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Olympic Games 2012

Lord Luke asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: We expect to be in a position to release information about the overall construction budget for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games next year, when it has been agreed. In the mean time, the budget for 2007-08 is in preparation.

Railways: Disabled Passengers

Baroness Masham of Ilton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: All train operating companies provide assistance to disabled passengers in order to meet their obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. We understand that neither GNER nor First Capital Connect has made changes to their procedures on the provision of assistance to disabled passengers at King’s Cross station, though current building works at King’s Cross, requiring the relocation of certain facilities, may have caused some inconvenience to passengers.

Baroness Masham of Ilton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: The positioning and removal of boarding ramps at stations should only ever be carried out by station or on-train staff. Passengers who are injured while boarding or alighting from a train may be able to sue the operator for compensation. Operators are required under the terms of their licences to hold public liability insurance for the purpose of limiting their exposure to such claims.

Russia: President Putin

Lord Stoddart of Swindon asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): My right honourable friend the Prime Minister and other Ministers have repeatedly underlined our concern about some aspects of human rights in Russia. The Russian authorities are aware of these views.

Transport: Heavy Goods Vehicles

Lord Bradshaw asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: In terms of a comprehensive and wide-ranging measurement of the relative external costs of heavy goods vehicles on roads when compared to other modes, the Department for Transport and the devolved Administrations in Scotland and Wales use a measure called “sensitive lorry miles”. The current values for “sensitive lorry miles” have been in use since May 2003 and were based on a wide range of detailed research that was available at the time. This potentially gives the most complete view of the impacts of the external costs imposed by HGVs. Further information is available on the department's website at www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_freight/documents/page/dft_freight 039741.pdf.

Other government studies have covered individual components within the valuations, such as the recent Stern report. Defra also recently published research into food miles and sustainability using various data sources to indicate the external costs of the different modes along food supply chains. The Defra report is available at http://statistics.defra.gov.uk/esq/reports/foodmiles/default.asp.

Trees

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): The maximum penalty, in the magistrates' court for unlawfully destroying a tree protected by a tree preservation order is a fine of £20,000. The maximum penalty in cases where 10, or more than 10, trees are destroyed is £20,000 per tree. Alternatively, cases may be pursued in the Crown

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Court, where the fine is unlimited. In determining the level of any fine, both courts are required to have regard to any financial benefit that accrues as a consequence of the offence.

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:



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Baroness Andrews: Any application for planning permission must be determined in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. The unlawful destruction of protected trees does not automatically render land suitable for development. Under Section 206 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, the landowner is under a duty to plant replacement trees at the same place. These trees are automatically protected by the original tree preservation order. This duty to replace the trees, if enforced by the local planning authority, would be material to its consideration of a separate application to develop the land.


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