|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what regulations exist to oblige train operating companies to make working toilets available to passengers on trains; and what plans his Department has to make the provision of toilets on trains an obligation in future train operating franchises. 
12 Nov 2001 : Column: 512W
Mr. Jamieson: There are no regulations requiring train operators to provide toilets on trains, nor are there any plans for such regulations to be introduced. Train operators will only make the most of their commercial opportunities if they provide the facilities that passengers demand. The Strategic Rail Authority do not think it is a priority for investment to specify the provision of facilities which train operating companies are likely to provide of their own accord. Where train operators provide toilet facilities they are subject to the same environmental health requirements as any other provider of these facilities.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what powers the Strategic Railway Authority has to oblige train operating companies to make working toilets available to passengers on trains. 
Mr. Jamieson: The franchise agreements under which rail services are provided do not require toilets to be provided on trains. Any changes to a franchise agreement would have to be negotiated by the Strategic Rail Authority and the train operator concerned.
Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessments he has made of security procedures as they apply to (a) general aviation and (b) regional airports within the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: My Department lays down the security requirements for the operators of public transport aircraft, both passenger-carrying and all-cargo, and the managers of the aerodromes they operate from. Following the attacks of September 11th these requirements have been extended to general aviation. DTLR inspectors monitor compliance.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the cost to industry in Hertfordshire of delays in the consideration of rating appeals in the last three years. 
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an executive agency of Inland Revenue, is responsible for compiling and maintaining the non-domestic rating lists. Since 1 April 1998, the VOA has received some 1,400,000 appeals challenging the rateable values entered in the rating lists compiled since 1990, including some 800,000 appeals against the rateable values shown in the list that came into force on 1 April 2000. Consideration of this number of appeals inevitably takes time. The VOA publishes programmes setting out when all appeals will be considered; these are reviewed in consultation with ratepayers. If, when an appeal is considered, the VOA and the ratepayer do not reach agreement on the valuation, the appeal will be heard shortly afterwards by an independent Valuation Tribunal. Appeals may be considered earlier than is set out in the programme, if a ratepayer is suffering financial hardship.
12 Nov 2001 : Column: 513W
When an appeal is made, the ratepayer must continue to comply with the payment schedule as set out in the original demand notice from the local authority. Payments may only be altered following the settlement of an appeal and following the issue of a revised bill by the local authority. In general, the effect of any appeal leading to a change in rateable value will be backdated either to the date that the change in value occurred, or the first day of the financial year in which the appeal was made, whichever is the later. Where an appeal leads to a reduction in the amount due to be paid, any previous overpayment is refunded to the ratepayer with interest.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 6 November 2001, Official Report, column 135W, on Railtrack, what action he will take to ensure the administrators of Railtrack conclude the proposed sale of the Oswestry branch line from Gobowen to Llanymywech to the Cambrian Railways Trust. 
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many (a) fatal and (b) serious, road traffic accidents involving monocular commercial drivers there were in each of the last five years where the monocular vision of the driver was a contributory factor. 
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the (a) short-term, (b) medium-term and (c) long-term plans for the proposed Rosyth ferry terminal. 
Mr. Jamieson: The proposal for the Rosyth terminal that was considered for Freight Facilities Grant purposes was the expenditure on works that the port expects to be completed in a matter of months. The service that these works will serve is designed to go on for several years, but no further development at Rosyth has been notified.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will place in the Library the proposals for the ferry terminal at Rosyth including (a) the initial investment plans and (b) the (i) short, (ii) medium and (iii) long-term plans. 
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many people at or above state retirement were placed in (a) bed-and-breakfast accommodation and (b) temporary
12 Nov 2001 : Column: 514W
local authority accommodation in the last year; how many were (i) permanently rehoused, (ii) placed in long-term residential care and (iii) found intentionally homeless, broken down by (A) sex and (B) age; and what the average length of stay was, in each responsible local authority, grouped by county. 
Ms Keeble: This information is not collected centrally. Information on supported placements in long-term residential care and nursing homes is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what estimates his Department has made of the number of abandoned cars dumped in England in (a) 2000 and (b) 1997. 
Although the Department currently holds no central records of the number of vehicles abandoned each year we estimate that some 350,000 cars were dumped in the United Kingdom in 2000. We do not have an estimate of how many were dumped in 1997.
More up to date information on the number of abandoned vehicles removed by local authorities is being collected in the Department's 200001 Municipal Waste Management Survey which should be published in July 2002.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many consultation documents were issued by his Department from (a) 15 October to 14 January, (b) 15 January to 14 April, (c) 15 April to 14 July and (d) 15 July to 14 October in each year from 1996. 
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with representatives of the Indian Government since 11 September; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: India plays an important role in the international campaign against terrorism. As such, we have had a number of meetings with the Indian Government. The Prime Minister visited India on 6 October and met Prime Minister Vajpayee. Mr. Vajpayee visited London on 12 November for talks with the Prime Minister. The Foreign Secretary and his Indian counterpart, Jaswant Singh, met in London on 3 October and expect to meet again at the UN General Assembly in New York this week.
12 Nov 2001 : Column: 515W
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|