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Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions on what date the impounding of trucks running without O licences will be implemented by the Vehicle Inspectorate. 
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Mr. Spellar: The Transport Act 2000 gave the Government powers to make regulations which would enable the Vehicle Inspectorate to detain the vehicles of unlicensed goods vehicle operators. I intend to lay these regulations before this House shortly. Subject to the approval of the House, we aim to bring the regulations into effect in October 2001.
Mr. Syms: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he intends to introduce HGV lanes on strategic routes; and at what locations he has trialed such schemes. [R] 
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what mechanism will be used to allocate the 5 per cent. stake in NATS to staff under the Government's proposals for the part-privatisation of the National Air Traffic Service. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Government, in conjunction with the Airline Group and NATS staff representatives are working together on the precise detail of the employee share scheme. In broad terms, the shares will be allocated via an Employee Share Ownership Plan, to be approved by the Inland Revenue, which will be administered by a new subsidiary of NATS called NATS Employee Sharetrust Limited. The directors of this new company will be appointed by the Government, the Airline Group and the NATS trade unions. A fundamental principle of the scheme will be that all employees, regardless of grade or length of service will have the same entitlement to shares from this scheme.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what meetings (a) Ministers and (b) officials have held in the last month with representatives of the airline consortium which is purchasing NATS. 
Mr. Jamieson: Ministers held a number of meetings with bidders for the National Air Traffic Services public-private partnership, including the Airline Group, as part of the bidding process. No meetings between Ministers and the Airline Group have taken place since the preferred bidder was selected.
Mr. Jamieson: Ministers travel by public transport on a regular basis in the course of their official duties and under the Ministerial Code are required to always make efficient and cost-effective travel arrangements.
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Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what directions he has given to London Underground Limited and London Transport regarding future arrangements for the London Underground; what decisions by those organisations have been taken following discussions with Government representatives which complied with agreements reached at those discussions; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Kiley was appointed chairman of London Regional Transport on 8 May to lead negotiations on contracts for the modernisation of London Underground. On 29 June, he wrote to the Prime Minister reporting that he had been unable to reach agreement with the bidders which met his objectives and the key criteria for modernising the Tube. In the light of Mr. Kiley's inability to reach an agreement with the bidders, the Government asked London Underground to proceed with their plans for improving and updating the Tube's infrastructure within parameters acceptable to them and the bidders.
When the Government decided on 5 July that London Underground should be invited to press ahead with their plans for investment in a publicly-run, privately-built Tube, we hoped that Mr. Kiley would continue to be able to play a fully co-operative role. This has not been the case. Mr. Kiley has tried to use his board position to block negotiations with the bidders. He has, without authority from the board, issued instructions to senior management to halt those negotiations.
I have today received a letter signed on behalf of a majority of the London Transport Board saying they cannot work with Mr. Kiley and thus it is impossible for the London Transport Board to function effectively. I have therefore decided to end Mr. Kiley's appointment as chairman and as a board member and to re-appoint Sir Malcolm Bates as chairman of the London Transport Board.
Mr. Syms: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on progress towards better integration between railway stations and (a) cars, (b) buses, (c) taxis and (d) bicycles. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Government are committed to delivering long-term improvements for the travelling public, and recognise that an important aspect of doing so is to ensure better integration between modes of transport.
We have seen a number of new and improved rail interchanges opened since 1997 includingWarwick Parkway, Clitheroe Interchange, Canning Town Transport Interchange, North Greenwich Station, Stratford Regional Station, Feltham Gateway and Tottenham Hale Station.
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There is also a new London Underground Interchange at Canada Water and a number of new bus interchanges, notably St. Paul's Bus Station, Walsall.
The Safe Routes to Stations project, on which the Department is collaborating with Sustrans, Railtrack and other bodies, is progressing well. It will open up new opportunities for people to access rail and bus stations by bicycle and on foot, and demonstrate the advantages of combining public transport with cycling and walking. Work has already been carried out at a number of locations around the country, including Peterborough, Norwich, Tiverton Parkway, March in Cambridgeshire, Temple Meads in Bristol, Waterloo in London and a cycle/pedestrian access bridge linking Bodmin with Bodmin Parkway station.
Last December we gave full or provisional approval to three major local transport schemes, the Allerton Interchange in Merseyside, and the Outer Circle bus showcase and Wolverhampton Centre Access in the West Midlands, which each include better interchanges between rail and public transport.
Authorities have also included a range of smaller-scale interchange improvements in their local transport plans. The exact choice of measures will be for authorities to determine, but we will be monitoring closely the implementation of local transport plansincluding progress on interchange facilitiesthrough an annual progress report system. The first reports are due to be submitted by local authorities at the end of August 2001.
We have established the Strategic Rail Authority to implement detailed plans for rail freight. The SRA published its Freight Strategy in May. This includes plans for delivering a major programme of improvements to rail links to major ports.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the potential for switching imports of fruit and vegetables from road to rail; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: The import of fruit and vegetables represents a significant opportunity for rail. The SRA's Freight Strategy, published in May, discusses a number of actions aimed at realising the potential of this market and at facilitating the establishment of sustainable international services through the Channel Tunnel.
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Ms Keeble: Last December as part of the Local Transport Capital settlement for 200102 we gave full or provisional approval to a number of major local transport schemes, including the Allerton Interchange in Merseyside, Somerset's North West Taunton Package, Plymouth's Northern Corridor improvement, South Bradford's and Salisbury's integrated transport packages, each of which contains park-and-ride as an element of the proposals.
Authorities have also included a wide range of smaller-scale measures in their local transport plans (LTPs), including park-and-ride schemes. The exact choice of measures will be for authorities to determine, but the capital settlement should enable authorities to start work on as many as 120 new and extended park-and-ride facilities over the five-year LTP period. We will be monitoring closely the implementation of LTPsincluding park-and-ride schemesthrough an annual progress report system. The first reports are due to be submitted at the end of August 2001.
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