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Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make parish councils statutory consultees in consultations on the grant of HGV operating licences. 
Mr. Jamieson: The most effective way for parish councils to comment on applications for a heavy goods vehicle operator's licence is to work with local authorities who have a statutory right to object. In our consultation paper "Quality town and parish councils" published in November 2001 we set out our proposals for improved partnership working between local authorities and local parish and town councils to give them a stronger voice in decisions that affect people's lives. We are currently considering the responses to the consultation paper.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list the local authorities that have implemented policies to improve public transport provision in deprived areas as part of their full local transport plans, giving details of the provision in each case. 
Ms Keeble: The information is not available in the form requested.
Our guidance to local authorities on full local transport plans (LTPs) made clear that authorities need to consider the transport needs of their area as a whole. In doing so authorities should develop local policies for integrated transport within the framework of the Government's over-arching objectives for transport, namely to improve safety, to promote accessibility, to contribute to an efficient economy, to promote integration and to protect the environment.
We also made clear that LTPs should reflect local circumstances, so where public transport provision in deprived areas is a locally-identified problem we would expect authorities to develop measures aimed at tackling such issues. The annual progress reports for the first year of full local transport plans are due to be submitted at the end of July this year. We have asked authorities to report examples of their efforts in reducing social exclusion through measures in their LTPs.
The Social Exclusion Unit is currently looking at how transport issues can contribute to social exclusion and what can be done to deliver improvements. We will be
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considering the recommendations of their report in terms of local transport plans following its publication in the summer.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to the answer of 25 March, Ref. 46194, if he will publish estimates of inter-urban congestion for 1999. 
Mr. Jamieson: The estimates of inter-urban congestion in 2000 will be a baseline against which we will monitor progress towards our PSA target to reduce congestion below 2000 levels by 2010. The speed surveys from which they are derived were designed specifically to enable the estimation of congestion for 2000. The data from previous surveys are insufficient to establish robust congestion figures and the Department therefore does not intend to publish congestion figures for years before 2000.
Mr. Jon Owen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) if he will issue guidance on the levels of cannabis consumption for which it would be considered safe to drive; 
(3) what research he has evaluated on the safe level of cannabis in the body for driving; 
(4) what assessment he has made of recent research from the Transport Research Laboratory on the effect of (a) alcohol and (b) cannabis consumption on driving ability. 
Mr. Jamieson: A report into the effects of cannabis on driving was published in December 2000. A report on the effects of cannabis and alcohol on driving is expected shortly. A review on the effects of over-the-counter medicines, published in June 2001, concluded that there was a potential for sleepiness in drivers and made recommendations on labelling and guidance to patients. A study into antidepressants and driving is in progress and should be concluded in the summer.
The cannabis research found that there are measurable effects on driver performance and that drivers can be impaired. There are no grounds for specifying a safe level of use of cannabis while driving and no plans to do so.
The issue for road safety is impairment of driving. The Department has therefore been supporting the police in their training of officers in recognising the signs of drug use and in tests to help them judge whether a suspect may be impaired due to drugs.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list the studies initiated by his Department and other Government agencies covering all or part of the M4. 
Mr. Byers: The three transport studies currently under way which cover part or most of the M4 are the London to South West and Wales Study, the Thames Valley and
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the Orbit multi modal studies. In addition, the Highways Agency are undertaking a Route Management Strategy for Junctions 1 to 15 of the M4 and a further 28 smaller-scale studies into specific issues beyond junction 15.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what (a) the remit of the Highways Agency's M4 Route Management Strategy and (b) the date for completion of the exercise is. 
Mr. Byers: The M4 Junctions 115 Route Management Strategy will, in close consultation with local communities, address the specific needs of this section of the M4 and develop an action plan for its management. By contract the Thames Valley Multi Modal Study aims to identify the wider transport and land use problems and opportunities throughout the Thames Valley and develop an overall investment strategy for this transport corridor. This will provide opportunities for integrated transport and will allow more sustainable development in the future.
An interim Route Management Strategy for the M4 from Junction 1 to Junction 15 will be in place this summer. The Route Management Strategy will be finalised in 2003, when the outcome of the Thames Valley Multi Modal Study is known.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the timetable for improving road safety on the A449 at Hartlebury. 
Mr. Jamieson: I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Tim Matthews, to write to the hon. Member.
Letter from Tim Matthews to Mr. Peter Luff, dated 10 April 2002:
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what plans there are to resurface the M27 between junctions 5 and 11; 
Mr. Jamieson: I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Mr. Tim Matthews, to reply to the hon. Member.
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Letter from Tim Matthews to Mr. Mark Hoban, dated 10 April 2002:
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the average traffic speed in (a) central London, (b) Greater London, (c) Essex, (d) Kent, (e) Warwickshire, (f) North Yorkshire, (g) Lancashire, (h) Cornwall, (i) Cardiff and (j) Glasgow was in the last year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Jamieson: Estimates are available for average traffic speeds in London, from speed surveys conducted for Transport for London. The following estimates are based on surveys in 2000 for central London and between 19972000 for the whole of Greater London.
|am peak||Daytime off-peak||pm peak|
|Central London (2000)||9.9||9.0||9.6|
|Greater London (19972000)||15.9||18.5||16.2|
Estimates for the other areas listed are not available. DTLR conducts surveys of speed on the trunk roads network and in large urban areas in England, but results for individual counties or for urban areas outside England are not available.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many representations his Department has received for reductions in local speed limits; and how many representations have resulted in reduction in speed limits in (a) 19992000, (b) 200001 and (c) 200102. 
Mr. Jamieson: None. Responsibility for setting local speed limits rests solely with the local authority concerned.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what criteria are used in assessing whether a speed limit should
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be (a) 40, (b) 30 and (c) 20 miles per hour; and what criteria are used when considering representations for reductions in speed limits. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Department issues guidance in the form of Circular Roads 1/93 for setting local speed limits. For 20mph zones and speed limits Circular 05/99 is used. Responsibility for setting local speed limits rests solely with the local authority concerned.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many speed cameras there are in Surrey; and how many people were convicted as a result of their use in the most recent year for which information is available. 
Mr. Jamieson: This information is not held centrally.
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