Previous Section Index Home Page


7 Jan 2003 : Column 103W—continued

Open Skies Agreement

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans the UK has to denounce the open skies agreement with the USA in accordance with the recent European Court of Justice judgment. [88928]

Mr. Spellar: The UK does not have an 'open skies' agreement with the US. The ECJ judgment does not require the Government to renounce its bilateral air services agreement with the US, and the Government have no intention of doing so.

Port Developments

Dr. Whitehead: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations his Department has received on proposed port developments at (a) Southampton, (b) Shell Haven, (c) Felixstowe and (d) Harwich. [88581]

Mr. Jamieson: We have received a wide range of representations about these port developments, especially in respect of their potential impact on the environment, and public inquiries have either been held or have been announced in each of the cases.

Port State Control Inspections

Mr. Prosser: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many port state control inspections were carried out by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in each of the last five years; how many ships were detained; what percentage were found with deficiencies; and how many inspections of UK ships were undertaken in each of these years. [88905]

Mr. Jamieson: The number of inspections carried out by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in each of the last five years is as follows.

7 Jan 2003 : Column 104W

Port state control inspections of foreign ships

Year Number of inspections Number of ships detained Percentage of ships with deficiencies
1997–98 1,890 179 73.0
1998–99 1,980 155 74.8
1999–2000 1,801 106 72.2
2000–01 1,803 116 70.1
2001–02 1,765 118 68.8

UK inspections

YearNumber
1997–98 3,289
1998–99 3,668
1999–2000 3,616
2000–01 4,367
2001–02 4,383

Rail Passengers (Security)

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action he is taking to ensure that there is clear responsibility and accountability for personal security design standards in new rolling stock to protect the public; and if he will make a statement. [88711]

Mr. Jamieson: The Department for Transport and the Strategic Rail Authority are jointly engaged on a project to improve the on-train security of both passengers and train staff. The project will identify good practice for the building, refurbishment and management of railway passenger rolling stock.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research (a) has been carried out in the past five years and (b) is in hand to identify issues connected with passenger personal security and perceptions about their surroundings on the railways; and if he will make a statement. [88713]

Mr. Jamieson: The Department is currently reviewing the personal security perceptions of public transport passengers, and has a joint project underway with the Strategic Rail Authority to improve the on-train environment for rail passengers and staff. We also undertook research three years ago to investigate the issues in developing a secure transport pilot route along the Manchester (Victoria) to Clitheroe rail route. As a result of this research, we are currently sponsoring a secure transport route co-ordinator to help implement the action plan to improve personal security. Analysing the perceptions of rail passengers has also been included in recent research projects to find out the transport needs of women, older people, and people from minority ethnic communities.

The Secure Stations Scheme is a national accreditation scheme recognising set standards of good practice in rail station, staff and passenger security. An independent survey of passenger perceptions is undertaken as part of the station's application process.

7 Jan 2003 : Column 105W

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to require future editions of the annual report, Railway Safety, to incorporate data and performance measures concerning the personal security of passengers during the year, and the outcomes of action taken. [88714]

Mr. Jamieson: The Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) annual report on railway safety does not contain data and performance measures concerning the personal security of passengers. The HSE does not record this information because it is not a legal requirement of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, 1995 (RIDDOR).

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will issue guidance to the Strategic Rail Authority that personal security is a key aspect of their responsibilities for safety; and if he will make a statement. [88712]

Mr. Jamieson: The Directions and Guidance to the Strategic Rail Authority, first issued by the Secretary of State on 11 April, state that the Authority should seek to promote the personal security of passengers travelling by rail. It should promote improved personal security at stations by encouraging accreditation under the Secure Stations Scheme and the Secured Car Park Scheme. It should also work with appropriate bodies to improve personal security on pedestrian routes to stations.

Road Tax

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what evaluation has been undertaken of pilot schemes to allow local authorities to fine and remove vehicles without a valid road tax certificate; and if he will make a statement. [89408]

Mr. Jamieson: The London Borough of Newham was the first local authority to take on devolved powers to clamp and impound unlicensed vehicles in partnership with DVLA.

During the 12 months of the pilot scheme 2,000 vehicles were wheelclamped. Half of these vehicles were released upon payment with the result that these vehicles are now correctly registered.

Surveys undertaken by Newham council before and at the end of the pilot scheme showed the level of evasion had reduced by 15per cent., the result of additional and visible enforcement in the borough.

Sandy-Bedford rail link and Bedford-Milton Keynes canal link.

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what estimate he has made of changes to the annual net level of CO2 emissions in the United Kingdom that would result from the operation of (a) the Sandy-Bedford rail link and (b) the Bedford-Milton Keynes canal link; [89405]

7 Jan 2003 : Column 106W

Mr. Jamieson: The Sandy-Bedford rail link and the Bedford-Milton Keynes canal link are possible schemes that have been considered within the London-South Midlands multi-modal study. The consultants are expected to report next month and will include an assessment of the impact on CO2 levels for the preferred strategy across the study area as a whole. The three regional planning bodies whose areas the study relates to will then consider the recommendations of the study and pass their advice to Ministers. We would expect to announce our decisions on the study recommendations in the spring or summer of this year.

Speed Cameras

Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of speed cameras in reducing (a) speed and (b) accidents. [88552]

Mr. Jamieson: Speed enforcement cameras have proved to be highly effective at reducing speeding and crashes when placed at sites or along routes with a history of speed related crashes. In the first year of the safety camera pilot scheme the number of those killed and seriously injured has been reduced on average by 47 per cent. at camera sites. A full two year report of the cost recovery system for the eight pilot areas in the safety camera scheme will be published shortly, and will be made available in the Library.

Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of how many speeding motorists have (a) been caught as a result of speed cameras and (b) caused accidents by sudden reduction of speed on approaching speed cameras in the last three years. [88553]

Mr. Jamieson: (a) The most recent year for which data are available is 2000. In 2000 733,500 drivers were either prosecuted or fined for speeding as a result of detection by camera in England and Wales. In 1999 and 1998 the numbers were respectively 498,600 and 403,800.

(b) There is no evidence that accidents are caused by motorists suddenly reducing speed at camera locations.

Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions have been held with other relevant departments about the (a) guidelines for siting of and (b) design and visual acceptability of speed cameras. [88555]

Mr. Jamieson: Guidelines on camera deployment are contained in Circular Roads 1/93 that was subject to the normal consultation process. Where areas net off, additional guidelines and rules are in place. These have been approved by Ministers in consultation with the Safety Camera Project Board consisting of representatives of relevant Government Departments, the police and local authorities.

7 Jan 2003 : Column 107W

Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many residents near and adjacent to speed cameras were consulted about the positioning of each camera on average in the last year for which figures are available. [88556]

Mr. Jamieson: No information is held centrally about the number of local residents that may have been consulted because there is no requirement to consult local residents on the positioning of speed cameras.

Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what procedure is in place for consulting residents about siting of speed cameras. [88557]

Mr. Jamieson: There is no requirement to consult local residents on the siting of speed cameras. Highway authorities have powers under the Highways Act 1980 section 95 (A) to install and maintain on or near a highway structures and equipment for the detection of traffic offences. This includes speed camera housings and the camera equipment within.

Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many speed cameras have been erected with authorisation by the Highways Agency. [88558]

Mr. Jamieson: This information is not held centrally.


Next Section Index Home Page