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14 Jan 2004 : Column 743W—continued

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Mr. John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the impact of the United States Transport Security Administration Directive issued on 24 December 2003 on the Government's advice to air travellers on how to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis during long haul flights. [147723]

Mr. McNulty: The Directive aims to prevent people congregating on board flights to the United States for security reasons. The Directive has no impact on the Government's advice on deep vein thrombosis, which encourages passengers to move their feet around or, if possible, to get up and walk around at intervals.

M60 (Flooding)

Andrew Bennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on (a) the causes of flooding on the M60 between Denton and Hollinwood and (b) progress in addressing the causes. [146836]

Mr. Jamieson: Areas of water seepage at a number of locations on the M60 have been identified. These areas have been inspected and testing of the road material has

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taken place. The Highways Agency are awaiting the results of spray and drainage investigations. These results together will be used to identify remedial works that may be necessary.

In the meantime, warning signs have been placed on part of the Denton-Middleton section of the M60 motorway to alert drivers to the possibility of excess water on the carriageway.

Railway Schemes

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the railway schemes being evaluated by his Department which involve (a) the laying of additional miles of track and (b) the re-opening of disused rail routes; and if he will make a statement. [147173]

Dr. Howells: The evaluation of such schemes is a matter for the Strategic Rail Authority, who set out their project portfolio in their Strategic Plan. A copy of the latest edition, published last year, is in the Library of the House.

Road Safety

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what powers local authorities have to erect 30 mph repeater signs on single carriageway roads with street lights. [147072]

Mr. Jamieson: Local authorities have no powers to erect 30 mph speed limit repeater signs on street lit roads as current legislation strictly prohibits it.

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will estimate how many deaths there have been because of (a) dangerous driving, (b) driving under the influence of illegal drugs and (c) driving under the influence of alcohol in (i) Cambridgeshire and (ii) Huntingdon in each year since 2000. [146440]

Mr. Jamieson: The information is not available.

Rural Bus Services

Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to prevent over-crowding on scheduled bus services taking pupils to school in rural areas; and if he will end the three for two rule. [146821]

Mr. Jamieson: Before a bus enters into service it is a requirement, under regulation 8 of the Public Service Vehicles (Carrying Capacity) Regulations 1984, that it has to be marked with the number of passengers, both standees and seated that it may safely carry. Both children and adults are considered as the same within these regulations. If these numbers are exceeded the vehicle would be deemed as operating illegally and then it becomes a matter for the enforcement agencies to pursue.

Currently there are no plans to abolish the three for two rule.

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Street Works

Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his latest estimate is of the cost to business of highway authority street works. [147098]

Mr. Jamieson: The Department does not hold figures of the costs to business of highway authority works. However, it is important to minimise the disruption caused by works in the street, regardless of whether they are carried out by utility companies or by highway authorities, and this is reflected in the range of measures included in the Traffic Management Bill.

Vehicle Excise Duty

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what changes have been made to the enforcement of penalties for failure to display an up-to-date vehicle excise duty disc; and if he will make a statement. [146761]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 12 January 2004]; There are no changes to the penalties for the offence of failure to display a valid vehicle licence. Failure to display is normally enforced by fixed penalty.

A number of changes are being introduced to strengthen the enforcement of the requirement to license a vehicle (or to make a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) if a vehicle is being kept off the road). The registered keeper of a vehicle for which a licence or SORN has not been renewed one month after expiry is

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now liable for a penalty of £80 (reduced to £40 if paid within 28 days of receiving the penalty notice). To ensure that vehicle keepers have sufficient notice to check that their vehicles are properly licensed, extensive publicity is being given to the changes including information leaflets to all registered keepers during the final month of licence validity. The first penalty notices are likely to be issued in March, in respect of vehicles for which licences have not been renewed from 1 January 2004.

In the most serious cases, vehicle keepers can also be prosecuted for the new offence of being the keeper of an unlicensed vehicle.

Vehicles Inspectorate

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many vehicles have been stopped for roadside checks by the Vehicles Inspectorate in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and how many (a) were found to have vehicle faults and (b) were motor cars or other non-commercial vehicles. [147235]

Dr. Howells: The number of vehicles stopped at the roadside by the Vehicle Inspectorate (now the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) in 2002–03 and the percentage found to have roadworthiness faults are shown in the following tables. Further information and statistical analysis of the agency's work can be found in the Vehicle Inspectorate's Effectiveness Report 2002–03, a copy of which has been placed in the House of Commons Library.

Spot checks carried out by the Vehicle Inspectorate in 2002–2003

Prohibition Rate(1) (%)
Vehicle CategoryNumber of vehicles checkedImmediate prohibitions(2) Delayed prohibitions(3)
HGV Motor Vehicles(4)64,3739.212.7
HGV Trailers21,2259.416.6
HGV emissions checks7,7480.10.7
PSV vehicles(4)20,2876.98.2
PSV emissions checks5,4470.050.45

(1) Only one prohibition notice is issued per vehicle although it may contain a list of defects/offences where more than one has been found. The most serious defect/offence determines whether an immediate or delayed prohibition is issued.

(2) Immediate prohibition rate relates to all vehicles (including foreign vehicles).

(3) Delayed prohibition rate excludes checks on foreign vehicles. The Foreign Vehicles Act does not provide for the issue of delayed prohibitions to foreign vehicles.

(4) Excludes emissions only checks, but includes foreign vehicles.

Results of light vehicle roadside roadworthiness checks

Vehicle categoryNumber examinedNumber prohibitedProhibition rate (%)
Taxis and private hire cars6,4781,59324.6
Non-testable vehicles(5)2,8361,66658.7
Light Goods Vehicles16,4986,06136.7

(5) Non-testable vehicles include mobile cranes, diggers and non-HGV trailers

Results of light vehicle spot checks for emissions

Prohibition rate (%)
Vehicle categoryNumber examinedPetrol EngineDiesel Engine
Taxis and private hire cars2,3745.16.5
Light Goods Vehicles10,0897.73.7

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Departmental Advertising

Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what the total expenditure on (a) information campaigns and (b) advertising was for his Department in each year since 1997. [145383]

Mr. Hain: My department has run no television, newspaper, radio advertising or any other kind of promotional campaign since its creation in July 1999. It has no agencies or departmental public bodies within its responsibilities. We are not responsible for campaigns that may be run by the National Assembly or other Government Departments in Wales.

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