|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
At this stage, any costs which Railtrack has incurred, for instance in taking the project forward to the Transport and Works Act stage, have been incurred by Railtrack in order to comply with its obligations pursuant to the Thameslink 2000 agreement. They have thus been incurred by Railtrack on its own account.
The Minister for Housing and Planning, Lord Falconer, has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the provision of lighting on the unlit sections of the M6 between junction 19 of the M1 and junction 5 of the M6.
The Highways Agency is responsible for the management of the motorway network, including the provision of lighting. When considering whether or not to light a particular section of motorway, the Agency is required to strike a balance between the potential benefits anticipated from reduced accidents and the capital maintenance and energy costs which would be incurred. Increasingly, account must also be taken of the results of environmental pollution from any additional lighting, particularly in rural areas where there is little or no existing light pollution. In effect, this means that lighting is only installed where there is a poor night-time accident record.
The M6 is currently lit at its junction with the M1 (Junction 19), at Junction 2 and north of Junction 4. We estimate that the cost of lighting the remaining sections would be in the region of £7 million. However, there are no plans at present to provide any additional
The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Baroness Blackstone): Patrick Carter is currently continuing discussions with the Football Association on the future of the national stadium project arising from the conclusions of his review of that project. My right honourable friend the Secretary of State will make an announcement on the extent of any future government role in that project once those discussions have conclued and she has discussed the issue further with both Sport England and the Football Association.
When they will respond to the question for Written Answer tabled by Baroness Byford on 28 June.[HL877]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): This information is not held centrally. All products of animal origin imported from third countries into the UK must enter, and are subject to veterinary inspections, at designated UK border inspection posts (BIPs). The inspection services at the BIP are the responsibility of the local authority. Central government has no powers to instruct the local authority over the number of inspectors. However, the BIP has to be approved by the European Commission, which conducts periodic inspection missions, and which has to be satisfied that the inspection services are adequate. If they are not, the approval of the BIP may be suspended. Central government may also suspend the approval if inspection services are inadequate, reporting its action to the Commission.
In respect of food not of animal origin, the Food Standards Agency monitors general food enforcement activity by all local authorities, including port health authorities, and has recently begun a programme of audits to provide more detailed information on enforcement standards.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is co-ordinating action across government to improve our ability to detect and prevent illegal imports. Improved publicity for travellers has been introduced. Posters have been placed at main airports and information is being provided by the travel industry and FCO posts abroad. National legislation
Lord Whitty: Unfortunately not all the information is held in the form requested. However, to date the cost of the foot and mouth epidemic for DEFRA stands at £1.567 billion (excluding the cost of the livestock welfare disposal scheme). From this amount £1.051 billion has been paid out as compensation to farmers, and £348 million has been paid out to civilian contractors.
For providing military assistance, the Ministry of Defence charges departments only for costs such as overtime, allowances and travel and subsistence which as of 31 July stood at £5.34 million. The full cost of FMD to the MoD is expected to be approximately an additional £12 million but the final figure will not be known for some time yet.
Back to Table of Contents
Lords Hansard Home Page