Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many consultations the Highways Agency has had with residents affected by the proposed A21 upgrade between Flimwell and Robertsbridge. 
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what plans the Highways Agency has to consult residents affected by the proposed alterations to Northbridge Street in Robertsbridge, East Sussex as part of the proposed A21 upgrade; 
Dr. Ladyman: The Agency has received a petition signed by 69 residents outlining their concerns about the plans to alter Northbridge Street, and one letter from a local organisation suggesting an alternative solution.
The Highways Agency has written to the Chairman of the Hurst Green Parish Council asking him to act as the focal point for interested parties and has suggested that a meeting take place in mid November to discuss, among other issues, the proposed alterations to Northbridge Street.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received from the Highways Agency on plans to consult members of the public affected by the proposed upgrade of the A21 between Flimwell and Robertsbridge. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Highways Agency has suggested a further meeting in mid-November with the Hurst Green Parish Council and local representatives to discuss the concerns that have been raised by the members of the public affected by the proposed upgrade.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reason the A42 was closed on 17 August 2005; how long the closure was in force; and upon whose authority the closure was (a) instigated and (b) lifted. 
The A42 was closed on 17 August as a result of an accident. A food delivery lorry crossed over the central reservation from the southbound to the
31 Oct 2005 : Column 666W
northbound carriageway, damaging the central safety barrier. Both northbound lanes and lane two southbound were closed from 12 pm to allow for the removal of the vehicle and its perishable load and for barrier repair work to be carried out.
The southbound carriageway was fully reopened together with lane one northbound at 5.56 pm. The northbound carriageway was fully opened at 7.25 pm. The closure was instigated and subsequently lifted by Leicestershire police.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will assess the adequacy of security arrangements at all airports for which his Department is responsible to take account of the threat level indicated by the recent London bombings, with particular reference to smaller airports; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Buck: Security arrangements at all airports in the National Aviation Security Programme, irrespective of size, are regularly reviewed in the light of all available information. UK airports have been operating an enhanced level of security since the attacks in the USA of 11 September 2001.
Mrs. Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will set out, with statistical evidence relating as closely as possible to Gateshead East and Washington West constituency, the effects in Gateshead East and Washington West of changes to his Department's policies since 1997. 
Ms Buck: The Department has put in place a considerable programme of improvements across a wide range of transport policy areas since 1997. I am confident that the Gateshead East and Washington West constituency will have benefited from these. For example, the injury totals for all road casualties in Great Britain fell from 327,803 in 1997 to 280,840 in 2004, and the numbers of children aged less than 16 years killed or seriously injured on our roads fell from 6,452 in 1997 to 3,905 in 2004. On our railways, passenger kilometres have increased from 32.1 billion in 199667 to 42.4 billion in 200405, a rise of 32 per cent. In terms of improvements to air quality, emissions of the UK's two main pollutants, nitrous oxides and particles, fell by 38 per cent. and 21 per cent. respectively between 1997 and 2003.
Capital funding for local transport in the Gateshead East and Washington West constituency is allocated to the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Authority and the local district councils. The funding allocated to the councils Tyne and Wear since 1997 is shown in the table below 1 . It has been for the local authorities to determine how that allocation has been spent, in line with their local transport plan and their priorities.
|Tyne and Wear nature
|Targeted bus grants(1)
|Tyne and Wear nature
|Targeted bus grants(1)
The total number of deaths and serious injuries on the roads in the Gateshead and Sunderland local authority areas reduced from a 199498 average of 134 and 162 to 85 and 121 in 2003 respectively. The number of children killed or seriously injured in the Gateshead and Sunderland local authority areas reduced from a 199498 average of 27 and 46 to 16 and 34 in 2003 respectively.
Passenger kilometres travelled on the Tyne and Wear metro have increased from 254 million in 199697 to 283 million in 200405. The system has increased the number of stations and stops served from 46 in 199697 to 58 in 200405, with the system being extended to Sunderland.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to require drivers in their first year of holding a full licence to be subject to (a) compulsory designation and (b) additional speed restrictions. 
Dr. Ladyman: As part of the Road Safety Strategy, the Department consulted in 2002 on a number of options for improving the safety of new drivers, the majority of whom are safe and drive responsibly. The Government concluded that the skills needed to drive unaccompanied should be demonstrated at the time of the practical test. Proposals for a requirement to use a P" (probationer) plate, and a limit on the maximum speed for new drivers, were not justified.
The consultation document and decision letter are available on-line from the Department's website at www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_control/documents/contentservertemplate/dft_index.hcst?n=10204&l=2l
Ms Buck: A bid for funding for the Gloucester Parkway scheme was received by the Department in July and is currently being assessed. Decisions on all new Major Scheme Bids will follow the receipt of views from the regional bodies on their priorities for transport schemes which are expected by the end of January 2006.