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14 Nov 2007 : Column 243W—continued

Ferries: Lymington

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what steps will be taken by the Marine Consents and Environment Unit to safeguard the environment when it determines the application by Wightlink to modify existing fenders, ramps and linkspan bridges on the Lymington to Yarmouth route; [162083]

(2) what assessment she has made of the advice from Natural England that proposals for new ferries between Lymington and Yarmouth constitute a project for the purposes of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive 85/337. [162084]

Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 12 November 2007]: The licensing duties of the Marine Consents and Environment Unit are now exercised by the Marine and Fisheries Agency (MFA) on behalf of the Secretary of
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State. Applications have been made to the MFA by Wightlink Ltd under both the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985 (FEPA) and the Coast Protection Act 1949 (CPA) to undertake works to modify the piles, fendering and access links concerned with the operation of their ferry service between Lymington and Yarmouth.

In determining applications for marine works, the MFA undertakes a rigorous scientific assessment of the potential environmental risks including, where such works lie in or close to a Natura 2000 site, whether they are likely to have a significant effect on the integrity of the conservation assets of that site. Natural England (NE) has advised that the works for which these applications have been made constitute part of a ‘plan or project’ in the context of the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c) Regulations 1994 and, having regard to the potential impact of the operation of larger replacement ferry vessels, it is their view that a formal ‘Appropriate Assessment' (AA) should be carried out for the scheme.

Wightlink Ltd. has questioned NE's position and the MFA is currently considering this advice in consultation with a range of stakeholders. This includes other competent authorities that may be required to undertake an AA in exercising their statutory powers in respect of the project.

Fly Tipping: Databases

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to ensure that local authorities comply with Government guidelines when entering records on the Flycapture Database so that those records are harmonised and the resulting published tables provide an accurate comparison of local authority performance. [162023]

Joan Ruddock: Since the Flycapture database was set up in 2004, DEFRA has funded a data co-ordinator to help and encourage local authorities in England to register and to submit regular and accurate monthly returns.

DEFRA and the Environment Agency have produced guidance on how to submit returns accurately and when certain activity could be classed as fly-tipping. The data co-ordinator offers support to Flycapture data co-ordinators within local authorities, and visits authorities to help resolve problems and validate data.

DEFRA has also held a number of workshops with local authorities, and holds regular Flycapture support group meetings at which good practice and knowledge is shared.

The aim of this work is to ensure that, after a local authority has made the decision that an incident is a fly-tip, its size, waste type and location are recorded on Flycapture in the same way across all local authorities.


Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what enforcement and reporting systems exist for worked ivory in the UK; what assessment he has made of the comprehensiveness and effectiveness of the system; and if he will make a statement. [162046]

Joan Ruddock: Legal trade in ivory specimens is monitored and controlled in the UK through the issue of CITES (convention on international trade in endangered
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species) permits. Seizures of illegal ivory are reported to CITES through the Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS). Enforcement action against traders who are falsely claiming to trade under the derogation for antique worked items is a matter for the police. DEFRA officials work closely with the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU), and in particular, the Metropolitan police to ensure that items of worked ivory are what they are claimed to be. Regular checks are also made on the internet to monitor and check sales of ivory.

The NWCU is currently preparing a comprehensive intelligence dossier on all wildlife crime which will be used by all police forces and my officials to target the worst areas of criminality.

Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what methods of registration and licensing exist for importers, manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers dealing in (a) raw, (b) semi-worked and (c) worked ivory products, in accordance with the requirements of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Resolution Conf. 10.10 (Rev. CoP14) on domestic ivory trade controls; and if he will make a statement. [162047]

Joan Ruddock: EU regulations implementing CITES include no legal powers to register importers, manufacturers, wholesalers or retailers. Instead we have a system which controls the trade (i.e. movement) of ivory specimens through the issue of CITES permits. Each application is considered on its own merits.

Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to respond to the ivory trade questionnaire issued by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Secretariat in relation to the Action Plan for the control of trade in elephant ivory, pursuant to Decision 13.26 (Rev. CoP14) of CITES. [162048]

Joan Ruddock: CITES is implemented in the UK through the EU wildlife trade regulations. EU member states have therefore agreed that a combined EU response will be prepared by the European Commission and agreed by member states in response to the CITES ivory trade questionnaire.

Plastics: Recycling

Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he plans to require manufacturers of plastic containers to rationalise the types of plastic they use and to specify its type; and if he will make a statement. [162980]

Joan Ruddock [holding answer 12 November 2007]: DEFRA has no plans to require manufacturers to rationalise the types of plastic they use, or make the marking of plastic packaging mandatory.

In relation to packaging, forcing producers to use specific materials would amount to a restriction of trade and would contravene the single market provisions in the EC Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive. However, the Directive requires producers to minimise packaging, use recyclable materials and to take steps to ensure that these are recycled as far as
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possible once they have become waste. While virtually all plastic packaging is technically recyclable, in some cases this is not economically viable.

A European Commission Decision (97/129/EC) provides for numbering and abbreviations to identify the different packaging materials, including plastics. While the marking system is voluntary, where packaging is marked, producers are required to use the markings indicated in the Directive. We would encourage manufacturers to use these markings where possible, to aid the process of sorting and recycling of plastic packaging waste.


A14: Kettering

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the Highways Agency expects to publish its options appraisal for improving the capacity of the A14 around Kettering. [163843]

Mr. Tom Harris [holding answer 13 November 2007]: The Highways Agency is currently re-evaluating several options in line with latest appraisal guidance. I expect a report back on this work in 2008 and we will then discuss its conclusions with regional stakeholders.

