Mr. McLoughlin : My Department does not pay grant for airport development, but it authorises borrowing for the expansion and development of facilities at local authority airports. For 1990-91 borrowing approvals totalling £59 million will be available.
(2) what plans his Department has to improve the transport infrastructure serving the airports of London and the south-east in the next five years.
Mr. McLoughlin : In Heathrow and Gatwick the United Kingdom has the world's two busiest international airports, and BAA plc is currently investing some £400 million in the development of Stansted airport. We have commissioned advice from the Civil Aviation Authority on United Kingdom airport capacity needed through to 2005.
Mr. David Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he intends to support the amendment proposed by the French Government to regulation 3820/85 on drivers' working hours ; (2) what assessment he has made of the contribution of driver fatigue to road accidents ; and what steps he is taking to promote drivers' health, safety and welfare in the discussions at the Council of Ministers on amendments to EEC regulation 3820/85.
Mr. Atkins : The rules on drivers' hours were agreed in 1986 after lengthy discussions. It is too soon to be considering their amendment. A Council directive aimed at improving arrangements for enforcing the social regulations on drivers' hours and tachographs was implemented last year.
Most accidents are caused by a combination of many different factors. Studies indicate that fatigue is a contributory factor in between 4 and 11 per cent. of accidents.
Mr. David Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the likely impact on heavy goods vehicle driver employment in the United Kingdom domestic haulage companies of the implementation of the single European market.
Mr. Atkins : A study by the Polytechnic of Central London showed that about 1 per cent. of United Kingdom domestic traffic was at risk from caboteurs, but that there were more than compensating opportunities for United Kingdom hauliers abroad.
Mr. David Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has as to the ratio between employed heavy goods vehicle drivers and owner-drivers employed in the United Kingdom and between the two categories of heavy goods vehicles drivers in other European Community member countries.
Mr. Atkins : There are over 1 million current holders of HGV driver licences. Information is not available on the ratio of employed to owner- drivers, but the latter will represent a relatively small proportion. Likewise, we do not keep information on other European Community countries.
Mr. Atkins : I refer the hon. Member to my answer to him today about the effect on the domestic market. Road haulage rates in the United Kingdom are subject to market pricing and this should also apply to rates across the liberalised transport services of the single European market.
Mr. David Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what criteria he has established for monitoring the introduction of the transitional road cabotage system from July for its effects on competition.
Mr. Atkins : We want to see United Kingdom hauliers making full use of the available cabotage permits. The Department will monitor applications for permits and the use made of them. The Department will also be liaising closely with industry representatives. Each member state is required to send data to the Commission quarterly on cabotage operations carried out by its hauliers. This is to enable the Commission to analyse the overall effect of the trial scheme in preparation for the definitive scheme from 1992.
Mr. David Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made in achieving harmonisation of the conditions of competition between road haulage companies in the member states of the European Community prior to implementation of the single European market.
Mr. Atkins : Agreement has been reached on common social conditions (drivers' hours and tachographs), on rules for access to the profession, on weights and dimensions, and on enforcement. A draft directive on the harmonisation of vehicle taxes for heavy goods vehicles is under discussion.
Column 607Mr. David Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what safeguards he intends to introduce with the implementation of the single European market to protect the interests of the United Kingdom domestic hire or reward haulage companies against unfair competition by international hauliers.
Mr. Atkins : I refer the hon. Member to my answer to his previous question. We shall enforce the agreed rules. United Kingdom road hauliers are among the most competitive in Europe and have much experience of operating in a deregulated market.
Mr. Atkins : Costs vary so much--because of differences in factors such as the location of the road, the number and design of junctions and structures, and ground conditions--that it is impractical to give an average cost per mile. Recent examples of works costs per mile of motorway schemes are, in outturn prices :
|£ million ------------------------------------------------------------ New motorway M40 Warwick North |4.2 M40 Warwick South |4.8 M63/M66 Portwood-Denton |10.0 Widening M25 Junctions 11-13 |4.5 M63 Stages 1 and 2 (with Barton Bridge) |12.0
Mr. Higgins : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when his Department's experiment to ascertain the effect on vehicle speeds of substituting 70 mph road signs for white circles with a black diagonal stripe took place ; what the result of the experiment has been ; and if he will place the data collected in the Library.
