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8 Dec 2003 : Column 202Wcontinued
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much the Government has spent on UK port infrastructure in each of the past 10 years; what estimates have been made of future expenditure; and what steps are being taken to increase capacity. 
Mr. Jamieson: My Department has awarded the following freight infrastructure grants to ports over the last 10 years, including Strategic Rail Authority grants awarded for rail infrastructure projects at ports in England and Wales. Freight grants awarded by the Scottish Executive is a matter for the Scottish Parliament.
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(2) Includes Freight Facilities Grants awarded in 2002
(3) Includes Freight Facilities Grants awarded in 2001.
Information on future spending on UK port infrastructure is not available. The Government do not initiate proposals for port development and considers applications from the ports themselves as and when they are submitted.
Dr. Howells: The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) is creating two new franchises to serve Yorkshire. The TransPennine Express franchise will commence early next year, with planned investment of around £260 million which will include a new fleet of trains. Local and regional services will be provided by the new 'Northern' franchise, the competition for which is well under way. The SRA is considering proposals from four counterparties and expects to announce a preferred bidder in the Spring. The SRA will consult on an East Coast Main Line Strategy early next year, and has
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announced a series of Regional Planning Assessments (RPAs) to form the basis for planning rail services over the next 520 years. The RPA for Yorkshire and the Humber is planned for publication in Winter 2005.
Mr. Jamieson: The target stated in the 10-Year Plan for the reduction of noise from the motorway and trunk road network is that 60 per cent. of the network including all concrete roads will be surfaced with quieter surfacing by March 2011. All resurfacing work now uses quieter surfacing, and work is proceeding in line with maintenance need.
Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list (a) the schedule of planned noise reduction improvements for the motorway and trunk road network, (b) the average level of noise in the area of those improvements and (c) the number of people affected by above acceptable noise levels in those areas. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Secretary of State announced on 1 April 2003 a programme of measures to reduce the impact of traffic noise. Details were placed in the Library of the House together with details of the criteria used for prioritisation. We do not use the average levels of noise over a wide area as a criterion. However, the measures indicated in the 10-Year Plan to surface approximately 60 per cent. of the strategic road network with quieter surfaces, including all of the concrete trunk roads and motorways, by March 2011 are expected to provide the benefit of significant reductions in the level of traffic noise for approximately three million people.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will set out the basis on which alternative proposals for the development of runway capacity in the South East were selected for further appraisal; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. McNulty: All serious, worked-up proposals submitted to us that are alternatives to, or variants of, options set out in The Future Development of Air Transport in the United Kingdom, South East consultation document, have been appraised. These are:
the Marinair proposal for an island airport in the Thames Estuary
a proposal for a new airport on the Isle of Sheppey
a proposal for a new airport at Goodwin Sands in East Kent
a proposal to develop Redhill aerodrome
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Dr. Howells: Under the new franchise agreement signed in May a number of improvements will be made on South Central stations involving new ticket issuing equipment and ticket machines. Subject to the availability of funding, further investment will also be considered under national programmes such as the Modern Facilities at Stations (MFAS) scheme and the Access For All Fund. For the future, the SRA's Regional Planning Assessment for Southern England, publication of which is expected in spring 2005, will form the basis of rail service planning in the region, including how the SRA may contribute to station improvement schemes where they represent value for money and are affordable.
Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport by what means the policy for purchasing timber and timber products of (a) the Department, (b) the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, (c) the Driving Standards Agency, (d) the Highways Agency, (e) the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, (f) the Vehicle and Operator Service Agency and (g) the Vehicle Certification Agency ensures that they are obtained from legal and sustainable sources. 
Mr. McNulty: The Department's Greening Operations Policy, which also applies to its Agencies, contains the commitment to purchase only timber and timber products from sustainable and legal sources. Purchasers within the Department are reminded regularly of this commitment and provided with advice to assist them in purchasing sustainable timber; including the Office of Government Commerce Information Note 9/2002
How the timber policy is implemented across the Department depends on the scale and type of timber or timber product being purchased in each area. For some timber products such as furniture the main source of
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supply is through centrally negotiated call-off contracts operated by either the Department or the Office of Government Commerce which contain clauses that apply the Government's timber procurement policy. Other purchases of timber or timber products are obtained through specifications and contracts which also contain clauses seeking documentary evidence that the timber provided is from legal and sustainable sources.
Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what powers there are in statute law authorising a person in uniform, other than a police constable, to stop and detain a motor vehicle so that a test on the emissions from it may be carried out; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: Vehicle and Operator Services Agency examiners, accredited under the Police Reform Act 2002, have powers to stop vehicles for the purpose of inspecting their roadworthiness, which may include a check of emissions. Sections 40 and 41 of the Act provide the grounds for such Community Safety Accreditation Schemes. Schedule 5 sets out the powers that may be conferred on accredited persons.
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