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17 Dec 2002 : Column 696Wcontinued
Mr. Jamieson: The Government, the Civil Aviation Authority and the aviation industry as a whole work together at all times to maintain the present high safety and security standards at UK airports and on board aircraft using our airports. These standards are monitored and further improvements made wherever appropriate.
Mr. Jamieson: Under arrangements being brought in next year, UK aircrew will be subject to five-year reference and criminal record checking. We have already ordered that a study be carried out into the benefits to security of conducting additional checks on crews, balanced against the practicalities of undertaking them. This study will be completed early in the New Year.
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24. Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the progress of the upgrading of railway stations following Railtrack's entering receivership. 
Mr. Jamieson: Railtrack's arrangements for upgrading railway stations relate to like for like replacements. These have not been affected by Railtrack being taken into administration. The Strategic Rail Authority operate several schemes with other partners to improve the quality and facilities at stations.
Mr. Jamieson: Our national planning policy guidance on regional planning clearly states that Regional Transport Strategies, produced as part of Regional Planning Guidance, should inform and support the Regional Economic Strategies being developed by Regional Development Agencies.
My Department is committed to working closely with RDAs, in conjunction with Regional Planning Bodies, in the development of these strategies and in identifying transport improvements that will support economic regeneration in all regions. Last week, for instance, we announced a major package of improvements to tackle congestion on the country's strategic highway network, helping to support business competitiveness.
Mr. Jamieson: The Secretary of States response to the West Midlands to North West Multi Modal Study recently instructed the Highways Agency to provide further advice on alternative options for improving connections between the M6 and the M56. That advice is expected early in 2003, following which he will consider his decision.
28. Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the implications for his transport policy of the relative changes in the cost of travelling by (a) car, (b) rail and (c) bus since 1997. 
Mr. Jamieson: Development of policies in the 10-year plan has been informed by extensive modelling using the National Transport Model and its forebears. This modelling takes account of the best data we have on how demand for different transport modes varies with respect to the overall cost of using those modes.
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Mr. Jamieson: The Government are committed to improving access to airports by public transport. This is a key component in the ongoing consultation on XThe Future Development of Air Transport in the United Kingdom". Comments received will be considered carefully before final decisions are taken on the policies for the air transport White Paper, to be published next year.
Mr. Jamieson: The Government are fully committed to meeting or beating its casualty reduction targets for 2010 as set out in XTomorrow's roadssafer for everyone". Total deaths and serious injuries in 2001 were 15 per cent. down from the baseline for the 40 per cent. target reduction. Child deaths and serious injuries in 2001 were 27 per cent. down from their baselineand thus over halfway towards their 50 per cent. target reduction.
Mr. Jamieson: The Department for Transport on behalf of the United Kingdom is a leading participant in international bodies dealing with the environmental impact of the aviation industry, including the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
For example, the phase-out of most 'Chapter 2' jet aircraft, completed in March 2002, has produced significant reductions in noise around mature airports. The UK has been and remains at the forefront of states pressing for stringent certification rules for both noise and atmospheric emissions.
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Mr. Jamieson: On 6 November the Strategic Rail Authority confirmed their intention to create a new XGreater Anglia" franchise, combining the services of the three current operators into Liverpool street. Provision of capacity into London Liverpool street will be a key issue for the new franchise to address.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will include the provision of a bypass on the A614 for the village of Middleton-on-the-Wolds in the further studies on road improvements in Yorkshire, announced on 10 December 2002. 
Mr. Spellar: Any proposal for a bypass for the village of Middleton-on-the-Wolds would be for the local highway authority, to promote through its Local Transport Plan. The proposal would then be considered on its merits.
Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will meet the Environment Secretary in the National Assembly for Wales to discuss the implications of the recent fatal accidents involving school children travelling home from school on a scheduled bus service. 
Mr. Jamieson: It would be inappropriate to meet the Environmental Secretary in the National Assembly for Wales to discuss the implications of the fatal accident near Cowbridge on 3 December 2002 in the immediate future, while there is an on-going Police investigation into it. I am not aware of there having been any other recent fatal accidents involving school children on scheduled bus services.
Dr. Naysmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what were the (a) role, (b) terms of reference and (c) annual budget of (i) the Trinity House Lighthouse Authority and (ii) The Commission for Irish Lights in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Jamieson: The role and terms of reference of the General Lighthouse Authorities (GLA) are set out in the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 as amended. This requires them to provide marine aids to general navigation in their respective areas, adjacent seas and islands. The Trinity House Lighthouse Service is the GLA for England, Wales and the Channel Islands and Gibraltar. The Commissioners for Irish Lights is the GLA for Northern Ireland. Under the Republic of Ireland Merchant Shipping Act 1894 as amended, CIL is also the GLA for the Republic. The GLAs deliver services in accordance with international standards agreed by the
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International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities. All three GLAs submit annual Corporate Plans for approval by the Secretary of State.
|Trinity House Lighthouse Service||Commissioners of Irish Lights|
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