Mr. Atkins : An experiment to test the effect of 70 mph repeater signs has been carried out on a stretch of the M1 and the results are now being assessed. Initial indications are that these signs had no effect on the speed of the majority of vehicles. When a report has been prepared I shall place a copy in the Library.
Mr. Tom Arnold : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what are the 1989 prices of the modified brown, purple, brown as a public consultation and blue routes on the proposed A6 Disley-High lane bypass.
|£ million ----------------------------------------------------- Preferred Route (modified Brown) |49 Brown |69 Purple |52 Blue |74
Mr. Atkins : British Coal mentioned the existence of shafts and shallow mine workings in the areas. It referred to potential opencast coal reserves along the purple, blue and orange routes and asked to be kept informed of progress on the scheme.
Mr. Atkins : The National Trust supported the Department's preferred brown route in so far as it avoided the trust's property at Lyme park. It agreed with the Department's reasons for rejecting the purple route.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action under the control of industrial major accident hazard regulations which came into effect in 1986, his Department has considered with respect to toxic waste and dangerous chemicals that travel through south Yorkshire by road and rail.
Mr. Portillo : The Control of Industrial Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1984, as amended in 1988, apply only to fixed industrial installations. The transport of dangerous substances, including toxic waste, by road and rail is fully regulated to ensure maximum safety and the regulations are kept under review.
Mr. Portillo : A total of 15,792 licensed taxis are currently available for use in London. Given the flexible nature of taxi operations, it is not possible to estimate the percentage of black cabs which might be operating on any given day.
Mr. Portillo : No figures are available. London taxi drivers are private, often one-man operations and their income derives directly from the number of hours worked which varies considerably from driver to driver.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many copies of the abbreviated report on each of the London assessment studies have been produced and distributed ; what languages they have been translated into ; and what interpreters have been sent to public consultations.
Mr. Atkins : Each of the study consultants have produced some 50, 000 copies of their stage 2 report summaries. Of these, between 30, 000 and 35,000 have been distributed for each study. The east London assessment study summary has been translated into Bengali. No interpreters have been required to date.
Column 609London assessment studies issued on 14 December 1989 have been made available to hon. Members, local authorities, press and community organisations ; and at what cost.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many letters have been received by his Department (a) directly and (b) via consultants acting for him in response to each of the London assessment studies that he announced on 14 December 1989.
Mr. Atkins : Many letters on the assessment studies are received every day by the Department and the study consultants. Results of the consultations will not be available until after 28 February. Interim counts would involve disproportionate cost.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list for each year since 1980 the total number of electrically powered road vehicles in the categories of (a) delivery vehicles and (b) passenger vehicles.
Licensed at |Passenger |Goods' end of |vehicles |vehicles ------------------------------------------------ 1980 |124 |<1> 1981 |138 |<1> 1982 |156 |<1> 1983 |175 |<1> 1984 |189 |<1> 1985 |202 |27,905 1986 |208 |27,401 1987 |225 |26,792 1988 |170 |26,110 1989<2> |155 |25,138 <1> Figures for goods vehicles are not given for 1984 and before because changes in the way the figures are compiled prevent comparison with post 1984 figures. <2> At September 1989. Note: No separate figures exist for delivery vehicles as such it is likely that the large majority of goods vehicles are delivery' vehicles.
The market has not shown any preference for electric passenger vehicles despite the exemption of electric vehicles from vehicle excise duty.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Leyton (Mr. Cohen), Official Report, 8 February, column 782, any high level waste as a constituent component of spent nuclear fuel has been transported by train since 1979.
Column 610Cohen), Official Report, 8 February, column 782, what is the basis of his calculation of the date 2005 as the definitive year before which there are no plans to transport nuclear waste through London.
Mr. Portillo : UK Nirex Limited is planning to develop a deep repository for the disposal of low and intermediate-level radioactive wastes and is also developing the necessary transport system. Nirex aims to start disposing of wastes in the year 2005.
