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Mr. Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what changes in expenditure by the South East England Regional Assembly on (a) regional intelligence, (b) communications and (c) publications there have been for the 200102 financial year. 
Dr. Whitehead: The South East England Regional Assembly has been established voluntarily by bodies representing the interests of the south-east region. Their expenditure is a matter for the chamber and its members. The Government have, however, allocated £500,000 this year to SEERA to help the Assembly to establish a stronger strategic and scrutiny role within the region. The Government Office for the South East will be monitoring that part of SEERA's expenditure which relates to the £500,000 grant.
Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the impact of GCHQ's New Accommodation Project on traffic in Cheltenham; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Jamieson: Cheltenham borough council granted planning permission to GCHQ and Group 4/Tarmac on 10 August 1999 for the construction of new buildings and associated engineering operations to provide for the consolidation of GCHQ operations. The application was accompanied by a Traffic Assessment. This, together with the proposal that the development should be related to a Green Travel Plan, was taken into account by the then Secretary of State when the application came before him in August 1998 as a departure from the development plan. The Secretary of State was content to leave jurisdiction for the application with Cheltenham borough council.
Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on his policy towards rerouting traffic away from the A40 through Cheltenham; and if he will make statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: In the Roads Review published in 1998 the Government announced their intention to detrunk the A40 through Cheltenham and Gloucester. When the A40 is detrunked it will be for Gloucestershire county council as the local transport authority to decide how it wishes to manage the traffic on the A40 through Cheltenham.
Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what discussions he has had with the Strategic Rail Authority about the replacement of rail services with bus services by Arriva; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Spellar [holding answer 30 October 2001]: The Strategic Rail Authority and the Passenger Transport Executives have agreed to the implementation of a mitigation plan. The Secretary of State has been kept informed and I understand that an amended timetable came into effect on 29 October and will run until 24 February 2002.
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many (a) car occupants and (b) pedestrians were killed in car crashes since 1971, broken down into five-yearly intervals. 
|Car occupants(2)||Pedestrians hit by cars|
(2) Figures for 197179 inclusive include data for car and taxi occupants only. For 1980 to 1998 they include occupants of minibuses, three wheelers, invalid tricycles and motor caravans. The latter two categories are excluded from figures in 1999 and 2000.
Figures for pedestrians hit by cars are not available for years prior to 1979.
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Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) if he will publish the Transport Research Laboratory's estimate of the comparative effects of the full mandatory pedestrian protection standards for cars and the voluntary approach; 
(2) which EC directorate proposed the voluntary proposals for pedestrian protection standards for vehicles; and if he will publish the scientific basis and assessment of the consequences of the differences from the mandatory Working Group 19 proposals. 
Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 30 October 2001]: The proposals originated from DG Enterprise, who have been engaged in discussions with the vehicle manufacturers' representatives on this issue over the past year.
The work by TRL assessing the benefits of the first phase of the negotiated agreement relative to the benefits of the full EEVC WG17 proposals (which would be delivered in the second phase) has been within a tight timescale, so any figures provided have been on an informal basis. Figures may evolve or be refined before they can be incorporated into an intermediate or final publishable report.
The initial work focused on a critique of the 80 per cent. relative benefit for killed and seriously injured pedestrians claimed by industry. Using what was believed to be similar assumptions, TRL arrived at relative benefits of 60 per cent. for fatals and 70 per cent. for seriously injured. We said, when we recently consulted on the Commission's proposal, that the benefits were being looked at afresh. This new approach uses databases from Europe, Japan and the USA and test and other data. This suggests that the relative benefit is around 25 per cent. for fatals and 60 per cent. for seriously injured.
The benefit for the full EEVC proposals changes slightly to 10 per cent. fatals and 20 per cent. seriously injured compared with the values of 8 per cent. and 21 per cent. which we have traditionally used.
Mr. Byers: Today we have published in a consultation document the Government's proposals to deal with the growing problem of abandoned cars. Copies of the document will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament.
Abandoned cars are an increasing eyesore on our streets and a real danger to children who are attracted to them as playgrounds. Too often they are also a target for local arsonists and also can be useful to criminals as a pool of cars that cannot be traced back to them. Our proposals published today aim to get abandoned cars off the streets, quickly and efficiently.
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The measures will give local councils increased powers to deal with these cars and get rid of the bureaucratic boundaries that make it easier for irresponsible people to abandon cars at will. They will also reduce the demands on the police and fire services who have to deal with the vandalism, arson and other crime resulting from, and facilitated by, abandoned cars.
Ms Keeble: The review of the blue badge scheme is under way. A discussion paper is being prepared. We will announce the outcome of the full review, including any proposals for change, in due course. We will keep the House in touch with progress.
Mr. Jamieson: Cadet training is a matter for the shipping industry itself. But the Government provide financial support for training under the Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) scheme. A company entering the UK tonnage tax has to meet a training commitment equivalent to one officer trainee per year for every 15 officer posts in its fleet. We believe these measures will increase cadet training.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what stocks of (a) antiques, (b) paintings and (c) fine wines are held by his Department; if he will list such assets sold over the last three years together with the sale proceeds from such transactions; what plans he has to sell further such assets over the period of the current comprehensive spending review; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Whitehead: There are no stocks of antiques, paintings or fine wines recorded in the relevant departmental chapter of the National Asset Register published in 2001 or in the 1997 version of the National Asset Register. Since there are none recorded, there are no plans to sell any such assets.
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