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Government News Network North East

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what occasions press releases have been released on behalf of (a) his Department, (b) the Highways Agency and (c) the Health and Safety Executive by the Government News Network North East since 7 June 2001; and if he will place copies of such press releases in the Library. [70653]

Mr. Jamieson: Between 7 June 2001 and 15 July 2002 Government News Network North East (formerly the Central Office of Information North East) issued press releases on behalf of the Department for Transport, the Department for Transport, Local Government and Regions, the Highways Agency and the Health and Safety Executive as follows:

Department Total despatched Regionally generatedDespatched for national department
Department for Transport761
Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions21812593
Highways Agency40355
Health and Safety Executive472621
Totals312192120

I have arranged for copies to be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Adventure Holidays

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many deaths have occurred on adventure holidays in the past five years. [69772]

Mr. Jamieson: Based on information provided by the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority there have been 31 fatalities (which includes adults) during organised adventure activity holidays since 1997. Of the three deaths at licensed centres, one involved a pre-existing condition and two involved instructors. This figure includes fatalities to UK residents participating in overseas adventure activity holidays that were organised through UK providers as set out in the table.

Number of fatalities during participation in adventure activities from 1 January 1997 to 21 July 2002(51) as recorded by the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority

Group typeNumber of fatalities
Scouts6
Schools16
Licensed Centres3
Others (vol.clubs/army training/unlicensed centres)6
Total31

(51) Deaths recorded over a period of five years six months

Notes:

1. Of these deaths three are thought to be as a result of a previous and unknown medical condition.

2. The figures do not include sub-aqua diving fatalities.


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Overseas Visits

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the overseas trips on departmental business that have been undertaken in each of the last five years by officials in his Department; and what the (a) cost, (b) purpose and (c) result was in each case. [68722]

Mr. Jamieson: All overseas travel by officials in my Department is undertaken in accordance with the principles set out in Chapter 8 of the Civil Service Management Code (available on the Cabinet Office website at http:// www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/civilservice/managementcode/ csmc.pdf)

The annual expenditure on overseas travel for the last financial year for the predecessor department, the Department for Transport, Local Government and Regions, was £1,804,386.65. This total includes the travel, accommodation and subsistence costs.

Performance Targets

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made towards meeting the targets set out in 'Our towns and cities: the future', relating to (a) journey times on the London underground, (b) road congestion in large urban areas, (c) increasing bus use, (d) increasing rail use, (e) reducing the number of people killed and injured in road accidents and (f) increasing light rail use. [69385]

Mr. Jamieson: These targets were set out in the 10 Year Plan for Transport and referred to in "Our towns and cities: the future". The progress recorded so far is as follows:


(a) Journey times on the London Underground PSA target: "Cut journey times on London Underground by increasing capacity and reducing delays. Specific targets will be agreed with the Mayor after the PPP has been established."

London Underground Limited's Reliability Improvement Programme delivered improvements in both indicators last year. In 2001–02 capacity increased by 2.5 per cent. and delays reduced by 6.7 per cent.


(b) Road congestion in large urban areas PSA target: "Reduce road congestion in large urban areas below current levels by 2010 by promoting integrated transport solutions and investing in public transport and the road network".

A new congestion monitoring exercise to establish the baselines from which progress will be measured is being finalised and the results will be published in due course.


(c) Increasing bus use PSA target: "Increase bus use from 2000 levels by 10 per cent. by 2010, while improving punctuality and reliability".

The latest figures for bus use, for 2000–01, show the number of passenger journeys increased by 1 per cent. across England as a whole. Results for 2001–02 are due in October. Latest results for service reliability, for the fourth quarter in 2001–02 show 98.7 per cent. of scheduled local bus mileage in England was completed compared with 98.6 per cent. one year ago.


(d) Increasing rail use PSA target: "Increase rail use in Great Britain by 50 per cent. between 2000 and 2010, while improving punctuality and reliability".

The latest results for 2001–02 show an increase of 2.4 per cent. in passenger kilometres travelled compared to the previous year.