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assumptions have been made by the Highways Agency about the number of new dwellings which would need to be built in Kettering to trigger the introduction of demand management measures for access to and from the A14 around Kettering. [163844]

Mr. Tom Harris [holding answer 13 November 2007]: The Highways Agency is investigating possible low-cost improvements to the A14 around Kettering with a view to assisting the delivery of growth in the short/medium term. This includes demand management measures which will complement Northamptonshire’s Transport Strategy for Growth. This study is due to report early next year when we will be able to relate its findings to housing numbers.


Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans she has to upgrade the A42 to motorway. [163339]

Mr. Tom Harris: The future of the A42 corridor was examined as part of the West Midlands to East Midlands Multi Modal Study which recommended the upgrade of the road to full motorway and widening. The A42 has been identified as a Trunk Road of Regional importance, and it is therefore for the East Midlands Regional Assembly to consider and recommend to the Secretary of State their priorities for funding of improvements in the Region through the Regional Funding Allocation (RFA).

The current RFA allocates schemes up to 2016. The improvement to the A42 was not prioritised by the Region for delivery during that period. The status of the scheme would be reconsidered by the Region as part of any further rounds of the RFA process.

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Accidents: A262

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many accidents involving (a) fatalities and (b) serious injuries occurred on the A262 between Goudhurst and Cranbrook in each of the last 10 years. [164130]

Jim Fitzpatrick: There were no fatal accidents recorded on the A262 between the junction with North Road at Goudhurst and the junction with the A229 at Cranbrook during the past 10 years. The number of reported personal injury road accidents involving at least one serious injury on the above stretch of the A262 in each of the last 10 years is shown in the following table.

Number of accidents
Accidents involving at least one serious injury





















Invalid Vehicles

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what her policy is on whether mobility scooters should only be available after approval has been sought from a general practitioner; [163107]

(2) if she will introduce compulsory training for the use of mobility scooters. [163640]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department for Transport does not currently believe that general practitioners should be responsible for approving the use of mobility scooters by members of the public. However, we are currently reviewing the future registration, training and fitness to drive requirements of mobility scooter users in England and will be announcing our plans in this area in early 2008. All options, including the possible introduction of compulsory training, are being considered as part of this process.

Members: Correspondence

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she expects to reply to the letter of 26 September from the hon. Member for Beaconsfield. [163943]

Jim Fitzpatrick: I replied to the hon. Member’s letter dated 26 September on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport on 18 October.

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she expects to reply to the letter of 18 September from the hon. Member for Beaconsfield. [163946]

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Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department has no record of receiving a letter dated 18( )September from the hon. Member.

Motorcycles: Tolls

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether she plans to exempt motorcycles from future proposals to introduce (a) road pricing and (b) congestion charges. [162060]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Several local authorities are developing plans for local pricing schemes, but it is too soon to know whether they will decide to charge motorcycles or exempt them as in London. As proposals emerge from local authorities the Government will consider whether it needs to set any central rules or offer guidance on discounts and exemptions.


Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what response she has made to the Foresight report on Tackling Obesities: Future Choices in relation to the role of transport policy in the development of obesogenic environments. [163743]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Officials from the Department for Transport were involved in development of the Foresight report. We agree that a built environment which encourages active travel is important.

The primary responsibility for ensuring local networks are conducive to walking and cycling rests with local authorities. The Department provides guidance and advice such as ‘Manual for Streets’, which we published in March this year. Our aim, through the manual, is to reduce the dominance of motor vehicles in residential street design by assigning a higher priority to the needs of pedestrians and cyclists. The manual is aimed at all practitioners involved in the planning, design, approval and provision of residential streets.

We recognise the wider benefits including the health benefits of promoting active travel. We will continue to work with other Government Departments such as Department for Children, Schools and Families where we are working together to promote sustainable travel to school and with local authorities to ensure that the environment is structured to encourage active travel.

Railway Stations

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what new railway station or halt openings or re-openings have occurred in the last 10 years; what the date of each was; and what the estimated population hinterland was in each case. [163625]

Mr. Tom Harris: Stations opened or reopened on the national rail network since November 1997 are listed in the table. The population hinterland of each is not held centrally.

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Station Opened

Euxton Balshaw Lane

15 December 1997


9 March 1998

Dalgety Bay

28 March 1998


24 May 1998


24 May 1998


24 May 1998

Langwith—Whaley Thorns

24 May 1998


24 May 1998

Conway Park

22 June 1998

Canning Town(1)

14 May 1999

West Ham(2)

14 May 1999

West Brompton

30 May 1999

West Ham(3)

30 May 1999

Norwich Parkway

30 May 1999

Luton Airport Parkway

21 November 1999

Dunfermline Queen Margaret

25 January 2000


29 May 2000

Wavertree Technology Park

13 August 2000

Lea Green

17 September 2000

Warwick Parkway

8 October 2000


12 March 2001


15 April 2002


2 June 2002


2 June 2002

Edinburgh Park

18 December 2003

Braintree Freeport

10 December 2003


12 December 2004

Chandlers Ford(4)

12 December 2004


9 May 2005

Rhoose—Cardiff airport

10 June 2005

Llantwit Major

10 June 2005


26 September 2005


11 December 2005


11 December 2005


11 December 2005

Liverpool South Parkway

11 June 2006

St. Pancras International

14 November 2007

(1) Resited due to Jubilee Line works
(2) North London Line platforms—resited due to Jubilee Line works
(3) Southend Line platforms
(4) Reopened

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