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Motorways: Road Traffic

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will issue advice to chief police officers advising them of the necessity of keeping motorways open to vehicular traffic whenever possible. [158156]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Highways Agency has signed a Strategic Agreement on Traffic Incident Management with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and formed a partnership group. This group will develop a detailed guidance framework on managing incidents on the Strategic Road Network with the aim of improving the time taken to investigate accidents and open lanes.

The police and the Highways Agency Traffic Officer Service work together to open motorway lanes as soon as possible after an incident and are often able to do so quickly. On those occasions where this are not possible, the situation is reviewed regularly and alternative options for managing and relieving congested traffic are considered.

Railways: Brent

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many times trains were (a) delayed, (b) delayed by more than one hour and (c) cancelled through mainline stations in Brent in 2006. [157632]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department does not receive the information about delays to individual trains on specific days. Low-level data of this type are not required by the Department in order to fulfil its responsibilities.

The day-to-day operation of train services, and associated record keeping, is the responsibility of train operators. Network Rail as the operator of the rail network also holds information on train operations.

Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation: Animal Products

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will meet representatives from the oleochemical and soap industries to discuss the impact of the proposed Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation on their use of tallow as a raw material. [158715]

Jim Fitzpatrick: I would be happy to do so on her behalf.

Road Signs and Markings

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what guidance her Department has issued to
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local authorities on highway signage on local authority-controlled roads. [158105]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department for Transport prescribes those signs that may be erected on any road by means of the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions, the latest version of which was published in 2002.

The Department has also published guidance on the correct use of traffic signs, including road markings, in the various chapters of the Traffic Signs Manual and in Local Transport Note 1/94 "The Design and Use of Directional Informatory Signs".

The "Manual for Streets" published by the Department for Transport and the Department for Communities and Local Government in March 2007 gives further advice on the appropriate and sensitive use of traffic signs for residential streets.

Road Traffic Offences: Foreigners

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she plans to introduce the commencement order for section 9 and Schedule 2 of the Road Safety Act 2006 which makes penalty point endorsement available to non-GB counterpart holders, including those in Northern Ireland. [157973]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Government plan to commence section 9 and schedule 2 of the Road Safety Act 2006, together with related sections, as soon in 2008 as is practicable.

Roads: Horses

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether she is planning to place restrictions on horse riders when using roads; and if she will make a statement. [158722]

Ms Rosie Winterton: We do not have any plans to place a general restriction on horse riders on roads. This is a matter for local traffic authorities who are best-placed to consider what is appropriate in particular circumstances within the powers available to them.

Roads: Lewes

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans the Minister for the South East has to address the noise emanating from the Lewes by-pass; and if she will make a statement. [157792]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Whenever a road needs to be resurfaced, for safety and maintenance reasons, quieter surfacing is used as a matter of course. In 2004, a 1 km stretch of the A27 Lewes bypass was repaired using low noise material.

In financial year 2006-07, the Highways Agency completed a further technical survey for this location, which identified that only a short section of the bypass, lane 1 of both the eastbound approach and westbound exit from Southerham roundabout, requires resurfacing. The works are planned to be carried out in 2008-09 financial year, subject to funding.

The Agency currently has no plans to erect noise barriers at this location as the site does not meet the necessary criteria.

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Underground Railways: Security

Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on how many occasions each London Underground station has been closed because of security alerts in each of the last 10 years. [156479]

Ms Rosie Winterton: This information is not held by the Department for Transport but by London Underground who can be contacted at the following address:

Duchy of Lancaster

Departments: Departmental Responsibilities

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what functions of the Deputy Prime Minister's Office have been transferred to the Cabinet Office following the recent machinery of government changes. [158189]

Edward Miliband: None of the statutory functions that were vested in the Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State have been transferred to the Cabinet Office. Chairmanship of Cabinet Committees and other duties were reallocated as part of the Prime Minister’s appointments of his Government.

Government Departments: Equality

Jo Swinson: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what steps he is taking to ensure that all Government departments fully comply with their equality duties. [157758]

Edward Miliband: Legislation under which the equality duties have been put in place makes each individual government department responsible for its own compliance with the equality duties. It is the responsibility of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) (and before 1 October 2007 the relevant equality commission—the Commission for Racial Equality, Equal Opportunities Commission or the Disability Rights Commission) to monitor compliance.

All Government Departments have worked with the Commissions on compliance since the introduction of the equality duties, and before then regarding other equality legislation. They will continue this work with the new CEHR.

Cross-department support has been provided to departments on the equality duties. This includes information events for departmental equality teams on the general equality duties and on specific aspects, such as equality impact assessments. Cabinet Office and the Department for Work and Pensions (the sponsoring body for the CEHR) will continue supporting departments in such steps to assist with them with compliance.

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Olympic Games: Greater London

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Minister for the Olympics pursuant to her answer of 9 July 2007, Official Report, column 1291W, on the Olympic Games: Greater London, how much the consultants employed by the Olympic Delivery Authority and her Department cost in (a) 2006-07 and (b) 2007-08. [150116]

Tessa Jowell [holding answer 16 July 2007]: In my previous answer to the hon. Member for Faversham and Mid-Kent on 9 July 2007, Official Report, column 1291W, I stated that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) had not employed consultancy firms to work on the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in the current financial year (2007-08) and that two consultancy firms were employed in 2006-07.

However, it has since come to light that during 2006-07 a total of six consultancy firms were employed by DCMS on Olympic-related business. One of these firms continued to work on Olympic-related business in 2007-08 and a further four consultancy contracts had also, as of 9 July, been entered into during 2007-08.

The total costs incurred for consultants employed in 2006-07 was £721,266.36 (including VAT) and for those commissioned as of 9 July 2007 was £202,314.33 (including VAT).

