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Statutory Instruments

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list the statutory instruments issued by his Department in the last 12 months, indicating (a) the purpose of each and (b) the cost of each to (i) public funds, (ii) businesses and (iii) individuals. [36232]

Dr. Whitehead: My Department was responsible for making 216 general statutory instruments in the year 2001. A list identifying these has been placed in the Libraries of the House. Included on each instrument is an explanatory note which explains the purpose of the instrument in general terms and, where a regulatory impact assessment is appropriate, indicates from where a copy may be obtained. Copies of regulatory impact assessments are routinely made available in the Libraries of the House on publication of the relevant instrument.

The remainder of the information is not held centrally in a form which would enable my Department to answer it without incurring disproportionate costs.

Disability Discrimination Act

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what responsibility (a) train operating companies and (b) Railtrack have for railway stations to be compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. [36717]

Mr. Jamieson: Most railway stations are operated on a day to day basis by train operating companies who lease the stations from Railtrack. The largest stations are operated directly by Railtrack. In respect of the DDA the operator of the station is regarded as the service provider and they are responsible for ensuring compliance. Where

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Railtrack's role is solely that of landlord they are required not unreasonably to withhold consent to any proposed changes to meet DDA requirements.

Coastguard

Mr. Alan Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many incidents were dealt with by each coastguard station in 2001. [36772]

Mr. Jamieson: During 2001, HM Coastguard dealt with a total of 12,518 incidents. A breakdown for each coastguard station is given in the table.

Coastguard StationsTotal incidents
2001
Aberdeen851
Belfast331
Brixham828
Clyde653
Dover654
Falmouth805
Forth346
Holyhead653
Humber648
Liverpool751
Milford Haven462
Portland985
Shetland300
Solent1,405
Stornoway383
Swansea833
Thames595
Tyne Tees(45)394
Yarmouth641
Total12,518

(45) MRSC Tyne Tees was decommissioned from 29 September 2001 as part of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's wider introduction of digital communications technology.


Road Safety (Mobile Phones)

Valerie Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to raise public awareness about the dangers of using a hand held mobile phone while driving. [36463]

Mr. Jamieson: The Highway Code makes it clear that drivers should never use hand-held mobile phones while driving and that it is best not to use hands-free phones. The Department will continue to educate drivers about the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving. Over 2 million copies of its advisory leaflet, "mobile phones & driving", have been issued to road safety officers, the police and others on request. A new campaign is planned for the spring.

Solway Harvester

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how much has been paid by his Department for the salvage and subsequent storage of the fishing vessel, Solway Harvester, to (a) the Government of the Isle of Man and (b) other parties; and if he will list them. [36748]

Mr. Jamieson: Following the salvage of the fishing vessel Solway Harvester the marine accident investigation branch has paid £124,136.77 to the Government of the

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Isle of Man. This payment was 50 per cent. of the costs incurred for the final raising of the wreck and subsequent work. No money has been paid to any other organisation.

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will consider delaying releasing the marine accident investigation branch report into the Solway Harvester until the conclusion of the Isle of Man police investigation into the vessel's sinking. [36734]

Mr. Jamieson: The chief inspector of marine accidents has received a letter from the Attorney General of the Isle of Man requesting he defer the publication of the marine accident investigation branch (MAIB) report into the loss of the Solway Harvester. The request has been made to enable the Attorney General to consider both the MAIB report and the Isle of Man report into the same accident. The chief inspector has acceded to this request.

Norwich Airport

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make it his policy to permit Norwich city council to borrow to allow for airport expansion. [36444]

Mr. Jamieson: Statutory control over Norwich airport's borrowing was removed in 1999. The airport company's ability to borrow now depends on its financial position rather than on central Government borrowing limits.

Rail Safety (Asylum Seekers)

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what action his Department is taking to ensure that rail safety is not compromised by asylum seekers entering the UK through the channel tunnel. [36610]

Mr. Jamieson: The safety of the channel tunnel system is the responsibility of Eurotunnel, overseen by the Channel Tunnel Intergovernmental Commission with the advice and assistance of the Channel Tunnel Safety Authority. The Safety Authority regularly receives reports from Eurotunnel on the activity of asylum seekers, and makes reports to the Intergovernmental Commission on the changing situation and on Eurotunnel's preventive measures. It keeps the position under regular review.

The safety authority remains satisfied that Eurotunnel has taken reasonably practicable measures to ensure the safety of the channel tunnel system, including the safety of passengers and crew.

Housing

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions whether he took into account new housing plans for the south-east in developing the 10-year plan; and if he will make a statement. [36609]

Mr. Jamieson: The analysis carried out for the 10-year plan included an allowance for regional differences in population growth, and thus in car traffic growth and resulting congestion. It did not address the detailed location of new housing.

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Decisions on allocation of resources to major projects will be based on detailed scheme or programme appraisals, which will reflect regional housing strategies.

An improved model is now under development, and will be used in analysis to support the current review of the 10-year plan. This will allow better account to be taken of the predicted growth in the number of households in urban areas in the south east.

Vehicle Inspectorate

Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many traffic examiners and vehicle examiners were employed by the Vehicle Inspectorate in each of the past 10 years. [36843]

Mr. Jamieson: The numbers of traffic examiners and vehicle examiners employed by the Vehicle Inspectorate since 1991–92 are given in the table. The figures are calculated on the basis of the average number of staff in post over a full year.

YearNumber of vehicle examinersNumber of traffic examiners
1991–92261160
1992–93263171
1993–94247166
1994–95229163
1995–96241164
1996–97243165
1997–98248166
1998–99252169
1999–2000276175
2000–01289185

Road Safety

Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when the Government plans to implement the (a) primary and (b) secondary recommendations in the Health and Safety Executive's Work-Related Road Safety Task Group report entitled "Reducing at-Work Road Traffic Incidents (2001)". [36557]

Mr. Jamieson: The Health and Safety Commission have been asked to consider the recommendations of the task group, and to report to Ministers in May 2002. We will need to consider that advice carefully before any decisions on implementation can be taken.

Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how much his Department intends to spend in 2002–03 on (a) road safety publicity and (b) the forthcoming radio and television campaign on driver tiredness; and if he is planning to run the campaign at peak listening and viewing times. [36558]

Mr. Jamieson: For the fiscal year 2002–03 £13.4 million has been allocated for the year round Think! road safety publicity campaign.

The driver tiredness element of the Think! campaign which comprises television and radio advertising will be broadcast from March 27 to 7 April at appropriate times for the specific audience and message. This will cost approximately £720,000. The message will, however

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continue at suitable times throughout the year as part of the wider campaign. Over the year, the advertising will be supported by proactive public relations activities and publicity materials for use locally.

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will introduce similar obligations to those in Scotland on local highway authorities to take reasonable steps to prevent ice or snow making roads unsafe in winter. [37281]

Mr. Spellar: We are continuing to consider the legal position on the winter service provided by local highway authorities in England. In the meantime we expect them to implement winter service provisions on their roads in accordance with the code of practice for maintenance management "Delivering Best Practice in Highway Maintenance" which was published on 10 July 2001.


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