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12 Jan 2004 : Column 544W—continued



Dr. Jack Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made in the preparation and design of the Lillyhall to Parton improvement on the A595 in West Cumbria; when he expects the scheme to commence; and if he will make a statement. [146504]

Mr. Jamieson: Following the scheme's entry into the Government's Targeted Programme of Improvements in March 2001, a contract to design and build a new 5 km dual carriageway to bypass the communities between Parton and Lillyhall was awarded by the Highways Agency in December 2002. The Agency is currently developing the scheme in sufficient detail to enable the publication of draft orders under the

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Highways Act, later this year. The public and other interested parties will have an opportunity to comment on the draft proposals and, if necessary, a public inquiry will be held to hear representations. Subject to completion of the statutory processes and availability of funding, construction could start in 2006. The scheme is expected to cost around £25 million and will bring much needed relief to the local communities.

Accident Rates

Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the accident rates, including fatalities, for (a) single and (b) dual carriageway roads, including motorways. [146739]

Mr. Jamieson: In 2002, there were 42 accidents involving human injury or death per 100 million vehicle kilometres on single carriageway roads in Great Britain, and 38 per 100 million vehicle kilometres on dual carriageways.

Air Safety (Banned Airlines)

John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) which airlines are banned from the airspace of (a) the United Kingdom and (b) each EU country for which information is available; [147181]

Mr. McNulty: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 8 January, given to the hon. Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Wilshire) Official Report, column 429W.

International civil aviation is governed by the Chicago Convention. Under the Convention the International Civil Aviation Organisation is responsible for establishing minimum safety standards. Contracting States are required to recognise the certificates of other Contracting States unless they have reason to believe that they have not been issued in accordance with ICAO standards. ICAO also audits Contracting States' aviation authorities to help identify and address any deficiencies in the implementation of international standards.

Any airline from outside the EU or EEA which wishes to pick up or put down passengers or cargo in the UK requires a permit from the Secretary of State. It is a condition of the permit that the airline should be operated in accordance with international safety standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

Permits may be refused, suspended or revoked if the Secretary of State considers it appropriate to do so, taking into account any relevant information available to him, including the outcome of inspections of aircraft carried out by the Civil Aviation Authority at the request of the Department. We have now placed on the Department's web site information about UK permit action as set out in my answer of 8 January, which includes the reasons for and duration of such action. This information will be updated as appropriate.

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We are not able to publish similar information with respect to permit action by other countries. Our inspections of foreign airlines are carried out in accordance with a procedure established under the European Civil Aviation Conference's Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft Programme, soon to be enshrined in European Community law. The results of inspections are entered on a central database and may be accessed by all ECAC States on the strict understanding that their use will be restricted to State organisations. The database includes information on some permit action by Member States, but what constitutes permit action varies from State to State. Some States include short restrictions on the use of an individual aircraft which may have been lifted before the report of the inspection reaches the database. The database cannot therefore be used to determine whether an airline currently has restrictions on its operations to an ECAC state. We are urgently considering with our ECAC colleagues how we can extend and refine the information on the database and whether it is possible for further information to be made public.

Approved Driving Instructors

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reason the Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Association was consulted by the Driving Standards Agency regarding proposed changes to Approved Driving Instructor qualifications; and if he will make a statement. [146455]

Mr. Jamieson: The Driving Standards Agency issued its consultation paper in April 2003 to a wide range of organisations including national and local approved driving instructor associations, other driver and rider training groups, road safety officers, motoring organisations and other interested parties.

Among the proposals, the paper invited comments on increasing the theory test fee for all learner drivers and riders. This was considered of particular interest to, for example, organisations representing trainers and employers of motorcycle and moped riders. The paper was therefore sent to the Motorcycle Retail and Rider Training Associations and to the Despatch Association. A copy was also sent to the Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Association whose members employ large numbers of moped riders for home delivery services, some of whom only hold provisional licences and could therefore be affected by the proposed fee increase.

Consulting representative organisations is a more effective way of reaching the individuals than trying to contact them individually and is in line with guidance in the Cabinet Office "Code of Practice on Written Consultation".

Asylum Seekers

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what requirements there are for asylum seekers to apply for a UK or international driving licence before driving on British roads. [146548]

Mr Jamieson: The requirements in relation to application for a driving licence in the United Kingdom are the same for asylum seekers as for everyone else. In order to be able to drive here all individuals must have the relevant driving entitlement.

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Drivers who are resident in the United Kingdom and who hold a valid european Community/European Economic Area (EC/EEA) licence are entitled to drive until the expiry of the licence or until the driver becomes subject to British renewal at the age of 70.

Those who hold a non-EC/EEA driving licence or an international driving permit issued in another country may drive in the United Kingdom for the first 12 months from the date they become resident. To ensure continuous driving entitlement, a United Kingdom driving licence must be obtained before this period elapses. Drivers who hold a licence from a country which has been designated for licence exchange purposes must exchange their driving licence for a United Kingdom one. In the case of a country which has no exchange agreement, drivers must obtain a United Kingdom provisional licence and pass both the theory and practical parts of the driving test before being granted a full driving licence.

British Transport Police

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the annual cost of policing on the railways by the British Transport Police was in the latest year for which figures are available; and who meets the cost. [147034]

Mr. McNulty: The total expenditure of the British Transport Police during the financial year 2002–03 was £132.9 million. This was funded by the following contributions.

Train Operating Companies61.4
Network Rail35.1
London Underground Limited31.2
Ad hoc income4.2
Interest received0.2
Previous years surplus0.8

Crash Barriers

Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his answer of 15 December 2003, Official Report, column 704W, on crash barriers, how many lorries crossed the offside crash barriers of dual carriageways and motorways in each of the last five years. [146055]

Mr. Jamieson: The information collected on road accidents does not identify whether a particular barrier was crossed.


Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what steps he is taking to ensure that (a) developers of new roads assess the needs of cyclists and (b) the findings of those assessments are incorporated at the planning stage; [146953]

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Mr. McNulty: Local authorities are required to prepare a strategy for the provision and improvement of routes and facilities for cyclists as part of their Local Transport Plan.

Advice on integrating planning and transport, including meeting the needs of cyclists, is set out in Planning Policy Guidance note 13. The Government's statements of planning policy are material considerations which must be taken into account, where relevant, in decisions on planning applications and appeals.

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