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Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the effect on the number of additional deaths and serious injuries on roads each year of turning back the clocks in October. 
Dr. Ladyman: The use of stone mastic asphalt materials (SMA) for road resurfacing was assessed by the Highways Agency in the 1990s. As a result of concern regarding the loss of surface texture required for high-speed skid resistance, its use was prohibited as a surfacing on trunk roads including motorways in England. Proprietary materials based on SMA, known as 'thin surfacings', have been developed to address the surface texture concern and these are now widely used on the trunk road and motorway network. The Department, on behalf of the UK Roads Board has commissioned best practice guidance for local authorities on how and where thin surfacings and SMA can be applied. The results of this research will be available early next year.
The National Travel Survey asks respondents about the frequency of services from their nearest railway station and their nearest bus stop. Results for households in England in 2004 are given in the table.
|Percentage of households|
|Frequency of train service|
|Frequent services(9) throughout the day||88|
|Frequent services(9) only during rush hours||5|
|Less frequent service||7|
|Frequency of bus service|
|At least one every quarter of an hour||37|
|At least one ever half hour (but less than one every quarter of an hour)||37|
|At least one an hour (but less than one every half hour)||19|
|At least one a day (but less than one an hour)||6|
|Less than one a day||1|
Although only one licence has been revoked since 2000, revocation proceedings have been initiated on several occasions. The revocation process was not concluded previously as the licences expired before the revocation decision was reached and the applicants either did not reapply for a licence or their licence renewal application was refused.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many field inspectors employed by the Health and Safety Executive are (a) trained, (b) equipped and (c) authorised to inspect on-site enclosures during asbestos removal work. 
Mrs. McGuire: As at 28 October 2005, 40 personnel employed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Health and Safety Laboratory (i.e. inspectors, specialists and scientists) are trained, equipped and authorised to inspect and enter live asbestos enclosures during asbestos removal work. Of these 40, 33 are general and specialist field inspectors, and seven are scientific personnel.
The majority of asbestos work is inspected by operational inspectors in the Construction Division (CD) of HSE's Field Operations Directorate. Most inspections do not require enclosure entry as the work activity can be observed through viewing panels incorporated into the structure of the enclosure. The majority of CD's 124 operational inspectors have been trained to inspect asbestos removal work without entering enclosures. Of these 124, 18 are currently nominated, trained, equipped and authorised to enter enclosures, but only when necessary to secure compliance or collect evidence.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many premises the Health and Safety Executive estimates will be covered by the requirements in the Management of Asbestos in Building Regulations. 
Mrs. McGuire: Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 places duties on those responsible for maintenance and repair of non-domestic premises to manage the risk from any asbestos in those premises.
The Health and Safety Executive estimates that 500,000 commercial, industrial and public buildings, plus the common areas of some 4 million rented residential premises, are likely to contain asbestos.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many licensed asbestos contractors have had enforcement action taken against them for dry stripping in each year since 2000. 
Mrs. McGuire: Due to the way in which this information is stored, it is not possible to identify easily the enforcement action for uncontrolled dry stripping taken against licensed asbestos contractors. The following table indicates the level of enforcement activity since 2000 against licensed contractors and the number of occasions uncontrolled dry stripping was identified as a matter of concern by inspectors. The Health and Safety Executive's policy is to consider enforcement action when uncontrolled dry stripping is encountered. As such, either prohibition notices, or consideration of prosecution, would have occurred in the majority of these occasions.
|Notices||Prosecutions||Uncontrolled dry stripping incidents|
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps the Health and Safety Executive has taken to ensure that client organisations understand the requirement to wet strip asbestos-containing materials. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has provided guidance to client organisations on the need for wet stripping of asbestos-containing materials in its 2002 publication 'A comprehensive guide to Managing Asbestos in premises' (HSG 227)ISBN 0717623815, which is available in the Library.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps the Health and Safety Executive has taken to ensure that licensed asbestos contractors (a) understand and (b) comply with the requirement to wet strip asbestos-containing materials. 
Mrs. McGuire: Before contractors are granted a licence to work with asbestos, they must demonstrate to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that they have sound knowledge of the relevant legislation and related guidance and that they have the necessary competence to do the work safely, so that the health of their employees, or others who may be affected by the work, is not endangered. The applicant's knowledge includes their having an understanding of and the competence to apply controlled asbestos removal techniques.
Having granted a licence, HSE expects the licence holder to comply with the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 and the Asbestos (Licensing) Regulations 1983 as amended. In order to monitor the performance of licence holders, inspectors carry out a programme of site visits. If, during these visits, inspectors encounter work being carried out without using proper controls, such as wet injection, then they will take appropriate action to achieve compliance.
11 Nov 2005 : Column 789W
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