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Prior to the work commencing, modelling work was undertaken to assess the extent of the anticipated delays to traffic and extensive publicity was undertaken to encourage drivers to avoid using the road during peak times.
Dr. Ladyman: The Highways Agency has explored every opportunity to reduce the length of time it will take to carry out the roadworks on the A38 between Ashburton and Buckfastleigh in Devon. Together with local authority environmental health officers, the agency has carefully considered the possibility of 24 hour working but this was rejected because of the effects of noise on local residents. Planning conditions to control noise also apply to the operation of the quarry that is being used to provide materials for the work.
Every effort is made to handle all correspondence effectively and efficiently. The Department for Transport and its agencies have targets of between seven and fifteen working days for replying to such correspondence.
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All correspondence from hon. Members and peers is handled in accordance with the principles set out in "Handling Correspondence from Members of Parliament, Members of the House of Lords, MEPs and Members of Devolved Assemblies:
Information relating to the performance of departments in replying to Members/peers correspondence is published on an annual basis. The report for 2004 was published on 6 April 2005, Official Report, columns 137140WS.
Ms Buck: The Department for Transport operates competency based recruitment when recruiting new employees. For posts recruiting below SCS the department follow DfT's competency framework. For posts recruiting at SCS level the department follow the competency framework set by the Cabinet Office.
Ms Buck: The Department offers a wide range of training in both literacy and numeracy to all its staff, including learn direct courses, access to further education, learning resource centres and specific training courses. Development needs are normally identified as part of the performance management processes that are in place, but staff can discuss their needs at any time with their managers.
Dr. Ladyman: The Government's policies on reducing emissions of greenhouse gases from all sectors, including the transport sector, will be set out in the revised UK Climate Change Programme, which is due to be published before the end of the year.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what policy considerations underlay the decision not to publish the Transport Research Laboratory report entitled "Safety performance of traffic management at major motorway roadworks (TRL595)". 
It is Government policy that whenever possible reports of research carried out at public expense should be made available to the public. The policy considerations underlying the decision on the form of
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publication of research reports is based on the cost of publication and the potential public interest in the subject matter.
The Executive Summary of the TRL Report "Safety performance of traffic management at major motorway road works. (TRL 595)2004" was published on the Highways Agency Research Compendium website in 2004. A link to the TRL website is available from which copies of the full report may be purchased.
Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he has taken to ensure that the introduction of a national boatmaster's licence will not adversely affect standards of safety on the River Thames. 
Dr. Ladyman: The proposals for a new national boatmaster's licence have been developed in consultation with representatives of industry, and relevant port and navigation authorities. In the case of the tidal River Thames, this is the Port of London Authority (PLA).
Dr. Ladyman: The syllabus for the driving theory test taken by candidates seeking a licence to drive a car, motorcycle, lorry or bus requires a basic knowledge and understanding of first aid. Every theory test includes a question on first aid and a separate question on accident handling. The Government considers this is the appropriate way to assess competence in basic first aid matters within the driving test.
Privately owned and run car parks are not subject to the provisions of the Private Security Industry Act 2001 or the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. The terms and conditions under which they are operated is therefore a matter for the owner and operator of the car park, not the Government. Vehicle immobilisers who have been employed by private car park owners to clamp cars and charge a fee to the owners who contravene the terms and conditions of parking are required to be licensed by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).
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Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received regarding traffic and pedestrian safety measures for the A507 between Shefford and Campton in Bedfordshire; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Ladyman: I have not received representations for this stretch of the A507, but I understand that Bedfordshire county council, as the local highway authority, has received representations relating to a number of sites on the A507.
Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) accidents and (b) fatalities have been recorded on the A507 between Shefford and Campton in Bedfordshire in each year since 1996; and if he will make a statement. 
|Number of personal injury accidents|
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