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Employment Relations Act

Mr. Dhanda: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the Employment Relations Act 1989 will be reviewed; and if she will make a statement. [68342]

Ms Hewitt: The review begins today. Its terms of reference are the following:

I am placing in the Libraries of the House a Schedule describing the subjects covered in the Act.


A1 Upgrade (North Yorkshire)

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment has been made of the environmental impacts of the forthcoming A1 upgrade in North Yorkshire; if he will place copies of related documentation in the Library; and if he will make a statement; [66318]

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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. Don Foster, dated 11 July 2002:


Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish the letter of agreement of 27 June relating to the Government's undertaking to make sufficient funds available to ensure that the amount receivable by Railtrack group by way of consideration in respect of the disposal of the shares in Railtrack Plc on an after tax basis is equal to £500 million. [66545]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 2 July 2002]: The details of this letter, and the contingent liability contained within, are set out in paragraphs 24 and 25 of the non-statutory contingent liability Minute laid before the House of Commons on 27 June.

Strategic Rail Authority

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the credit rating is of the SRA. [66598]

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Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 2 July 2002]: In line with other non-departmental public bodies, the SRA would receive a high credit rating consistent with its statutory role.

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many applications for membership of the board of the SRA were received in response to the most recent advertisements; and when resulting appointments to the board will be announced. [69164]

Mr. Jamieson: 603 applications have been received for membership of the Board of the Strategic Rail Authority. Appointments will be announced in due course.


Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the special purpose vehicles being developed for enhancement works on the railways. [66603]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 2 July 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Bath (Mr. Foster) on 9 July 2002, Official Report, column 807W.

Network Rail

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received on Network Rail's proposal from (a) the ORR and (b) the SRA. [66544]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 2 July 2002]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has discussed the matter with the ORR and SRA.

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the (a) statutory and (b) other powers of the SRA with regard to the control of Network Rail. [68391]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 9 July 2002]: The SRA's statutory powers are set out in the Railways Act 1993 and the Transport Act 2000. The SRA will be represented as a member of Network Rail and would have certain special rights as a member (e.g. the right to appoint an SRA non-executive director to the board).


Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the EU Technical Adaptation Committee on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to chemical, physical and biological agents at work is next due to meet; whether representatives of the Scottish Executive (a) have been and (b) are members of it; and if he will make a statement. [67756]

Mr. Jamieson: We do not know of any committee with this name and function.

Road User Charging

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what changes he plans to make to his policy on road user charging for inter-urban motorway and trunk roads in response to the prospective opening of the M6 toll road in 2004. [68080]

Mr. Jamieson: There are no plans to introduce inter-urban road user charging, but we shall want to see what lessons can be learned from practical experience

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with charging schemes, including the national scheme for lorries announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his most recent Budget.

Driving Standards Agency

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what evaluations have been conducted on the efficacy and value-for-money provided by the Driving Standards Agency's schools liaison programme; [68365]

Mr. Jamieson: In our road safety strategy "Tomorrow's Roads—Safer for Everyone" we gave the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) an expanded remit to contribute to improvements in road safety for young and novice drivers by establishing, developing and disseminating high standards and best practice in driving and riding on the road. We committed DSA to boosting road safety education in schools by expanding its programme of presentations to schools and colleges. Copies of the "Strategy" are available in House Libraries, and I am arranging for copies of the "Arrive Alive" material to be placed there too.

The schools programme was recently renamed "Arrive Alive" to reflect the wider target audience that has developed since the scheme was launched in 1996. Driving examiners now visit and make presentations to a wide range of organisations including schools and colleges, the armed forces, agricultural colleges, youth football teams, probation services and young offender units. There is no rigid procedure for DSA selecting schools, colleges or other institutions in which to carry out the presentations. In some cases a local Road Safety Officer will ask DSA to take part in a road safety presentation. In other cases, interest might be generated by a visit to the "Arrive Alive" website.

Independent research carried out in 1997 by the British Institute of Traffic Education and Research (BITER) concluded that the schools programme had proved effective in promoting key safety messages and in moulding attitudes among potential drivers.

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The Department has funded the programme since 2000. Prior to that, DSA obtained funding from private business and from surpluses generated by DSA's non-statutory commercial activity—mostly the sale of books. DSA spent £65,000 in 1997–98, £94,000 in 1998–99 and £25,000 in 1999–2000. In 2000–01 funding by the Department amounted to £250,000 and in 2001–02 to £500,000. We plan to increase funding so that as many young learners and novice drivers as possible can benefit from the important road safety messages that the programme conveys—£750,000 for 2002–03 and £1 million for 2003–04.

Presentations are delivered to schools, colleges and the other institutions free of charge. Each presentation costs the Agency an average of £74 for the presenter's travel and subsistence.

In 2001–02, DSA delivered some 2,800 presentations to a number of organisations: A list has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

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