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29 Jun 2005 : Column 1552W—continued

Aviation Policy

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent representations he has received from the Sustainable Development Commission regarding the sustainability of the Government's aviation policies; and if he will make a statement. [7394]

Ms Buck: The Sustainable Development Commission have recently requested a meeting to discuss the proposals in their input to the Climate Change Programme Review. Their proposals include transport issues. A meeting will take place shortly.

Blue Badge Scheme

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made in his review of the operation of the blue badge scheme. [8065]

Ms Buck: We are working to implement the recommendations for changes to the scheme made by our statutory advisers, the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee.

These changes involve amendment to both primary and secondary legislation as well as further research in some areas and revised guidance to local authorities.

Primary legislation

Provision for a power to inspect blue badges has been made through Section 94 of the Traffic Management Act 2004. We will be consulting on the guidance for enforcement officers and badge holders during the
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summer. The new power will be introduced later this year by commencement order once the necessary guidance is in place.

Two other changes have been included in the Disability Discrimination Act 2005. One to change the term 'institution' used in existing blue badge legislation to 'organisation' and another to allow for reciprocity with European Union member states and other countries. These measures are due to be introduced by commencement order at the end of June.

Secondary legislation

We are working on the recommendations requiring changes to regulations (including extending the scheme to children under the age of two and those with temporary disabilities) and we will consult on the draft regulatory package during the summer this year.


We have recently let contracts for the following projects:

Two of the projects are scheduled for completion in December this year and the central London project in February next year, when final reports should be available.


New guidance for issuing authorities and badge holders will be produced to cover all aspects of the scheme and issued when changes have been introduced.

Laptop Computers

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many laptop computers have been used by (a) Ministers, (b) special advisers and (c) officials in his Department in each year since 1995; how many have been (i) lost and (ii) stolen in that period; what the cost of the use of laptops in that period was; and if he will make a statement. [4116]

Ms Buck: The information requested on the use of laptop computers by officials in each year since 1995 is not available centrally or in the form requested, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The number of laptop computers available for use by Ministers, special advisers and their offices since the establishment of the Department for Transport on 29 May 2002 is as follows:

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Departmental records show the following numbers of lost or stolen laptop computers since the establishment of the Department for Transport on 29 May 2002:
Department for Transport47
Driving Standards Agency11
Highways Agency110
Maritime and Coastguard Agency65
Vehicle Certification Agency2
Vehicle and Operator Services Agency13


Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects a direct rail link between Thirsk and London to be established; and if he will make a statement. [7726]

Derek Twigg: The Office of Rail Regulation is examining an application from Grand Central Railway to operate a direct rail service from Sunderland to London Kings Cross calling at Thirsk and will announce its findings in due course.

Mr. Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans his Department has for the future of sleeper train services in the UK; and if he will make a statement. [7105]

Mr. Darling: There is no general policy in relation to sleeper services. When considering the specification for each new franchise the value for money and affordability of all services currently provided by that franchise will be considered.

Mr. Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much money his Department has spent on preparatory work on light rail projects in (a) Manchester, (b) Liverpool, (c) Leeds and (d) Portsmouth. [7113]

Mr. Darling: My Department has provided £119 million to Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive towards the scheme costs for Phase III of Manchester Metrolink. An additional £80 million has been provided to allow GMPTE to buy out the concession for Metrolink.

We are providing £4.2 million towards the preparatory costs incurred for developing the Merseytram Line 1 proposal.

We have provided £6 million to West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive towards the scheme costs for Leeds Supertram proposal.

We have provided £3 million to the promoters of South Hampshire Rapid Transit towards the scheme costs.

Road Schemes

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent on (a) capital projects, (b) maintenance and (c) improvement schemes on (i)motorways and (ii) trunk roads in (A) West Sussex,
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(B) Kent, (C) Durham, (D) East Riding of Yorkshire and (E) each English county in each of the last eight years. [7968]

Dr. Ladyman: The information cannot be provided as records are not readily available in the format requested and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the (a) cost and (b) location was of each by-pass scheme approved in each of the past 15 years. [6545]

Dr. Ladyman: The following table provides information on by-passes that have been fully approved through the Local Transport Plan programme or have entered the Highways Agency's Targeted Programme of Improvements. Information is not held on trunk road by-passes prior to 1997 and prior to 2000 for major local road schemes.


(b) Location
(a) Cost
(£ million)
Derby Southern By-pass and Derby SpurDerbyshire19.8
Blackburn Southern By-pass Contract ILancashire66
Blackburn Southern By-pass Contract IILancashire80
Stratton By-pass (DBFO)Wiltshire/Gloucestershire(3)104.6
Latton By-pass (DBFO)Wiltshire/Gloucestershire
Market Deeping/Deeping St. James By-passLincolnshire7.6
Newbury By-passBerkshire73.3
Puddleton By-pass (DBFO)Devon/Dorset(4)135.1
Derby Southern By-pass Contract BLeicestershire9.6
Polegate By-passEast Sussex28.9
Silverstone By-pass (including costs relating to A43 Whitifeld Turn-Brackley Hatch Improvement and M40-B4031 Dualling)Northamptonshire107.1
Clapham By-passBedfordshire43.9
Stainburn and Great Clifton By-passCumbria12.5
Great Glen By-passLeicestershire20.9
Nesscliffe By-passShropshire20.2
Basford, Hough, Shavington By-passCheshire54.3
Rothwell-Desborough By-passNorthamptonshire19
Rushden and Higham Ferrers By-passNorthamptonshire15.7
Aston Clinton By-passBuckinghamshire44.4
Alvaston By-passDerbyshire22.3
Bingley Relief RoadBradford MBC90.5
Selby By-passNorth Yorkshire66.1
Wadesmill Colliers EndHertfordshire40.1
Lamberhurst By-passKent25.5
Chilton By-passDurham9
Skelton Brotton By-passRedcar and Cleveland16
A4146 Stoke Hammond/Linslade Western By-passBuckinghamshire53.8
Denaby Main DiversionDoncaster9
Barnsley Coalfields Link RoadBarnsley6.5
A57 Cadishead Way (Brinell Drive to City Boundary)Salford, Greater Manchester19.9
Carlisle Northern Development RouteCarlisle, Cumbria(5)78.8
Rearsby By-passLeicestershire7.5
Partney By-pass—scheme part of 3 phasesLincolnshire15.5
Gloucester South West By-passGloucestershire35.7
Barnstaple Western By-passDevon39.9
Broome-Ellingham By-passNorfolk7.09
Great Leighs By-passEssex17.1
Baldock By-passHertfordshire47.3
A142 Fordham By-passCambridgeshire12.5

(3)Latest outturn cost for the A417/A419 Swindon to Gloucester DBFO.
(4)Latest outturn cost for the A30/A35 Exeter-Bere Regis DBFO.

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