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Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 27 June 1990


Channel Tunnel

Mr. Spearing : To ask the Prime Minister if, pursuant to her reply on 14 June, Official Report, column 464, concerning capital expenditure on road and rail facilities related to the channel tunnel, she will tabulate in the

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Official Report each of the principal items comprising the £2,000 million projected expenditure on these items, stating for each the sources of the capital expenditure incurred and the amounts when shared between different sources.

The Prime Minister : The £2 billion of public investment planned on roads and railways to the channel tunnel comprises the following :

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                                                    £ million (1989 prices)            


Trunk roads                                                                            

Completing and widening (part of) M20 from M25 to                                      

   Folkestone and upgrading A20 to Dover           |265                                


Upgrading M2/A2 route                              |115                                

Upgrading A27/A259 south coast route               |330                                

                                                   |----       |710                    


Local authority roads in Kent                                  |75                     


British Rail investment                                                                

Intercapital passenger rolling stock               |350                                

Waterloo international terminal                    |100                                

North Pole (west London) maintenance depot         |75                                 

Initial order of freight locomotives and track                                         

   electrification                                 |80                                 

                                                   |----       |<1>605                 


Infrastructure improvements for passenger services             |<2>210                 


Freight Infrastructure                                         |<3>145                 


Passenger rolling stock for services beyond London |}                                  

   and related infrastructure improvements         |}                                  

Ashford international station                      |}                                  

Night trains from London                           |}                                  

Further freight locomotives and wagons             |}                                  





<1> Already approved by Government.                                                    

<2> Only £45 million of this subject to Government approval.                           

<3> Government approval not required.                                                  

<4> Detailed proposals not yet submitted.                                              

General Election (Observers)

Mr. Allen : To ask the Prime Minister what representations she has received calling for impartial international observers from the United Nations or other organisations to observe during the period of the next general election in the United Kingdom to ensure that it is conducted and financed fairly.

The Prime Minister : None.

Spicer and Oppenheim

Mr. Cousins : To ask the Prime Minister what is the number and nature of occasions when Spicer and Oppenheim have advised her Government in the last two years ; and what was the cost.

The Prime Minister : This information is not held centrally.

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Pharmaceutical Industry

Mr. Ashley : To ask the Prime Minister if she will transfer the responsibility of the Department of Health for the pharmaceutical industry to the Department of Trade and Industry.

The Prime Minister : There are no plans to do so.

Council of Europe

Sir Michael Shaw : To ask the Prime Minister what changes have been made in the composition of the United Kingdom delegation to the consultative assembly of the Council of Europe.

The Prime Minister : I have appointed my hon. Friend the Member for Calder Valley (Mr. Thompson) as a full member in place of my hon. Friend the Member for Southampton, Test (Mr. Hill), and my hon. Friend the

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Member for Poole (Mr. Ward) as a full member in place of my hon. Friend the Member for Ruislip-Northwood (Mr. Wilkinson). I have also appointed my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Kent (Mr. Rowe) as a substitute member.

These changes will take effect from the close of the meeting of the standing committee on Tuesday 3 July.

NHS Staff Review Body

Mr. Hind : To ask the Prime Minister if she will make a statement about the chairmanship of the Review Body for Nursing Staff, Midwives, Health Visitors and the Professions Allied to Medicine.

The Prime Minister : Sir James Cleminson's period as chairman will come to an end when the review body completes its supplementary report on senior nurses. The Government are very grateful to him for the leadership, skill and dedication which he has shown as chairman since his appointment in 1986. I have appointed Mr. Michael Bett to succeed him.

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Retired People

Mr. David Porter : To ask the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on how the living standards, environment, quality of life and general prospects of (a) the retired in Britain, (b) others in the country and (c) their European counterparts have fared since 1979.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 25 June 1990] : The improvement in living standards since 1979 is demonstrated by a number of indicators. For example, real household disposable income per head rose by 26 per cent. between 1979 and 1989. The retired have shared in this prosperity. The average increase in pensioners' total net incomes was 31 per cent. over and above inflation between 1979 and 1987, which is the latest date for which information is available.

