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1 Mar 2004 : Column 647W—continued

Road Traffic Accidents

Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will undertake a review of the (a) law on and (b) penalties for (i) failing to stop and (ii) failing to summon assistance after a road crash. [154916]

Caroline Flint [holding answer 12 February 2004]: I have been asked to reply.

Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 imposes a duty on drivers to stop and report accidents in which personal injury or damage to other vehicles is caused. Failing to summon assistance is not an offence. Failure to comply with any of the requirements of section 170 is a criminal offence with a maximum penalty of six months imprisonment or a fine not exceeding £5,000, or both.

We are currently reviewing road traffic offences involving bad driving and intend to issue a consultation paper on this shortly. Failing to stop and report an accident falls outside the scope of the review (although if the accident were itself caused by bad driving this would be covered). Nevertheless we will of course look carefully at any representations made during the consultation.

Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road traffic accidents involving car drivers overtaking lorries on single carriageway roads occurred in each year since 2000. [157001]

Mr. Jamieson: Information on road accidents which only involve damage to property are not available. The table below shows the number of road accidents involving personal injury on single carriageway roads in which at least one heavy goods vehicle and at least one car overtaking a moving vehicle were involved.

Number of Accidents


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Speed Limits

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the case for introducing minimum speed limits. [157341]

Mr. Jamieson: There are no plans to introduce minimum speed limits on our roads. Minimum speed limits are difficult to enforce as there may be instances where traffic congestion or roadworks reduce traffic flow to a standstill. This would have the effect of criminalising drivers for circumstances beyond their control.

Train Overcrowding

Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the levels of train overcrowding on (a) the Liverpool to London route, (b) Transpennine routes and (c) the Liverpool to Manchester route; and if he will make a statement. [156797]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 27 February 2004]: None. All train operating companies are required by their franchise agreements to ensure that adequate capacity is provided to address excessive crowding. This applies to all services, although in commuter routes to London a specific capacity requirement has been made. The SRA has also announced its intention to review its policy on dealing with crowding. It plans to publish a consultation document later this year.

Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many seats for (a) standard class and (b) first class passengers (i) are available in Pendolino trains running between London and Liverpool and (ii) were available in the trains which operated previously. [156798]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 27 February 2004]: Seat numbers on trains running between London and Liverpool vary from service to service. Currently Virgin generally operate eight-car Pendolino trains providing 217 Standard Class and 140 First Class seats. Later this year Virgin propose to operate nine-car Pendolino trains with between 263 and 293 Standard Class, depending on the nature of the ninth carriage, and 140 First Class seats. The other trains which operate on this route are: Mark 3 stock operating with nine carriages providing 392 Standard Class and 132 First Class seats; Mark 2 stock operating with nine carriages providing 332 Standard Class and 120 First Class seats; and West Coast High Speed Trains operating with eight carriages providing 249 Standard Class and 105 First Class seats.

Train Services (Chorley)

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many trains stop at stations in the Chorley constituency; and if he will make a statement. [157265]

Mr. McNulty: On weekdays, 94 trains call at Chorley, 42 trains call at Adlington, 26 trains call at Croston and 31 trains call at Euxton Balshaw Lane.

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Ministerial Speeches

Keith Vaz: To ask the Leader of the House how many speeches he made between 9 June 2003 and 1 February 2004; and where a copy of each speech can be obtained. [156107]

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Mr. Hain: I have given 12 speeches in my official capacity as Leader of the House of Commons and Lord Privy Seal. Those given from a text are marked with an * and are available on my website www.

Friday 20 June 2003Bevan Foundation Annual Lecture*
Tuesday 29 July 2003IPPR Breakfast Discussion: Always the Silly Season? Is the relationship between the media and politics bad for civil society? *
Tuesday 16 September 2003Parliamentary Press Gallery Lunch Club*
Monday 6 October 2003Club of Three trilateral Ameurus Conference Dinner
Thursday 9 October 2003Jean Monet Lecture. "The Progressive Case for Europe"
Thursday 16 October 2003Institute for Citizenship 'Get the Vote Out! 2004' Launch event
Monday 17 November 2003CBI Conference. 'The Future of Europe'
Tuesday 2 December 2003House Magazine's conference on The Coming Year in Parliament. "The Government's Priorities"*


British Coal Staff Pensions

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many cases of British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme members who were mis-sold private pensions have been dealt with by (a) reinstatement to the BCSSS and (b) compensation. [154919]

Mr. Timms: This is an issue for the Trustees of the British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme (BCSSS).

Employment Law Exemptions

David Burnside: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what exemptions are in place in (a) England, (b) Wales and (c) Scotland from equal and fair employment laws; and whether these exemptions are from (i) United Kingdom, (ii) European and (iii) international law. [156670]

Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 26 February 2004]: Employment rights legislation is extensive and contains detailed definitions of those to whom it does and does not apply. To give only two examples, the unfair dismissal legislation generally applies to employees who have completed one year's qualifying service with their employer, but this qualifying period is waived if a dismissal is for one of a number of specified reasons; while the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 and the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 contain provisions (similar to those in other anti-discrimination legislation) which permit differences of treatment on grounds of sexual orientation or religion or belief respectively in certain limited circumstances where a particular sexual orientation or religion or belief is a genuine occupational requirement for the particular post, as allowed by the Employment Directive 2000/78/EC which they transpose. If the hon Member would like to provide more specific information about his concerns, I shall be happy to try to address them.

Employment Rights Leaflets

Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans her Department has to reprint its advisory leaflets on employment rights. [156288]

Mr. Sutcliffe: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given today PQ No. 156289. Following a recent review the Department will move towards producing employment rights information mainly in internet format. We will continue to provide hard copy prints of national minimum wage guidance and a booklet summarising individual employment rights (PL716) as required.

We are mindful that not everyone has access to the internet. We have put in place arrangements to print copies on request for people who are either unable to use or do not have access to the internet.

We are working in partnership with Acas to provide advice on employment issues. Acas produce a series of booklets, which will be reprinted according to demand and any necessary textual revisions. These booklets are available in hard copy.

Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment her Department has made of the use by advice agencies of its leaflets on employment rights. [156289]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Last year the Department consulted leading customers to find out how our information on employment rights could be better focussed on users' needs. As part of this review, an assessment was made on the impact of withdrawing employment rights booklets, using information provided by the Department's

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distribution service. Although advice agencies appeared they were not among the most regular users of the service.

End users generally told us that they did not need the detailed explanations of the law given in DTI's existing publications. Users want practical advice and guidance on what they should actually do in respect of employment issues. Acas, who provide advice and guidance to employers and employees, are usually better placed to provide user focussed advice based on factual information supplied by the Department. Acas recently produced a series of booklets summarising individual rights. These can be obtained free of charge from the Acas distribution centre on 08702 429090. I understand that feedback on the publications has been generally very positive.

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