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Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the oral statement of 25 March 2002, Official Report, column 586, what the number and/or column reference was of the written parliamentary question from the week of 18 to 24 March, to which the then Secretary of State refers to with regard to letters of comfort. 
Mr. Spellar [holding answer 17 June 2002]: My right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, was referring to the draft comfort letters for the London Underground that were reported to Parliament using the minute procedure on 20 March 2002. The minute was placed in the Libraries of the House and reported to the Transport Select Committee and to the Public Accounts Committee.
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the Cabinet Office. In addition, guidance is issued to officials within the Department on deadlines and format for the different types of parliamentary questions. A copy of that guidance (which will be updated to reflect the recent machinery of government changes) has been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many responses he has received to the consultation document on, Introducing a More Structured Approach to Learning to Drive, broken down by category of respondents. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Department has received over 300 responses to this consultation document. These have come from a wide range of interests including driving instructors and their trade associations, road safety and road user groups, other organisations and individuals with an interest in the issues raised in the document. Responses are still being received and they have not yet been broken down into categories.
Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment the Government have made on the environmental benefits of a tax on aviation kerosene; and what plans he has to work towards an international agreement to impose such a duty. 
Mr. Jamieson: Our assessment is that a tax on aviation kerosene would have worthwhile environmental benefits in reducing climate change impacts from aircraft emissions but only if it were imposed internationally. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) concluded at its assembly last October that alternative measures such as an open emissions trading scheme or an emissions charge could be equally if not more environmentally beneficial than such a tax. The UK is currently assisting ICAO in following up these possibilities.
Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has finalised agreement with the Strategic Rail Authority to introduce a standard three hour journey time between London and Plymouth. 
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what consultation took place with Humber Pilots Limited on the time spent to complete an act of pilotage for the DTLR document, "The New Humber Pilotage Service"; and what the outcome of this consultation was; 
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Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 21 June 2002]: This incident is currently the subject of an investigation by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch. All the pilots now working on the Humber have been authorised (or in some cases re-authorised) by the competent harbour authority on or after 12 December 2001, when the former pilots went on strike.
Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 21 June 2002]: This is a matter for the competent harbour authority which has the statutory responsibility for deciding what qualifications are required from applicants for authorisation. There is no rule requiring any particular seafaring qualification and practice varies.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list each consultation exercise being carried out by his Department, including the start date, the date by which responses had to be returned and the expected date for reporting on the consultation. 
Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 21 June 2002]: According to central records the Department is currently carrying out nine consultation exercises. A full list of these consultation exercises, including start dates and dates by which responses must be returned, has been placed in the Library. Reports on consultations are published once all of the responses have been received, and the issues they raise, have been considered.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what (a) discussions have taken place and (b) assessment he has made of the role of developing an asset register of Railtrack upon delay attribution; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Spellar: None. There is no direct correlation between the development of an asset register and the process of delay attribution. The register will contain information on the condition, capability and capacity of Railtrack's assets.
Gillian Merron: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he plans to introduce legislation requiring rail network companies to introduce a specific type of safety mechanism onto rolling stock over a certain age; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Spellar: There is no safety legislation relating specifically to the age of rolling stock. The Railway Safety Regulations 1999 require a form of automatic train protection where reasonably practical, for example the Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS), to be fitted on all trains and key signals throughout the rail network by the end of 2003.
Under the same regulations all Mark 1 rolling stock must be fitted with a safety modification (to prevent overriding in the event of two Mark 1 carriages colliding in an accident) by the end of 2002, in order to remain in service until the end of 2004 when they will finally be withdrawn from service. An exemption from the regulations can only be granted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The HSE is currently conducting a public consultation on an application for exemption to fit the safety modification received from the three Mark 1 train operating companies, South West Trains, Connex South Eastern and South Central. The HSE is expected to make a decision in the autumn.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what internal investigations have been launched by his Department and by its predecessor into grey market share trading in Railtrack shares before the Network Rail bid was announced on 25 March. 
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