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Mr. Ingram: The UK aerospace industry has a developing capability to incorporate stealthy techniques into the development and manufacture of manned and unmanned air vehicles. For security reasons we would not wish to comment on the detail of these techniques.
John Reid: Insurgents continue in their efforts to destabilise progress in Iraq. Although attacks continue, the numbers of these attacks have declined since the elections in January, with the majority confined to four out of 18 provinces in Iraq. The Iraqi Security Forces are conducting, both independently and with coalition support, an increasing number of counter-insurgency operations.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what recent representations he has received on the effects of marine noise pollution in UK waters generated by the activities of UK defence forces, with particular reference to Sonar 2087, on (a) marine mammals and (b) other marine life; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what recent research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the effects of marine noise pollution in UK waters generated by the activities of UK defence forces on (i) marine mammals and (ii) other marine life, with particular reference to Sonar 2087; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Touhig: The Ministry of Defence has an ongoing dialogue with non-governmental organisations (NGOs), members of the public and the media concerning Sonar 2087 and the potential for its effect on the environment. On 29 June 2005, the leader of the team responsible for the development of the Sonar 2087 system met with representatives of various NGOs in order to listen to and address their concerns.
As stated in the answer given by my predecessor to the hon. Member on 1 September 2004, Official Report, column 724W, the Ministry of Defence has a sustained programme of research into the effects of active sonar generally. This work is used to inform Environmental Impact Assessments on marine environments in which sonar might be used by the Royal Navy, rather than in the specific context of United Kingdom territorial waters. The environmental assessment reports relating to the Sonar 2087 sea trials conducted in 2002 and 2004 are now available for release and copies will be placed in the Library of the House.
The baseline cost of the Meteorological Office's relocation project (including the move from Bracknell and the relocation of staff) was set at
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£98.3 million. The out turn cost was £106.2 million, which included an increase of £6.6 million to cover necessary additions to the original specification, and £1.3 million primarily related to staff relocation costs caused by the very high percentage of staff choosing to relocate.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much the Meteorological Office has (a) sought and (b) received in (i) loans and (ii) one-off financial support from his Department in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Touhig: The Meteorological Office became a Trading Fund in 1996. Initial loans provided from the Ministry of Defence to enable the Met Office to vest totalled £37.7 million. This loan was repaid by 2001. No further loans or financial support have been sought by the Met Office since.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much revenue was generated from customers in the public and private sectors by (a) the weather centres in (i) Aberdeen, (ii) Belfast, (iii)Birmingham, (iv) Cardiff, (v) London and (vi)Manchester and (b) the Meteorological Office headquarters in Exeter in each year since 2000. 
Mr. Touhig: The Meteorological Office civil centres are not stand alone business units. They are primarily forecasting production units drawing on, and contributing to, other parts of the Met Office in order to deliver outputs. It is not therefore possible to provide information on revenue generation by individual civil centres.
Mr. Touhig: The Meteorological Office is a Trading Fund, and accordingly no voted funds are provided to it by the Government. The Met Office earns revenue by providing customers with products and services they require. The revenue earned from central Government Departments in support of National Programmes (comprising the National Met Programme, Public Weather Services, Climate Research and Defence Services) is as follows:
|Financial Year||£ million|
Dr. Ladyman: The Highways Agency has not received any representations about the issuing of draft orders for the proposed A21 improvement schemes as none have yet been published. The priorities for the A21 improvement schemes are subject to advice by regional stakeholders.
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has made to the EU on ensuring that the implementation of working hours restrictions in the transport sector is monitored in each EU member state. 
Dr. Ladyman: We are aware that a number of member states have not yet implemented Directive 2002/15/EC on the organisation of the working time of persons performing mobile road transport activities. My Department has raised this with the Commission and understand that proceedings have been started against those member states.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will assess the merits of constructing heavy goods vehicles (HGV) crawler lanes along appropriate stretches of the M1 motorway coupled with restricting HGV's using lanes other than the crawler lane and the inside one as a means of reducing motorway congestion; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Highways Agency currently have no plans to construct heavy good vehicle (HGV) crawler lanes on the M1 motorway. However, they are intending to run a trial on the M42 in the West Midlands between junctions 10 and 11 northbound, that will restrict HGVs over 7.5 tonnes from using the outer lane of this two lane stretch of the motorway. The results from the trial will determine whether this measure should be deployed more widely.
The agency does have plans to construct crawler lanes at four locations elsewhere on the motorway network. These are at M27 junction 11 to 12, M5 junction 17 to 18A Northbound, M5 junction 19 to 20 southbound and M5 junction 19 to 20 northbound. However, at present there are no plans to restrict HGVs from using lanes other than the crawler lanes.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received on the effectiveness of the Large Goods Vehicle and Passenger Carrying Vehicle Hazard Perception Test; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Ladyman: We have recently received a representation from an instructor questioning the Hazard Perception assessment which learner lorry and bus drivers must satisfy to a suitable standard as part of their driving test.
The Hazard Perception Test was introduced in November 2002 for all categories of learner driver. It assesses competence at recognising hazards as they develop on the road. Research has identified this as a
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key road safety skill linked to accident liability. Acknowledging their greater responsibilities, the pass mark for lorry and bus drivers is set higher than that for car drivers.
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