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The Earl of Haddington asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Whitty: Closure of the tunnel and subsequent alterations to passenger services that would normally use the tunnel are operational matters for Railtrack and the relevant train operating companies. We are advised they do not hold this information centrally and that it could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Motorways: Litter Clearance

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Whitty: In accordance with the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the Highways Agency is responsible for ensuring that motorways are kept litter free. The clearing operations are carried out by the agency's term maintenance contractors, under the supervision of the agency's managing agents. Queries or complaints about the clearance of litter on motorways should be addressed in the first instance to the relevant Highways Agency Area Manager. The names of the relevant contractors, managing agents, Area Manager (and their telephone numbers) are given below:

MotorwayArea ManagerTelephoneAgentContractor
M.25 (Kent/Surrey border-junction 14)David Pocknall01306 878226Mott MacDonaldRaynesway Construction
M.25 (junctions 14-28)Michael Ford01306 878219Kennedy & DonkinAmey Construction
M.25 (junction 28-Kent/Surrey border)David Stark01306 878302WS AtkinsTarmac
M.11 (junction 4-Chigwell)Andrew Gallaghar0171 921 4541WS AtkinsFitzpatrick Contractors
M.11 (Chigwell-North of junction 7)Michael Ford01306 878219PB Kennedy & DonkinAmey Contractors
M.11 (North of junction 7)John Pearman01234 796028Thorburn ColquhounTarmac

The responsibility for litter clearance on most trunk roads, including the A14, A13, and A12, lies with the relevant local district and borough councils. Queries or complaints about the clearance of litter on such roads can be addressed to the relevant council or to the Highways Agency's Customer Services Manager, Emile Al-Uzaizi on telephone 0171 921 4435.

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Greater London Authority

Lord Bassam of Brighton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What arrangements they are making to ensure that the Greater London Authority can discharge its responsibilities.[HL1872]

Lord Whitty: Subject to the passage of the GLA Bill, currently in another place, the GLA will assume its responsibilities on 3 July 2000. We have commissioned consultants, KPMG, to advise on transition arrangements for the GLA. KPMG have now completed their report and copies are being placed in the Library. Among their conclusions, KPMG recommend that a dedicated transition team be established under the leadership of a Head of Transition and that the latter should be recruited as a matter of urgency.

The Audit Commission has kindly agreed to second to my department Dr. Robert Chilton, Director Local Government Studies at the commission to be the Head of Transition. Dr. Chilton, who will report to Ministers through the Director of the Government Office for London, will work closely with my officials to plan a smooth transition for the GLA and to ensure that the necessary financial controls and administrative machinery are in place. He will also be available, should the authority so decide, to act as statutory Chief Administrative Officer until the authority is in a position to make a permanent appointment. We are most grateful to the Audit Commission for making this assistance available. It will be for the GLA, once elected, to make its own arrangements for permanent appointments to senior positions.

European Union: Transport Council

Lord Davies of Coity asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the outcome of the Transport Council held in Brussels on 29 March.[HL1873]

Lord Whitty: The Transport Council met in Brussels on 29 March. My right honourable friend the Minister for Transport represented the United Kingdom.

The Council held policy debates on a number of legislative proposals. Council Conclusions were agreed unanimously on two other issues.

Two of the items on the Council agenda for policy debate--proposals for a regulatory framework for the Community's railways, and a proposed package of measures designed to promote combined transport--had already been considered at previous meetings, while two--a draft directive to regulate working time in the road transport sector, and a Commission proposal to amend the transport Trans-European Network guidelines to include ports and inter-modal terminals--had not been discussed in detail by the Council before. In each of these debates, once member states had given their views the Presidency invited the Committee of Permanent Representatives to undertake further work,

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with the aim of enabling decisions to be taken at the June Council.

Council Conclusions were agreed on the position to be taken by member states at the forthcoming Diplomatic Conference to modernise the Warsaw Convention on air carrier liability. The Council also agreed conclusions explaining its decision to delay adoption of the regulation restricting the use of aircraft modified ("hushkitted") or re-engined to meet current noise standards. The Council agreed that the regulation should be adopted by the end of April, to allow time for discussions with affected third countries.

The Commission gave a presentation of its recent communication proposing a new European satellite navigation and positioning system, which it has named "Galileo". Delegations identified a number of questions for further consideration at an informal meeting of EU Transport Ministers in April.

Under other business, the Commission reported on two legislative proposals on which it was working. One would amend the second directive on driving licences, to allow certain professional drivers who met the previous, but not the latest eyesight standards, to renew their licences. The other consisted of a replacement for the draft directive on airport safety checks, on which the Council had reached a common position but which could not be adopted because of objections by Spain over its application to Gibraltar Airport. These proposals could not however be put forward formally until the new Commission was appointed.

Transport Safety: Consultation

Lord Bassam of Brighton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What plans they have to consult bodies with an interest in transport safety, as part of the review announced in the White Paper A New Deal for Transport, Cm 3950.[HL1874]

Lord Whitty: We are today publishing a consultation document seeking views on arrangements for transport safety. Nothing is more important than safety, and we are determined that we will continue to work towards the highest possible standards of safety in transport. Part of that means making sure that transport safety is organised in ways which are modern, effective and efficient, and which are capable of delivering continued improvements.

The results of the consultation will form a key input to the review of transport safety arrangements which we announced in our transport White Paper.

The review is concerned, not with specific safety strategies or measures, but with the principles which should govern the organisational and institutional framework for ensuring safe transport. In our consultation we are asking for views on that, and on the relationship between accident investigations and inquiries, and the pursuit of legal proceedings.

The consultation document is being distributed widely to bodies with an interest in transport safety, and

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is also available on the Internet. The closing date for responding is 14 June 1999. Copies of the document have been placed in the Library, and are available in the Printed Paper Office.

Eurostar: Regional Services

Lord Bassam of Brighton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they will publish a response to the Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Committee's Fifth Report of Session 1998-99 into regional Eurostar Services (HC 89).[HL1875]

Lord Whitty: We welcome the Committee's report which contained a considerable number of detailed recommendations which have been invaluable in drawing up the terms of reference for our independent review. We are today publishing our formal response which has been laid before the House.


Viscount Long asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many human deaths in the United Kingdom were attributable to tuberculosis in (a) 1995; (b) 1996; (c) 1997 and (d) 1998.[HL1752]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Director of the Office for National Statistics, who has been asked to reply.

Letter to Viscount Long from the Director of the Office for National Statistics, Tim Holt, dated 31 March 1999.

As Director of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your parliamentary question on how many human deaths in the United Kingdom were attributable to tuberculosis in (a) 1995, (b) 1996, (c) 1997 and (d) 1998.

The information requested is shown below.

Deaths certified as due to tuberculosis in the United Kingdom, 1995-97

YearTuberculosis deathsLate effects of tuberculosis deaths

Please note that 1998 data are not yet available.

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