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BNFL DECOMMISSIONING COSTS: APPORTIONMENT

Lord Jenkins of Putney asked Her Majesty's Government:

28 Nov 1994 : Column WA30

The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Earl Ferrers): The Comptroller and Auditor General's report of June 1993 on The Cost of Decommissioning Nuclear Facilities identified the decommissioning liabilities of British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) as £5916 million at March 1992. Of that total, £1824 million (approximately 30 per cent.) was allocated to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Agency (UKAEA). The report also records that the balance of BNFL's liabilities are allocated to Nuclear Electric, Scottish Nuclear, BNFL's overseas customers and BNFL itself. The costs allocated to MoD and the UKAEA represent the liabilities arising from military and other government nuclear programmes, not assistance with the environmental costs of nuclear energy.

POST OFFICE: FUTURE

Lord Jenkins of Putney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they intend to follow the example of British Nuclear Fuels, or the Labour Party's proposals for the British Broadcasting Corporation, in providing the Post Office with a degree of commercial freedom without depriving it of the standing of a public corporation.

Earl Ferrers: The Government are considering the way ahead for the Post Office under current legislation. In doing so we are looking at a variety of possibilities. There are clear limits, however, to the commercial risks which a public sector organisation, underwritten by the taxpayer, should undertake with public funds, particularly when operating in a competitive domestic market.

PIT BULL TERRIERS

Lord Houghton of Sowerby asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many names appear on the list of exemptions granted under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 to owners of pit bull terriers and what is the reduction in the numbers during the last full year for which figures are available; and

    What is the estimated number of pit bull terriers or pit bull terrier types which may be held unlawfully in the community.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): The number of certificates in force as at 21 November 1994 was 4,377. This compares with 4,617 a year ago.

There is no reliable information available on the number of pit bull terriers or pit bull terrier types being held unlawfully in the community.

Lord Houghton of Sowerby asked Her Majesty's Government:

28 Nov 1994 : Column WA31

    Under what authority can a charge be made to an owner of a pit bull terrier in the custody of police who asks for permission to see his dog personally while it is in detention.

Baroness Blatch: Code of Practice B issued under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 provides that those persons from whom property has been seized, or their representatives, must be allowed supervised access to the property unless the investigating officer has reasonable grounds for believing that this would prejudice the investigation of an offence or any criminal proceedings. Such access will be at the expense of the person requesting it.

UNEMPLOYMENT MEASUREMENT

Lord Dormand of Easington asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many times the method of counting the number of unemployed has been changed since 1979, and the reason for each change.

Lord Inglewood: In October 1982, when registration at jobcentres became voluntary and could therefore no longer provide a meaningful measure of unemployment, the monthly unemployment statistics changed from a count of jobcentre registrants to a count of claimants at Employment Service local offices. Both counts, in common with all statistics based on administrative systems, have inevitably been subject to changes in coverage whenever there have been changes to the administrative procedures on which they are based. However, these changes have been taken into account in the consistent, seasonally adjusted series published by the Employment Department.

A list of the changes since 1979 affecting the coverage of both the former registrant series and the claimant count, together with an estimate of the numerical effect, was published in an article in the December 1990 issue of Employment Gazette. Since the article was written, there has been one additional discontinuity, details of which are given on page S16 of the April 1994 Employment Gazette and in the booklet, How Exactly is Unemployment Measured? Copies of all these documents are in the Library. The latter booklet also covers the internationally standard ILO measure of unemployment also published by the Department and obtained from the Labour Force Survey.

28 Nov 1994 : Column WA32

A.27 POLEGATE-LEWES IMPROVEMENT

Lord Rea asked Her Majesty's Government:

    With regard to the proposed improvement of the A.27 from Polegate to Lewes in East Sussex (a) what was the number, origin, destination and type of vehicle using the road each year since 1990 for which figures are available, and what are the projections for the existing and/or improved road in the years 2000, 2005 and 2010 (or the nearest date for which projections have been made); and (b) when are the results of the feasibility study of possible tunnelling for the proposed A.27 improvement going to be available.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Viscount Goschen): This is an operational matter for the Highways Agency. I have asked the Chief Executive, Mr. Lawrie Haynes, to write to the noble Lord.

Letter to Lord Rea from the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Mr. L. Haynes, dated 28 November 1994:


    Viscount Goschen has asked me to write to you in reply to your recent parliamentary Question about the proposed improvement of the A.27 between Lewes and Polegate in East Sussex, as the information requested relates to operational matters of the Highways Agency.


    East Sussex County Council carried out traffic counts on the A.27 and the surrounding road network during 1993 to enable us to complete information on the origins and destinations of vehicles using the A.27 in the area. The raw data have been submitted to the Agency but they have not yet been analysed. A considerable amount of work will need to be done to translate the figures into "readable" facts. I am therefore unable to supply you with the information you requested at this stage. I will arrange for it to be sent to you as soon as possible, but this is unlikely to be before the middle of next year. The data from this survey will be used to inform the detailed design stage.


    The Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) flows have been predicted using 1990 traffic survey data. The attached table sets out the low growth (LG) and high growth (HG) figures for the A.27 with and without the proposed improvement for the years you requested.


    A proposal for a tunnel south of Mount Caburn was rejected as uneconomic and not without environmental problems in the preferred route statement issued in July 1993.


    We have however, undertaken to look at measures to reduce the impact of the preferred route on the surrounding area during the detailed design stage. This will include considering alternative means of crossing the Glynde Reach at a lower level than the bridge included in the preferred route proposals. I am afraid it is too early to say when this work will be completed.

24 Hour AADT Forecast Flows
1990 2000 2005 2010
LG HG LG HG LG HG
A27 Preferred Route
Southerham-Beddingham -- 32,100 36,000 34,900 40,600 37,600 45,200
Beddingham-Polegate Bypass -- 22,000 24,700 23,900 27,800 25,800 31,000
Existing A27 near Selmeston -- 4,500 5,000 4,900 5,700 5,200 6,300
Existing A27 near Wilmington -- 4,100 4,600 4,400 5,200 4,800 5,800
Do Minimum
Existing A27 Ranscombe Hill 21,250 31,600 35,300 34,300 39,900 37,000 44,500
Existing A27 near Selmeston 15,100 22,450 25,100 24,400 28,350 26,250 31,600
Existing A27 near Wilmington 15,100 22,450 25,100 24,400 28,350 26,250 31,600

Table of 24 Hour AADT Forecast Flows




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