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9 Feb 2005 : Column 1506W—continued

Premium Phone Numbers

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will refer the operators of premium telephone number (a) 0906 124 2692 and (b) 0906 633 7066 to the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services. [213589]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: ICSTIS tell us they have received no complaints from the hon. Member or anyone else about the services operating on either of these numbers. In order for ICSTIS to take appropriate action it would need a clear explanation of the specifics of the complaints and where possible the submission of supporting information, such as promotions and mailings. If there is a serious issue with these numbers it would be quickest for the hon. Member to pass on the complainant's information to ICSTIS direct for it to take appropriate action rather than use a parliamentary question.

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will refer the operators of premium telephone number 0906 633 4228 to the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services. [213912]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: ICSTIS was notified on 31 January of calls generated by automated calling equipment directing recipients to call the premium rate number in question. Using its emergency procedure powers ICSTIS shut down the number on 1 February 2005 and is taking further enforcement action against the service provider.

TRANSPORT

A74

David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) when he will announce the start of work to complete the upgrading of the A74 between Carlisle and Guardsmill; [215533]

(2) if he will make a statement on his plans to upgrade the A74 between Carlisle and Guardsmill. [215534]

Mr. Jamieson: Draft Orders for the scheme were published on 4 February 2005. The current programme shows start of works in 2006–07, with the road opening by 2008. This is subject to funding and satisfactory completion of the necessary statutory procedures.

David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of (a) fatalities and (b) serious injuries which have occurred on the A74 between Carlisle and Guardsmill in each year since 1996. [215535]


 
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Mr. Jamieson: The Highways Agency assesses its routes each year to identify locations where further investigation might be required. Since 1996, the number of incidents resulting in fatalities on the A74 between Carlisle and Guardsmill is slightly above the national average for other similar roads, and the number of incidents resulting in serious injuries is significantly below the average.

Design

Alan Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport who the ministerial design champion for his Department is. [215652]

Mr. McNulty: Tony McNulty MP, Minister of State for Transport.

Drivers' Hours (Exemptions)

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his answer of 31 January 2005, Official Report, columns 586–87W, on EC legislation, if he will make a statement on the removal of exemptions on drivers' hours; what representations he has received on the subject; what assessment he has made of the consequential financial impact on UK firms; and if he will list the exemptions concerned. [215299]

Mr. Jamieson: The Department carried out an extensive public consultation exercise in 2002 on the European Commission's legislative proposal to replace Council Regulation (EEC) 3820/85 on drivers' hours as part of our consideration of the likely impact of this proposal on UK industry. We received 69 responses, which included contributions from the main road transport associations and trade unions. The consultation did not yield sufficient data to allow an assessment of costs to the UK industry.

The Council adopted a Common Position on this proposal in December 2004. If the Common Position is agreed by the European Parliament, the following categories of vehicle would no longer be exempt: specialised breakdown vehicles operating beyond a 100 km radius from base; vehicles over 7.5 tonnes used for the non-commercial carriage of goods; vehicles not owned or hired in with a driver by (i) the armed services, civil defence, fire services, and forces responsible for maintaining public order, and (ii) public authorities; non-specialised vehicles transporting funfair and circus equipment, vehicles used in connection with gas, electricity, telegraph and telephone services, radio and television broadcasting, and the carriage of postal articles in vehicles over 3.5 tonnes operating beyond a 50 km radius of base and those vehicles over 7.5 tonnes operating within this radius; commercial passenger vehicles suitable for carrying between 10 and 17 people; vehicles carrying live animals to markets; vehicles used as shops at local markets or for door-to-door selling, mobile banking or exhibitions; vehicles used for driving instruction if they are being used for the commercial carriage of goods or passengers; gas and electricity-propelled vehicles operating beyond a 50 km radius of base; and tractors operating beyond a 100 km radius of base.
 
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Heathrow

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what budget has been allocated for Project Heathrow; and how the costs of the working groups will be apportioned between his Department, the airport operator and other parties that are financially involved. [215492]

Charlotte Atkins: Provision of £220,000, £150,000 and £30,000 has been made for the years 2004–05, 2005–06 and 2006–07 respectively, mainly for further research and analysis. Parties involved in any working groups meet their own costs, with the exception of consultants working under contract to the Department, and independent technical experts on the air quality panels, whose costs are reimbursed by the Department.

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department's policy on an additional full-length runway at Heathrow has changed. [215493]

Charlotte Atkins: No. An additional runway at Heathrow, if supported following the outcome of the current work on further environmental assessment, would be a short runway as indicated in the Air Transport White Paper and the preceding consultation document.

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the timescale is for the work being undertaken by each of the planned working groups in Project Heathrow. [215494]

Charlotte Atkins: All the work is being carried forward with a view to being able to reach conclusions towards the end of next year. In the case of any proposals for mixed mode, we have given a commitment to consult and would expect to do so next spring.

Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to reorganise the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. [215843]

Mr. Darling: We have no plans to reorganise the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Road Accidents (London)

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) pedestrians, (b) cyclists, (c) drivers and (d) car occupants have been (i) injured and (ii) killed in each Greater London borough in each of the last six years for which figures are available. [214572]

Mr. Jamieson: A table giving the information requested for the years 1998 to 2003—which is the latest year for which data is available—has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Special Advisers

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the occasions between 31 March 2003 and 31 March 2004 when special advisers attended meetings with external representatives at which Ministers were not present. [210548]


 
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Charlotte Atkins: The information requested can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

All meetings held by special advisers are conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers.

Stonehenge (Road Projects)

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the current estimated cost is of (a) the Countess roundabout flyover project, on the A303(T), (b) the A303(T) Stonehenge tunnel and Winterbourne Stoke bypass and (c) the A303(T) Chicklade bypass; and if he will make a statement. [214211]

Mr. Jamieson: The current approved budget for the A303 Stonehenge project which includes the Countess roundabout flyover, a 2.1 km bored tunnel past Stonehenge and a bypass to the village of Winterbourne Stoke, is £223 million.

The A303 Chicklade Bottom to Mere improvement has not entered the Highway Agency's Targeted Programme of Improvements. The scheme, which includes a bypass of Chicklade, would cost in the order of £120 million (at 2001 prices).


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