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Alternative Fuels

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to ensure that the UK takes a leading role in meeting the European Commission's objective of a 20 per cent. substitution by alternative fuels in the road transport sector by 2020. [72862]

Mr. Jamieson: The UK actively promotes the wider use of alternative fuels through the low rates of duty on liquefied petroleum gas, natural gas, biodiesel and hydrogen road fuel; the lower rates of vehicle excise duty and company car tax on alternatively-fuelled vehicles; Enhanced Capital Allowances for investment in compressed natural gas and hydrogen fuel infrastructure; and the TransportAction programmes of grants for purchase of or conversion to alternatively-fuelled cars, buses and goods vehicles. There are also fuel duty exemptions under the Green Fuels Challenge, subject to European agreement, for three pilot projects relating to the capture and use of landfill bio-gas, hydrogen refuelling infrastructure and the use of methanol, with a further round of the Green Fuels Challenge currently in progress, offering support for the pilot testing of further promising alternative fuels.

A46 (Little Beckford)

Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will ask the Highways Agency to remove the bollards at the pedestrian safety refuge on the A46 at Little Beckford. [72860]

Mr. Jamieson: The pedestrian safety refuge and bollards at Little Beckford are part of a general scheme of traffic calming through the village to enable pedestrians to cross the A46 safely. A road safety audit carried out after installation has shown no major problems with the scheme design and the police have not identified any safety concerns as a result of their accident investigations. To remove any of the refuges would reduce the effectiveness of the traffic calming and thus increase the risks to road safety. The Highways Agency will, however, continue to monitor the performance of these measures to ensure that they remain effective.

Intelligent Motor Generator Technology

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the intelligent motor generator technology developed by Ricardo in reducing fuel consumption in road vehicles. [72624]

Mr. Jamieson: There are a range of technologies in development—including the intelligent motor generator system developed by Ricardo—that promise substantial reductions in vehicle fuel consumption. My Department's New Vehicle Technology Fund is currently assessing

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proposals from various suppliers of such technology for demonstrating and testing the effectiveness of their vehicles in real-world operating conditions. The results of the projects will be available from the Energy Saving Trust which manages the Fund on behalf of my Department.

Road Schemes (South West)

Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has for new road schemes in the South West; and what the (a) cost and (b) commencement date is in each case. [73266]

Mr. Jamieson: Within the targeted programme of improvements for the Highways Agency the following major schemes (that is schemes costing more than £5 million) are being delivered in the South West area:

SchemeEstimate of cost (£ million)Estimated start of construction
A303 Stonehenge1302005–06
A30 Bodmin—Indian Queens492004–05
A38 Dobwalls bypass172005–06
A419 Blunsdon bypass202006

Further schemes may emerge from the London to South West and South Wales Multi-Modal Study.

In addition, the Highways Agency will deliver a number of small scale schemes aimed at, for example, improving safety. It is estimated that around £11 million will be spent on these schemes this year.

A12 (Colchester)

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects work to be completed on connecting the Colchester northern approach road to the A12. [72097]

Mr. Jamieson: Proposals for a junction between this road and the A12 trunk road are included in one of five current applications for planning permissions for comprehensive redevelopment of the site of the former Severalls hospital. The Highways Agency has agreed to the principle of the proposed junction and is currently discussing with the developers details of its design and location. Work is not programmed to begin on site within the next three years.

HGV Lanes

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the strategic routes with HGV lanes. [71336]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 19 July 2002]: There are no lanes in the Highways Agency's strategic road network dedicated solely to the movement of heavy goods vehicles.

Car Use

Jim Dowd: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 16 July 2002, Official Report, column 143W, on car use, what evaluation he has made of the impact of the Mayor of London's policies in this regard. [72001]

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Mr. Jamieson: Road engineering in London is a matter for Transport for London and the London local authorities.

A3 Hindhead

Virginia Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his latest estimate is for (a) the commencement and (b) the completion of construction of the A3 at Hindhead; what representations he has recently received about the improvement scheme there; and what further steps must be completed before its commencement. [71915]

Mr. Spellar: There has been no change to the programme for the A3 Hindhead scheme. The Highways Agency is presently assessing bids from contractor/ designer teams to progress the scheme through statutory procedures and construction phases. It is expected that the contract will be awarded in September, that draft orders will be published in the late summer of 2003; and a public inquiry, if required, would be held in 2004. Subject to the satisfactory completion of these statutory procedures, work would start in 2005 and be completed by 2009.

