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9 Dec 2003 : Column 432Wcontinued
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many car drivers and passengers have died in drink-driving accidents in (a) December and (b) January in (i) England and (ii) each region in each of the last six years. 
Mr. Jamieson: The following table shows the numbers of fatally injured car drivers and passengers in an accident that involved at least one driver or rider with a blood alcohol concentration over 80mg/100ml or whose breath test result was positive or who failed to provide a breath test.
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Mr. Jamieson: My Department is continuing to discuss with the Home Office and others the programme of work announced by the Home Secretary on 11 November, including the implications for driving licences.
Mr. Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to amend section 20 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 and the Use of Invalid Carriages on Highways Regulations 1988 to allow a mechanically propelled invalid tricycle which is capable in other circumstances of travelling at more than eight miles per hour to be used on public footways at a speed of less than eight miles per hour. 
Mr. McNulty: "Invalid Carriages" as they are known in law, provide invaluable independent mobility to many disabled and older people. The Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 permits the use of these vehicles on footways and their maximum permitted speeds are set out in the Use of invalid Carriages on Highways Regulations 1988. These vehicles must not travel faster than 4mph on footways and must be incapable of exceeding 8mph on the level under its own power on carriageways. These speed limits are fixed with the safety both of the users of these vehicles and of other road users and pedestrians in mind.
We are currently conducting a comprehensive review of the legislation beginning with a research study to establish basic facts about current usage and to canvass views of users and other key stakeholders. Subject to the outcome of this investigation we will be considering what changes may need to be made to current legislation governing the construction and use of these vehicles on the highway. The question of speed limits will be included in this review.
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Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Government are taking to comply with the International Ship and Port Facility Code; how many ships and ports have reached the required standard; and what estimate he has made of the date by which the UK will have met these obligations. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Department for Transport's Transport Security Directorate (TRANSEC) is carrying out a programme of assessments of all the UK ports which fall within the scope of the IMO International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, leading to the approval of Port Facility Security Plans and implementation of security measures. TRANSEC is also approving Ship Security Plans (SSPs) and issuing International Ship Security Certificates (ISSCs) for UK flagged cruise ships and ferries. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency is approving SSPs and issuing ISSCs for the UK flagged cargo fleet.
Mr. McNulty: No recent discussions have taken place over the collection of litter at stations. It is a condition of station access agreements between the train operating companies and Network Rail, that the station and any adjoining road frontage be kept free from refuse, and in a clean and tidy condition.
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Mr. Darling: None. I understand that the project was approved following the submission to Her Majesty's Railway Inspectorate (HMRI) by Network Rail of a rigorous safety case. This document demonstrated compliance to Network Rail's Railway Safety Case and safety management systems. The scheme also followed the rail industry internal approval process, which included the appointment of an independent safety assessor. Network Rail and HMRI have conducted regular reviews throughout the project.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects the Dorset re-signalling project to be completed; and if he will make a statement on the timetable of the project from tendering to completion. 
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what training has been made available to drivers and signallers to operate the new signal system in the Dorset region; and when that training will be complete. 
Mr. Darling: Network Rail advises that it has completed training for all signalling staff required to operate the new signalling system including its associated radio systems. Nework Rail has provided training packs which include route learning videos, to enable driver training to be carried out by the train companies who operate along this section of railwayEnglish Welsh and Scottish Railway, South West Trains and Virgin Trains. They have indicated that this training will be complete prior to project commissioning.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which parties were involved in the decision to go ahead with the Dorset re-signalling project; when the decision was taken; and what information was available at the time on the comparative safety of the available signalling systems. 
Mr. Darling: Network Rail advises that the Dorset Coast signalling project uses tried and tested technology already in use elsewhere in Europe. The decision to proceed with the project was taken during the early part of 2000 by Railtrack. This followed extensive consultation involving Her Majesty's Railway Inspectorate, signalling suppliers, train operating companies and the then infrastructure maintenance contractor Balfour Beatty Rail Infrastructure Services.
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An assessment was carried out during this time comparing existing systems to the selected system from a safety, performance, reliability and maintenance perspective. The findings of this assessment were satisfactory.
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