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27 Jan 2005 : Column 449W—continued


Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will allow community rail partnerships to have powers to re-open dismantled railway lines and operate the railway; and if he will make a statement. [210678]

Mr. McNulty: I refer my hon. Friend to the response given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Charlotte Atkins) during the Adjournment Debate on the Colne to Skipton Railway line" on 12 January 2005, Official Report, column 132WH.


Virginia Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what criteria he uses to determine whether a road has (a) national and (b) regional significance; [208215]
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(2) whether (a) he and (b) Ministers in his Department have visited Hindhead to assess the proposals for the A3 Tunnel; and what factors led him to decide that the A3 between Portsmouth Harbour and London did not have national significance. [208217]

Mr. Jamieson: The Government's consultation paper—Devolving Decision Making: A Consultation on Regional Funding Allocations"—set out our proposals to establish regional transport funding allocations. The consultation paper explained that funding decisions on routes of national and international significance would continue to be made on a national basis. To be regarded as such, a route has to satisfy all of the following criteria:

In some marginal cases we applied these criteria with a degree of flexibility. However, the A3 satisfies just one of the criteria: it provides a link between London and the port of Portsmouth. Consequently, for the purposes of future regional decision-making, the consultation paper proposes that it should be regarded as a route of regional significance.

The current ministerial team and I have not visited Hindhead, but we appreciate that improvement of the A3 at this site will deal with a significant bottleneck. We have attached high priority to developing a scheme that will resolve the traffic problems while keeping to a minimum the impact on an area that is environmentally sensitive.

Draft Orders for the A3 Hindhead tunnel scheme together with Notices of Intention to grant exchange land certificates published by ODPM/DEFRA, were first published in October 2003. Revised proposals for part of the scheme were subsequently published in May 2004 and are currently being considered at a public inquiry, which started on 7 September.

The public inquiry has concluded much of its anticipated business but adjourned on 15 December until 15 February 2005 in order that the Inspector can hear reaction to further minor proposals that were republished on 17 December.

It remains our intention to implement the scheme at Hindhead, subject to completion of the necessary statutory procedures including consideration of the Inspector's report and recommendations. However, in view of the cost of the scheme and available resources it has been necessary to programme it for implementation in the period beyond 2007–08.

Staff Vacancies

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department spent on advertising staff vacancies in (a) 2002 and (b) 2003. [209577]

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Charlotte Atkins: The Department for Transport has only been in existence since May 2002.

The Department uses the most appropriate publication for recruitment advertising, be it national, regional, trade magazine or website, depending on the nature of the vacancy.

The following are details of the costs incurred by DfT (Central) for recruitment advertising below senior civil service, and the costs of advertising jobs at senior civil service level for all parts of DfT (i.e. including the Department's Executive Agencies).

Advertising costs for recruitment below senior civil service in DfT's Executive Agencies are as follows:
2002–03 (VI costs only)326,503.00

Transport Pathfinders

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which local authorities have been selected as transport pathfinders; what the objectives are of such schemes; and what the costs are of implementing them. [211308]

Charlotte Atkins: 10 local authorities have been selected as transport pathfinders, these being the county councils for Devon, Durham, Norfolk, Oxfordshire, Surrey and West Sussex, along with Halton and High Peak borough councils, Nottingham city council and the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority.

The scheme's objectives are to develop and disseminate good practice and innovation related to the shared central/local government priorities for transport—improving public transport and access to jobs and services, while reducing congestion, pollution and road safety problems.
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The project is a partnership between the selected local authorities, the Local Government Association and the Department for Transport. The DfT is contributing 100,000, primarily towards disseminating the lessons learnt by the pathfinders.

Uninsured Motorists

Mr. John Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his Department's latest estimate is of the number of uninsured motorists driving on public roads; and what this figure is as a percentage of all drivers. [210142]

Mr. Jamieson: Estimates from the Insurance industry are that about 5 per cent. (approximately 1.25 million) motorists drive while uninsured.

I commissioned Professor David Greenaway of Nottingham University to carry out a review of motor insurance arrangements in the UK to see what could be done to tackle the problem. Publication of his report was on 11 August and we set up an implementation board in September to see that action follows.

Working jointly with the insurance industry we now plan to introduce legislation, improve procedures and design education, publicity and enforcement programmes to drive down uninsured driving.

These build on measures I announced last year to significantly tighten the vehicle registration and licensing system.

The first steps have already begun. Firstly the inclusion of a provision in the Road Safety Bill for improved Police access to the Motor Insurance Database; and secondly provision in the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill of a power for the Police to seize vehicles being driven uninsured. Both will significantly improve the detection and enforcement capabilities of the police.


Common Agricultural Policy

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her Department's latest estimate is of the cost of the Common Agricultural Policy to the average family per week in grocery prices; and what the cost was in 1997. [204463]

Alun Michael: The consumer cost of the Common Agricultural Policy can be estimated by examining the difference between UK and world prices for agricultural food products. Our latest estimate for 2002 shows a cost of the CAP, to a notional family of four, due to higher food prices, of around £4.75 per week. Using the same methodology we estimate that the cost in 1997 would have been around £5.50.

Emissions Trading Scheme

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the capacity the present economic value
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attributed to permits under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme has to lead to environmentally beneficial changes of behaviour. [210850]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 25 January 2005]: Allocations at the EU level are estimated to be approximately 50 million tonnes of CO 2 below the projected emissions during phase 1, on the basis of the national allocation plans agreed by the Commission so far. The prevailing permit price in the market could be interpreted to represent the abatement cost to achieve this level of emission reductions.

For the UK, analysis by the DTI of the power station sector indicates that, during phase 1 of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (2005 to 2007) reductions of around 4MtCO 2 per annum could be achieved at a carbon price of around €5 per tonne of CO 2 . This price is lower than that which has recently prevailed in the market. It is possible however that there may be physical limitations on the amount of achievable savings in the near term.

It is possible that, in the longer term, emissions could be reduced by around 7MtCO 2 per annum at a carbon price of €10 per tonne CO 2 .

The analysis suggests that the modelled responsiveness is very sensitive to certain background assumptions, including the assumed gas to coal price differential, as well as the price of carbon itself.

A summary of the analysis was published in November 2004 as part of a DTI report on Updated Emissions Projections. Carbon price analysis can be found at annex 7 of the report.

The report is available electronically:

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