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(e) Reducing the number of people killed and injured in road accidents PSA target: "Reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in GB in road accidents by 40 per cent. by 2010 and the number of children killed or seriously injured by 50 per cent. compared with the average for 1994–98."

Provisional results for 2001 show a reduction of 14.9 per cent. (total) and 27.3 per cent. (children) compared to the baseline.


(f) Increasing light rail use PSA target: "Double light rail use from 2000 levels by 2010".

The latest results, for 2000–01 show a 27 per cent. increase in passenger journeys compared to the previous year. Results for 2001–02 are due shortly.

Infrastructure Pricing Reform

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the forthcoming European Directive on infrastructure pricing reform. [66059]

Mr. Spellar: The European Commission indicated in its European Transport Policy White Paper that it would propose a framework directive in 2002 to establish the principles of infrastructure charging and a pricing structure for all modes of transport.

The Commission has not yet brought forward its proposals. And, at this stage, it is unclear what it wants to achieve by proposing a common methodology across all modes. Clearly, it would need to be demonstrated that these measures are necessary at a Community level and respect the principles of subsidiarity. It would also be essential that any proposals are based on the appropriate Treaty provisions.

Transport Projects

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the review of the planning process for transport projects to which transport funding announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 15 July are linked. [71255]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 19 July 2002]: This will be the subject of discussions between my Department and that of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the (a) benchmark lead times for major infrastructure transport projects and (b) shortened lead times are which form part of the delivery reform measures to which transport funding announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 15 July are linked. [71259]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 19 July 2002]: It is too early to provide precise details of the work to streamline processes for transport planning and delivery, but it is the intention to build on the improvements already made by the Highways Agency, while the SRA will be working with the rail industry to develop special purpose vehicles to deliver major rail projects more effectively.

EU Committees (Scottish Representation)

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the EU Scientific Committee for occupational exposure limits to chemical agents is next

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due to meet; whether representatives of the Scottish Executive (a) have been and (b) are members of it; and if he will make a statement. [71820]

Mr. Jamieson: The European Union's Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL) is next due to meet on 26 and 27 September 2002. No member or representative of the Scottish Executive either has been or is currently a member of SCOEL. The Health and Safety Executive nominates the two UK members of SCOEL on the basis of their scientific and toxicological background rather than as representatives of the UK Government. The current UK nominees are a Senior Toxicologist at the Medical Research Council Institute for Environment and Health and the Head of the Health and Safety Executive's Industrial Chemicals Unit.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the Joint Committee on the carriage of goods and passengers by inland waterway (EC-Czech Republic-Republic of Poland-Slovak Republic) is next due to meet; whether representatives of the Scottish Executive (a) have been and (b) are members of it; and if he will make a statement. [73153]

Mr. Jamieson: I have not been able to identify the Committee referred to by the hon. Member.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the EC-Slovak Republic Joint Transport Committee is next due to meet; whether representatives of the Scottish Executive (a) have been and (b) are members of it; and if he will make a statement. [73154]

Mr. Jamieson: This Committee is established under the provisions of an agreement between the European Community and the Slovak Republic establishing certain conditions for the carriage of goods by road and the promotion of combined transport. The remit of the Committee is to ensure the proper implementation of the agreement. I am not aware that it has met in recent times or that there are any plans for it to meet in the future. Representatives of the Scottish Executive have not been—and would not in the future be—members of the Committee as the matters for which it has responsibility are reserved.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the EC-Hungary Joint Transport Committee is next due to meet; whether representatives of the Scottish Executive (a) have been and (b) are members of it; and if he will make a statement. [73158]

Mr. Jamieson: This Committee is established under the provisions of the Agreement of 12 July 2000 between the European Community and the Republic of Hungary establishing certain conditions for the carriage of goods by road and the promotion of combined transport. The remit of the Committee is to ensure the proper implementation of the agreement. I am not aware that it has met since the conclusion of the Agreement or that there are any plans for it to meet in the future. Representatives of the Scottish Executive have not been—and would not in the future be—members of the Committee as the matters for which it has responsibility are reserved.


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