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Linda Perham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research he has undertaken into the links between illegal and unlicensed mini-cab touting and other crimes; and what the findings were. [80536]

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Mr. Jamieson: The Department has not carried out any research into the links between taxi touting and other crimes. Taxi touting is a criminal offence and enforcement is a matter for local licensing authorities and the police.


Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement about progress with the A249 Iwade to Queenborough improvement, with special reference to the (a) start date, (b) finish date and (c) Compulsory Purchase Order required. [82228]

Mr. Jamieson: I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Tim Matthews, to write to my hon. Friend.

Letter from Tim Matthews to Mr. Derek Wyatt, dated November 2002:

Airport Staff (Security)

Miss Anne McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what security checks are being undertaken on airport-related staff on recruitment of (a) baggage handlers, (b) dispatches, (c) security staff and (d) other airport workers. [80959]

Mr. Jamieson: Before being able to work airside, all persons, including baggage handlers and dispatchers, are required to have undergone a five year background check on their education, training and employment record, and to have have submitted proof of identity. UK legislation requires that those carrying out listed security activities at UK airports are also in possession of a government security clearance known as a Counter Terrorist Check. All others working airside are to be subject to a Criminal Record Check.

Notwithstanding these checks, all baggage handlers, dispatchers and other airport workers are screened on each occasion before being able to enter the airport's

Restricted Zone.

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Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what cost benefit analysis has been conducted by his Department or is planned of the (a) economic, (b) social and (c) environmental costs and benefits from (i) new airports and (ii) airport expansion, which (A) has taken place since 1997 and (B) is planned. [81410]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 20 November 2002]: These issues have been covered extensively in the Government's recent airport studies. This included an assessment of the economic, social and environmental benefits and impacts of various airport development options, both at existing and new sites. The findings are set out in XThe Future Development of Air Transport in the United Kingdom" consultation documents.

Modal Shifts

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what (a) discussions his Department has had or plans to have and (b) representations have been received by his Department with regard to the past and potential future role of improvements to public transport access at United Kingdom airports upon (i) past increases and future total passenger and freight numbers and (ii) past and future (A) economic, (B) environment and (C) social impacts; [81415]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 20 November 2002]: The Department's policies aim to deliver safe, reliable and secure transport for everyone that respects the environment, encouraging modal shift where appropriate.

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The research which has been carried out into recent and future public transport improvements for access to United Kingdom airports and on rail-air mode shift has been extensive and is set out in the seven consultation documents XThe Future Development of Air Transport in the United Kingdom" published on 23 July and the background technical reports which support them. The latter include reports commissioned by the Strategic Rail Authority and the Commission for Integrated Transport on the potential for rail-air substitution and the different environmental effects of journeys made using different modes on key inter-regional journeys within the UK.

The Strategic Rail Authority is also conducting a study into a potential North-South high speed line which will consider its likely impact on other modes, including air.

The service quality improvements resulting from use of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link are expected to result in some transfer of international air passengers to Eurostar. However, the forecast of Eurostar demand does not allow the transfer from international air services to be separately identified. The report of this research was not published because of the subject's commercially sensitive nature.


Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent guidelines he has issued on the use of bus lanes by cars. [82082]

Mr. Jamieson: Local Transport Note 1/97, Keeping Buses Moving, was published in 1997. This includes advice on the use of bus lanes by other vehicles, including cars.

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the percentage occupancy is of the UK bus fleet on normal timetable services. [81020]

Mr. Spellar: The Department collects information on the number of bus passenger journeys in Great Britain, but does not have information on bus occupancy.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research has (a) been conducted and (b) is planned by his Department on the effects of marketing upon bus usage. [81733]

Mr. Jamieson: No research has been commissioned specifically on the effects of marketing on bus usage. However, we have obtained relevant information from research into quality bus partnerships and from surveys on satisfaction with the quality of local bus services.

Bus operators are well aware of the benefits of good marketing of services. Marketing includes a variety of activities such as branding, publicity, timetable information, fares and tickets. A task group established by the Bus Partnership Forum, which comprises industry, local and central government representatives, is examining a number of surveys conducted by Transport for London, local transport authorities and operating companies to evaluate the success of marketing initiatives on particular routes or networks.

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