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A63

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the inspector's report of the public inquiry into the A63 Melton Junction will be published. [61624]

Mr. Spellar: The inspector's report will be published when the Secretary of State announces a decision. This is expected by the middle of July 2002.

Transport Expenditure

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much public expenditure was invested in (a) roads and (b) local transport in England and Wales in 2001–02; and what is planned for 2002–03. [61167]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 13 June 2002]: Provisional figures show that in 2001–02 total public expenditure on strategic roads was £1,685 million; and on local transport (which includes local roads) was £2,824 million. The latter figure includes spending in London, of which some will be funding for London Underground Ltd.

For 2002–03 planned public expenditure on strategic roads is £1,832 million and on local transport (which includes local roads) is £3,971 million. The latter figure includes spending in London, of which some will be funding for London Underground Ltd.

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much has been spent on (a) roads and (b) other forms of public transport, in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. [62160]

Mr. Jamieson: Figure for years up to 1999–2000 are published in Table 1.16 of Transport Statistics Great Britain (TSGB) 2001, a copy of which is available in the Libraries of the House. Figures for 2000–01 will be published in TSGB 2002 in October.

Wembley Park Tube Station

Mr. Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on plans for the redevelopment of Wembley Park tube station. [62061]

Mr. Jamieson: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the former Secretary of State to my hon. Friend the Member for Brent, North (Mr. Gardiner) on 12 March 2002, and printed in Hansard on 19 March 2002, Official Report, columns 237–38W.

Roads (Noise)

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the criteria for establishing priorities for the resurfacing of concrete trunk roads. [61321]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 13 June 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Clwyd, West (Gareth Thomas) on 17 October 2001, Official Report, columns 1228–29W.

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of the money allocated for noise reduction work on the motorway network for 2001–02 was spent. [61322]

17 Jun 2002 : Column 76W

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 13 June 2002]: I have asked the chief executive of the Highways Agency, Tim Matthews, to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Tim Matthews to Mr. Mark Oaten:



Roads (London)

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the vehicle capacity was of each leg of the junctions at (a) Vauxhall Cross, (b) Lambeth Bridge/Lambeth Bridge Road, (c) Westminster Bridge/ Westminster Bridge Road, (d) Waterloo Bridge/York Road and (e) Trafalgar Square (i) in 1997 and (ii) at the most recent date for which information is available prior to the establishment of the GLA. [62006]

Mr. Jamieson: My Department does not hold this information. The relevant roads were the responsibility of either Westminster city council or Lambeth borough council before the establishment of the GLA. Further information can be obtained from:

















Passenger Carrying Vehicle Conversion

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he will take to ensure that conversions from commercial vans to passenger carrying vehicles, of all sizes, have been completed to meet legal requirements. [61809]

Mr. Jamieson: In common with purpose built vehicles, commercial vehicles that are converted to passenger carrying vehicles and are licensed as PSV's are subject to initial testing if they are to be used for hire and reward. All such vehicles are also subject to annual testing and random enforcement checks by either the police or officials from the Department's Vehicle Inspectorate Agency.

17 Jun 2002 : Column 77W

Sea Safety

Miss Begg: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to liaise with the (a) Secretary of State for Education and Skills and (b) the devolved Parliament and Assemblies to find new ways of promoting Sea Safety and the Sea Smart code. [62435]

Mr. Jamieson: The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) as the executive agency with responsibility for Sea Safety and Sea Smart is currently developing new approaches to improve safety at sea and at the coast and will liaise with the Department for Education and Skills and also the devolved Administrations.

Within its current business plan the agency has three pilot projects in progress on accident prevention across the leisure and fishing industries to develop suitable methods to improve sea safety and to measure the impact of any new measures.

Pollution From Ships

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make an assessment of the National Audit Office report Dealing with Pollution from Ships published on 12 June; and if he will make a statement. [62548]

Mr. Jamieson: When read in its entirety, the Comptroller and Auditor General's report "Dealing with pollution from ships" is a soundly based, balanced and well rounded report which recognises the very substantial achievements of my Department and its Maritime and Coastguard Agency in minimising the risk of pollution of the marine environment from ships and, where pollution occurs, in minimising the impact of that pollution on UK waters, coastlines and economic interests.

The report has much to say that is positive, while also highlighting areas where it perceives that there is work to be done. I welcome the findings contained in the report, and am considering the best way to address the recommendations.

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will amend the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 to remove the statutory defence against prosecution it confers upon masters of vessels who take reasonable steps to reduce or stop pollution after their vessels have been damaged. [62547]

Mr. Jamieson: In the light of the differences between the defences available under the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Oil Pollution) Regulations 1996, applying to our Pollution Control Zone, and those available under the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 when offences take place in UK waters inside our baselines, the Department will consider the alignment of the defences that should apply in both areas. This may require subsequent amendment of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 as the defences within the 1996 Regulations derive from an International Convention.

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will amend the Merchant Shipping Prevention of Oil Pollution Regulations 1996 to extend their applicability to areas landward of the baseline designating the start of the UK's 12-mile territorial waters. [62546]

17 Jun 2002 : Column 78W

Mr. Jamieson: The Comptroller and Auditor General has recommended, in his report "Dealing with pollution from ships", that the Merchant Shipping legislation be revised to ensure that pollution incidents may be prosecuted under the UK's oil pollution regulations, wherever incidents occur within the UK Pollution Control Zone. This recommendation relates to the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Oil Pollution) Regulations 1996, SI 1996/2154.

As the report explains, the 1996 Regulations are concerned with areas seaward from the baseline from which the United Kingdom's territorial sea is measured. Illegal discharges of oil in the internal waters landward of that baseline (including estuaries) can be prosecuted under section 131 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995. Defences are available under both the 1996 Regulations and the 1995 Act. However those under the 1995 Act are different in some key details from those provided under the 1996 Regulations. In the light of the concerns raised by the Comptroller and Auditor General, the Department will consider the alignment of the defences under both the Regulation and the Act. This may involve subsequent amendment of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 as the defences in the 1996 Regulations derive from an International Convention.


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