Previous Section Index Home Page

Departmental Policies (Eccles)

Mr. Ian Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will set out, including statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Eccles constituency, the effects on Eccles of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [157288]

Ms Beverley Hughes: The principal funding which this Department has provided to Salford in 1997-98 to 2000-01 is shown in the table. This includes grants and borrowings approvals for revenue and capital expenditure.

It is not possible to determine how much money has been spent on Eccles. It is for the local authority to decide where within its boundary these resources are invested.

9 Apr 2001 : Column: 373W

£ million

Nature of funding1997-981998-991999-20002000-012001-02
Revenue Support Grant(6)100.6108.6113.9111.7117.6
Income from National Non-Domestic Rates(6)50.352.156.162.961.1
Housing Investment Programme5.
Capital Receipts Initiative--4.04.1----
Neighbourhood Renewal Fund--------2.7
Challenge Fund(7)
New Deal for Communities Funding(8)------0.20.1
ERDF Funding(9)----------
Transport Supplementary Grant2.90.80.3----
Transport Annual Capital Guideline(10)
Transport Block Supplementary Credit Approval(10)
Rural Bus Subsidy Grant(11)--0.02----0.2

(6) These figures have not been adjusted to make year on year comparisons possible

(7) The Salford Partnership--Round 2. A five year strategy within City Pride context combining city-wide programmes on economic development, removing barriers to employment, community safety and crime reduction with concentration on physical development in areas of need. Challenge Fund total--£16.7 million. Scheme total £60.5 million

(8) 2000-01 includes both Phase 1 and 2. 2001-02 is Phase 2 carried over into this financial year

(9) Two wards of the Eccles constituency are part of the Inner Salford Action Plan area which has been awarded £1.3 million ERDF grant, of which £453,448 has been claimed since July 1998. The claims do not follow the financial year so cannot be broken down

The rest of the Eccles constituency will be included in the City Pride area which includes all the eligible areas of Manchester, Salford and Trafford; it is therefore not possible to determine how much ERDF will have been of benefit to Eccles. The amount of ERDF/ESF awarded to City Pride is approximately £36 million

(10) The figures for 1999-2000 and 2000-01 include the Metrolink Eccles extension which was completed last year. Transport figures for 2001-02 are not yet available

(11) These figures are for Greater Manchester

9 Apr 2001 : Column: 375W

Traffic Calming Measures

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) what guidelines and specifications he issues about the installation of speed ramps; [157291]

Mr. Hill: Road hump is the generic name for any vertical deflection for controlling vehicle speed. The Highways (Road Humps) Regulations 1999 state that a road hump should be between 25 and 100mm in height, with no vertical face higher than 6mm and have a minimum width in the direction of traffic not less than 900mm.

The DETR has issued a range of traffic advisory leaflets to all local authorities in England and Wales giving guidance on the installation of road humps. Within the scope offered by the Regulations, it is for highway authorities to decide the most appropriate design and dimension of road hump for each of their roads.

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what guidance he issues about traffic calming outside schools. [157290]

Mr. Hill: A wide range of advice on traffic calming measures is available through the "Traffic Advisory Leaflet" series published by my Department and issued to all local authorities in England and Wales. The Road Safety Strategy, "Tomorrow's Roads--Safer for Everyone", published in March 2000, stated that local authorities are to be encouraged to use the increased powers they have available to them to introduce 20 mph zones and speed limits in residential areas, where appropriate. This should be a priority, particularly in areas where there are large numbers of children, such as in the vicinity of schools.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what research his Department (a) has undertaken and (b) plans to undertake about the action required to achieve a reduction of 60 per cent. in carbon dioxide emissions in the UK; and if he will publish it. [157428]

Mr. Meacher: The UK Climate Change Programme, published in November 2000, noted that the Government would review the options for longer term energy choices, considering the scale of emission reductions that might be needed in view of current projections for energy use and the scope and cost of low carbon or energy options that may exist to bridge the gap.

The Government have recently published a report commissioned from AEA Technology, "Role of Technology in Emissions Abatement Under the UN-FCCC: the Medium to Long Term", and has placed a copy in the Library of the House. The study says that cuts of 70 per cent. to 90 per cent. in carbon dioxide emissions are technically feasible over the next 50 to 100 years, but supportive policy decisions will be needed to achieve this.

9 Apr 2001 : Column: 376W

My Department also plans to commission a study this year to examine policy options for achieving cuts in greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2010, the time frame of the Climate Change Programme.

The findings of both studies will contribute towards the Government's response to the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution report 2: "Energy--the Changing Climate".

Fuel Poverty

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many households have been removed from fuel poverty by improvements to the energy efficiency of their home, referred to in paragraph 6.10 of The UK Fuel Poverty Strategy. [157427]

Mr. Meacher: Provisional estimates suggest that the number of fuel poor households fell by nearly one million between 1996 and 1999, due to reductions in energy prices and improved incomes. Data are not yet available to estimate the effect of improvements made to the energy efficiency of homes during the period. These data will be collected as part of the 2001 English House Condition Survey to be carried out later this year.

Hydrogen Sulphide Leak (Southwark)

Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what level of hydrogen sulphide was emitted at Southwark tube station on 8 March 2001; how many London Underground staff were advised to seek medical attention following the discovery of the hydrogen sulphide leak; how many members of the public were advised to seek medical attention following the discovery of the hydrogen sulphide leak; and what public statement was made to inform the public as to the reason for the closure of Southwark Underground station on that date. [157251]

Mr. Hill [holding answer 6 April 2001]: London Underground (LUL) informs me that Southwark station was closed on 8 March 2001 and the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) alerted following a report from contractors that the gas monitoring equipment was showing toxic gases present in a non-public area of the station. The LFEPA discovered sewage which had blocked the drainage system and had as a result caused a build up of hydrogen sulphide, though the level of gas found was very low. The LFEPA cleared the sewage therefore removing the source of the gas.

As a precautionary measure five members of LUL staff were taken to hospital for checks and later released without problems. LUL confirm that the public were not at risk at any time during this incident as the gas was found in a non-public area and upon its discovery they had instituted normal evacuation procedures and the station had been closed immediately. As the incident was quickly resolved without any ongoing problems London Underground felt that it did not merit a public statement to be released following it.

9 Apr 2001 : Column: 377W

Abandoned Cars

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will estimate how many cars are abandoned illegally each year. [157256]

Mr. Hill [holding answer 6 April 2001]: The Department holds no central records at present of the number of vehicles abandoned illegally each year but plans to collect information in the next Municipal Waste Management Survey later this year.

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what measures the Government are proposing to address the problem of illegally abandoned vehicles. [157263]

Mr. Hill [holding answer 6 April 2001]: The Government have improved registration arrangements to require the seller to notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) when ownership of a vehicle changes. DVLA are encouraging local authorities to link electronically with them so that vehicle keeper information can be obtained more quickly and will shortly issue a Circular to all local authorities on the procedures for dealing with abandoned vehicles.

Two pilot schemes are due to start this month--in Lewisham and Newham, who will target unlicensed vehicles using DVLA's wheelclamping powers. The boroughs will retain the wheelclamp release fees and storage fees. Both pilots will run for 12 months.

We are also working with the Local Government Association, police and DVLA to identify good practice and exploit opportunities for cross-agency working in tackling the related problems of vehicle theft, vehicle excise duty evasion and abandoned vehicles and will consider from this the need for any legislative change.

Next Section Index Home Page