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24 May 2005 : Column 64W—continued

Civil Aviation Authority Study

Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he will publish his response to the Civil Aviation Authority fifth freedoms study. [181]

Ms Buck: The Civil Aviation Authority completed its consultation on this study on 13 May, and we expect that it will submit the final version of the study to the Department shortly. The response will follow in due course after we have carefully considered the content of the study.


Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what (a) priority and (b) funding his Department has committed to Crossrail. [433]

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Derek Twigg: The Department attaches a very high priority to Crossrail. That is why we introduced a hybrid Bill for the project in February 2005, and reintroduced it on 18 May.

The Government remain equally committed to finding an equitable funding package for Crossrail. We will bring forward funding proposals during the passage of the Bill.

M1 Motorway

Mr. Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reason the fencing being erected north of junction 11 alongside the southbound carriageways of the M1 motorway are not being set back to allow for future planned widening to take place. [179]

Dr. Ladyman: While the Government have announced their intention to widen the M1 in this area, the plans are still at an early stage, requiring land outside the current boundary.

The fencing at junction 11 is being erected inside the highway boundary to give the residents of Luton relief from severe noise problems. The construction of the fence allows the infill panel to be re-used at a later date, should the widening scheme proceed.

Motorbike Noise

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on maximum noise levels from motor-powered two-wheeled vehicles. [688]

Dr. Ladyman: Under the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 and the Motor Cycles etc. (EC Type Approval) Regulations 1999, motor powered two wheeled vehicles must be constructed to meet the following maximum noise levels (dB(A)) when subjected to a drive-by noise test.
Date of first useMopedsMotor cycles
Pre 1 April 1983No requirementNo requirement

1 April 1983 to

Up to 80cc=79dB(A)
31 March 199174dB(A)126–350cc=84dB(A)

Over 500cc=87dB(A)
1 April 1991 to
Up to 80cc=78dB(A)
16 June 200375dB(A)81–175cc=80dB(A)

Over 175cc=83dB(A)
Up to 25km/h=66dB(A)Up to 80cc=75dB(A)
From 17 June 2003Over 25km/h=71dB(A)81–175cc=77dB(A)

Over 175cc=80dB(A)

Measures are also in place to ensure that these standards are maintained as far as possible in service by ensuring that inappropriate after-market/replacement silencers that would make motorcycles significantly noisier should not be sold or fitted and by enforcement of such measures at MOT, at the roadside and at point of sale.
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New Road Routes

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list areas where studies are being undertaken on sites of (a) historical, (b) environmental and (c) archaeological importance that are being considered as possible new motorway and trunk road routes. [467]

Dr. Ladyman [holding answer 23 May 2005]: The Highways Agency undertakes environmental impact assessment studies for all proposed new motorway and all-purpose trunk road schemes. All sites of historical, environmental and archaeological importance that may be affected by route options will be subject to an appropriate level of assessment. The areas where these assessment studies are being undertaken are those associated with the Targeted Programme of Improvements listed at Appendix 5 in the Highways Agency's Business Plan 2005–06 which is available in the House of Commons Library.

Road Construction Costs

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average cost is of constructing a mile of (a) motorway and (b) trunk road. [464]

Dr. Ladyman: The average cost of building one mile of new (a) motorway: £23 million per mile (b) Dual lane carriageway: £12 million per mile. In considering the cost of a new road there is a vast array of variables, not least the difference between urban or rural areas, new route or existing network. Factors such as quality of land, site geology, drainage, environmental mitigation, traffic management or restricted access can all have a large impact on cost.

Road Tolls

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to introduce (a) further toll motorways and (b) tolls on other major roads. [450]

Dr. Ladyman [holding answer 23 May 2005]: Last summer's consultation exercise, "M6: giving motorists a choice" sought views on whether the Department should develop the option of an M6 Expressway between Birmingham and Manchester as an alternative to the current option to widen the M6 between junctions 11a and 19. The Government are considering the response to the consultation and will respond in due course.

The Government are introducing a Lorry Road User Charge (LRUC) to ensure that all hauliers, regardless of nationality, pay their fair share towards the costs they impose in the UK. Responsibility for implementing LRUC has been laid to HM Revenue and Customs.

In line with their manifesto commitment, the Government are examining the potential of moving away from the current system of motoring taxation towards a national system of road pricing.
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24. Miss Begg: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will take steps to provide a single point for citizens to register change of details with all Government agencies through the e-government system. [445]

Mr. Murphy: The Cabinet Office offered an online 'change of address' service for Government some years ago. The service was not popular and was discontinued.

However much has changed in the way people use online services since then and the underlying principle that responsible citizens should only have to tell us changes once is a good one.

We shall explore that in the Cabinet Office led work on service delivery within the "Connecting the UK: the Digital Strategy" initiative announced in March.


25. David Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what part the Strategy Unit has played in advancing e-democracy. [446]

Mr. Murphy: The Strategy Unit has not undertaken any work on e-democracy. The e-Government Unit in the Cabinet Office was taking this work forward, however, responsibility has now transferred to the Department for Constitutional Affairs.

Better Regulation Task Force

26. Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what plans he has for ensuring that the Better Regulation Task Force becomes more effective. [447]

Mr. Hutton: The Better Regulation Task Force is already an extremely effective champion of better regulation and we have made a commitment to build on this further.

We plan to put the Task Force on a permanent footing and give it additional responsibilities, including providing independent scrutiny of departmental plans for simplification, in becoming the Better Regulation Commission.

Civil Servants

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list civil servants seconded to European Union (a) institutions and (b) working committees, broken down by post occupied; and what the appointment criteria were in each case. [494]

Mr. Hutton: 118 UK civil servants are seconded to the European institutions as "Seconded National Experts" as at 23 May 2005. This figure is subject to change. The distribution of these secondees in the European Union is shown in the following table.

Selection by the institution is generally on the basis of presentation of a curriculum vitae for each candidate, usually followed by interviews, based on the requirements of each vacancy. UK Departments will submit details of only those civil servants whom they
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consider suitable for the posts and who will enhance their expertise during the secondment to the longer-term benefit of the Department or civil service as a whole.

At any time a further 10 to 14 UK civil servants are on short-term traineeships ("stages") to the European Commission. Other UK civil servants may visit the Commission for short-term work experience visits but these would not be centrally recorded.

The majority of UK staff who sit on Council or Commission working groups or management committees are serving UK civil servants, employed in the UK permanent representation to the European Union in Brussels or working in UK Departments and travelling to Brussels or Luxembourg for meetings.
Institution/area of work or Directorate-GeneralNumber of secondees
European Commission
DG Agriculture and Rural Development2
DG Competition5
DG Development5
Humanitarian Aid Office1
DG Economic and Financial Affairs5
DG Education and Culture2
DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities7
DG Transport and Energy6
DG Enlargement2
DG Enterprise and Energy3
DG Environment6
EuropeAid(Co-operation Office4
DG External Relations10
DG Fisheries and Maritime Affairs1
DG Health and Consumer Protection8
DG Information Society and Media1
DG Internal Market and Services8
Joint Research Centre2
DG Justice Freedom and Security4
Legal Service1
DG Personnel and Administration1
DG Regional Policy3
DG Research3
DG Taxation and Customs Union7
DG Trade7
Secretariat General1
European Commission total108
Council of Ministers
General Secretariat1
Data Protection Secretariat1
Private Office1
External Economic Relations1
CUEMC(Euro Military Staff Council Secretariat1
Council of Ministers total5
European Maritime Safety Agency3
European Parliament/Budgetary Control Committee1
European Parliament/Internal Policies1
Overall total118

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