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Mr. Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what progress has been made since May 1997 on introducing minimum fuel efficiency standards for all vehicles. 
Mr. Hill [holding answer 23 April 2001]: The UK played a leading role in the development of the voluntary agreement between the European Commission and European car manufacturers, secured in 1998. This commits manufacturers to improve the sales-weighted average fuel efficiency of new passenger cars by 25 per cent. on 1995 levels by 2008. Similar agreements have been reached between the European Commission and the Japanese and Korean car manufacturers' associations.
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Mr. Hill: Key fares are already capped at 1 per cent. below the rate of inflation and this will continue for replacement franchises. Train operators are free to price other fares according to market demand and competition from other forms of transport. But we expect train operators to bear in mind the need to increase passenger numbers when considering whether to increase unregulated fares.
Mr. Hill: No explicit assessment has been made. Subsidy levels were agreed at the time of franchising after a competitive bidding process. Franchising agreements protect key rail fares so that their prices are restricted by a cap that rises by PRI-1 per cent. annually. The key fares include all Saver tickets, or unrestricted standard returns where no Saver exists, and all standard weekly season tickets. Further regulation applies to London commuter fares, linking performance to the permitted increase.
Tony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what action he is asking the Commission for Integrated Transport to take to implement the findings of the CPRE report 'Running to Stand Still' on the effectiveness of the 10-year plan in reducing congestion. 
Mr. Hill: The Commission for Integrated Transport (CfIT) was established to provide independent advice to Government on the implementation of integrated transport policy and to review progress towards meeting the Government's objectives. Although the Government have not specifically asked CfIT to comment on the CPRE report, the commission has been asked to report on progress against the objectives and outcomes of the 10-year plan (including the target to reduce road congestion) and to advise on further policy measures. We are committed to periodic review of the 10-year plan and will pay close attention to CfIT's advice in doing so.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will take measures to require at least half of all new housing developments in London to be for affordable rented property. 
Mr. Robert Ainsworth: The Mayor is expected to publish his initial proposals for the Spatial Development Strategy for London shortly. The Government's planning policy on the provision of affordable housing is set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note 3 and Circular 6-98. The Secretary of State will consider the Mayor's proposals in the light of this and other relevant guidance.
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Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many (a) deaths and (b) serious injuries have been caused by people drunk in charge of pleasure craft on British waterways in the last five years. 
Mr. Hill: The information requested is not available centrally, although the indications are that few injuries were caused by people drunk in charge of pleasure craft on British waterways. Anecdotal evidence suggests that a small and irresponsible minority of those in charge of such craft pose a risk to safety by choosing to navigate while under the influence of excessive amounts of alcohol.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what (a) increases in fares and (b) increase in passenger ridership on the London Underground are assumed in the financial projections upon which the London Underground PPP is based. 
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many people have died in air accidents on British internal carrier flights in each of the last four months. 
Mr. Robert Ainsworth: Two people have died in air accidents on British internal carrier flights in the last four months. Both men were on board the mail flight that crashed into the Firth of Forth on 27 February 2001.
Mr. Hill: The Health and Safety Executive's Railway Inspectorate reports that 104 people have died on the railways in Great Britain in the period 1 December 2000 to 31 March 2001. A breakdown of this data are provided in the table:
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|Other members of public||0||2||1||1||4|
|Trespassers and suicides||23||22||20||21||86|
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The figures are provisional and may change due to coroners' findings at the subsequent inquests. Included in the February figures are the 10 people that died in the railway accident at Great Heck near Selby.
Mr. Tyler: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what reports he has had on the incident on a British European BAe 146 flight from Paris to Birmingham on 5 November 2000; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Robert Ainsworth: The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is currently still investigating the exact cause of this incident. Research has been commissioned to establish whether, among other possibilities, engine oil fumes leaking into the cabin air released hazardous vapours, which could have contributed to the severity of this incident.
As a precaution, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has issued an Airworthiness Directive that mandates inspections and remedial actions designed to reduce the likelihood of engine oil leaks into the cabin air supply. Instructions to flight crews have also been issued for measures to be taken to mitigate any potential effects should they experience or suspect contamination of the air supply.
Mr. Watts: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will publish the environmental assessments of (a) fuels submitted to the Green Fuels Challenge and (b) lead replacement petrol. 
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he intends to publish his response to the recommendations of the panel that conducted the public examination of draft Regional Planning Guidance for the north-east; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Raynsford: My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister is today publishing for public consultation proposed changes to the draft Regional Planning Guidance for the north-east (RPG1). They are largely based on the recommendations of the independent panel that held a public examination into the draft RPG1 last summer.
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changes. Important issues for the region to take forward are also contained in the Urban and Rural White Papers issued last November.
Draft RPG was prepared by the Association of North East Councils (ANEC). Its overall strategy aims to create a more sustainable region and achieve urban and rural renaissance by focusing development in the region's main towns and cities making best use of previously developed land. We support this and, as recommended by the panel, we are proposing changes to ensure that the strategy is more clearly expressed and relates more clearly to the policy chapters. It is important that the implications for development plans and other strategies are clear in order to make a real difference on the ground.
A key issue for the region is to stem population decline by encouraging economic growth and regeneration in a sustainable way. To achieve this we are proposing changes which identify four priorities for regeneration: to accelerate the renaissance of the Tyne, Wear and Tees conurbations; to provide job opportunities and support communities in the former coalfield areas; to adapt and revitalise the region's town and city centres; and secure rural regeneration to combat social exclusion, improve access to jobs and services, and sustain viable communities.
We propose a review of the existing employment land allocated in development plans in the region to ensure that the north-east has a robust portfolio of sites in terms of size, quality and distribution in the most sustainable locations. In this context we would particularly welcome views during the consultation on the proposal to reduce the number of proposed new greenfield strategic employment sites from four to one. We propose to accept the panel's recommendation on this matter against the background of an over-provision of employment land in the region, and concern about the loss of greenfield sites. ANEC is committed to preparing an overall review of RPG1 in 2002-03, which will provide them with the opportunity to establish the need for additional strategic employment sites and set out their broad location or location criteria.
We are proposing a modest reduction in the amount of additional housing in the region, as recommended by the panel. By reducing the need for additional greenfield housing allocations, it will help to concentrate house building more on areas where sites are already available particularly on previously-developed land. The new proposal is to provide 5,000 dwellings per year for the first half of the guidance period (1996-2006) and 6,000 per year for the period 2006-16. The distribution of housing is also proposed to change to reflect the strategy aim to locate the majority of new development in the region's conurbations to avoid unnecessary development in the countryside, and help to create a better balance between where people live and work. 4,000 of the proposed housing provision will be distributed as part of the early review of RPG1 in 2002-03 pending the completion of urban housing capacity studies by the constituent authorities in the region's conurbations.
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It is proposed to significantly revise the transport element of RPG taking on board many of the panel's recommendations. The changes seek to provide a framework for the integration of land use planning and transport and to set the context for the development of the Regional Transport Strategy, which is currently on-going in the region.
There will now be a 12 week consultation period on the proposed changes which will end on Thursday 19 July 2001. Copies of the relevant documents have been placed in the House Library and provided to all of the region's MPs.
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