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Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 19 March 2003


Marine Accidents

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the number of (a) accidents and (b) fatalities in UK waters in each year since 1997 involving fisheries vessels, where vessel size to power ratio was identified as a contributory factor. [103695]

Mr. Jamieson: The Marine Accident Investigation Branch of the Department for Transport record details of accidents and fatalities involving UK registered vessels or occurring in UK 12 mile territorial waters. They have searched their records and been unable to identify any incidents involving fisheries vessels from 1997 to date where vessel size to power ratio was a contributory factor.

Road Safety

Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made on reflective strips for builders' skips. [103940]

Mr. Jamieson: The British Standards Institution has circulated a first draft of a proposed standard for high performance retroreflective materials, and is currently preparing a revised version taking account of the technical comments received. The Department intends, once the British Standard has been published, to consult on the proposal that local authorities should be able to specify the use of these products on builders' skips, as an alternative to using lamps in conjunction with lower grade retroreflective markings.

Road User Charging

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport why the illustrative (a) constant motoring costs and additional investment, (b) wider take up of local charging powers and (c) limited inter-urban charging scenarios, and the three illustrative scenarios combined, from the original 10-year plan have not been repeated using the new transport model; and how much he estimates it would cost the Department in (i) monetary terms and (ii) departmental manpower to carry them out. [103055]

Mr. Jamieson: There are several reasons why the scenarios have not been replicated. Our new National Transport Model is different to the one used for the original 10-year plan in a number of ways—including its multi-modal approach, more recent data and revised assumptions. Given this, attempting to replicate the scenarios would not provide us with useful information on the comparative performance of the two models. In addition, the information and assumptions on which the

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original scenarios were based has now been superseded, so the scenarios themselves would not be directly comparable.

The limited information which would be gleaned means that replicating the identical scenarios has not been a priority for the modelling team. To date, and for the foreseeable future, run time is dedicated to priority work being undertaken as part of the review and roll forward of the 10-year plan. I have not estimated what the monetary costs would be, but due to the complexity of the model runs, the scenarios could take up to two weeks to produce, at the expense of urgent work required for the review and roll forward of the Plan.

Air Safety

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what measures the Safety Regulation Group takes to ensure that (a) flight crew and (b) air traffic controllers are not subject to harassment after submitting safety related reports (i) within and (ii) outside the Mandatory Occurrence Reporting Scheme; [103571]

Mr. Jamieson: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is included in the Public Interest Disclosure (Prescribed Persons) Order 1999 in respect of

Any reports received by the CAA under the Mandatory Occurrence Reporting Scheme are distributed only to a Department with a direct interest in the content of that report and the anonymity of the author will be retained throughout. Any individual who considers that they have been harassed as a result of submitting a report to the CAA may make a complaint to the CAA.

Reports submitted outside the Mandatory Occurrence Scheme include those submitted by flight crew to the UK Confidential Human Factors Incident Reporting Programme (CHIRP). This programme provides a confidential reporting system for all individuals employed in or associated with the industries. In addition, the CAA meets annually with representatives of the British Airline Pilots Association where pilots' concerns may be raised in complete

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confidentiality and anonymity. And Air Traffic Controllers may, if they wish, file confidential reports directly to SRG.

The CAA is aware that an Overload or Mandatory Occurrence Report submitted by a controller may be written subjectively. Therefore, CAA requires that each Air Traffic Control Unit has a process in place which undertakes local investigations of such reports to verify their accuracy and objectivity.

The CAA has not revoked any Air Traffic Controller's Licence as a result of receiving an Overload or Mandatory Occurrence Report.

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many unannounced inspections the Safety Regulation Group has carried out on civil air traffic control units within the last 30 months. [103572]

Mr. Jamieson: The Safety Regulation Group has not carried out any unannounced inspections of civil air traffic control units within the last 30 months.

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) whether all the senior managers at the Safety Regulation Group have attained relevant qualifications required for their civil role and responsibilities; [103685]

Mr. Jamieson: The Safety Regulation Group employs 43 senior managers. Of these:

No senior managers have been recruited to the Safety Regulation Group from external sources over the last 30 months.

All senior managers at the Safety Regulation Group are selected and appointed on the basis of objective judgment as to their suitability for the role, with regard to qualifications, experience, knowledge and competence.

Internal Telephone Directory

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the most recent internal phone directory for the Department was published; how often it is updated; and if he will place a copy in the Library. [101784]

Mr. Jamieson: The Department's internal directory is held electronically and is continuously updated. The last paper copy produced was in November 2001 for the then DTLR. A copy will not therefore be placed in the Library.

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London Underground

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his answer of 6 March, Official Report, column 1159W, on London Underground, what the period is of the contract with the London Underground PPP Infrastructure Consortia; what the break and reassessment periods are; and if he will make a statement. [103447]

Mr. Jamieson: The full period in the contracts is 30 years. Periodic reviews are provided for at 7.5 year intervals.

National Transport Model

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many officials work on the National Transport Model. [103057]

Mr. Jamieson: Nine officials work directly on the development, maintenance and application of the National Transport Model.


Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many passengers travelled on the Great Western line in 2002 between (a) London Paddington and Reading and (b) Reading and London Paddington (i) each weekday on average, (ii) each weekend on average and (iii) on each day that the Reading Festival took place. [103356]

Mr. Jamieson: The information is not available in the form requested. The Strategic Rail Authority publishes annual passenger journey figures for each Train Operating Company in its Annual Report, a copy of which is placed in the Libraries of the House.

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the 10 locations of greatest railway congestion, indicating how many trains pass per hour in each 1-hour period between 6 am and 10 pm on a typical weekday (a) in total and (b) per available track. [102256]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 11 March 2003]: There is no one standard method of measuring congestion.

The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) is developing Route Utilisation Strategies whose purpose is to identify the best overall use of the network. The SRA's Capacity Utilisation statement of principles, published in December 2002, has been placed in the House Libraries.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what discussions he has had with the Strategic Rail Authority regarding the announcement of the draft specifications for the new arrangements for the Thames Trains franchise due to commence in April and May 2004; and if he will make a statement; [103297]

Mr. Jamieson: My right hon. Friend has regular contact with the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) on the full range of its activities. The SRA is considering the process for the replacement of the current Thames

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Trains franchise, which expires on 31 March 2004. The Great Western timetable is likely to change following the Great Western Main Line route utilisation strategy, which is expected to be implemented in 2004.

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