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7 Jan 2003 : Column 99Wcontinued
Mr. Jamieson: The service life of Concorde is a commercial decision, depending primarily on the rate of utilisation by the operator. The existing fatigue life of the aircraft can be extended by the operator carrying out an appropriate programme of modifications.
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consultants in event management were who were commissioned to identify suitable venues to organise the public exhibitions on the airport options; and what their fee was. 
Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 16 December 2002]: Crown Business Communications Ltd. were commissioned to organise the public exhibitions as part of the Future Development of Air Transport in the United Kingdom consultation. Their fee for doing this work was #127,752.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will meet representatives of SUSTRANS to discuss protection of the trackbed of disused railway lines for possible re-opening when planning cycleways. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Department has a continuing dialogue with SUSTRANS on transport issues. On this issue it would be more appropriate for representatives of SUSTRANS to meet with the relevant officials of the Strategic Rail Authority.
Mr. John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what incentive airlines are offering their passengers to complete questionnaires on behalf of researchers involved in the WHO study into DVT and flying; 
(3) what help the researchers involved in the World Health Organisation's study into deep vein thrombosis and flying are getting from the airlines to obtain passenger lists of frequent flyers 
(4) what co-operation researchers involved in the World Health Organisation's study into deep vein thrombosis and flying are receiving from airlines through the IATA medical group; and if he will make a statement 
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(b) airlines, through the IATA Medical Advisory Group, are cooperating in a pilot study of frequent flyers in order to test the methodology for the full-scale epidemiological study;
(c) for reasons of confidentiality airlines will not supply passenger details, but they have agreed to send out questionnaires to selected passengers and to forward the responses to the researchers;
(d) the epidemiological studies to be carried out in the first phase of the WHO project do not require access to passengers on board aircraft; and
(e) in order to maintain the integrity and the neutrality of the research the WHO decided that airlines should not be too closely involved with the study. For this reason they will not provide incentives to passengers.
In the past five years, 6,097 certificates of equivalent competency have been issued to foreign officers, and a further 10,574 have qualified for UK certificates of competency. These officers are eligible to serve on UK ships, although many serve on foreign registered vessels. (Most officers only apply for a certificate of equivalent competency when there is likelihood of employment on a UK ship).
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which Minister in his Department is the nominated Green Minister; how often he has attended meetings of the Green Ministers; and which official has responsibility for the DEFRA rural proofing check-list in his Department. 
Mr. Jamieson : I represent the Department for Transport on the Green Ministers' committee ENV(G). It is established practice under exemption two of Part II of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information not to disclose information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet Committees.
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Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many illegal minicabs have been stopped this year for (a) having no tax disc and (b) being unroadworthy; and what penalties were imposed; 
Mr. Jamieson: It is for local enforcement authorities (district/borough councils, unitary authorities or Transport for London) and the police to publicise the undesirability of using illegal minicabs and to deal with breaches in the law by their drivers. Records are not kept centrally.
Mr. Jamieson: Decisions on subsidy for local bus services that are not provided on a commercial basis are for individual local authorities, taking account of local priorities and the resources available to them in Revenue support grant and, for example, from my Department's rural bus subsidy grant scheme. I am aware there have been a number of commercial services withdrawn recently in Worcestershire and that the county council has taken action to replace a number of these with subsidised services.
Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what decibel level was predicted on the M20, junctions 8 and 9, at the time of the public inquiry prior to the construction of the motorway. 
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