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Drug and Alcohol Screening

Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what statutory requirements there are for drug and alcohol screening tests for employees of transport companies. [65789]

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Mr. Jamieson: There are no statutory screening tests for employees of transport companies.

The Government are aware that many transport operators already have strict policies that may include screening programmes.

Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to introduce drug screening tests alongside breathalysers for traffic offences. [65790]

Mr. Jamieson: Drug screening is already used by the majority of police forces who have trained officers in the techniques of drug recognition and tests of impairment. Devices that detect the presence of drugs chemically are being developed and tested by a number of commercial companies. If these prove successful and appropriate, they may be used to assist the police at the roadside. Under current legislation the police do not have the same power to test drivers at the roadside for possible drugs as they do for alcohol. It is the Government's intention to amend the legislation to enable this.

Railtrack Group

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, (1) pursuant to his statement of 27 June, what his estimate is of the value of the relief to be offered to Railtrack Group PLC in respect of corporation tax on capital gains; [66508]

Mr. Jamieson: The Government have been advised that Railtrack Group should be able to take advantage of the exemptions referred to in paragraphs 24 and 25 of the Non-Statutory Contingent Liability minute laid before the House of Commons on 27 June. This would ensure that, in all likelihood, Railtrack Group incurs no tax liability as a result of the Railtrack plc disposal.

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the projects given in Railtrack's Network Management Statement 2001 that, by the end of March 2002, had (a) been completed, (b) been started but not completed, indicating the expected completion date and (c) not been started, indicating the expected start date. [66601]

Mr. Jamieson: Railtrack advise that details of the work identified in the 2001 Network Management Statement (NMS) against details of work that has been completed, started but not completed, and of work that has not been started, will form a paper to be published as part of an update to the 2001 NMS. It is expected that this will be published in the summer of 2002.

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what duty is placed on the administrators of Railtrack PLC to provide accurate and timely information to Railtrack Group. [66529]

Mr. Jamieson: This is a matter for the Administrators who are Officers of the High Court.

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Asset Maintenance Plan

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on (a) the timing, (b) the responsibility for and (c) the basis of preparation of the asset maintenance plan. [66534]

Mr. Jamieson: Railtrack's duties in respect of asset maintenance are primarily those set out in its network licence, in particular Conditions 7 and 24. Railtrack also has duties set out in regulated track access agreements with train operating companies. Railtrack produced asset maintenance plans for civil engineering (track and structures) in 1998 and for signalling assets in 1999. These formed critical inputs to the Rail Regulator's periodic review of access charges which concluded in October 2000. Railtrack also must produce a Network Management Statement (NMS) annually, in compliance with Condition 7 of its network licence. The NMS sets out how the company will manage the operation, efficiency and capability of its assets to meet the reasonable requirements of its customers.

Night Flights

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the Government's appeal against the decision of the European Court of Human Rights on the banning of night flights will be heard; and if he will make a statement. [65565]

Mr. Jamieson: I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave to the hon. Member for Loughborough (Mr. Reed) on 19 December 2001, Official Report, columns 519–20W. The Judgment of the Third Section of the Court, issued on 2 October 2001, would not require a ban on night flights. The hearing before the Grand Chamber of the Court in the case of Hatton and Others v. the United Kingdom is scheduled for 9 October 2002.

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent representations he has received on noise relating to night flights at East Midlands airport. [65563]

Mr. Jamieson: I and my Department received over recent months a substantial number of personal and written representations on this subject, some advocating and others opposing designation of the airport for the purpose of imposing night restrictions.

Pedestrian Environment

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research he has conducted into improving the pedestrian environment for the disabled; if he will place a copy of results in the Library; and if he will list schemes introduced in the last two years to improve the pedestrian environment for the disabled. [66613]

Mr. Jamieson: My Department has carried out a wide range of research over a number of years aimed at improving access to the pedestrian environment for disabled people. Research findings have been disseminated in the form of guidance for local authorities and others.

We are currently finalising a comprehensive guidance document based on research to establish best practice in providing for disabled people both in the pedestrian environment and in transport infrastructure. "Inclusive Mobility—A Guide to Best Practice on Pedestrian and Transport Infrastructure" has been produced by my

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Department with support from Transport for London, the Institution of Highways and Transportation, the County Surveyor's Society, the Association of Transport Co-ordinating Officers and the Passenger Transport Executive Group. The guidance will help local authorities and transport providers to understand and fulfil their duties under Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act 1985. I will place a copy in the Library when it is published.

We do not hold details of individual schemes that have been introduced by local authorities.

Heathrow Terminal 5

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the statement by the right hon. Member for Tyneside, North (Mr. Byers), Official Report, 20 November 2001, column 178, on Heathrow Terminal 5, when he will open the consultation on extending the night quota period; and if he will make a statement. [65567]

Mr. Jamieson: We aim to commence consultation on all aspects of the next night noise regime for the BAA London airports before the end of this year. It is likely to be a two stage process.

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the statement by the right hon. Member for North Tyneside, Official Report, 20 November 2001, column 178, on Heathrow Terminal 5, if he will make a statement on Government policy on the limit on the number of flights at Heathrow when Terminal 5 at Heathrow is built. [65566]

Mr. Jamieson: The Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions imposed a condition on the planning consent for Heathrow Terminal 5, requiring that from the date the core terminal building opens for public use, the number of occasions on which aircraft may take-off or land at Heathrow shall not exceed 480,000 during any period of one year.

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West Coast Main Line

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will estimate the cost of the West Coast Main Line upgrade; and if he will make a statement. [66549]

Mr. Jamieson: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 8 May 2002, Official Report, column 216W, to the hon. Member for Galloway and Upper Nithsdale (Mr. Duncan).

East Midlands Airport

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what criteria he used to determine that East Midlands Airport should not be designated under section 78 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982 in relation to night flights. [65564]

Mr. Jamieson: The decision not to designate the airport is explained in my letter of 18 June to North West Leicestershire district council. I have placed a copy of that letter in the Library of the House.

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what meetings he or his predecessor had with representatives of North West Leicestershire district council prior to his decision not to designate East Midlands airport under section 78 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982 in relation to night flights. [65562]

Mr. Jamieson: I met representatives of North West Leicestershire district council, along with others, on 13 November last, to discuss this matter. Subsequently the Department also received further written representations from the council.


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