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Written Answers to Questions

Friday 18 March 2005

TRANSPORT

Airport Security Staff

Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reason security staff at English airports are vetted by the Scottish Criminal Records Bureau; and for how long this has been the case. [222604]

Charlotte Atkins [holding answer 17 March 2005]: Security staff at UK airports are vetted by the Department for Transport at Counter-Terrorist Check (CTC) Level. All other staff who need to work in the Restricted Zone at airports are required to undergo a check of their criminal record. Such staff need to provide a Basic Disclosure certificate to the pass issuing authority (Aerodrome Manager). At present the only source of such a certificate is Disclosure Scotland (part of the Scottish Criminal Records Office). The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), which provides the Disclosure service in England and Wales, is considering its approach to the introduction of Basic Disclosures as part of a strategy review.

Cycle Lanes (York)

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many miles of cycle lanes there have been in York in each year since 1996–97. [222230]

Charlotte Atkins: The following table gives details of the number of miles of cycle lanes (plus, in addition, cycle tracks) built and opened in York covering the years 1996–97 to 2005–06. No figures are available for 1996–97 to 1997–98 as records were not kept on cycle track/lane lengths at that time.
Cycle tracksCycle lanes
1998–991.20.6
1999–20000.60.6
2000–011.91.3
2001–026.22.5
2002–036.22.5
2003–047.53.1
2004–056.22.5
2005–066.32.5

Driving Licences

Mr. Forth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of the adult population of the United Kingdom has a driver's licence. [221831]

Mr. Jamieson: The latest available comparable figures for the United Kingdom show that, at the end of 2002, the number of licence holders was 40,676,136 representing 85.69 per cent. of the eligible population of 47,469,700.
 
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Heathrow Airport

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the latest assessment is of the terminal facilities which would be required if a third runway were to be constructed at Heathrow. [221652]

Charlotte Atkins: In its response to consultation prior to the Air Transport White Paper, BAA argued that the full potential of an additional third runway at Heathrow could not be realised without a sixth terminal to the north of the A4 and suggested four possible options for new facilities. The White Paper itself acknowledged this.

Work is still under way within BAA to examine the options and impacts, as part of the Project for the Sustainable Development of Heathrow, and any proposals would be the subject of consultation in due course.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the work being undertaken by Project Heathrow on the future development of runway capacity at Heathrow airport is restricted to examining the implications of a new short runway. [222223]

Charlotte Atkins: As set out in the Air Transport White Paper, the programme of work known as the Project for the Sustainable Development of Heathrow includes consideration of the scope for greater utilisation of the two existing runways as well as the possible addition of a third short runway.

Kerrier Home Zone Project

Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consultation was conducted by Kerrier district council regarding the North Close Home Zone project; how much the consultation cost; and what conclusions were published. [222656]

Charlotte Atkins: Cornwall county council is the authority responsible for implementing the North Close Home Zone project. Kerrier district council has carried out consultation on behalf of, and in partnership with, the county council, and was directly responsible for the organisation of the initial consultation fun day. Other consultation has included door to door surveys, leaflets, exhibitions and statutory consultation.

Overall, the county council reports that approximately £29,350 has been spent on the consultation element of the project.

Results of the consultation have not been published by the county council but have been discussed at meetings of the project working group, the minutes of which are circulated widely.

Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much has been spent on the North Close Home Zone project, broken down by main budget heading. [222658]

Charlotte Atkins: Cornwall county council, the authority responsible for the development and implementation of the North Close Home Zone, reports that by mid February this year it had spent £481,500 on the project, of which £460,000 has been provided from the Department's Home Zones Challenge fund.
 
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The council has broken this figure down as follows: £29,350 on consultation, £44,500 on detailed design and £407,650 on construction.

Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of Kerrier district council's management of the funds for the North Close Home Zone project. [222659]

Charlotte Atkins: Kerrier district council have had no involvement in the management of the funds for the North Close Home Zone project. Cornwall county council are responsible for implementation of the scheme and, therefore, the management of the funds, including the Department's grant from the Home Zones Challenge.

The payment of grant is subject to terms and conditions which set out the requirements relating to the provision of quarterly finance and progress reports and the need for annual certification by an auditor appointed by the Audit Commission. A copy of the terms and conditions was placed in the House of Commons Library in May 2004.

The Secretary of State has appointed a consultant to assist with the management of the Home Zones Challenge, to monitor progress of the schemes and to disseminate good practice. Local authority quarterly finance and progress reports are reviewed and summarised by the consultant in reports to the Department and are taken into account in considering and approving payments. The schemes are reviewed regularly at regional meetings and authorities are visited periodically by officials from the Department and/or the programme consultant to review individual schemes.

Local Authority-sponsored Schemes

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what documentation a local authority sponsoring a major transport scheme is required to produce between the confirmation of compulsory purchase orders and the full approval of funding for the scheme. [222362]

Charlotte Atkins [holding answer 17 March 2005]: The Department issued a guidance note to local authorities in December 2004 on the information that local authorities are now required to submit when seeking full approval and release of funding for major transport schemes under the Local Transport Programme. A copy of this guidance will be placed in the House Library.

London Underground

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment the Government have made of the merits of extending the Central Line of the London Underground network from Shepherd's Bush to Uxbridge. [222218]

Mr. McNulty: The Government have made no such assessment. Proposals for enhancements to the London Underground network are a matter for the Mayor of London. The Mayor undertook a public consultation exercise on proposals for the West London Tram from
 
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Shepherd's Bush to Uxbridge between June and October 2004 and announced the results on 1 March 2005.

Speed Cameras

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the organisations which have been consulted by his Department on its proposal to outlaw equipment which detects the presence of speed cameras; and on which dates they were consulted. [222693]

Mr. Jamieson: The Department for Transport consulted the following organisations on proposals to prohibit the use of speed assessment equipment detection devices in January 2001.

This proposal was deferred pending primary legislation which would give powers to prohibit a vehicle being fitted with or a person using a vehicle carrying these devices.

The Road Safety Bill includes such an enabling power. The precise type of devices that would be prohibited would be identified in regulations made under section 41 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. A statutory consultation would be held on the secondary legislation proposals.
 
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