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Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he has taken to measure trends in numbers of complaints related to aircraft noise at the UK's major airports; whether the Government have commenced implementation of EU Directive 2002/49/EC on noise mapping; and what measures the Government introduced to promote research and development into new low noise engine and airframe technologies. 
Ms Buck: Operational noise complaints (as distinct from representations about policy) are properly a matter for individual airports, many of which regularly publish their own summary statistics of complaints or enquiries. Any complaints received by the CAA or DfT are referred back to them. We do not operate a "complaints database". EU Directive 2002/49/EC relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise is being implemented separately in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Public consultation has occurred or is on-going in all the Administrations. It is expected that regulations will be in force early next year, whereupon noise mapping will commence to meet the requirements of the directive.
The Government's commitment to supporting technological developments to address the environmental impact of air transport is recorded in The Future of Air Transport White Paper. The Government, in conjunction with the industry, have adopted stretching European targets (from the EC Advisory Council for Aerospace Research in Europe) for environmental performance of new aircraft and engines by 2020. We continue to maintain
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pressure for technological development through national strategy research support and through work in international fora.
Derek Twigg [pursuant to the reply, 24 May 2005, Official Report, c. 553]: We monitor rolling stock reliability on all routes, including branch lines, to ensure that train reliability improvements play their part in achieving our target of 85 per cent. on-time performance across the network by 2006 with further improvements by 2008.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on his policy on the construction of bypasses; and which areas have submitted (a) proposals and (b) objections to proposals to him since 1997. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Government recognise the important role that bypasses can play in helping to reduce the volume of traffic passing through towns and villages and improving the quality of life for residents by relieving congestion, improving air quality and pedestrian safety, decreasing traffic noise and in some cases re-uniting severed communities. The programme of road schemes being taken forward by the Highways Agency and local authorities includes a number of bypass schemes which will bring real benefits to the communities that they relieve.
Between 1 January 1997 and 31 March 2005, the Secretary of State determined scheme orders for 45 bypasses which were submitted by local highway authorities to him for confirmation. These can be split into the following areas:
Route capacity is dependent on a combination of train service pattern, type and speed. At the operational level, it is for Network Rail to allocate capacity under its licence from the Office of Rail Regulation, which regulates track access for existing and would-be operators. The Strategic Rail Authority has been considering the medium-term availability of capacity on the East Coast route and plan to publish a
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report summarising the work to date when responsibility for rail strategy transfers to the Department for Transport in late June.
Ms Buck: None in recent months. The airport operator is currently preparing its master plan document, which will include an indication of its future development proposals. I understand that consultation on the draft master plan is to take place during the summer.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many times during the (a) Italian, (b) Irish and (c) Dutch presidency of the EU the (i) Committee for the establishment of conditions for the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system, (ii) Committee on the adaptation to scientific and technical progress of legislation concerning the transport of dangerous goods and (iii) Committee for the adaptation to technical progress of recording equipment in road transport (tachographs) met; when and where these meetings took place; what UK Government expert was present; and if he will make a statement. 
(i) During the period in question, there were seven meetings of this Committee, held in Brussels, in October and December 2003, and in March, April, July, November and December 2004. The meetings were all attended by the Director, European Technical, SRA, supported where necessary by one other person from the UK industry or Government.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many times during the (a) Italian, (b) Irish and (c) Dutch presidency of the EU the (i) Committee on the harmonisation of technical requirements and administrative procedures in the field of civil aviation and (ii) Committee on application of the legislation on access to the groundhandling market at community airports met; when and where these meetings took place; what Government expert was present; and if he will make a statement. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many times during the (a) Italian, (b) Irish and (c) Dutch presidency of the EU the (i) Committee on the driving licence met, (ii) Advisory Committee on access for Community air carriers to intra-community air routes and (iii) Advisory Committee on the definition and use of compatible technical and operating standards and specifications for
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the procurement of air-traffic management equipment and systems met; when and where these meetings took place; what UK Government expert was present; and if he will make a statement. 
(i) This Committee met four times during the period in question in Brussels, in July 2003, November 2003, March 2004 and November 2004. Officials from the Licensing, Roadworthiness and Insurance Division of the Department for Transport, and from the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and the Driver and vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) attended as necessary.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many times during the (a) Italian, (b) Irish and (c) Dutch presidency of the EU the (i) Committee on implementation of Protocol 9 to the Act of Austria concerning transport by road and rail and combined transport (Ecopoints), (ii) Committee for the adaptation to technical progress of roadworthiness tests of vehicles and (iii) Committee for a transparent system of harmonised rules for restrictions on heavy goods vehicles involved in international transport on designated roads met; when and where these meetings took place; what UK Government expert was present; and if he will make a statement. 
(i) This Committee met on one occasion during the period in question, in September 2003 in Brussels. The Department for Transport was represented by an official of its Road Freight Operations Policy Division.
(ii) This Committee met in July 2003. The Department for Transport was represented by an official from its Licensing, Roadworthiness and Insurance Division. An advisor from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) also attended.
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