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20 Jan 2004 : Column 1117W—continued

Concessionary Fares

Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much government grant per capita was allocated for concessionary fares on public transport in 2003–04 in (a) West Yorkshire, (b) South Yorkshire and (c) North Yorkshire. [149386]

Mr. McNulty: Government provision for existing concessionary travel schemes is included in the general grant for local authorities. This is distributed using formula spending shares and it is not possible to provide an allocation for each authority. It is for local authorities to decide their spending priorities in the light of their responsibilities and the wishes of their electorate.

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Spend on a per capita basis in 2002–03 by each of the three authorities on concessionary fare reimbursement was approximately as follows:

West Yorkshire PTE's concessionary fares scheme provides for a flat fare on buses and rail services for older and disabled people. Schoolchildren and students can also travel at a reduced fare. South Yorkshire PTE's scheme provides for flat fares on local bus, tram and train services for older and disabled people, schoolchildren and students. In North Yorkshire the seven district councils all provide a half fare scheme on bus services for older and disabled people only, with some providing concessionary travel on other modes.

Driving Tests

Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received on the introduction of compulsory hazard perception tests for existing approved driving instructors; and if he will make a statement. [145334]

Mr. Jamieson: We have received representations from a wide variety of sources since our decision to add moving-image Hazard Perception Testing (HPT) to the supervision of existing Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs) was announced in December.

HPT has been part of the qualification process for learner drivers, car, lorry and bus drivers, motorcyclists and prospective ADIs since November 2002. Our announcement followed consultation exercises in December 2001 on HPT for learner drivers and riders and prospective ADIs, and in April 2003 for existing ADIs. On both occasions, instructor interests mainly favoured introduction for drivers and prospective ADIs, but not for existing ADIs. Other interests, such as road safety bodies and the police, mainly favoured the proposals, including for existing ADIs.

The ADI registration scheme already requires instructors to have their competence periodically re-assessed. We now plan to use modern technology to assess standards objectively against the same benchmark—regardless of when ADIs were registered. This should ensure that ADIs are familiar with the nature of the tests faced by trainees.

Insurance Discs

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the merits of introduction of insurance discs. [148221]

Dr. Howells: The Government have commissioned an independent review, by Professor David Greenaway, of the UK motor insurance system with a particular focus on uninsured driving. The review will include an assessment of the merits of the introduction of insurance discs. Professor David Greenaway is expected to report in April and we will study carefully his recommendations.

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Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much money will be spent on the M6 (a) maintenance and (b) upgrading in (i) Lancashire, (ii) Cheshire and (iii) Staffordshire in each of the next five years; and how many miles of the M6 motorway will be affected in each of the counties. [148222]

Dr. Howells: Maintenance programmes are established on an annual basis, based upon an assessment of network condition and availability of funds.

Subject to the availability of funds, the Highways Agency plans to invest in a Motorway Incident Detection Automatic Signalling System (MIDAS), which includes upgrading the current Variable Message Signs, on the Lancashire section of the M6.

Traffic Management Bill

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many uniformed patrols will be set up by the Highways Agency under the Traffic Management Bill; what their annual cost will be; and how many new posts will be created. [145825]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 7 January 2004]: The number of uniformed patrols (a liveried vehicle and uniformed Traffic Officers) will depend on day-to-day operational requirements and is currently envisaged to be about 100 when fully phased in on motorways. The annual cost is about £40 million. It is currently envisaged that the number of new posts created will be about 1,200 Traffic Officers.

The Highways Agency and Association of Chief Police Officers "Roles and Responsibilities Report" identified plans that could free up the equivalent of about 540 full-time equivalent police officers. Based on figures from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary of 6,540 designated roads police in 2001–02, the report estimated that a transfer of non-core police activities to the Highways Agency enabled approximately 8½ per cent. of police time to work on other key tasks. Resources will be freed up over a period of about three years as Highways Agency Traffic Officers are phased in across all motorways and some key trunk roads.

Transport Investment

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much investment there was in transport in (a) Lancashire and (b) Chorley in each of the last five years. [148220]

Dr. Howells: Lancashire has received:

Year£ million

The figure requested for Chorley cannot be disaggregated from the Lancashire totals identified above. However Chorley has benefited considerably

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from these monies; an example of which is the £2.873 million Chorley Bus Interchange completed in March 2003, which has brought attractive and safe conditions to bus travel in Chorley.

Urban Bus Challenge

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which local authorities in the West Midlands made bids in the Urban Bus Challenge competition. [149430]

Mr. McNulty: The following local authorities in the West Midlands made bids in the 2003 Urban Bus Challenge competition.

AuthorityNumber of bids
Staffordshire County Council1
Stoke-on-Trent Council2
Telford and Wrekin Council1
Warwickshire County Council2
West Midlands PTA7
Worcestershire County Council1


Army Regiment Strengths

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the strength against requirement is of each regiment of the British Army. [147960]

Mr. Ingram: The information is not held centrally in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, details on the current trained Regular Army manning state by Arms and Service as at 1 December 2003 are shown in the table.

Household Cavalry /Royal Armoured Corps5,9755,885
Royal Artillery8,3307,815
Royal Engineers9,1608,790
Royal Signals8,6358,580
Army Air Corps2,1051,820
Royal Army Chaplains Department165145
Royal Logistics Corps16,20515,200
Royal Army Medical Corps2,9202,645
Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers10,3709,635
Adjutant General Corps (Provost)2,0752,055
AGC (Staff Personnel Support)4,6454,615
AGC (Education and Training Corps)315320
AGC (Army Legal Service)9590
Royal Army Veterinary Corps190175
Small Arms School Corps145150
Royal Army Dental Corps420405
Intelligence Corps1,4101,335
Army Physical Training Corps455425
General List
Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps1,035800
Corps of Army Musicians1,1551,025

— = zero or rounded to zero.


1. The trained requirement for individual Arms and Service Directors is derived from the Regular Army strength requirement (excluding Gurkhas and FTRS), which is published in DASA's Tri-Service Monthly Publication (TSP) 3.

2. All figures have been rounded to the nearest 5.

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Base Closures

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which (a) Army, (b) RAF and (c) Royal Navy bases he proposes to close. [148459]

Mr. Caplin: The MOD keeps the size and location of its bases under constant review. In the estate strategy, "In Trust and On Trust" the Department set out its intention to define its mainland Great Britain sites as core' or 'non-core'. Initial classification work was conducted last year. Building on this the Department is now undertaking further work to identify where estate rationalisation may be possible. This work is consistent with the Department's contribution to the Government's Independent Review of Public Sector Rationalisation—the Lyons review. Any specific proposals arising from these studies will be subjected to full consultation in due course.

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