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21 Dec 2004 : Column 1642W—continued


Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the estimated cost is of resurfacing the A30 between Honiton and Exeter as a priority under the criteria announced on 17 October 2001; and whether the cost will be borne by his Department. [206691]

Mr. Jamieson: The estimated cost of applying quieter surfacing to this section of concrete road is £9.5 million, based on today's costs. The Department will pay for this work.

The Highways Agency will also be discussing with the DBFO Company the level of additional future costs arising from the resurfacing of the road, which will also be borne by the Department.


Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on progress of the implementation by the Highways Agency of the recommendations made in the Hyder Route Management Study of the A31/A35, with particular reference to Morecombelake, Chideock, Winterbourne Abbas and Bridport. [205410]

Mr. Jamieson: The Route Management Study carried out between 2002–04 recommended that more detailed studies be carried out in a number of communities along the A30/A35/A31 to develop proposals to address community issues, including safety, severance, accessibility, noise and air quality. The studies covering Morecombelake, Chideock, Winterbourne Abbas and Bridport have now been completed.

The detailed studies recommended numerous minor improvement works and the design of these is progressing. Works have already been completed at Sea Road South in Bridport and a pedestrian crossing is due to be installed at Chideock in the new year. Design work on further improvements at Sea Road South, Bridport is underway with a view to commencing work in 2005–06.

The recommendations for Morecombelake and Winterbourne Abbas are being reviewed as part of the Highways Agency's prioritisation procedures, and will be the subject of further consideration.

The carrying out of the improvements identified in the detailed studies is subject to the availability of funding.


Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what studies he has commissioned of the (a) capacity of the A34, (b) projected traffic volumes and (c) case for adding additional lanes. [205889]

Mr. Jamieson: A scoping study to review the key issues affecting the A34 North of Southampton Corridor and assess the case for further study work was completed earlier this year. This work did consider the capacity of the A34 and projected traffic volumes, as well as issues of rail capacity and the planned distribution of land uses.

Ministers will respond to the study in due course.
21 Dec 2004 : Column 1643W

The Highways Agency is also carrying out a Route Management Strategy for the A34 which is looking at general management of the A34 trunk road in the short to medium term, and to identify small scale solutions to capacity issues over a 10 year time frame. The final report is expected to be published in spring 2005.


Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research he has commissioned of the (a) capacity of the A40, (b) projected traffic volumes and (c) case for extending dual carriageways in heavily used sections. [205890]

Mr. Jamieson: The A40 is a local road. As such it is the responsibility of the Local Highway Authority and it is for them to undertake any such studies.

Aircraft Air

Mr. John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if the Civil Aviation Authority will classify as a major defect all instances of smoke or fumes in the aircraft cabin that adversely affect the quality of cabin air. [206164]

Charlotte Atkins: The Civil Aviation Authority does not use the term "Major Defect" in its classification of occurrences. Reported instances of smoke or fumes in the cabin vary from a transitory, unidentified smell to visible smoke and fumes. The Authority has no plans to classify all such occurrences as high severity.

Mr. John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory tested the engine oil Exxon Mobil Jet Oil II for a complete analysis of its ortho isomers of the organophosphate trichloropyridinol present in the oil when conducting research for the Civil Aviation Authority Safety Regulatory Group's Cabin Air Quality Paper 2004–04. [206178]

Charlotte Atkins: The Civil Aviation Authority, when commissioning the analysis of engine/APU oil constituents by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, did not ask it to check for the presence of ortho isomers of the organophosphate trichloropyrindinol.

Alderley Edge Bypass

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the future funding of the Alderley Edge bypass. [205601]

Charlotte Atkins: The Alderley Edge and Nether Alderley Bypass was provisionally approved in 2001 under the Local Transport Programme. As part of the Spending Review 2004 and in light of our proposals for devolved decision making, as set out in the consultation document "Devolving decision making: A consultation on regional funding allocations", we have decided this bypass should be one of the schemes remitted to the region for advice on its priority for funding within the available resources.

Under the proposals in the document, the North West Regional Assembly and the North West Development Agency would advise on the relative priority of this
21 Dec 2004 : Column 1644W
scheme alongside other transport proposals in the region in the light of long term regional funding guidelines. These bodies would be expected to consult widely within the region, including with local transport authorities, in framing their advice on priorities. A final decision on the timetable for funding the scheme will be made in the light of this advice.

Bendy Buses

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research his Department has carried out into the road safety implications of the use of bendy buses. [205600]

Mr. Jamieson: The Department has not carried out any specific research on bendy buses.

However, the safety of these and other vehicles, including other types of large passenger-carrying vehicles, continue to be monitored through ongoing studies which collect data on injuries sustained by casualties of road traffic accidents.

To date, no issues specific to bendy buses have been identified.

Departmental Events

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the (a) conferences, (b) seminars, (c) workshops, (d) exhibitions and (e) press conferences which have been sponsored by his Department and which took place on non-departmental premises in each of the last two years; giving the (i) title, (ii) purpose, (iii) date and (iv) cost of each. [202428]

Charlotte Atkins: The Department communicates where appropriate with organisations through conferences, seminars, workshops and exhibitions and holds internal events in the course of normal management. A table which lists events held on non-departmental premises during the period from the formation of the Department in May 2002 to the end of March 2004, has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Christmas Cards

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many hours of staff time were taken up in preparation of Christmas cards in 2004; [205174]

(2) how many departmental staff have responsibility for preparing Christmas cards; [205175]

(3) what percentage of official departmental Christmas cards included a contribution to charity in their cost; and which charities benefited from such a contribution; [205176]

(4) what the cost of postage was for official departmental Christmas cards in (a) 2003 and (b) 2004; [205177]

(5) what the cost was of purchasing official departmental Christmas cards in (a) 2003 and (b) 2004; [205178]
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(6) how many official Christmas cards were sent out by his Department in (a) 2003 and (b) 2004. [205179]

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Charlotte Atkins: The information requested is set out in the following two tables.
Department for Transport Christmas Card 2004

CardsCost (£)PostageStaff timeStaffCharityPercentage
Central Department(33)1,6502,114Not separately
4 hours1Lifeboats100
Highways Agency(34)No card
Maritime and Coastguard
20,2505,902Not separately
2No charitable
Vehicle and Operator Services
230309Not separately
5 hours1Cystic Fibrosis
Vehicle Certification Agency(34)No card
Driver and Vehicle Licensing
4,0003,4658407 hours1Multi-charity100
Driving Standards Agency1,0001,03421014 hours1Multi-charity100

Department for Transport Christmas Card 2003

CardsCost (£)Postage
Central Department(33)1,3002,055Not separately identified
Highways Agency4,0803,9301,100
Maritime and Coastguard Agency13,7504,865Not separately identified
Vehicle and Operator Services Agency230282Not separately identified
Vehicle Certification Agency150174Not separately identified
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency(36)Not available
Driving Standards Agency1,5002,009300

Central Department
(33) In both 2003 and 2004 the DfT Board decided against having an official departmental card for the central Department. The information given is for procurement of the ministerial Christmas card and the number of cards that is given reflects the number that were ordered. It is not possible to separate out postage costs from regular mail, although the policy is to mainly use second class. The number of staff hours is based on drafting a submission to the Secretary of State, consulting the Board, procuring the card and clearing the proofs with private office.
(34) The Highways Agency and the Vehicle Certification Agency did not have a card in 2004.
(35) The information for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency for 2004 includes a Christmas card sent out as part of a fishing safety campaign.
(36) The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency does not have information for 2003.

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