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15 Jan 2003 : Column 621Wcontinued
Mr. Jamieson: We will publish a summary of all the responses we receive to the consultation, after the consultation period has ended. As our first priority will be to produce the Air Transport White Paper as quickly as practicable, it is likely that this summary will follow the White Paper's publication.
Mr. Jamieson: The Department for Transport was established as a separate Department on 29 May 2002. Prior to that date, DfT was part of the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions, and separate expenditure figures for DfT are not available. From its formation until 31 December 2002, DfT expenditure on newspapers, magazines and periodicals was #50,000. This figure is rounded to the nearest #1,000, and excludes expenditure by DfT Agencies and other non-DfT(c) bodies.
Mr. Jamieson: There are currently no plans to introduce compulsory eye tests. However, given the importance of eyesight in safe driving it is an issue which is kept under constant review. The number plate eyesight test for checking that drivers' vision is adequate for driving has served its purpose well since its introduction. It is equivalent to minimum standard laid down in the EC second Directive on Driving Licences (91/439/EEC).
The police already have the power to conduct random checks of motorists' eyesight at the roadside. They notify DVLA of any drivers who do not meet the required standard. Such reports are always investigated.
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Mr. Jamieson: There is currently no charge, nor has there been in the last five years, for the issue of a replacement driving licence when a person notifies a change of name and/or address. In addition, there is an optional over the counter service available at selected post offices at a charge of #4.00.
Siobhain McDonagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 12 December 2002, Official Report, columns 40708W, how many of the DVLA clamping teams operating in London are mobile. 
Mr. Jamieson: There are four clamping teams dedicated to the London area. They are all mobile in the sense they can operate in any of the 33 London boroughs. However, the DVLA also has two mobile clamping teams that operate throughout the UK in areas where there are no permanent clamping facilities.
Mr. Jamieson: The Government believe it is important for consumers to have choice in financial products, including the availability of 'ethical' products. However, it would not be appropriate for the Government to exclusively support the development of one specific group of financial service providers. It is for individual consumers to decide the attributes they most value from their financial services, and for financial services firms to be transparent about their use of funds and investments.
Mr. Jamieson: My responsibilities extend only to the trunk road and motorway network in England. Issues on the rest of Britain's roads are for the National Assemblies of Scotland and Wales, or for the local highway authorities in the case of local roads.
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Pilot studies into the active management of road traffic and making better use of the existing road space are being undertaken by the Highways Agency. To help deliver the reduction in congestion, the Highways Agency is also developing its role as a traffic manager to help road users deal with congestion on motorways and other strategic routes. Actions to date include the delivery of more electronic Variable Message Signs, automatic hold up warning systems, website and public information improvements and the first stages of a new national Traffic Control Centre due to begin operating in 2004. The Traffic Control Centre will provide advice to road users about travel conditions on the trunk road network allowing them to plan their journeys more effectively to avoid congestion. In conjunction with the Police and other emergency services, the Agency is improving the way it deals with accidents and incidents on the network so that they are dealt with more effectively, reducing the time roads are disrupted to minimise congestion.
Where necessary, programmes of works such as the Targeted Programme of Improvements, currently comprising 71 schemes, and the recently announced 92 priority junction schemes will be delivered. Both will provide increased capacity and improve conditions on the network. In 200203 we will deliver 10 major schemes from our Targeted Programme of Improvements and in 200304 we expect to deliver a further nine schemes.
Mr. Jamieson: All licensed aerodromes in the UK are required, as a condition of their operating licence, to take reasonable steps to secure that the aerodrome and its immediately surrounding airspace is safe at all times for use by aircraft. Aerodrome operating manuals are also required to contain information and instructions about the procedures for the control of bird hazards.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to fund experimental (a) single route and twin route light railways and (b) tram systems in towns with populations of over 100,000. 
Mr. Jamieson: We use the terms tram and light rail synonymously. It is for the local authority to consider in the first instance whether light rail might offer the most appropriate and cost-effective response to particular transport needs in its area and, if so, what form it might best take. Thereafter, any light rail schemeexperimental or otherwisewould need to undergo rigorous appraisal, and examination under any relevant statutory procedures, before funding approval could be considered.
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Mr. Jamieson: Yes. Responsibility for deciding on the surfacing treatment for the M6 Toll rests with Midlands Expressway Ltd. (MEL) the commissioning contractor. Their intention is to use low noise surfacing along the entire length of the route.
Mr. Jamieson: Liability for pollution from cargo oil from tankers is governed by the 1992 Protocols to the 1969 Civil Liability Convention and the 1971 Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage, to which the UK is a contracting party. The current limit under this regime is equivalent to #117 million.
As a result of action initiated by the UK, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) agreed in 2000 to increase the limits of liability and compensation under the 1992 CLC/Fund regime by 50.37 per cent. The revised overall limits will enter into force on 1 November this year, and will increase the maximum available amount of compensation to approximately #176 million.
In addition, a Diplomatic Conference has been convened at the IMO in May this year to negotiate a proposed Supplementary Fund to the present regime. It is expected that, once it comes into force, this Supplementary Fund will further increase the amount of liability and compensation significantly so as to cover all likely costs directly arising from the most serious of tanker oil spills.
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