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12 Jan 2004 : Column 548W—continued

Road Safety (Motorways)

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the numbers of deaths and injuries on motorway hard shoulders as set out in the Transport Research Laboratory reports PR/TT/082/99 and PR/TT/069/98 (Table 7). [146520]

Mr Jamieson: The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) report PR/TT/069/98 collates information on the usage and accidents on motorway hard shoulders. The TRL report PR/TT/082/99 analyses this data and uses it to establish patterns and frequencies of such accidents.

Both of these reports provided material for the SURVIVE Working Group, a cross-industry group funded by vehicle recovery operators in which the Highways Agency has participated. The Group's recommendations were published in "The SURVIVE Report on Hard Shoulder and Roadside Safety" in April 2000. These recommendations and the TRL reports continue to inform the Highways Agency's policy, advice and future research aimed at increasing the safety of those who need to stop or work on the hard shoulders of motorways.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Mr. John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will hold a public inquiry into the incidence, extent and causes of deep vein thrombosis amongst air travellers following the publication of research by the New Zealand Medical Research Institute; [146934]

Mr. McNulty: The House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology reported in November 2000 on the health aspects of air travel, including Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). The report identified the need for further research into air travel and DVT.

The Department for Transport has subsequently provided £0.8 million, and the Department of Health £0.4 million, to a World Health Organisation (WHO) research project into the incidence of DVT and the possible physiological mechanisms involved. The

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European Commission is contributing a further £0.65 million. The results of the research are expected in early 2005.

The Government and the Civil Aviation Authority's Aviation Health Unit are aware of the research recently published by the New Zealand Medical Research Institute. Once the WHO work is completed, the Aviation Health Unit will advise the Government on what, if any, further action needs to be taken.

Advice on health and travel, given the present state of knowledge, is widely available to the public in the Department of Health's 'Health advice for Travellers' booklet and is under constant review. Advice has also been made available to the public through NHS Direct, the Internet, airlines and health services.

Drink Driving

Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list for each of the last five years for which data are available the number of (a) fatal, (b) serious and (c) slight casualties in (i) road and (ii) other transport accidents involving illegal alcohol levels; and what the percentage change was for each category between each year. [144551]

Mr. Jamieson: The table shows fatal serious and slight casualties in road accidents where at least one driver had a blood alcohol level over the legal limit for the last five years.

Casualties in road accidents where at least one driver had a blood alcohol level over the legal limit.

YearFatal% change over previous yearSerious% change over previous yearSlight% change over previous year

(9) Provisional data

The information requested in respect of casualties in rail accidents is not held centrally, and information is not available for air or marine accidents.

Transport Investment (Cambridgeshire)

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much investment there was in transport in (a) Cambridgeshire and (b) Huntingdon in each of the past five years. [146445]

Mr. McNulty: The figures provided relate to expenditure by Cambridgeshire county council and the Highways Agency. The Strategic Rail Authority was unable to provide figures for the railway industry as they do not have any records of expenditure by local authority area.

Total investment in transport by Cambridgeshire county council and the Highways Agency in each of the past five years was:

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1998–99£ million
of which
of which
(b)3. 2
of which
of which
of which
of which
(b) 19.0


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the report will be published on the impact of traffic flow on local roads following the opening up of Junction 12 of the M5 into a full junction. [146476]

Mr Jamieson: The report on the impact of traffic flows on local roads near Junction 12 of the M5 will be published in summer 2004.


Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many miles of motorway there are per 1,000 square kilometres in (a) the UK and (b) other EU countries. [146737]

Mr. Jamieson: The information requested is given in the Table as follows:

Miles of motorway per 1,000 square kilometres, 2001

United Kingdom9
Irish Republic1

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Post Office Closures

Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effect on traffic congestion of post office closures. [146954]

Mr. McNulty: Any traffic effects of the closure of individual post offices will depend on the location of alternative offices, transport links, choices made by individual customers and the many other factors which may contribute to any local congestion. If there were any significant effects I would expect local authorities to take account of them in their Local Transport Plans.

Road Safety

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his answer of 4 December 2003, Official Report, column 161W, on road safety, when he expects the studies he has commissioned to report. [147510]

Mr. Jamieson: The monitoring results of the traffic management scheme in Stiffkey, Norfolk were published in 2001 in TRL Report 500 Countryside Traffic Measures Group: Traffic calming schemes in Norfolk and Suffolk, and the summary report TRL Report 502 Countryside Traffic Measures Group: Demonstration schemes. The "Drivers and Traffic Calming" project team plans to report in spring 2005.

The findings of the European project on road markings are reported in COST 331 Requirements for Horizontal Road Marking: Final Report of the Action, which was published in 1999. This was a collaborative project and was not commissioned by the Secretary of State for Transport.

Road Surfaces

Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made with the introduction of quieter road surfaces on (a) the M60 between junction 1 and junction 5 and (b) the M56 between junction 1 and junction 2; and what plans there are for introduction of further such surfaces. [147020]

Mr. Jamieson: The surfaces of the M56 and M60 Motorways at these locations are generally in good condition and low noise surfacing was used recently when the slip road leading from the M60 at Junction 4, to the M56, was widened. Under normal maintenance procedures, it will be necessary to resurface small sections of these motorways over the next two-three years, and low noise surfacing will be used. Full resurfacing using low noise materials will not be undertaken until a comprehensive renewal of the existing surface is needed.

The Highways Agency has plans to fully resurface the M60 between Junctions 1 and 2. In order to keep to a minimum any disruption to road users, the Highways Agency would wish to avoid work on this section of the M60 whilst widening is taking place between Junctions 5 and 8. That widening will include low noise surfacing and is due for completion in spring 2006.

The Government recognises that excessive noise from traffic is an important issue. Lower noise surfaces is used on the trunk road network for all new roads and for most resurfacing work.

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