Mr. Amos : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will meet with the Automobile Association to discuss the use of the Automobile Association roadwatch travel information database for the relief of road congestion and the promotion of tourism ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins : I visited the AA roadwatch headquarters on 24 January. The Department regards the provision of travel information as extremely important, and is considering with interested organisations ways of improving the reliability and availability of information through better arrangements for its collection, co-ordination and dissemination.
Mr. Shersby : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received from the hon. Member for Uxbridge concerning the swearing in of special constables in accordance with the Harbours Docks and Piers Clauses Act 1847 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. McLoughlin : On a number of occasions in the past year my hon. Friend has made known to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport and his predecessor the views of the Police Federation about the use of these powers by harbour authorities. We shall shortly let my hon. Friend know the Government's views on the matter in connection with his Harbours Docks and Piers Clauses Act 1847 (Amendment) Bill.
Sir John Stanley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will publish in the Official Report his letter of 12 February to the right hon. Member for Tonbridge and Malling on the proposed joint venture agreement between British Rail and Eurorail.
Mr. McLoughlin : The "gateway international airport" was one of four categories of airport conceived in a 1978 White Paper as part of a framework for airports policy ; the 1985 airports policy White Paper discontinued the other three categories. In view of the rapid development of international air traffic, including long-haul traffic, since
Column 6111985, and the increasing number of more liberal air services arrangements which the United Kingdom has negotiated, I have decided to discontinue the category of gateway international airport as used in the two White Papers.
The United Kingdom will continue to seek a balanced expansion of air services arrangements under which additional services will be able to operate from regional airports.
Mr. Parkinson : I am publishing the report "Trunk Roads, England-- into the 1990s" today. Copies have been placed in the Library and are also available from the Vote Office. The report gives full details of our programme for improving the trunk road network in England. It also outlines new proposals for the enhancement of environmental treatment of schemes.
Mr. George : To ask the Attorney-General if he will list the names of all the private security firms currently employed by his Department, the number of employees for each firm on the contract, the total value of each contract and the total value of all contracts for each financial year since 1984-85.
The Attorney-General : Neither the legal secretariat to the Law Officers nor the Treasury Solicitor's Department has employed private security firms. The Serious Fraud Office currently employs the firm of Rodway Security. This contract provides for two employees and the value of the contract is £39,312 per year. The Serious Fraud Office engaged the firm of Reliance Security Services Limited from March 1988 to October 1988, the total value of this contract being £13, 606.80.
The Crown prosecution service currently employs Reliance Security Services Limited and Diamond Security Services, the number of employees for each firm on the contract being four and two respectively. The total value of each contract, and the total value of all contracts since the financial year 1986-87 (when the CPS was created) are as follows :
|Reliance|Diamond |Total |£ |£ |£ --------------------------------------------- 1986-87 |9,000 |- |9,000 1987-88 |14,360 |- |14,360 1988-89 |33,459 |- |33,459 1989-90 |54,458 |29,000 |83,458 |------- |------- |------- Total |111,277 |29,000 |140,277
Column 612Court 2 : For a trial which took place between May and August 1989 some fixed furniture was removed and replaced by loose furniture. The fixed furniture was replaced after the trial. In addition storage racks were provided and trunking for electrical cables. The total cost was £7,043. Further alterations which have recently been carried out are expected to cost about £25,000. Court 4 : For a trial which took place between May and December 1989 loose courtroom furniture and storage racks were provided at a cost of £4,216.
Court 1 : For a trial which took place in January 1990 loose furniture which had been used in earlier trials was provided. The cost of adapting the courtroom is expected to be about £2,000. Mrs. Margaret Ewing : To ask the Attorney-General what was the cost of works carried out recently to court 2 at Southwark Crown court, number 2 ; and if he will describe them.
The Attorney-General : The cost of the recent alterations to court No. 2 at the Crown court at Southwark is expected to be about £25, 000. The work carried out included removal of fixed furniture and its replacement by loose furniture, the supply of storage racking for papers, and the provision of microphones and amplification equipment.