Directly comparable data for other European countries are not available. However, real output per head in the United Kingdom has risen faster since 1979 than in many other Europan countries, including France and Germany.

The rising expectation of life, the fall in infant mortality and improvement in housing standards are set out, together with a range of other indicators, in "Social Trends" and "Regional Trends". Both publications also contain some comparisons with other European countries. Copies are available in the Library of the House.

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121. Dr. Blackburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his estimate of land in public ownership being used for the building of motorways and trunk roads over the next five years.

Mr. Atkins : The information is not available in the form requested.


Mr. Ward : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether weighbridges are now provided for all commercial vehicles entering the United Kingdom from the continent of Europe by sea.

Mr. Atkins : The Department has provided weighbridges with the agreement of the port authorities at most United Kingdom ferry ports to enable its traffic examiners to weigh incoming heavy goods vehicles. In addition, a trial has just been completed of automated weighing systems in five ports. In the light of a consultant's report on the trial which is expected shortly, we shall be considering whether to extend the installation of automated weighing systems to other ports. Preliminary negotiations have already taken place with some ports.

Rail Services

Mr. Trotter : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made in considering the approval of the construction of the new trains required to operate the through passenger services to the continent via the channel tunnel from the north of the country ; when he expects these trains to be ordered ; and what undertakings have been given that they will be completed in time for the service to commence from the opening of the tunnel.

Mr. Freeman : British Rail published its plans for services beyond London on 14 December and I refer to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Pendle (Mr. Lee) on that date, Official Report, column 767. I understand that BR currently intends to submit its investment proposals for approval this summer, with a view to ordering the trains later this year and commencing services when the tunnel opens.

Young Drivers

Mr. Anthony Coombs : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether there are any plans to restrict the types of cars that young people can drive on the basis of engine capacity.

Mr. Atkins : I have no plans at present to impose such a restriction.

Motorways (Tourist Signs)

Mr. Conway : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the destinations chosen for brown tourist signs on motorways.

Mr. Atkins : Tourist sign destinations are not chosen by the Department. They are applied for and authorised against published criteria. The following destinations have been authorised for inclusion on tourist signs on motorways in England by region :

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Hendon RAF Museum

Wembley Stadium

South West


Bickton Park


Bristol Zoo

SS Great Britain and Historic Harbour

Cheddar Caves

Slimbridge Wildfowl Trust

Castle Combe Racing Circuit

Somerwest World



Wookey Caves

Cricket St. Thomas Wildlife Park

Yeovilton Air Museum

Forest of Dean

Bowood House

South East


Marwell Zoological Park

Hampshire Farm Museum

Upper Hamble Country Park

Royal Victoria Country Park

Southampton/Old Town Waterfront


Beaulieu/National Motor Museum

Paultons Park

Historic Portsmouth

Historic Ships (Portsmouth)

Sea Life (Portsmouth)

D Day Museum (Portsmouth)

The Pyramids (Portsmouth)

Brands Hatch

Hever Castle




Castle (Rochester)

Cathedral (Rochester)


Historic Dockyard (Chatham)

Ice Rink (Gillingham)

Historic Maidstone

Leeds Castle

Eurotunnel Exhibition Centre

Chessington World of Adventures

Sandown Park

Wisley Royal Horticultural Society Gardens

Thorpe Park

Windsor Castle

Royalty and Empire (Windsor)

Safari Park (Windsor)

Blenheim Palace

The Parl Sports Centre

Waterperry Gardens

Child Beale Wildlife Trust

Land of Littlecote

Ice Rink and Ski Centre (Bracknell)

East Midlands


Gulliver's Kingdom

Heights of Abraham

Derbyshire Dales

Sherwood Forest

American Adventure

Billing Aquadrome


Whipsnade Zoo

Whipsnade Wild Animal Park

Woburn Abbey

Safari Park (Woburn)

Hatfield House

The Ice Bowl

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