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Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many submissions he has received during the consultation over changes to motorcycle VED; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 12 February 2002]: The consultation on reforming vehicle excise duty for motorcycles launched by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the pre-Budget report closed on Friday 8 February 2002. More than 10,000 responses have been received.
Mr. Page: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will estimate the rate of delivery of the fleet of new trains to replace those in service, indicating the first date of delivery and the number in service at the end of (a) 2002, (b) 2003 and (c) 2004. 
Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 12 February 2002]: London Transport's plans for modernisation of the tube are designed to deliver a comprehensive upgrade of the whole network as quickly and efficiently as possible. London Transport is currently consulting the Mayor and Transport for London on the plans following its announcement on 7 February that it is minded to proceed. I expect London Transport to publish detailed information on the train replacement and refurbishment programme following that consultation.
Mr. Tyler: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will publish the names of companies contracted to assist the local authorities in conducting the electoral modernisation pilot schemes for the May 2002 local elections. 
Dr. Whitehead [holding answer 12 February 2002]: As a result of a procurement tendering exercise we have chosen the following 11 companies to support local authorities in conducting the electoral modernisation pilot schemes for the May 2002 local elections:
David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what
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action he has taken to facilitate an agreement between Arriva Trains Northern and the Rail, Maritime and Transport union. 
Mr. Spellar: Ministers are in regular contact with the Rail, Maritime and Transport union on a number of transport-related issues.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many days have been lost owing to industrial action by staff in his Department, agencies and non-departmental public bodies in each of the last four years. 
Dr. Whitehead: No days have been lost through industrial action during 19982001.
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what discussions he has had with the management of Norwich International airport in each of the last five years; and what the nature of the discussions was. 
Mr. Jamieson: Over the last five years, neither my Ministers nor I have had discussions with the management of Norwich International airport.
Since the start of the South-East and East of England Regional Air Services study (SERAS) in March 1999 officials from my Department have met Norwich airport management on a number of occasions. Discussions focused on the SERAS study process, possible technical assistance by the airport in the study and the future role of the airport as perceived by the management team.
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what recent discussions he has had with (a) Norfolk county council and (b) Norwich city council about the future of Norwich international airport; and what assessment he has made of the future of the airport within the Government's airport strategy. 
Mr. Jamieson: Neither my Ministers nor I have had recent discussions about the future of Norwich international airport with either of the organisations.
As part of the South-East and East of England Regional Air Services study (SERAS) there have been discussions at official level with both Norfolk county council and Norwich city council about the future role of the airport.
An assessment of that role will be presented in the forthcoming public consultation on the study outcomes. This is currently scheduled for spring 2002. Decisions made following the consultation will feed into the Air Transport White Paper which we aim to publish in the second half of the year.
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the impact of his relaxation of financial borrowing for the development of certain regional airports. 
Mr. Jamieson: The relaxation of borrowing controls has allowed soundly-financed local authority airport companies to make investment plans with much greater
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confidence and to respond to commercial opportunities as they arise. It has also encouraged them to bring a more commercial approach to their investment decisions. Manchester and Norwich airports have made use of their freedom to borrow money from the banks, while the Newcastle shareholders have been able to restructure the airport company as a public private partnership.
Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) if the Highways Agency will revoke the licence of the Uxbridge Gun Club to occupy Broadspring Wood, Denham, Buckinghamshire; 
(3) if Broadspring Wood, Denham, Buckinghamshire, is ancient woodland; and what environmental assessments have been carried out in respect of the wood; 
(4) what the terms are of the licence from the Highways Agency under which the Uxbridge Gun Club occupies Broadspring Wood, Denham, Buckinghamshire. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Highways Agency agreed to the licence of Broadspring Wood to the Uxbridge and District Rifle Club under the following terms:
"To exercise the rights and privileges hereby granted and demised in a sportsmanlike and proper manner and at proper seasons of the year and in such a way not to endanger tenants occupiers or users of the lands or any adjoining neighbouring premises or to cause any nuisance or annoyance to the same".
"Not in the exercise of the said rights and privileges to do or permit to be done any spoil or damage whatsoever to the lands or to the woods banks fences hedges crops or plantation thereon or any property of the Owners".
"To indemnify the Owners against all agricultural and other claims and demands made against them for costs incurred by them in relation to any spoil or damage to property stock crops or any person against claims of any other nature arising out of game damage or the exercise of the rights and privileges herby granted and demised".
"To kill destroy and strictly keep down the ground game pigeons moles and other pests in and upon the lands so as to prevent the number of them increasing or impeding the good management of the lands or injuring the crops trees underwood plantation pasturage hedges and fences thereon".
"To satisfy the Owners that the Licensee during the period of this Agreement is adequately covered by insurance in respect of third party liability for a sum of not less than £5,000,000 and on request to produce for inspection by the Owners the policy and premium receipt".
"To obtain any planning or other permission which may be required".
"Not to shoot towards the M25".
"To remove empty cartridge cases from the land after each shooting day".
"To adhere to the British Sporting Code".
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Throughout the process of negotiating the licence and the sale of Broadspring Wood to the Uxbridge and District Rifle Club the Highways Agency had no indication that the site was designated as ancient woodland. Professional advice was sought in respect of the sale of the land and it was reported the woodland was in poor condition and contaminated. The contamination was alleged to be from the adjacent land that was a former refuse site.
Together with the recent concerns about the activities of the Uxbridge and District Rifle Club and the suggestion that the site is designated as ancient woodland the Highways Agency will undertake a full review of the case and take any action deemed necessary against the Uxbridge and District Rifle Club.
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