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10 Oct 2005 : Column 92W—continued


Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many helicopter movements there were in the air space above the London borough of Brent in each year since 1997; [15438]

(2) how many helicopter flights have taken place in the Dollis Hill area in each year since 1997. [15562]

Ms Buck: This information is not held by my Department. I have asked the chief executive of National Air Traffic Services Ltd to write to the hon. Member.

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the (a) environmental and (b) price impacts on residential properties of low flying helicopters in the Dollis Hill area of London; and if he will make a statement. [15826]

Ms Buck: None.

Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the rules governing helicopter flights above residential areas in South-West London; and what measures are in place to (a) monitor and (b) enforce the rules. [15894]

Ms Buck: The Rules of the Air Regulations and the Air Navigation (Restriction of Flying) (Specified Area) Regulations govern flight by helicopters over London. For single engine helicopters this includes the use of specified routes and prohibition from the central area of London.

All helicopter flights in the controlled airspace over London are subject to an air traffic control clearance and compliance with their instructions is monitored by air traffic controllers. Any reported breach of these clearances or regulations are investigated by the Civil Aviation Authority, who are responsible for the enforcement of aviation legislation within the UK.

Highways Agency

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the national co-ordination within the Highways Agency; who is responsible for a national technological strategy for the agency; what management structures are in place to ensure that regional technological developments are compatible; and if he will make a statement. [15045]

Dr. Ladyman: The Highways Agency takes a co-ordinated approach to applying technology schemes across the country and targets them where they can deliver the maximum benefit.

The agency's technology strategy steering group is responsible for developing a national traffic technology strategy. This group comprises representatives from all areas of the agency that have a direct input to programme delivery and technology standards development and it, in turn, reports to a sub-group of the Highways Agency board called the strategy and planning group.
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Technology development is undertaken centrally and applied nationally once the technology has been proven and a national standard has been produced. This ensures regional compatibility.

Intelligent Speed Adaptation System

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the Intelligent Speed Adaptation system. [16319]

Dr. Ladyman: A research project into External Vehicle Speed Control (the technology now more commonly known as Intelligent Speed Adaptation or ISA) was carried out on behalf of the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions between 1997 and 2000. The results are available on the Department for Transport website and copies of the executive summary have been placed in the Library.

A further project into Intelligent Speed Adaptation began in 2001 and is expected to end in December 2006. A draft interim report for the first completed phase has been produced and submitted to the Department. However, as it is important to avoid influencing the behaviour of subsequent groups of drivers, I do not intend to publish this or subsequent interim reports. They will be made available when the project has been completed and the final report submitted.

In addition the Department has been taking part in SpeedAlert"—a European project looking at work in this field. The consortium's final report is being prepared and when it is complete copies will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Light Dues

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much revenue from light dues has been collected from ships calling at ports in (a) Scotland, (b) the Isle of Man, (c) England and Wales, (d) Northern Ireland and (e) the Republic of Ireland, in each of the last 10 financial years. [16085]

Dr. Ladyman: The information requested is set out as follows for the years 1997–98 to 2004–05. We do not have the data broken down in this way prior to 1997.

Isle of Man37,73044,42520,63619,013
England and Wales51,540,87654,942,31255,756,00657,923,612
Northern Ireland706,508617,012662,504599,415
Republic of Ireland

Isle of Man19,40126,07524,26122,969
England and Wales62,489,78360,343,91463,510,09960,825,662
Northern Ireland662,196637,722600,136586,000
Republic of Ireland

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The figures above are for General Light Dues and do not include income from UK fishing vessels and tugs.

The figures do not include any Light Dues refunds that were made.

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received from the European Commission regarding compatibility of the light dues tax with European law. [16116]

Dr. Ladyman: None.

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received from the European Commission regarding the light dues tax. [16117]

Dr. Ladyman: Under the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, the UK Government has a statutory responsibility to fund the Commissioners of Irish Lights, the General Lighthouse Authority (GLA) that provides aids to navigation in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland. The GLAs are funded from the collection of light dues, a system of user charges levied on commercial shipping calling at UK and Republic of Ireland ports. These dues are paid into the General Lighthouse Fund for which the Secretary of State has responsibility. The UK Government do not contribute to the fund.

We have received representations on light dues from two members of the European Parliament. We have not received any communication from the European Commission.

London Gateway Port Development

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the impact of the London Gateway port development, with particular reference to channel dredging and traffic, on possible future uses of the Canvey Island liquid natural gas importation facility; and if he will make a statement. [15616]

Dr. Ladyman: All relevant matters would be taken into account in consideration of any application that might be made for a liquefied natural gas importation facility at Canvey Island.


Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to resurface the area of the M3 between junctions 12 and 13 with a noise-reducing material. [16502]

Dr. Ladyman: This section of the M3 was constructed in 1991 as part of the junction 12 to 14 Pitmore to Chilworth scheme. Noise mitigation measures such as acoustic barriers and noise bunds were included as part of the construction.
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There are no plans for major resurfacing of the section of the M3 motorway between junctions 12 and 13. Resurfacing is carried out for operational reasons to maintain the safety of the carriageway. This section of the M3 is currently in a satisfactory condition and will not require major resurfacing in the foreseeable future.

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