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3 Jun 2003 : Column 160W—continued

British Airports Authority

Laura Moffatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the impact of the recent European Court of Justice ruling on takeovers on the British Airports Authority. [115684]

Mr. Jamieson: We are examining the Court's judgment carefully to assess the implications for the special share that the Government hold in BAA plc.

10-year Transport Plan

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress his Department has made towards meeting the goals set out within the 10-year transport plan. [116073]

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Mr. Jamieson: I refer the hon. Member to the progress report, 'Delivering Better Transport: Progress Report', published in December, which set out in detail what has been achieved since the plan came into effect in April 2001. Some more recent information is also included in the Department's Annual Report 2003, published in May.

A27 Lewes Bypass

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will require an assessment to be made by the Highways Agency of noise pollution in Lewes emanating from the A27 Lewes bypass. [115795]

Mr. Jamieson: A detailed noise study of the A27 Lewes Bypass has been carried out and there is no need for a further noise study. The answers previously given on 20 June 2002, Official Report, column 506W and 8 January 2003, Official Report, column 218W still apply.

A46 Laceby Bypass

Shona McIsaac: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road traffic accidents there have been on the A46 Laceby bypass in each of the past 10 years; and how many resulted in fatalities. [116592]

Mr. Jamieson: The table shows the number of accidents, by severity, over the last 10 years for the A46 at Laceby (between the junction of the A18 and the B1444):

YearFatal SeriousSlight
1991025
1992028
1993042
1994034
19950310
1996275
1997043
1998023
1999116
2000146
20012412

Air Transport

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what account has been taken of the protection of tranquility in the countryside in the consultation on the Future Development of Air Transport in the UK. [115724]

Mr. Jamieson: The environmental appraisal supporting the consultation took account of the impacts on tranquillity of any future airport development. Closely related environmental impacts, including noise and air quality impacts, were also appraised. The consultation documents, together with supporting background documents, explain the environmental appraisal and key impacts. The consultation documents also invite views on measures for managing environmental impacts. All consultation responses will be considered carefully before final decisions are made in the air transport White paper, which we aim to publish later this year.

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Animal Road Deaths

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what record is kept of animal road kills. [115787]

Mr. Jamieson: No central record is kept of animals killed on the roads.

Bridgwater Station

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had on the future of Bridgwater station. [115603]

Mr. Jamieson: The Strategic Rail Authority is responsible for promoting and securing the development of the rail network, including stations. The SRA has not had any discussions about the future of Bridgwater railway station.

Buses

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on changes in bus reliability, quality and passenger satisfaction since 1997. [116072]

Mr. Jamieson: The Department has been publishing a quarterly statistical Bulletin on Bus Quality Indicators since 2000. The Bulletin monitors progress in meeting commitments made at the Bus Summit in November 1999, where the Deputy Prime Minister and bus industry representatives agreed a number of quality targets to be met by bus operators. The publication is available on the Department's web site at: http://www.transtat.dft.gov.uk/qbullets/qbus.htm. It is also held in the Library.

Cloned Cars

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many cloned cars have been found in each police authority region in each of the last five years; and what steps his Department is taking to tackle cloned cars. [116858]

Mr. Jamieson: Statistics on the number of vehicles reported to police forces as having been cloned in each of the last five years are not available.

Evidence from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems suggests that cloning is being used by a small minority of motorists to evade fines and charges. In order to combat the problem and prevent people obtaining number plates to which they are not entitled, we have introduced measures to tighten up on the supply of plates. Since 1 January, all suppliers of number plates have been required to register with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and to keep records of sales. Purchasers of plates are required to produce evidence of their identity as well as the vehicle's registration document.

We are now working on measures to make number plates more secure and to ensure that they can be clearly and visibly linked to the vehicle on which they are displayed. A consultation paper on number plate security will be issued shortly.

