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16 Nov 2005 : Column 1228W—continued

Light Rail

Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the future of light rail. [27945]

Derek Twigg: I refer my hon. Friend to my answer of 9 November 2005, Official Report, columns 510–11W.

Mr. Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of light rail systems in (a) Manchester and (b) Birmingham in terms of (i) economic and (ii) environmental objectives. [28307]

Mr. Darling: Light rail systems in Birmingham and Manchester have been subject to monitoring and evaluation studies. These studies focused on the impact of the schemes on travel behaviour, particularly in terms of levels of car usage, and the local economy.

Local Transport Plans

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which local authorities have set targets for the overall level of road traffic in their area as part of their full local transport plans in each year since the Road Traffic Reduction Act 1997 came into force; and what targets were set in each case. [26750]

Ms Buck: Table 1 1 lists the local transport plan areas with targets for overall levels of traffic along with the targets as reported in the progress reports following the submission of the first full local transport plans in 2000. Many other plan areas set targets for levels of traffic for parts of their areas or for particular time periods (for example peak hours).

The Department requires all final second local transport plans (due for completion in March 2006) to include targets for the overall levels of road traffic. Some of the provisional second local transport plans (submitted in July 2005) have included indicative targets, although these will be superseded by those contained in the final versions of the plans.
Table 1: Area wide road traffic reduction targets in first full local transport plans (as highlighted in DfT review of early progress reports)

LT nameLocal targets or outcomes
Blackburn with DarwenReduce annual peak hour traffic growth to 0 per cent. by 2006; contain off peak traffic growth to forecast local low growth levels.
BlackpoolReduction in traffic levels.
BristolReduce growth in private car traffic by 20 per cent. by 2005, and thereafter to seek a 20 per cent. reduction in private car traffic by 2015. 1996 base year: 1,228,000 (combined cordons). Base index = 100, 2005 Target = 110, 2015 Target = 80.
CheshireCheshire traffic growth restrained to an overall increase of 15 per cent. on 1995 traffic levels by 2011.
County DurhamReduce the forecast growth of traffic from 1.5 per cent. to 0.33 per cent. per annum throughout the plan period.
CumbriaLocal areas: traffic growth of 1 per cent./yr to 2006 in Allerdale; 1 per cent./yr to 2006 in Barrow; 0 per cent./yr in 2006 in Carlisle; 1 per cent./yr to 2006 in Copeland; 0.5 per cent./yr to 2006 in Eden; 3.7 per cent./yr to 2006 in South Lakeland; 0 per cent./yr to 2006 in Lake District.
Dorset10 per cent. reduction in traffic growth in all areas of rural Dorset by 2006 and 20 per cent. to 30 per cent. by 2016 (varies by area).
EssexReduce the rate of growth in traffic. Baseline—1998 traffic levels.
GloucestershireBy 2010, average daily traffic volumes on the county's road network to increase by no more than 20 per cent., compared with 1996 levels. By 2006 the increase over 1996 to be no more than 15 per cent.
Greater Manchester8 per cent. increase in annual car kilometres on A and B roads by 2005–06, on 1991 base. (5,957m)
Greater NottinghamBelow 2.5 per cent. per annum.
HampshireTo halve the rate of forecast traffic growth between 1998 and 2020 from 32 per cent. to 16 per cent.
HartlepoolOverall traffic growth to be less than 5 per cent. between base year and 2005.
HerefordshireTo restrict the growth in traffic levels in Hereford to 1 per cent. per annum during the period 2001 to 2010. To restrict the growth in traffic levels on principal rural roads to 1 per cent. per annum during the period 2001 to 2010.
Kingston upon Hull/Hull CityReduce car flow by approximately 1 per cent. per year.
Luton-DunstableReduction in the Do-Minimum traffic forecast (2011).
Merseyside(a) 0 per cent. growth to 2006 in the centres for peak periods.(b) 0 per cent. growth for 2006–11 above 20.8 per cent. max to 2006.
MiddlesbroughReduce daily flows to 0 per cent. growth at town centre cordon by 2005 and 2 per cent. by 2010.
North East Lincolnshire1999 base line = 12,020 vehicles/km per 12 hour average weekday. Target = to keep annual growth to below 1999 level of 2 per cent. and to achieve zero growth by 2010.
OxfordshireTo reduce traffic growth in the period 2000 to 2015 to half the forecast growth for Oxfordshire.
Redcar and ClevelandMaximum 1 per cent. annual increase in traffic flows, national low growth forecast.
Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadWindsor and Maidenhead: traffic to increase by no more than 6 per cent. by 2006 from 1999. Rest of the borough: traffic to increase by no more than 10 per cent. by 2006 (based on vehicle numbers).
Southend on SeaIncrease in vehicle kilometres per average weekday of less than 11 per cent. by 2006.
Stockton-on-TeesLimit traffic growth to forecast low growth figure of 4.5 per cent. (2000–05).
Stoke on TrentConstrain traffic growth increase to 10 per cent. between 1999–2011 compared with the 1997 low-growth national projected increase of 15 per cent. over the same period.
SuffolkReduce growth
SurreyTo limit traffic growth (county roads only) to the 1998 level by 2016; milestone target 8 per cent. 2006; final target 2016 0 per cent.
Telford and WrekinReduce to 1.6 per cent. per annum by 2010.
Tyne and WearTarget for 2006 is to limit growth on principal roads to 2.524 billion vehicle kilometres from a base figure of 2.274 billion in 1996–97.
WarringtonMinimum 43 per cent. reduction in the predicted growth of traffic by 2011.
West MidlandsRestrict traffic growth from 1996 to 2011 to below 8 per cent.
West SussexReduce by 50 per cent. the rate of traffic growth by 2016.
West YorkshireTraffic growth 1999–2006 not to exceed 5 per cent. (16 hour, all roads).
WokinghamRestrain traffic growth in Wokingham (targets for borough split into five areas ranging from 4 per cent. to 8.5 per cent. between 1999 and 2006).
YorkLimit overall growth in traffic to 4 per cent. (1999–2006) with a reduction of 13 per cent. on secondary and residential roads.

