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10 Nov 2004 : Column 718W—continued

Road Noise

Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what funds are available to his Department for noise mitigation on motorways; whether these funds are dedicated to noise mitigation measures; whether they are ring-fenced for acoustic barriers and quieter surfaces; and if he will make a statement. [196717]

Mr. Jamieson: Under the 10-year plan, 60 per cent. of the strategic road network, including motorways, is to be treated with quieter road surfacing in line with maintenance need. These resurfacing works are funded from a Roads Renewals budget, the value of which varies annually.

A list of locations having serious and pressing noise problems, but where there was no early prospect of quiet surfacing being installed as part of planned maintenance, was announced on 11 November 1999. Measures to relieve noise problems at these locations, by providing either acoustic barriers or quieter surfacing as appropriate, have been funded from an annual £5 million ring-fenced budget.

I gave more specific details of the overall strategy for dealing with noise mitigation on the strategic road network in the adjournment debate on motorway noise in Leicestershire held on 30 March 2004, Official Report, column 419WH.

Noise mitigation measures installed as part of a new road construction scheme, which may include measures such as earthwork bunds and secondary glazing, are funded from the overall budget assigned to the scheme.
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Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average cost per mile is of resurfacing a standard dual carriageway with the new quieter surface. [196833]

Mr. Jamieson: The average cost per mile for resurfacing a standard dual carriageway (assumed as two lanes in each direction) with a quieter surface is £500,000.

Road Schemes

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he will make an announcement on the priorities within the Targeted Programme of Trunk Road Improvement. [197176]

Mr. Jamieson: We plan to do so shortly.

Search Warrants

Mr. McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many search warrants under the provisions of the Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001 have been implemented in each police authority area; and what action has resulted from such police investigations. [195061]

Ms Blears: I have been asked to reply.

Information about numbers of search warrants is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Statistics on prosecutions and convictions are published annually. The most recently published statistics cover the year ending December 2002. These show that there were no completed prosecutions or convictions under the Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001 between October (the earliest time the provisions became enforceable) and December 2002. Statistics for 2003 will be published in December.

Transport for London

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what recent discussions have taken place between his Department and Transport for London about transfer of further powers to Transport for London; [197212]

(2) what plans the Government have to change the powers of London borough councils in relation to transport. [197226]

Mr. Darling: The "Future of Railways" White Paper set out a number of areas where consideration would be given to extending the Mayor's responsibilities for rail services. Since then regular discussions have taken place with Transport for London (TfL) and these are ongoing.

My Department is also taking forward work on the Crossrail scheme, together with TfL. As noted in my statement to the House of 20 July 2004, were powers to be secured to construct Crossrail, the implementation of the scheme could subsequently be transferred to TfL.

The Traffic Management Act 2004 provides TfL with new powers to co-ordinate local highway authority works on a strategic road network. London boroughs will remain the highway authority for these roads but TfL will have powers to veto works on these roads, or on other roads that will adversely affect strategic roads.
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Vehicle Salvage

Mr. McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many vehicle salvage operators have been registered in each month since October 2002; and how many have been registered in total in each police authority area. [195060]

Ms Blears: I have been asked to reply.

This information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.


Army Redundancies

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether all personnel from the regiments to be made redundant will be allowed to leave the Army with a full compensatory package. [196220]

Mr. Caplin: Members of the regular armed forces who leave on redundancy are entitled to the redundancy terms set out in the Armed Forces Pension Scheme.


Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether Iraqi civilians apprehended by British service personnel have been treated in a manner consistent with the "UN Body of Principles for the Protection of all Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment". [184828]

Mr. Ingram: The document "UN Body of Principles for the Protection of all Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment" provides guidance to the armed forces of member states who are engaged in UN operations. We are confident that the procedures we have adopted would be effectively consistent with it, though it does not apply to UK forces in Iraq which are operating under Security Council Resolution 1546 and are not engaged on UN Operations. Persons detained by UK forces are treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions and other relevant international conventions, which include guidance on basic prisoner treatment.

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 15 March 2004, Official Report, column 48W, on Iraq, what criteria were used to determine which pages of the Iraqi declaration on its weapons of mass destruction were relevant for translation from Arabic. [187391]

Mr. Hoon: The Iraqi Declaration on WMD programmes contained over 12,000 pages. The Declaration was split into two parts, the main text and the supporting documents. The main text contained over 5,000 pages, of which 650 were in Arabic; all of these were translated. Around 3,000 pages of the supporting documents were in Arabic, and only those judged to be of potential WMD significance were translated.
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Mr. Best: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will investigate the whereabouts of the research conducted by Professor Huda Ammash, Dean of Baghdad University, and other scientists, into the contamination of Iraq from depleted uranium. [196761]

Mr. Caplin: The Ministry of Defence carries out regular reviews of all peer reviewed scientific literature relating to the use of depleted uranium munitions by subscription to international scientific and medical databases such as PubMed and Web of Science. No record of any work by Professor Huda Ammash relating to depleted uranium has been found on these databases.

Mirach Target Service

Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 13 July 2004, Official Report, column 1042W, on Llanbedr Airfield, when the Mirach target service will be taken out of service; and what will replace it. [196545]

Mr. Caplin: The Mirach target service, operated from Aberporth, replaced the Jindivik aerial target towing vehicles, which, until recently, were launched from Llandbedr. Operations at Llanbedr ceased on 31 October this year and Jindivik is no longer used. Mirach has only recently been introduced at Aberporth and QinetiQ, the company operating the service at that site on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, currently has no plans to replace it. MOD is currently considering proposals for a Combined Aerial Target Service, with a view to placing a single contract for the provision and operation of tri-service target support from 2006. It is not known, at this stage, whether Mirach will form part of this future service.

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