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South-coast Multi-modal Study

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what mechanisms exist to ensure the recommendations of the south-coast multi-modal study are implemented, where implementation falls to (a) private rail companies and (b) county councils. [5483]

Mr. Jamieson: The multi-modal studies provide an opportunity to identify integrated and sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing problems on our strategic transport network. The study process itself is designed to ensure that strategies are developed with key stakeholders so that they reflect the priorities of each and are genuinely deliverable.

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Shared-use Facilities

Andrew Bennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he expects to publish the revised local transport notes on shared use facilities for pedestrians and cyclists. [4967]

Mr. Spellar: Revised drafts of Local Transport Notes 1/86 and 2/86 have been prepared and circulated to a limited number of consultees—a "reference group". The comments received have highlighted the importance of setting the advice on shared use in the wider context of Government policies to encourage both cycling and walking and the implications of those policies for the design and provision of facilities. We are therefore considering preparing comprehensive guidance which would include guidance on shared use. I will make a further announcement when a decision has been reached.

Ordnance Survey

Andrew Bennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what targets were set for Ordnance Survey in the financial year 2000–01; and for each, how far they were achieved. [4965]

Ms Keeble: Ordnance Survey achieved all of its targets for the financial year 2000–01 as follows:

TargetPerformance
To achieve a revenue target of £82.3 million (excluding the National Interest Mapping Service Agreement)£86.1 million
To achieve a return on sales of not less than five per cent. (excluding the National Interest Mapping Service Agreement)9.4 per cent.
To ensure that, by March 2001, at least 99.5 per cent. of existing major detail is surveyed and available to customers99.9 per cent.
To despatch 92 per cent. of small scale product ordered within three working days96.3 per cent.
To achieve efficiency savings across activities associated with collecting and maintaining the data held within the National Topographic Database, producing and distributing products/services to customers and all other associated support activities. The long-term target is to achieve an efficiency gain of 6 per cent. over the period April 2000 to March 2004. The target for 2000–01 is 1.5 per cent.5.0 per cent.
To increase the number of visits to the Ordnance Survey website, compared with the last half of 1999–2000 by at least 100 per cent. by 31 March 2001120.6 per cent.

Fuller details of Ordnance Survey performance in 2000–01 can be found in the Annual Report laid in the House of Commons Library on 5 July 2001 and on the Ordnance Survey website at http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk

Capital Assets (Islington)

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what

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recent examination he has made of the sale of capital assets by the London borough of Islington; and if he will make a statement. [5363]

Dr. Whitehead: I have made no such examination.

Asset disposals are a matter for the authority. I would normally only become involved if any authority sought consent to dispose of property at less than the best consideration reasonably attainable. No such consent has been sought recently by the London borough of Islington.

Section 106 Agreements

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will review the effectiveness of section 106 agreements. [5472]

Ms Keeble: We are committed to reviewing the system for agreeing planning obligations and we propose to issue a consultation document later this year.

Noise Levels

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the proposed EU directives on noise levels, with particular reference to traffic noise. [5458]

Mr. Jamieson: An amending directive to Directive 92/23/EEC aimed at limiting the noise from new vehicle tyres has recently been adopted by the European Council and the European Parliament and will appear in the Official Journal of the European Communities imminently. Studies have shown that noise generated at the tyre-road interface is a significant environmental nuisance that, as a contributor to total vehicle noise and, hence, traffic noise, becomes more significant as vehicle speed increases. The directive will apply limits to the permitted noise of tyres that are fitted to new vehicle types entering into service from 2004. In addition it will require most new tyres sold in the replacement market to comply from 2009.

The European Commission also proposed a directive in July 2000 on the Assessment and Management of Environmental Noise. The main sources of noise to which this directive relates are transport and industry. The copy of the draft directive primarily covers noise in built up areas, in public parks or other quiet areas within built up areas and in quiet areas in open country. The proposed directive would require mapping of the principle sources of noise to provide information to the public and the European Commission, and the drawing up of action plans aimed at preventing and reducing undesirable levels of environmental noise.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on proposals to alleviate noise from the M5 at Upton St Leonards. [5459]

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

Letter from Tim Matthews to Mr. David Drew, dated 20 July 2001:


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New Build (East Sussex)

Mr. Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what representations he has received from parish councils in East Sussex regarding the number of new houses planned to be built in the county. [5995]

Ms Keeble: During the preparation of Regional Planning Guidance for the South East, which was published in March 2001, the former Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions received representations from the Sussex Associations of Local Councils; a number of parish councils including Alfriston, Barcombe, Catsfield, Glynde and Beddingham, Hadlow Down, Maresfield, Mountfield and Sedlescombe; and Uckfield Town Council. The representations commented on a range of issues including housing in East Sussex.

Mr. Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will review the number of houses to be built in East Sussex following the latest planning guidance on building and council policy. [5997]

Ms Keeble: The former Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions published Regional Planning Guidance for the South East in March 2001. This contains guidance on future housing provision and distribution. It is now for regional planning bodies to take forward work to the monitoring, implementation and review of this guidance.

Bed-and-breakfast Accommodation

Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many homeless people were accepted into bed-and-breakfast accommodation in (a) south Oxfordshire and (b) England in each of the last five years. [6096]

Ms Keeble: Information reported by South Oxfordshire district council on the number of households resident in bed-and-breakfast hotels under statutory homelessness provisions on 31 March in each of the last five years is given in the table:

Homeless households resident in bed and breakfast accommodation(11) as at 31 March

South OxfordshireEngland
1997334,100
1998554,990
1999287,460
2000258,700
20014710,830

(11) Includes households accommodated pending completion of inquiries by the local authorities.

Source:

DETR P1(E) housing return (quarterly)


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