(2) The information in table 1 is based on an internal review and may omit some targets, The costs of a further review of the plans to checks for omissions are disproportionately high.

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Mr. Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent information he has received on pollution levels in residential areas near the M1 motorway in Twisley, Sheffield; what assessment he has made of the likely effect on pollution levels there of plans to widen the M1; and if he will commission independent research on this matter. [28925]

Dr. Ladyman: The Highways Agency has taken base level data on current pollution levels from Sheffield city council, from the agency's own monitoring and from information available from groups such as the Tinsley forum, who have been monitoring air quality in the Tinsley area since 1998.

Emissions' modelling being carried out by the agency in collaboration with Sheffield city council, the Transport Research Laboratory and the Department for Transport is currently programmed to complete in summer 2006. This will feed into the Environmental Assessment, which will form part of the Scheme Appraisal. This will give a better guide as to what effects on air quality the M1 widening would have.

Independent research on this matter is not felt necessary at this time.
16 Nov 2005 : Column 1230W

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will introduce proposals to construct a filter slip lane on the exit from the northbound carriageway of the M1 motorway at junction 21 to enable vehicles to reach the M69 without having to negotiate the traffic island; [28114]

(2) if he will take steps (a) to reduce congestion and (b) to ease access to and egress from the M1 motorway at junction 21. [28115]

Dr. Ladyman: A scheme to widen the M1 between junctions 21 and 30 was added to the Government's Targeted Programme of Improvements (TPI) in April 2004.

This scheme includes proposals to provide a free flow link between the M1 Southbound and M69 and the M69 to M1 northbound. This will significantly reduce traffic movements through junction 21 and a filter lane for the M1 to the M69 southbound movement is not considered necessary.

The Highways Agency plans to consult on this scheme in spring 2006 and invite comments on the published proposals.

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