Previous Section Index Home Page


Multi-modal Studies

Mrs. Brinton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if the recommendations in Multi-modal Studies are designed to be consistent with the sustainability framework for that region. [5772]

Mr. Jamieson: While each Multi-modal Study addresses transport problems, it must also anticipate those of the future. Studies must take full account of sustainability, economic, regeneration and social exclusion objectives locally, regionally and nationally. Study reports and recommendations are submitted to Regional Planning Bodies who consider them in the regional planning context consistent with the sustainability framework for that region. Ultimately Ministers, when they consider Regional Planning recommendations, will take care to ensure they are also consistent with wider national policy objectives.

London Transport

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 13 July 2001, Official Report, column 655W, on London Transport, if he will indicate the actual amount invested by the private sector in each of the contracts named, and the anticipated rate of return for each one. [5763]

Mr. Jamieson: The information requested is commercially confidential. London Transport is buying specified outcomes under each of the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts. As is usual for such contracts, it is for the private sector contractor to decide how best to deliver those outcomes.

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Leyton and Wanstead (Harry Cohen), of 13 July 2001, Official Report, column 655W, on London Transport, if he will list the net present value of payments due under the contract of each project; and if he will make a statement. [5443]

Mr. Jamieson: London Transport is buying specified outcomes under each of the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts. The information requested about the net present value of payments due is commercially confidential.

Mobile Phone Masts

Mr. Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to extend planning controls to mobile phone masts less than 45 ft in height. [5450]

Ms Keeble: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Westbury (Dr. Murrison) on 25 June 2001, Official Report, column 20W.

20 Jul 2001 : Column: 532W

Mr. Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to restrict the granting of planning permission for mobile phone masts close to hospitals. [5449]

Ms Keeble: Mobile phone mast development close to hospitals is subject to the normal telecommunications planning arrangements in place throughout England. We have no plans to introduce specific planning arrangements in respect of mobile phone masts close to hospitals.

Mr. Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what (a) meetings he has had with and (b) requests for meetings he has received from, representatives of mobile phone companies to discuss planning matters since 7 June. [5448]

Ms Keeble: Ministers in this Department have had no meetings with representatives of mobile phone companies since 7 June. Vodafone and the Federation of the Electronics Industry (which represent the interests of the five mobile phone companies in the UK) have separately written to this Department since 7 June to request meetings with Ministers.

First North Western Trains

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the improvements made to services by First North Western Trains on the Blackpool to Manchester line. [5792]

Mr. Jamieson: New class 175 trains are operating on some Blackpool North to Manchester airport services. All of these services will be operated by the new trains when the full fleet is delivered by the late autumn. The class 142 and 150 units used on Blackpool South to Manchester services were refurbished last year. At Chorley station the car park has been extended and CCTV installed.

Conveyancing (Public Records)

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what powers he has in respect of complaints from the public about access to public records held by local authorities relevant to conveyancing transactions being obstructed. [5541]

Ms Keeble: The Secretary of State has no power to intervene where a local authority fails to comply with a statutory obligation to provide reasonable access to public records.

Local authorities are required by Section 8 of the Local Land Charges Act 1975 to allow any person to search in the local land charges register on payment of the prescribed fee. Local authorities are also under a statutory duty to provide access to other public records containing information relevant to conveyancing. In the case of the planning register, for example, sections 69, 188 and 214 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 require local authorities to make the register available for inspection by the public "at all reasonable hours".

In cases where reasonable access to public registers is being denied, the matter may be referred to the Local Government Ombudsman or the courts. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 will improve the rights of

20 Jul 2001 : Column: 533W

individuals to access information and provide a right to complain to the Information Commissioner if he or she is prevented from accessing it. The provisions of this Act are likely to come into force sometime next year with regard to information held by local authorities.

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what representations he has received regarding local authorities obstructing personal searches of property and other public records relating to conveyancing transactions. [5539]

Ms Keeble: A number of representations have been received from companies within the Property Search Group who carry out personal searches as part of the conveyancing process.

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what guidance he gives to local authorities regarding access to registers by the public under the Town and Country Planning Act 1999. [5540]

Ms Keeble: The public are entitled to see any document held on a local authority's planning registers. Articles 25 and 26 of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995 (the GDPO) set out the information which must be held on the register. Articles 25(10 and 26(7) of the GDPO provide that:


The "Planning Charter Standards" booklet, issued by the then Department of the Environment and the National Planning Forum, advises that local authorities must make their register available to the public at all reasonable hours. Authorities should put copies of valid planning applications in the register within three working days of receiving them. They also should put copies of their decisions in the register within three working days of dispatch.

M5/A46 Resurfacing

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he expects (a) the M5 at Whittington and (b) the A46 at Harvington to be resurfaced with low noise surfaces; and if he will make a statement. [5775]

Mr. Jamieson: I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Tim Matthews, to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Tim Matthews to Mr. Peter Luff, dated 20 July 2001:




20 Jul 2001 : Column: 534W



Slot Auctioning

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what representations he has received on her Department's commissioning of a report on slot auctioning from Dot Econ; and if she will make a statement. [5433]

Mr. Jamieson: The findings of the Dot Econ study were presented to representatives of UK airlines and airports on 15 March. Immediate feedback was given then, and written comments were requested by 12 April. A number of representations were received. The Government will take these into account in developing their response to the proposals for revision of the current European slot allocation regulations that were published by the European Commission on 20 June.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what representations he has received from United Kingdom airlines on the proposed introduction of a monetised slot auctioning or transfer system. [5434]

Mr. Jamieson: My Department has met representatives of UK airlines on several occasions to discuss its declared intention to seek a new European slot allocation regulation that provides for the auctioning of new and pool slots and the legitimisation of trading between air carriers. Written representations have also been received.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will commission a report projecting the likely bidding behaviour of airlines based on consultation with United Kingdom and overseas carriers and assessing the benefits for consumers of an auctioning system. [5394]

Mr. Jamieson: I have no plans for such a study. But in taking forward the Government's proposals for a market-based approach to slot allocation, we shall consult fully with airlines and airports. The interests of the travelling public are and will continue to be at the heart of our objective of revising the current slot allocation regime.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many UK airlines have indicated to his Department their support of the introduction for a monetised slot auctioning or transfer system; how many have indicated opposition; and how many proposed new entrants to Heathrow or Gatwick have indicated their support. [5393]

Mr. Jamieson: There is general support among UK airlines for legitimising the trading of slots between airlines. To date, only Virgin Atlantic has openly supported the idea of slot auctioning. Others have been less enthusiastic, but we continue to discuss the matter with the industry.

The subject has not been discussed with representatives of overseas airlines. Airlines are reluctant to discuss their development plans, so it is not possible to answer the question about potential new entrants at Heathrow and Gatwick.

20 Jul 2001 : Column: 535W


Next Section Index Home Page