The Crown court at Southwark has been designated by the Lord Chief Justice as one of a number of Crown court centres at which serious fraud cases may be tried. It is expected that more such cases will be tried there in the near future and that further use will be made of the adapted courtrooms.
Mr. George : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the names of all the private security firms currently employed by his Department, the number of employees for each firm on the contract, the total value of each contract and the total value of all contracts for each financial year since 1984-85.
Mr. Forth : The private security firms currently employed by this Department, and the number of guards on each contract, are as follows : Thorn Security Services Limited (38 guards), Chubb Wardens Ltd. (21), Centuryan Security Ltd. (15), Group 4-Welsh Guards Limited (10), Shorrock Guards Ltd. (5), Security Express Guards Ltd. (3) and Sterling Guards Ltd. (1). The value of each contract is commercially confidential information. The total value (excluding VAT) of all contracts placed by DTI since 1984- 85 is :
|£ --------------------------------------- 1984-85 |657,000 1985-86 |778,000 1986-87 |993,600 1987-88 |1,165,683 1988-89 |1,168,813 1989-90 |<1>1,318,800 <1> Estimated.
Mr. Forth : The Intoxicating Substances (Supply) Act makes it an offence to sell a solvent-based product to a young person if he appears to want it for sniffing. There are already available alternatives to many solvent-based products, which cannot be sniffed.
United Kingdom exports to South Africa Year |Value |Percentage |£ millions |of total |United Kingdom |exports ------------------------------------------------------------ 1980 |998 |2.1 1981 |1,217 |2.4 1982 |1,191 |2.2 1983 |1,111 |1.8 1984 |1,204 |1.7 1985 |1,009 |1.3 1986 |849 |1.2 1987 |949 |1.2 1988 |1,075 |1.3 1989 |1,038 |1.1 Source: United Kingdom Overseas Trade Statistics.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what plans he has for protecting consumers involved in home annuity schemes for setting down guidelines for these schemes ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what proposals he has for (a) controlling the selling of home income annuity schemes, (b) issuing guidance to consumers considering such schemes and (c) requiring a period of consultation and cooling off before such schemes are finalised ;
(3) what proposals he has for requiring special conditions and consumer protection for controls for the roll-up home loan or investments in home loans to pensioners ;
(4) what representations he has received about (a) the effects of home income annuity schemes on the elderly, (b) the need for consumer protection in this area and (c) the dangers of schemes where unpaid interest is rolled up and added to the loan ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Forth : My right hon. Friend has received only one letter about home income schemes and has no plans for legislation on this matter. Consumers are protected by the Financial Services Act 1986 which applies to the investment element in such schemes and by the Consumer Credit Act 1974 which applies to the connected loan.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what proposals he has for reviewing publication of decisions by the Office of Fair Trading that it is minded to revoke licences as moneylenders and for speeding up the procedure of revocation ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) when he asked the Office of Fair Trading to investigate the affairs of Richard Murtagh and Co. and its related companies ; when that investigation was completed ; when the firms were put out of business and their licences revoked ; how many homeowners took out home income schemes with the companies ; what interest rates were charged ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether, in the light of the statement by the Director General of Fair Trading that the practices of Richard Murtagh and Co. and its associated companies were deceitful, oppressive or otherwise unfair or improper but not illegal, he has any proposals for preventing such practices in future ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Forth : My right hon. Friend has no such proposals. Under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 the Director General of Fair Trading has the power to revoke the licence of any trader who engages in business practices which are deceitful, oppressive or otherwise unfair or improper.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what research he has initiated into the effect of falling house prices on home income annuity schemes ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) whether he will refer home income annuity schemes to the Office of Fair Trading to investigate the scale of any associated problems or dangers arising from such schemes and whether any controls or legislation are desirable.
Mr. Forth : Under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 it is the duty of the Director General of Fair Trading to keep under review and from time to time to advise my right hon. Friend about social and commercial developments in the United Kingdom relating to the provision of credit and related activities. I will write to the director general to draw his attention to the hon. Gentleman's questions.