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Dr. Ladyman: Over 4,000 individuals responded to the consultation. About 70 per cent. of the responses were from cyclists. In view of the level of interest from cyclists I met with the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Emily Thornberry), chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group on 7 September 2006.
In response to the views raised by respondents to the consultation, the rules for cyclists were amended. Some 30 other rules throughout the Highway Code were revised to add emphasis to the need for consideration of cyclists by other road users.
The view expressed by some that the Highway Code should omit the non-mandatory advice to cyclists about wearing helmets or high visibility clothing, was considered to be inappropriate on the grounds of the safety of cyclists. All road users have some responsibility for their own safety.
Dr. Ladyman: The most recent random survey of fleet condition undertaken by the Department's Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) is on their web site at www.vosa.gov.uk.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what account of the likely effects on congestion was taken of the roadworks taking place north of junction 8 of the M1 when scheduling the dates of lane closures and roadworks taking place near junction 4 of the motorway; whether consideration was given to delaying the work near junction 4 until the completion of the work north of junction 8; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Ladyman: Before scheduling the roadworks between junctions 4 and 5 of the M1, a detailed analysis of the traffic impact of these works was carried out. The analysis predicted minimal queuing and no significant queuing has been noted so far during the works.
The analysis took into account the fact that the two sets of works were about 13 kilometres apart: standard roadworks guidance recommends that there is a 10 kilometre gap between different sets of traffic management to minimise delays to road users. In addition, traffic levels between junctions 4 and 5 on the M1 are comparatively low at just over half those experienced on the M1 north of the M25.
The works between junctions 4 and 5 aim to rectify a safety issue as a number of fatal and injury accidents have been attributed to standing water at this location. That being so and sine the traffic analysis predicted minimal queuing, the conclusion was to carry out the work now rather than waiting until the end of 2008 when the major widening scheme is expected to be completed.
A number of steps have been taken to minimise delays to road users on the M1. Work is being carried out 24/7 to complete the scheme quickly and any lane closures required are being carried out when traffic levels are low. In addition the speed limit through the M1 widening scheme between junction 8 and 10 has recently been increased from 40 mph to 50 mph.
Dr. Ladyman: Hard shoulder running was introduced on the M42 on 12 September 2006. Due to the relatively low number of accidents that occur on motorways, at least three years of post accident data will be needed before a definitive overall conclusion can be reached on the impact of hard shoulder running on safety. Since hard shoulder running was introduced there have been no incidents that can be attributed to it.
Some vehicles, while not registered in the UK, will be registered in a foreign country. Action is under way to educate and, if necessary, to take enforcement action against users of foreign vehicles to ensure they properly register and license their vehicles when used in this country.
Other vehicles will be incorrectly registered due to failure of previous keepers to notify DVLA that they have disposed of them. The Department has introduced Continuous Registration which encourages the notification of changes of keepership by ensuring the registered keeper remains liable for the licensing of the vehicle. Enforcement action is also taken against such registration offenders.
Dr. Ladyman: On 18 December 2006, the Secretary of State announced that the introduction of Active Traffic Management (ATM) including hard shoulder running on specific sections of motorway around Birmingham showed potential to provide a significant benefit to national productivity and to demonstrate high value for money. The Highways Agency is continuing to work up the detailed business case for these schemes, which will be assessed against the criteria for the Transport Innovation Fund.
Consideration on the extension of hard shoulder running to other sections of motorway around Birmingham will need to be taken on a case by case basis, in the light of the results of monitoring the M42 ATM pilot scheme.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the effect of the condition of the track between Hull and Scarborough on the possibility of running special excursion trains on that line; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Tom Harris: These are operational matters for Network Rail, as the owner and operator of the national rail network. The right hon. Member should contact Network Rails Chief Executive at the following address for a response to his questions.
40 Melton Street
London NW1 2EE.
Mr. Tom Harris: The number of passengers travelling on the Transpennine rail route has grown by over 35 per cent. during the period of the new franchise between 2004 and 2007, and is forecast to increase by 34 per cent. between now and 2012.
Both routes have benefited from recent investment. Examples are the introduction of new class 185 trains on Transpennine and the replacement of the entire fleet of slam door trains on the Brighton main line.
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Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) electronic messaging signs and (b) electronic variable messaging signs the Highways Agency has erected around its network in each of the last 10 years. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Highways Agency has installed 2,034 electronic message signs around its network over the last 10 years (1997 to 2006). The number installed per year over this period, as recorded on the National Online Motorway Asset Database, is as follows:
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Dr. Ladyman: All road schemes require an appropriate level of environmental assessment in accordance with the guidance given in volume 11 of the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (available at www.standardsforhighways.co.uk/dmrb/index.htm) and in the Departments Transport Analysis Guidance (available at www.webtag.org.uk). All major schemes in the Targeted Programme of Improvement and many local authority major road schemes publish an Environmental Statement in accordance with the requirements of part VA of the Highways Act 1980 (England or Wales), implementing EC Directive 85/337.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether road pricing schemes introduced by local authorities will incur a discount on (a) fuel duty and (b) vehicle excise duty [R]. 
Dr. Ladyman: The guidance we published on 8 February for local authorities, on preparing business cases for local road pricing schemes, set out our position with regard to the use of revenues. We have concluded that any rebating of revenues back to users, such as through national taxes, would be inappropriate for local schemes. Instead local authorities should use revenues to complement other transport interventions they are planning as part of their Congestion TIF package.
Dr. Ladyman: The Department encourages and supports using 20 mph zones in areas where vehicle speeds of 20 mph are considered appropriate. Local authorities are best placed to understand local needs and conditions. Therefore there are no plans to reinstate the requirement for local authorities to seek approval before introducing 20 mph speed limit zones.
Mr. Greg Knight:
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research his Department has conducted or reviewed on the relative effectiveness of
part-time and permanent 20 miles per hour zones; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Ladyman: Twenty mph zones are required to have traffic calming within their perimeter and are self-enforcing. Part time 20 mph speed limits tend to cover a single road only. The choice of which option to use is a matter for individual local traffic authorities.
The Transport Research Laboratory conducted two reviews of 20 mph zones in 1996 and again in 1998. The 1996 review found that self enforcing 20 mph zones achieved an average 9 mph reduction in vehicle speeds, annual accident frequency fell by 60 per cent. and the overall reduction in child accidents fell by 67 per cent.
The 1998 review looked at wider urban speed issues and included 20 mph zones and 20 mph limits where there was lesser or no traffic calming. This found reductions in vehicle speeds were minimal when only speed limit signs were used.
Barry Gardiner: The table shows the number of registered holdings at June each year for 2002 to 2006 by county/unitary authority. These are the figures which are most readily available. Figures for Wales fall under the jurisdiction of the devolved authority.
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