Previous Section Index Home Page

24 Jan 2005 : Column 34W—continued


Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the (a) newspapers and (b) periodicals taken by his Department in each year since 1997; and how much the Department spent on each in each year. [207648]

Charlotte Atkins: The Department for Transport was established as a separate department on 29 May 2002. Separate expenditure figures for DfT while subsumed within DTLR are not available for previous years. The total expenditure by DfT(C) for the period from formation until 23 December 2004 was £149,000, to the nearest £1,000. This figure can only be split between newspapers and periodicals at disproportionate cost.
24 Jan 2005 : Column 35W

With effect from 1 November 2004, ODPM's central publications acquisitions service (which provided a service to DfT) ceased operation and responsibility for purchases transferred to individual Divisions within the Department by ODPM as part of its commitment to greater efficiency. Although expenditure information can still be obtained for the whole Department, information on titles purchased is only available centrally for those titles ordered or on active subscription as at 31 October 2004. The current list has been placed in the Libraries of the House. The list of titles includes those titles taken by ODPM. Extracting listings for individual Departments can be done only at disproportionate cost.

Parking Charges

Mr. Soley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) whether trades vans servicing private houses have been considered for exemption from local authority parking charges; [210148]

(2) what categories of vehicles are exempt from parking fines and charges. [210149]

Charlotte Atkins: Charges and other conditions applying to designated parking spaces will be set out in the relevant traffic authority's parking order for the spaces concerned. Exemptions from charges, for example for permit holders (usually residents) or for emergency services' and statutory undertakers' vehicles when carrying out their duties, may be included, but it is the authority's responsibility to decide what exemptions, if any, are appropriate in each case. We do not hold information centrally on where particular categories of vehicles, including trade vans servicing private houses, have been considered for, or the subject of, such exemptions.

Parking fines or penalty charges are payable where vehicles are parked in contravention of the traffic regulation orders, e.g. yellow lines, or parking order conditions. Again it is for the traffic authority to decide whether exemptions, such as those mentioned above, to any parking restrictions should be provided in the orders. In general, any exceptions would usually be kept to a minimum otherwise they could detract from the purpose for which the restrictions were made and make enforcement more difficult. Vehicles covered by such an exemption in the relevant order would not be liable for a fine or penalty.

Single-hulled Tankers

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the risk to the marine environment in (i) the Solent and (ii) other UK coastal waters from single-hulled tankers; and if he will make a statement. [208685]

Mr. Jamieson: I have not commissioned or evaluated any recent research on the risk to the marine environment in UK coastal waters from single hull tankers.

However, the UK has played a key role in both the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the EU in negotiating an acceleration of a programme to phase-out single hull tankers from world trade, while ensuring continuity of energy supply. The IMO has recently agreed to an accelerated programme, under
24 Jan 2005 : Column 36W
which the large majority of single hull tankers will have been phased out by the end of 2010. Single hull tankers which will be under 25 years of age at the end of 2010 will be allowed to continue in service until the end of 2015, or on reaching age 25 if earlier, but only if they first pass a rigorous assessment of their condition. Based on the IMO agreement, there is a EU Regulation, now in force, which prohibits single hull tankers entering or leaving EU ports and anchorages when carrying heavy grades of oil as cargo.

South Hampshire Rapid Transit Project

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his timetable is for reaching a conclusion on the re-evaluation of the South Hampshire Rapid Transit project; and if he will make a statement. [208950]

Charlotte Atkins: A revised proposal was received on 25 November 2004. However, further information is required on the appraisal, financing and procurement before the Department can reach a conclusion. The promoters' advise that this necessary documentation will be supplied during March.

St. Pancras

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will approve the fitting-out of St. Pancras Midland Road Station for use by Thameslink train services to enable this station to be opened with St. Pancras International in mid 2007. [209917]

Mr. McNulty: It is our intention to carry out the fitting-out of St. Pancras Midland Road Station. No decision has yet been taken on the exact timing of this work.

Stourport Relief Road

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will make a statement on the future of the Stourport relief road project; [208823]

(2) what funding his Department will make available to build the Stourport relief road. [208824]

Charlotte Atkins: No proposal for major scheme funding for the Stourport relief road project has been received by the Department. It would be for Worcestershire county council to decide whether or not they wish to prepare a scheme proposal and, if so, to include broad details in their next Local Transport Plan (LTP) due to be submitted to the Department in provisional form by July 2005. Schemes submitted for funding under the LTP programme are considered in the light of their performance against our appraisal criteria and available resources. In addition, under the proposals set out in our consultation document "Devolving decision making: A consultation on regional funding allocations", we propose to seek regional advice on the relative priority of major transport proposals in the region on the basis of long term regional funding guidelines.

Train Timetables

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what response his Department has made to
24 Jan 2005 : Column 37W
representations received regarding the December timetable changes on routes from Paddington to Maidenhead and Twyford. [209949]

Mr. McNulty: The Department's response to representations related to the December 2004 timetable changes is that they deliver wider benefits through improvements to punctuality across the First Great Western and First Great Western Link franchises.


Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans there are for further tram networks in cities which have poor public transport systems. [209433]

Charlotte Atkins: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister of State on 20 October 2004, Official Report, column 693W. Local authorities in a number of cities, are developing proposals for tram networks or improvements to existing systems, including extensions.


A3 Hindhead

Virginia Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what measures the South East England Development Agency took to press the case for the A3 Hindhead tunnel to remain in the active roads programme. [209512]

Mr. Jamieson: I have been asked to reply.

None. The proposed A3 Hindhead improvement scheme remains in our strategic roads programme and has been classified as a scheme of regional importance. This was announced in the Highways Agency's press release of 1 December 2004.

Anti-bribery/Corruption Procedures

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what definition the Export Credits Guarantee Department uses of the phrase, "sufficient evidence", used in the OECD Action Statement on Bribery and Officially Supported Export Credits. [202924]

Mr. Alexander: The reference is to a provision in the OECD Action Statement on Bribery and Corruption and Officially Supported Export Credits which records an agreement that Export Credit Agencies shall not provide cover or support if they discover before doing so sufficient evidence that bribery has been involved in the award of the export contract. The best evidence that such is the case would be an unappealable conviction in a court of law. Short of that, ECGD would have to consider, taking into account all material matters and all the evidence available to it whether it would be reasonable for ECGD to conclude that bribery had been so involved.

Next Section Index Home Page