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5 Apr 2005 : Column 1310W—continued


Air Travellers (Financial Protection)

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions his Department has had with consumer organisations about the future of air traveller financial protection. [224613]

Charlotte Atkins: The Department has consulted widely with relevant stakeholders on the future financial protection of air travellers including the Air Transport Users' Council.

The Department, in conjunction with the Civil Aviation Authority, held two industry stakeholder meetings to inform interested parties, including the Air Transport Users' Council, of the approach being taken to the economic modelling being undertaken to assess the impact of a range of options for the future financial protection of air travellers.

East Midlands Airport

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with the (a) Civil Aviation Authority and (b) management of Nottingham East Midlands airport about the noise and air pollution effects of the two new flight paths over Leicestershire in and out of the airport. [224351]

Charlotte Atkins: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has primary responsibility for assessing airspace change proposals, in accordance with Directions and Guidance issued to them by the Secretary of State. Written details of the proposed new routes at Nottingham East Midlands airport (NEMA) were
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supplied to the Department, along with a detailed environmental assessment, and representatives from the CAA attended meetings with me and with my predecessor on this matter. The management of NEMA also presented the proposals to a meeting of local Members of Parliament, convened by my predecessor.

Government Transport Adviser (Aviation)

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what appointments procedure was followed for the appointment of Mr Rod Eddington as a transport adviser to the Government on aviation. [224163]

Charlotte Atkins: The Secretary of State for Transport and the Chancellor have appointed Rod Eddington to advise them on the longer-term impact of transport decisions on the UK's productivity, stability and growth.


Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what contracts his Department has for maintenance work to be undertaken by (a) the Trinity House Lighthouse Service, (b) the Northern Lighthouse Board and (c) the Irish Lights; and what the financial value is of each. [224602]

Mr. Jamieson: The General Lighthouse Authorities do not have any contracts to undertake maintenance work in the UK or Ireland for the Department for Transport.

Trinity House Lighthouse Service does, however, carry out residual statutory responsibilities for the Colonial Lighthouse Service on behalf of the Department.

M6 Toll Road

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to announce the results of his consultation on the proposed new M6 Toll Road between Birmingham and Manchester; and if he will make a statement. [224177]

Mr. Jamieson: The Government is considering the response to the consultation and will respond in due course.

Maritime and Coastguard Agency Budget

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency budget was for (a) coastguards, (b) ship inspectors, (c) depots and (d) emergency towing vessels in each year since it was established. [224603]

Mr. Jamieson: The Maritime and Coastguard Agency's expenditure is set out in the following table:

CoastguardShip inspectorsAccommodationEmergency towing vessels
Resource accounts
Cash accounts

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The resource accounts figures include depreciation and capital charge which are not included within the cash accounts outturns.

New Transport Schemes

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what conditions his Department has set on the £1 billion offered to West Midlands local authorities for new transport schemes. [224734]

Charlotte Atkins: My colleague the Minister of State for Transport (Tony McNulty) wrote to the West Midlands Regional Assembly on 9 July 2003 setting out the Secretary of State's response to the West Midlands Area Multi-Modal Study. In that letter, the full text of which is available at, he set out the terms under which the Secretary of State would be prepared to consider making available up to £1 billion of capital funding for the West Midlands conurbation.

Operation Stack

Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to replace Operation Stack on the M20; and if he will make a statement. [224453]

Mr. Jamieson: The Highways Agency is reviewing what improvements may be possible in the short and long term to reduce delays and disruption for travellers. These options include the modified use of Operation Stack, with and without contraflow working on the M20 London bound carriageway, and a possible lorry park for use as a holding area for HGVs waiting to travel to the continent.

Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the numberof journeys affected by Operation Stack on the M20. [224457]

Mr. Jamieson: During 2004 Kent police activated Operation Stack on six occasions. Between 27 January and 29 March 2005 it has been necessary to implement Operation Stack on 17 occasions because of the difficulties with the docking facilities in Calais and the effects of industrial action in France.

Kent police do not hold detailed records that show how many vehicles have actually been affected by the implementation of Operation Stack. However, there are approximately 23,000 vehicles per day travelling on the M20 between Junctions 11 and 12 on the coastbound carriageway (Phase one of Operation Stack) and approximately 30,000 vehicles per day travelling between Junctions eight and nine on the coastbound (Phase two of Operation Stack). When Operation Stack
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is implemented a large proportion of these vehicles would have to alter their route, change their travel plans and may experience a delay to their journey.

Transport Access (Disabled)

Mr. Dhanda: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to extend anti-discrimination legislation to make all public transport accessible to disabled people. [224539]

Charlotte Atkins: The Government are committed to an accessible public transport system in which disabled people have the same opportunities to travel as other members of society. We have already introduced regulations under part 5 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) to make all new trains, buses and coaches accessible and have announced our proposals for taxis. However, although associated infrastructure is covered, transport services are currently exempt from part 3 of the DDA which covers access to goods, services and facilities. The Government consider that to be an untenable position.

Measures have been included in the Disability Discrimination Bill currently being considered by Parliament to allow for the removal of that exemption through regulations. We have completed consultation on draft regulations which would cover public transport—trains (including light rail, underground and trams), buses, coaches, taxis and private hire—vehicle hire, breakdown services and vehicles used in leisure and tourism transport services. Subject to the passage of the Bill, we intend to lift the exemption for those services in December 2006.

Transport Knowledge Partnership

Dr. Moonie: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions his Department has had with the Department for International Development on the setting up of the Transport Knowledge Partnership; and if he will make a statement. [224104]

Mr. McNulty: The Department for Transport has not had discussions with the Department for International Development (DFID) on this issue. The global Transport Knowledge Partnership is an international initiative to increase the capacity of developing countries to share and apply knowledge and information for sustainable transport. DFID supports the initiative and has committed up to £2 million to it over a period of four years.

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