
The Government's "Transport 2010: The 10 Year Plan" gives a commitment to surface at least 60 per cent. of the trunk roads, including all the concrete trunk roads, with quieter materials by 31 March 2011. We have a policy of using quieter surfaces as a matter of course whenever a road needs to be resurfaced and I recently announced the criteria to be used for prioritising the concrete trunk roads to be resurfaced with quieter materials.
The second programme, with an annual £5 million ring- fenced budget, is to provide noise mitigation measures in the most serious and pressing cases where practical and cost-effective measures can be provided.
Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions which light rail projects have received support from the Strategic Rail Authority since it was established. 
Mr. Jamieson: While it is not for the SRA to support particular light rail projects, they have co-operated with franchise operators and local authorities in furthering the development of light rail schemes for Tyne & Wear Metro, Manchester Metrolink, Nottingham Express Transit and the West Midlands Metro. The SRA are also working to facilitate development of the currently proposed project in Bristol.
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what information he has collated on the number of US states which have banned the use of methyl tertiary butyl ether; and what discussions he has held with his US counterparts in the use of methyl tertiary butyl ether as a petrol additive. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Department does not hold details on the use of MTBE in the United States. I understand that the US Federal Government is proposing to reduce significantly or eliminate MTBE in petrol due to public concern about MTBE in groundwater. MTBE is used significantly less in the UK and there is no evidence to indicate that contamination of groundwater presents a significant risk here.
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Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what his policy is on the use of methyl tertiary butyl ether; what plans he has to review the policy; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: Directive 98/70/EU (enacted by Statutory Instrument 1999 No. 3107) sets a limit of 15 per cent. on ethers containing five or more carbon atoms per moleculewhich includes MTBE. For the UK as a whole, usage typically averages less than 0.5 per cent., with most production having none.
The main risk identified with MTBE, particularly in the USA, is to groundwater. In the UK public consultation has recently finished on a draft groundwater protection code for petrol stations and underground storage tanks to be made under Regulation 21 of the Groundwater Regulations 1998. This will provide advice on what processes/precautions need to be in place at petrol stations and other underground fuel storage areas to ensure protection of groundwater and compliance with the Groundwater Regulations.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what translation services he ensures are available to local authorities in (a) England and (b) Staffordshire. 
Dr. Whitehead: No such services are made available centrally to local authorities. It is up to each local authority to provide such services as are necessary in the light of their local circumstances.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to re-introduce legislation to make a seller's pack compulsory. 
Ms Keeble: Legislation will be introduced when parliamentary time allows. In the meantime we are pressing ahead, in consultation with consumer representatives and the professional bodies, with developing the detailed contents of the seller's pack.
Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the airline and aerospace industries. 
Mr. Spellar [holding answer 8 November 2001]: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by the the Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, my hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Devonport (Mr. Jamieson), on 8 November 2001, Official Report, column 339W.
David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what proportion of services provided by Central Trains in the last 12 months ran on time. 
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Mr. Jamieson: Over the last 12 months 72.5 per cent. of services provided by Central Trains ran on time. Services are deemed punctual if they arrive at their destination within five minutes of the timetable.
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many households in (a) council housing and (b) registered social landlord having in each local authority area in London will have target rents set as a consequence of the Government's rent restructuring proposals (i) less than £20 above current rents, (ii) £20 to £30 above current rents and (iii) £30 or more above current rents. 
Ms Keeble: The information is not currently available. Social landlords will only have completed their property valuations and calculated their target rents under the reforms around the end of this calendar year.
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