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Road Congestion

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made on reducing road congestion. [4381]

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Dr. Ladyman: Significant progress has been made putting measures in place to tackle congestion. Since 2001 we have completed 29 major strategic road schemes. A further 13 major schemes are currently under construction, including widening of the M25 between junctions 12 to 15 around Heathrow.

Uniformed Highways Agency Traffic Officers are now patrolling the motorway network in the West Midlands, having taken over some responsibilities from the police for clearing up quickly around incidents to keep traffic moving. The first of our new network of Regional Control Centres have taken over responsibility for Variable Message Signs from the police.

Britain's first High Occupancy Vehicle (carpool) motorway lane will be trialled on the M1 between junctions 7 and 10 (St. Albans to Luton) in 2008, following widening of the motorway. As part of an Active Traffic Management pilot on the M42 corridor between junctions 3a and 7 to the south-east of Birmingham, variable speed limits became operational this spring, with other aspects of the pilot to follow in 2006, including hard shoulder running and access management. Both schemes will operate at peak times to help minimise delay and congestion for road users.

Transport Direct, the Government's real-time travel information and journey planning service for public and private transport, was launched in December. Travellers can check as to the likelihood of delays and see whether choosing a different route, departure time or transport mode might suit them better.

The Traffic Management Act 2004 gave local authorities a duty and new powers to do all that is reasonably practicable to keep roads clear and traffic moving. The Government consulted earlier this year on plans to introduce tougher regulations on streetworks by utility companies, including higher penalties for overrunning, permit schemes and bans on carrying out works on recently dug up roads.

The Government have announced their intention to establish a Transport Innovation Fund to help local authorities develop local charging schemes.

Road Pricing

Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with the devolved administrations on road pricing. [5153]

Dr. Ladyman: The devolved administrations were represented on the Road Pricing Feasibility Study (published by the Department for Transport in July 2004), which recognised a number of issues which would need to be resolved were road pricing to be taken forward. In line with its manifesto commitments, the Government will examine the potential of moving away from the current system of motoring taxation towards a national system of road pricing. Officials from the Department for Transport maintain contact with officials from the devolved administrations in the course of business.
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Transport Innovation Fund

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) when he will announce details of the operation and size of the Transport Innovation Fund; [5187]

(2) how much has been allocated in each financial year for which allocations have been made to the Transport Innovation Fund (a) in total and (b) to local authorities for transport projects; [5188]

(3) what estimate he has made of the allocations which will be made from the Transport Innovation Fund to local authorities for transport projects in years for which allocations have not yet been finalised. [5257]

Ms Buck: Money from the Transport Innovation Fund will become available from 2008–09 and is forecast to grow from £290 million in 2008–09 to over £2billion by 2014–15. Allocations for each financial year have not yet been made.

Further information about the aims and operation of the Fund will be published shortly. The Secretary of State has confirmed, however, that ultimately up to £200 million a year will be made available from the Fund to support local authorities implementing innovative solutions to congestion problems in their local area where these include demand management based on pricing.

Transport Policy (Wales)

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the Government adviser on transport, Sir Rod Eddington, will consider any transport projects of specific relevance to Wales in his review of long-term policy. [5540]

Ms Buck [holding answer 20 June 2005]: Sir Rod Eddington will advise on the long-term impacts of transport decisions on the UK's productivity, stability and growth.

The study will look at a range of potential transport decisions across the UK. Informed by a strong evidence base, advice will be provided on how these transport decisions may affect the productivity and growth of the UK economy over the next 30 years.

Public Transport (Lancashire)

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many bus services are operated in Lancashire; how many were operated in each of the last two years; and what services are planned. [6023]

Ms Buck: I am advised by Lancashire county council that there are currently a total of 848 bus services operated in Lancashire. Of these 440 are school services. Figures for previous years are not available, but the council estimate that the current figure is a slight decrease. As the majority of bus services are provided on a commercial basis by operators, who make their own decisions on services provision, there is only limited information about planned future services.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with Lancashire county council about transport needs. [6024]

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Ms Buck: The Department for Transport and Government office north-west maintain a regular dialogue with Lancashire county council on a range of transport issues. We are currently discussing the development of their second local transport plan, a provisional version of which is due for submission on 29 July 2005.


Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list rail viaducts in use which have exceeded their original planned end-of-life date. [5225]

Derek Twigg: This is an operational matter for Network Rail. Network Rail will respond directly to the hon. Member.


Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000

Keith Vaz: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what arrangements are in place to ensure that bodies within the responsibility of his Department comply with the requirements of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000. [3540]

Mr. Hutton: The Cabinet Office produces and publishes a race equality scheme that sets out how it plans to meet the requirements of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000. This scheme also covers the Government Car and Despatch Agency. The Central Office of Information has its own scheme.


Alcohol Deaths

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer in respect of how many deaths in (a) Greater London and (b) Hornsey and Wood Green alcohol was the primary cause in each of the last five years. [5722]

John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Ms Lynne Featherstone, dated 21 June 2005:

Alcohol-related deaths(7) to usual residents of Greater London and Hornsey and Wood Green parliamentary constituency, registered 2000 to 2004
Number of deaths

Greater LondonHornsey and Wood Green

(7)For the year 2000 the cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9). The codes used by ONS to define alcohol-related deaths are listed below:
291—Alcoholic psychoses
303—Alcohol dependence syndrome
305.0—Non-dependent abuse of alcohol
425.5—Alcoholic cardiomyopathy
571—Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis
E860—Accidental poisoning by alcohol
For the years 2001–04 the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) was used. To maintain comparability with earlier years the following codes were used:
F10—Mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol
142.6—Alcoholic cardiomyopathy
K70—Alcoholic liver disease
K73—Chronic hepatitis, not elsewhere classified
K74—Fibrosis and cirrhosis of liver
X45—Accidental poisoning by and exposure to alcohol
Deaths were selected using the original underlying cause.
The selection of codes to define alcohol-related deaths is described in:
Baker A and Rooney C (2003). Recent trends in alcohol-related mortality, and the impact of ICD-10 on the monitoring of these deaths in England and Wales. Health Statistics Quarterly" 17, pp5–14.

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