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9 Dec 2002 : Column 31W—continued

Disabled Access

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 2 December, Official Report, column 500W, how many of the stations owned by (a) London Underground and (b) train operating companies, defined as step free, rely on a lift service in their qualification as a step free station. [86516]

Mr. Jamieson: Thirteen London Underground stations rely on lifts in their qualification as step free, as do three of the TOC-owned stations served by London Underground.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he last met members of the Strategic Rail Authority regarding disabled access to train station platforms. [86518]

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Mr. Jamieson: I, and other departmental Ministers, meet the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Strategic Rail Authority on a regular basis; specifically to discuss aspects or the Authority's work, or as part of wider industry meetings.

European Ports

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if the European Commission has decided to investigate public financing and charging in European ports in its proposed Directive on Market Access to Port Services. [85488]

Mr. Jamieson: The Transport Council has adopted a common position on the Ports Directive and has also asked the Commission to present proposals for measures on public financing of port infrastructure, state aids and transparency. We understand that the Commission is currently working on these issues.

Fatigue-Related Road Accidents

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what initiatives have been undertaken by his Department to reduce fatigue-related road accidents since 1 January 2000; when each initiative took place; how much each cost; to whom contracts were awarded; what assessment has been undertaken of the projects; and what further action is planned. [86082]

Mr. Jamieson: The Department is concerned about fatigue-related road accidents and has an extensive programme of publicity and research aimed at reducing these.

The Department has been using a variety of media to encourage drivers to plan their trips and to take suitable breaks on long journeys. These include:

The total publicity spend in the current financial year on driver sleepiness has been #1.152 million, which is just over 8.4 per cent. of the publicity budget.

Since January 2000, advertising agency AMV.BBDO has been responsible for the creative work for the campaigns. Media buying until July 2002 was contracted to PHD, and to Carat Ltd. since then.

Quantitative tracking research demonstrates that awareness of the dangers of driving while tired has increased considerably. The costs of this are included in tracking all aspects of the Department's Think! Road Safety campaign, which is contracted to Taylor, Nelson, Sofres.

Nearly 400 Variable Message Signs on Motorways were used during the 2002 Easter period to carry the 'Don't Drive Tired' message in support of TV advertising. Over half those questioned at Motorway

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Service Areas said they had assessed their tiredness after seeing the message and some 12 per cent. of those surveyed decided to take a break as a result. The Variable Message Signs will continue to be used for this purpose over the coming year. The cost to the Highways Agency was some #40,000. Molt MacDonald (Consultants) were the project managers, SSL Ltd. and D.S. & S. Ltd. dealt with software changes and the Agency's routine maintenance contractors undertook the software installation. MVA Consultancy Ltd. surveyed drivers.

Advice on how to avoid and combat driver tiredness is in The Highway Code and on the DfTs road safety website at". We will continue to warn drivers of the dangers of falling asleep at the wheel.

The Department has also undertaken considerable research to study driver sleepiness. The university of Loughborough Sleep Research Laboratory was contracted to carry out a series of road audits into sleep-related vehicle accidents on sections of selected trunk roads and motorways in the UK. The results were published in February 2001 in Road Safety Research Reports No. 21 and 22, available on-line at". The cost was #268,000. This contract has been extended and requires the Loughborough Laboratory to undertake six more audits. The cost is expected to be #120,000 and the report is due to be submitted in May 2003.

Loughborough Sleep Research Laboratory have also been contracted to produce the following reports:

A new research contract is being prepared to study XThe Effectiveness of Motorway Service Areas in reducing fatigue-related accidents". This is scheduled to start in January 2003 and last one year.

Intelligent Traffic Control Systems

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps have been taken by his Department to support the development of Intelligent Traffic Control systems across the United Kingdom; what financial support has been given to pilot or full projects, including those in (a) Reading, (b) Preston, (c) Stratford-upon-Avon and (d) York; over what timescale the projects have operated; what the expected outcomes of the projects were in each case; what assessment has been made by his Department in each case; and what the outcomes from each project have been, including their impact on congestion. [86113]

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Mr. Jamieson: There are a wide range of Intelligent Traffic Control systems used by both the Highways Agency and local authorities. The Department, through the Highways Agency, has supported the development of these systems on the motorway and trunk road network. Most of the local authority schemes are funded through Local Transport Plan settlements. Specific initiatives to support this include:

I have arranged for copies of leaflets describing the above initiatives to be sent to the hon. Member and also placed in the Libraries of the House.

International Maritime Organisation

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment has been made by his Department of the success of the International Maritime Organisation's Quality Shipping Campaign. [86104]

Mr. Jamieson: The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has a key role in the international Quality Shipping Campaign, which is designed to rid the seas of substandard shipping. Progress is being made, not least in terms of the growing acceptance that there is a real need for more effective and consistent implementation of convention requirements by owners and flag States, reinforced through targeted Port State Control. But there is still a long way to go before we achieve the Campaign's objectives.

One tangible initiative to arise from the Campaign has been the setting up of the EQUASIS database. This provides the industry with freely accessible safety-related information on the quality of the world's merchant fleet, answering calls for greater transparency. Charterers can no longer justifiably claim ignorance as an excuse for engaging in business with substandard ships.

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