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21 Mar 2006 : Column 241W—continued

Cabin Air Supply

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 30 January 2006, Official Report, column 17W, to the hon. Member for Tamworth (Mr. Jenkins), on cabin air supply, what progress has been made in assessing the merits of participating in Federal Aviation Administration research into cabin air quality and long-term health. [59654]

Derek Twigg: We are awaiting the outcome of the evidence review being conducted by the independent Committee on Toxicity (COT) before taking a view. The COT process should provide us with a clearer idea of any future research requirements and place us in a better position to evaluate possible participation in the American study funded by the FAA. The FAA funding was not, of course, reliant on UK participation.

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has received the report from Boeing on Aerotoxic Syndrome affecting pilots during flight; and if he will make a statement. [59353]

Derek Twigg: We are not aware of any recent reports by Boeing on aerotoxic syndrome."

The Department for Transport does not want anyone travelling by air to be exposed to serious health risks. We have arranged for the independent Committee on Toxicity (COT) to conduct an evidence review of any such risks in cabin air. This process is under way and the formal COT meeting will be held in public in May or July this year.

Cargo Transfers

Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the process is by which regulation (a) 48 and (b) 49 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats etc.) Regulations 1994 (as amended) is applied to assess the implications for European wildlife sites of ship-to-ship transfers of oil and other chemicals (i) in harbour authority areas and (ii) elsewhere in UK territorial waters; and what assessment he has made of the compliance of each process with the requirements of the EU habitats directive. [60302]

Dr. Ladyman: Regulations 48 and 49 of the Habitats Regulations do not apply to the ship-to-ship transfer of oils or other chemicals. They apply to applications for planning consent.

Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how his Department monitors the ship-to-ship transfer of oil and other chemicals within UK harbour limits. [60303]

Dr. Ladyman: The Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation Convention) Regulations 1998 require harbour authorities to have contingency plans which meet the requirements of those
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regulations. There is a further requirement to report any pollution, including pollution from ship-to-ship transfers, to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will assess the compliance of the consenting regime for ship-to-ship transfer of oil in UK territorial waters with UK Government responsibilities under the EU habitats directive, with particular reference to (a) the assessment of plans or projects likely to have an effect on European wildlife sites, (b) the consideration of alternative solutions and of imperative reasons of over-riding public interest in the case of plans or projects assessed as likely to have an adverse impact on the integrity of European wildlife sites and (c) European protected species. [60305]

Dr. Ladyman: There is no UK consenting regime governing the practice of ship-to-ship transfers. As a competent authority under the EU habitats directive the MCA has regard to the requirements of the directive, where relevant, in the exercise of its functions.

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which organisations other than the police are able to access information from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency on car registrations and owners. [56958]

Dr. Ladyman: Information held on the DVLA vehicle register is lawfully released under Regulation 27 of the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 2002". Regulation 27 allows DVLA to release information to the police, local authorities investigating an offence or decriminalised parking contravention, and anyone who has 'reasonable cause' for wanting the information made available to him. 'Reasonable cause' is not defined in the legislation. Each request is considered individually on its merits and no organisations are explicitly included or excluded from being able to receive information.

A review of the regulations governing the release of data is currently underway. I refer the hon. Member to my Written Statement of 2 December 2005, Official Report, columns 50–51WS.

First Great Western Timetable

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what responses were received from members of the public to the recent consultation on the Draft First Great Western Timetable from December 2006; and how he plans to respond to the issues raised. [59215]

Derek Twigg: The Department has received over 300 individual letters and emails, and three petitions regarding the consultation on the Draft First Great Western Timetable. First Great Western have also received 3350 individual emails and letters, and a number of petitions. We are now considering these responses.

High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether motorcyclists will have access to the proposed (a) high occupancy vehicle and (b) carpool lanes on (i) the M1 and (ii) the M25. [59105]

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Dr. Ladyman: I anticipate that motorcyclists will be allowed to use the high occupancy vehicle lanes (which are also known as car pool or car share lanes) which are to be built as part of the M1 junction 6A to 10 widening scheme and trialled between Junction 7 and 10. The final decision will be made once we have confirmed the exact details of the scheme, such as the lane to be used and the lane segregation arrangements, and we have satisfied ourselves that it would be safe for motorcyclists to use the lanes.

We are continuing to investigate the scope for high occupancy vehicle lanes on M25, but decisions have not yet been made. Consequently it is too early to say what, if any, restrictions might be placed on their use.

High-speed Railway Track Systems

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the implementation of European Council Directive 96/48/EC in relation to ballastless high-speed railway track systems. [59429]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 20 March 2006]: The Directive 96/48/EC is applicable to UK high speed railways and ballastless track is permitted by the technical standards for interoperability subject to system verification.

House Building Targets

Mr. Fraser: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the future transport needs of Norfolk in relation to the Government's house building targets for the county. [59624]

Dr. Ladyman: The draft East of England Plan, prepared by the East of England Regional Assembly, includes their proposals for future levels of housing and transport provision in Norfolk.

These proposals were considered by an independent Panel at the recent Examination in Public into the Plan.The Panel's report is due to be submitted to Government mid-2006.

Ministers look forward to receiving the Panel's recommendations and to considering these further in due course. We will then embark on a further public consultation before the Plan is finalised during spring 2007.

Improvement Schemes (Norfolk)

Mr. Fraser: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the cost of completing the improvement schemes in the targeted programme of investments. [59626]

Dr. Ladyman: The targeted programme of improvements is subject to external cost pressures; including rising energy prices. A cost management action plan, which also includes a more detailed analysis of programme cost pressures will be completed shortly.
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Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many deaths were caused by joyriders in the Cleveland police area in each of the last 10 years. [60010]

Dr. Ladyman: The information requested is not available.

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