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London to Ipswich Multi-modal Study

Mr. Gummer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to implement the recommendations of the London to Ipswich Multi-modal Study relating to the rail and road infrastructure within the Haven Gateway sub-region. [69989]

Mr. Spellar: This study will report later this year. We will then consider the recommendations once we have received advice from the east of England local government conference.

United States Embassy

Mr. Gummer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport by what authority representatives of the United States embassy prevent public pedestrian access to the pavement outside the United States embassy. [69984]

Mr. Spellar: The Metropolitan police, using their common law powers, control public pedestrian access outside the United States embassy to maintain the security of those who work at, visit or live nearby the location. The United States embassy does not itself prevent public pedestrian access. The security arrangements are regularly reviewed.

Public Highway Closures

Mr. Gummer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 7 February 2002, Official Report, column 1094W, on public highway closures, if he will list the roads in London in respect of which he has sought an order under section 116 of the Highways Act 1980. [69974]

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Mr. Spellar: This information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

US-UK Air Services

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what communications he has received in the last three months from the European Commission regarding the regulation of UK-US aviation; and if he will make a statement. [70062]

Mr. Jamieson: We have had correspondence from the Commission about a complaint by bmi british midland about the operation of the Bermuda 2 agreement with the United States.

Heathrow Airport

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what figures his Department has collated for the SERAS report on comparative rates of growth over the past five years at (a) Heathrow airport and (b) its competitors. [70063]

Mr. Jamieson: The Civil Aviation Authority published statistics show the rate of growth in terminal passengers at Heathrow airport over the last five years. These are set out in the table below together with equivalent figures for Heathrow's main European competitors.

Terminal passengers

HeathrowAmsterdamParis (CDG)Frankfurt
Percentage increase+4.5+26.7+36.5+21.7


CAA statistics (Heathrow only) and DP statistics.

Light Rail and Tram Links

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library statistics relating to the average journey time, distinguishing between scheduled and excess, on the (a) DLR, (b) Tyne and Wear Metro, (c) Manchester Metro link, (d) South Yorkshire Supertram, (e) Midland Metro and (f) Croydon Tramlink, giving the source for each data set used. [69774]

Mr. Jamieson: Information is not available for (c) Manchester Metro link. The available information for the other five light rail systems has been placed in the Libraries of the House.


Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what help will be given to NATS to make sure that the problems of computer failure are addressed. [69492]

Mr. Jamieson: These are operational matters for NATS, who have already introduced measures to address the problems which caused the recent computer failures.

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Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what the overall manning level of air traffic controllers at Swanwick has been, expressed as a percentage of optimal manning levels since its opening; [70126]

Mr. Jamieson: These are operational matters for National Air Traffic Services Ltd (NATS).

Bus Services

Mrs. Browning: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he will review the bus service operating tolerance guidelines introduced on 2 April. [70364]

Mr. Jamieson: The guidelines were introduced by the Traffic Commissioners and any review would be a matter for them.

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many more buses there are on UK roads since 1997; and what improvements in bus travel have been made. [69528]

Mr. Jamieson: Figures for Great Britain from the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) show that there were 78,577 buses and coaches with nine or more seats registered on 31 December 1997. On 31 March 2002, the equivalent figure was 89,867, an increase of 11,290.

In the same period, 31,386 buses and coaches were newly registered. The average age of the local service bus fleet has fallen from 9.4 years in 1997 to 8.4 years in 2001 and the bus industry is committed to reducing it to 8.0 years and maintaining it at that level in line with the Government's 10-year plan for transport. From 31 December 2000 all new buses used on local or scheduled services have been accessible to disabled people including wheelchair users.

Bus service provision in rural areas has been enhanced since 1998 by additional funding to local authorities in the form of Rural Bus Subsidy Grant (RBSG) and Rural Bus Challenge (RBC). RBSG funding for 2001–04 is £138 million and is supporting 1,800 new and enhanced services in rural areas. The RBC competitions have provided £69.8 million to enable 213 innovative local authority schemes for rural communities to be introduced. Since 2001 the Urban Bus Challenge, targeted at urban communities suffering from high levels of deprivation, has resulted in awards of £15.3 million to 32 schemes in 24 local authority areas.

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Local authorities are encouraged to consider installing bus priority measures where they are feasible and sensible. The local transport settlement for 2002–03 will help fund up to 110 bus priority measures.

RMT Strike

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with London Underground management on the strikes called by the RMT union for 17 and 18 July. [70508]

Mr. Jamieson: This is a matter for London Underground. However, the Government are extremely disappointed that the RMT has decided to call industrial action. We urge both sides to do all they can to reach agreement and avoid making the 3 million people who rely on the tube each day suffer again.


Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the Government have done since 1997 to convince people to use methods of transport apart from the car. [69527]

Mr. Jamieson: We published our Integrated Transport White Paper in 1998, and our 10-year plan for Transport in 2000. These documents set out our policy for promoting choice for the travelling public. Initiatives we have taken or are taking to promote alternative forms of transport to the car include:

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many miles of new road have been constructed since 1997. [69526]

Mr. Jamieson: The public road length of Great Britain at 1 April 2001 was estimated to be 3,066 miles longer than at 1 April 1997. Motorways accounted for 59 miles of this increase.

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Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent progress has been made with the plans for new toll roads and motorways. [69529]

Mr. Jamieson: There are no such plans. The M6 toll (the Birmingham northern relief road) is already under construction and is expected to open in early 2004.

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