Amendments to the preferred scheme as a consequence of on-going consultation with the local community were announced last March. Since then 11 representations have been received about the revised proposals. These were either seeking more information on specific local impacts or about changes in traffic patterns on local roads as a result of the scheme.

Variable Road Speeds

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 2 July 2002, Official Report, column 217W, on variable road speeds, if he will place a copy of the report in the Library. [70694]

Mr. Jamieson: The trials on the use of variable message signs outside schools formed part of a wider piece of research carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory on behalf of the Department. The results of the trials were unpublished.

However, my Department is preparing guidance in the form of a traffic advisory leaflet on the use of vehicle activated signs. This new guidance will reflect the results and conclusions of these earlier trials. We expect to publish by the end of the year, and at that time, a copy will be placed in the Library.

Highways Agency Contracts

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research and contract work has been

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conducted for the Highways Agency since 7 June 2001 by (a) W. S. Atkins, (b) Amey and (c) Balfour Beatty; and if he will make a statement. [70660]

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Mr. Jamieson: The research and contract work that has been conducted for the Highways Agency since 7 June 2001 to the present time by these companies is as follows:

Contract descriptionApproximate valueDate awarded and duration
(a) W.S. Atkins
Provision of research and development advice facilities framework. For design and management of highways structures£700k7 September 2001, for 3 years
General roadworks, including design services
Highways Agency (HA) area 2 managing agent (MA)£25 millionCommenced pre-June 2001; runs until 31/3/04
HA area 4 MA£5.8 million p.a.Commenced pre-June 2001; runs until 31/5/03
HA area 6 MA£3.5 million p.a.Commenced 1/9/2001 for 5 years(42)
HA area 10 MA£5 million p.a.1/7/2002 to 30/6/2006(42)
HA area 11 MA£7 million p.a.Awarded pre-June 2001, ending 30/6/2002
HA area 11 Managing Agent Contractor (MAC)—(as member of a joint venture (JV))£25 million p.a.1/7/2002 to 30/6/2006(42)
Consultancy design framework—midlandsOrders of various values1/7/2001 to 1/6/2006
Consultancy design framework—northOrders of various values9/7/2001 to 1/6/2006
Consultancy design framework—south eastOrders of various values1/7/2001 to 1/6/2006
Project management support services frameworkOrders of various values1/6/2001 to 1/6/2004
Development control advice (for SW of west midlands area)£750k27/2/2002, 3 year contract
Tactical traffic control£182k31/3/2002, 1 year
Consultancy framework arrangement£3 million15/4/2002, 3 years
Northern development control consultancy£600k12/6/2002, 3 years
Procedural and technical advice facilities£150k24/5/2002, 3 years
(b) Amey
General roadworks
HA area 6 term maintenance contractor (TMC)—(as a member of a JV)£15 million p.a.Runs 1/6/2002 for 5 years(42)
HA area 9 MAC—(as a member of a JV)£30 million p.a.Runs 1/7/2002 for 4 years(42)
HA area 10 TMC—(as a member of a JV)£20 million p.a.1/7/2002 for 4 years(42)
HA area 18 TMC£10–11 million p.a.Awarded pre-1/6/2002, runs to 1/4/2003
HA area 19 TMC—(as member of a JV)£26 million p.a.Awarded pre-1/6/2002, runs to 1/4/2003
(c) Balfour Beatty
General roadworks
Midland framework for roads and structuresIndividual task orders varying in value between £500k-£5 million1/7/2002–1/7/2006 (extendable by 1 year)
Technology framework agreementOrders of various values18/9/2001–17/9/2004(43)
A5 Nescliffe bypass£11 million10/12/2001—completion in 2006
A41 Aston Clinton bypass£21.7 millionAwarded 30/3/2001(44)
A303 Stonehenge bypass—(as a member of a JV)£136 million15/3/2002—completion in 2013
M1 Wilne Lane to M25, M1 J25 noise barriers and M1 J24–30 Notts/Derby renewal of technology (advance works) hybrid£4.8 million24/9/2001–21/3/2002
A120 Stansted to Braintree improvements£75.5 million17/7/2001, runs until spring 2004
HA area 16: northern framework agreement for roads and structuresIndividual task orders varying in value between £500k and £5 million1/8/2001–30/4/2003(44)
HA area 18: framework for roads and structuresIndividual task orders varying in value between £500k and £10 million30/6/2002 (extended by 1 year to 30/6/2003)

(42) With options for extensions.

(43) Extendable by 2 periods of 1 year.

(44) To be incorporated into a MAC from 1/7/2003

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