Since my answer of 9 July, the Department has entered into five further Olympic-related consultancy contracts. Their costs are not included in the aforementioned figure.

The cost of consultancy firms employed by the Olympic Delivery Authority in 2006-07 was £50,494,000 and in 2007-08 (as of 9 July) was £10,753,000. A significant percentage of these costs is attributed to five major contracts in 2006-07 (Atkins, EDAW Limited, Ernst and Young LLP, Ove Arup and Partners Limited, and Rockpools) and three major contracts in 2007-08 (Atkins, EDAW Limited, and Ove Arup and Partners Limited).

These costs reflect the process of establishing the ODA, and building up organisational capacity, while ensuring key delivery milestones are achieved.

Home Department

Accommodation Addresses: Crime

Mr. Truswell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what evaluation she has made of the potential abuse of accommodation address agencies by perpetrators of (a) terrorism, (b) serious organised crime, (c) fraudulent passport applications, (d) identity fraud and (e) other criminal activities. [156595]

Mr. Coaker [holding answer 8 October 2007]: The Home Office has made no such evaluation. I understand that colleagues at the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform are discussing with a range of interested parties whether Government intervention is appropriate.

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Alcoholic Drinks: Children

Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will take steps to tackle underage sales and irresponsible promotion of alcohol. [158418]

Mr. Coaker [holding answer 15 October 2007]: We have carried out two tackling underage sales of alcohol campaigns (the most recent of which included a 10 week operational phase which concluded on 13 July) through which police and trading standards officers have targeted 2,683 potential problem premises that break the law by selling alcohol to under-18s. Prior to this, we carried out four national alcohol misuse enforcement campaigns (AMECs) between 2004 and 2006.

In 2004, the overall test purchase failure rate was 50 per cent. In 2006, it had dropped to 20 per cent. In this latest and more targeted campaign it now stands at 15 per cent overall.

Nearly 9,000 test purchase operations were carried out on 2,683 premises in the recent national tackling underage sales enforcement campaign. Children were only able to obtain alcohol in 14.7 per cent of cases. Only 22 actual premises (0.8 per cent of premises targeted) sold alcohol to children on three separate occasions. These figures again signal further improvements in the reduction of the test purchase failures since the national enforcement campaigns began three years ago, Through ‘Safe. Sensible. Social. The next steps in the National Alcohol Strategy', the Government are committed to carrying out an independent review of the relationship between alcohol price, promotion and harm, and following public consultation, will consider the need for regulatory change in the future, if necessary. This review is being led by the Department of Health and has gone out to tender. We anticipate publishing the review's findings in the summer of 2008. In addition, the Government are also committed to carrying out a review and consultation on the effectiveness of the alcohol industry's Social Responsibility Standards document in contributing to a reduction in alcohol harm, and following public consultation, will consider the need for regulatory change in the future, if necessary. We anticipate launching the public consultation in November 2008.

Alcoholic Drinks: Public Places

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether (a) consent and (b) permission of (i) the police, (ii) central Government and (iii) regional government offices is needed for a local authority to introduce a public drinking ban in an area in their locality; [158132]

(2) what guidance has been given to local authorities on introducing public drinking bans. [158133]

Mr. Coaker: The Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 gave local authorities the power to designate public areas through the introduction of a Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) restricting antisocial public drinking in areas where alcohol related disorder or nuisance has been experienced.

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DPPOs are sometimes mistakenly referred to as ‘public drinking bans’.

Once in place a DPPO provides the police with the power to enforce the restriction, where necessary because of the antisocial alcohol misuse, by confiscating both opened and sealed containers. It is an offence to drink alcohol in a designated public place after being required by a police officer not to do so.

The Local Authorities (Alcohol Consumption in Designated Public Places) Regulations 2001 require a local authority to consult with the police, parish or community council and licensees of any premises which may be affected before making the order. The local authority must also take reasonable steps to consult the owners or occupiers of any land within the proposed DPPO area. The local authority is required to consider the representations that it receives after consultation with the bodies listed above.

The local authority must also publish the details of the proposed DPPO in a newspaper and invite representations as to whether or not an order should be made.

Local authorities have been provided with the Alcohol Consumption in Designated Public Place Regulations 2001 and 2007; Explanatory Memorandum to the Local Authorities (Alcohol Consumption in Designated Public Places) Regulations 2007 and a Home Office Circular (13/2007) to chief executives of local authorities and chief constables in England and Wales on the Local Authorities (Alcohol Consumption in Designated Public Places) Regulations 2007.

This information along with links to Frequently Asked Questions and examples of best practice can be found on the following website:

Animal Experiments

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the (a) treatment and (b) proposed experiments on Felix the macaque monkey by compliance of the Oxford university with the project licence granted in respect of the primate; if she will suspend this licence pending investigation of the matter; and if she will make a statement. [157219]

Meg Hillier: The university has advised that Felix was humanely killed in early June 2007 on completion of the work in which he was involved and in accordance with the requirements of the relevant project licence. I am satisfied that the requirements of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 have been fully met, and I do not consider there is a need to vary or suspend the licence.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what method of record keeping she requires establishments with a certificate of designation
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under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 to use; and what guidelines her Department has issued on consistency of such record keeping. [158151]

Meg Hillier [holding answer 15 October 2007]: Record keeping requirements for designated establishments are set out in paragraphs 4.27 to 4.33 and Appendices B and C of the published Guidance on the Operation of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (HC321). A number of formats have evolved that satisfy these requirements and meet local needs. The records must be made available to the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate on request. Failure to maintain records in a format that is acceptable to the Secretary of State is in breach of the terms and conditions of authorities issued under the 1986 Act.

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