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London-South Midlands Multi-Modal Study

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the re-opening of the Luton-Dunstable- Leighton Buzzard railway line is to be assessed as part of the transport strategy being developed in the London- South Midlands Multi-Modal Study. [67144]

Mr. Jamieson: The Multi-Modal Study is a strategic study looking primarily at the needs of long distance traffic in the study area. The re-opening of the Luton-Dunstable-Leighton Buzzard railway line, which would primarily serve local needs, has therefore, not been considered in detail within the context of the study.

Travel Awareness Campaigns

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to fund travel awareness campaigns (a) this year and (b) in future years. [67538]

Mr. Jamieson: This year we are supporting the "Walk to School", "Bike Week" and "In town, without my car" campaigns and are considering further promotion of "traveline", the public transport information service. We are also providing practical support for other sustainable travel initiatives including funding local authority school and work place travel plan co-ordinators, free consultancy advice for schools and organisations wanting to develop travel plans, regional cycling co-ordinators, and cycling projects through the Cycling Projects Fund. We shall shortly be inviting local authorities to bid for funding to run personalised travel planning demonstration projects. Some of these projects will stretch over several years, others are still under development.

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London Transport Studies Model

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place a copy of the London Transport Studies Model, as used for the 10 Year Plan, in the Library. [67722]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 8 July 2002]: I have arranged for the document pack "London Transportation Studies Model", published by the Government Office for London in 1999, which is referred to on page 13 of the Transport 2010 Background Analysis to be placed in the Libraries of the House. Transport for London is now responsible for maintaining and updating the model.

Airline Safety

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what steps are taken to prevent airline pilots from operating an aircraft under the influence of alcohol; [67571]

Mr. Jamieson: It is an offence under the Air Navigation Order 2000 for aircraft pilots to carry out their duties whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs. As part of the process for obtaining an Air Operator Certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority, airlines are required to establish policies on alcohol and drugs to ensure compliance with this provision. The detailed implementation of such policies is a matter for the airlines. In addition, pilots have to undergo regular medical examinations which will pay attention to any evidence of excess alcohol intake or substance abuse. The Authority is not aware of any UK licensed professional pilots flying whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs, in the past year.

We intend to enhance the statutory provisions by introducing a prescribed blood/alcohol limit for safety critical personnel in aviation, and powers to allow police to test suspected offenders, at an appropriate legislative opportunity.

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many commercial aircraft have not met safety requirements in the past year. [67573]

Mr. Jamieson: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is responsible for the implementation of safety standards for all UK registered aircraft and airlines. Its Safety Regulation Group audits and inspects aircraft and airlines on an on-going and systematic basis and takes appropriate regulatory action as and where necessary.

Operators of commercial aircraft must hold an Air Operator Certificate which places on them responsibilities to ensure that any aircraft is fit to make its intended flight. If an aircraft is not fit to make a particular flight the operator will correct the problem before allowing the aircraft to fly. As a result, UK registered aircraft should not fly commercial operations unless they meet safety requirements and the CAA is not aware of any that have done so in the past year.

Should an aircraft not be fit to make an intended flight as a consequence of one of the conditions which must be reported under the CAA's Mandatory Occurrence

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Reporting Scheme, the operator will advise the Authority accordingly, thus meeting the safety requirements placed upon them.

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what discussions he has had with and representations he has received from (a) the Health and Safety Executive, (b) National Air Traffic Services and (c) the CAA on safety breaches by low-cost airlines; and if he will make a statement; [63975]

Mr. Jamieson: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is responsible for the implementation of safety standards for National Air Traffic Services Limited (NATS) and all UK registered airlines. Its Safety Regulation Group audits and inspects these companies on an on-going and systematic basis and takes appropriate regulatory action as and where necessary. There are statutory prohibitions on disclosing information supplied to the CAA in its safety regulatory capacity and the authority does not publish the reports of its inspections of airlines or NATS. Public disclosure of such reports, related to specific companies, could have an adverse effect on the openness and effectiveness of the established auditing and reporting procedures. Evidence of any concerns regarding the safety of a UK registered airline should be reported to the CAA for further investigation.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has made one recent assessment in connection with NATS which concerned the possible risks to health of those operating the air traffic control system at Swanwick. The ensuing report was sent to NATS and to representatives of the relevant employees. There are statutory restrictions on the disclosure of information obtained by the HSE in pursuance of its powers that apply to this report.

Air Travel (Security Surcharge)

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what impact the £7 security surcharge is having on the number of passengers travelling on United Kingdom flights; [68326]

Mr. Jamieson: The Government have not introduced a security surcharge on United Kingdom flights.

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Following the attacks on 11 September, heightened aviation security measures were introduced at all UK airports and for all airlines operating from the UK, and security remains at an enhanced level. We do not discuss the details of our aviation security requirements, although I can say that the UK does have one of the most demanding aviation security regimes in the world.

It has long been central to UK aviation policy that users should pay the full costs of air travel, and this should include the costs of whatever level of security is deemed appropriate in the light of prevailing circumstances. Many United Kingdom and other European carriers have already imposed ticket surcharges to reflect increased insurance and security costs, and this is the pattern which we believe the industry should follow. This is a matter for them and I see no grounds for Government intervention in this area.

Different airlines have been affected differently in the aftermath of 11 September. Some airlines' passenger numbers are still well down on June 2001. On the other hand, no-frills carriers are reporting an increase in passengers. This does not suggest that having to pay additional security costs is having a major impact on people's decision on whether or not to fly.

Statistics

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the statistics that are collected by his Department by English parliamentary constituency; and if he will make a statement. [67092]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 8 July 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend, the Financial Secretary on Monday 8 July 2002.


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