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Cycling

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to assist councils to encourage the use of bicycles in rural areas. [115609]

Mr. Jamieson: The English Regions Cycling Development Team, funded by the Department, is shortly to report on the progress being made by all highway authorities in England to provide facilities for cycling. Their report will identify areas where action is needed to remove barriers to increasing levels of cycling, taking account of the local context, whether rural or urban.

The Department is also supporting a conference at Nottingham University in September this year on "Promoting Cycling in Rural Areas". The Department has jointly funded work with the Countryside Agency for a number of years to promote bike and rail journeys, particularly in areas that are not well served by public transport.

Mr. Truswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received regarding the fitting of (a) bells and (b) other warning devices to all bicycles by (i) owners and (ii) manufacturers and suppliers; and if he will make a statement. [115622]

Mr. Jamieson: The Department for Transport carried out a public consultation last year into proposed changes to legislation controlling the sale of adult pedal cycles, including making it a requirement for a bell to be fitted prior to sale. Those responding included individual cycle owners, suppliers and manufacturers as well as the Bicycle Association of Great Britain, which represents cycle manufacturers and importers, the Association of Cycle Traders, which represents independent dealers, and the Cyclists' Touring Club which is a national organisation of cyclists.

As bells have a strong association with bicycles, the consultation did not address the fitting of other warning devices.

The Pedal Bicycles (Safety) Regulations 2003 were laid before Parliament on 15 April this year.

Jane Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the costs and benefits of (a) his Department's campaign to promote helmet-wearing for teenage cyclists and (b) other strategies and campaigns to promote cycle use. [115841]

Mr. Jamieson: Our Road Safety Strategy described the range of activity we are undertaking to make cycling safer, and that does not differentiate between them on grounds of cost and benefit. They all have value and a role to play in helping to reduce cyclist casualties. The strategy addresses the improvement of conditions and infrastructure, driver education, and the measures cyclists can take to protect themselves. As part of that package we said that we would encourage helmet wearing, recognising the evidence that helmets can reduce the severity of head injuries.

We are principally addressing adolescent boys. That is because the rate of deaths and serious injury for boys is about five times that of girls, and the 12 to 15- year age group accounts for about 60 per cent. of deaths and serious injury among boys. We also know that the early

3 Jun 2003 : Column 164W

indications from the 2002 wearing rate survey is that while generally rates have gone up from 16 per cent. in 1994 to 25 per cent. in 2002, for boys, the rate has decreased from 16 per cent. to 12 per cent. So we need to draw their attention to the potential safety benefits of cycle helmets, and the publicity material has been tested with the teenage audience to ensure that they will be receptive to it.

Jane Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the possibility of increased injury risk to cyclists wearing helmets as a result of diffuse axonal injury or subdural haematoma caused by rotational rather than linear impacts to the head. [115842]

Mr. Jamieson: The Department has made no assessment of these specific injury mechanisms. When accident data were collected by the Transport Research Laboratory in the early 1990's those cyclists wearing helmets did not have any head injuries. Those that did sustain a brain injury were not wearing helmets.

A recent independent review of the literature, commissioned by my Department, critically assessed a number of studies to consider the effect of bicycle helmets on head, brain, facial and neck injuries to cyclists. The report concluded that—"Bicycle helmets have been found to be effective at reducing the incidence and severity of head, brain and upper facial injuries. Bicycle helmets have been found to be effective in reducing injury for users of all ages, though particularly for children." Results of this review are available on the Department for Transport website.

Jane Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the relative involvement rate, per kilometre cycled, of (a) helmeted and (b) unhelmeted cyclists in accidents which result in head injuries in the last three years. [115843]

Mr. Jamieson: Our current data do not record information on whether or not cyclists were wearing helmets and therefore do not allow an assessment of this nature. However, the Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust has been running a cycle helmet promotion scheme in Reading since 1992. Their data show that during that time cycle helmet use by children has trebled and there has been a 45 per cent. reduction in the number of hospital treated head injuries, although no data on changes in cycling levels were recorded.


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