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The Minister of State, Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): My department consulted on amending Section of 7 of the Building Act 1984 in April 2000. This consultation arose from the Deregulation Task Force report for 199596 which said:
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: This research was carried out by ICE Ergonomics Ltd on behalf of the Joint Aviation Authorities under funding from the UK Civil Aviation Authority and was aimed principally at harmonising European standards on the safety issues associated with seating. The main finding suggested that a minimum seat spacing of 29.4 inches is needed to accommodate the 99th percentile of passenger by body size, allowing 1 inch of knee clearance to the back of the seat in front. The report also recommended that in order to guarantee sufficient seated space a minimum foot clearance envelope is needed. These results were based on software modelling using anthropometric data and the research recommends passenger trials to validate the findings.
In parallel with this, the UK's Aviation Health Working Group has prepared definitions of aircraft seat dimensions covering leg, elbow and hip room. It is intended that these will shortly be agreed with representatives from industy and consumer groups before being circulated to airlines and other interested parties.
The Government have not been prescriptive about how the airlines should present this material to passengers. We have however continued to monitor the use the airlines have made of this advice and are satisfied that they are providing good quality information in a variety of formats, including leaflets, in flight magazines, announcements and videos. The British Air Transport Association has stated that all UK long haul carriers, both charter and scheduled, provide passengers with advice on health before and during the flight.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: All UK registered long haul aircraft have HEPA standard filters fitted. On short haul routes some aircraft types cannot be fitted with HEPA filters or do not re-circulate air and therefore do not require filters. Nevertheless we understand that the majority of UK registered aircraft operating international short haul flights are fitted with HEPA filters.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: Use of Regulatory Reform Order procedures in this regard will certainly be considered, but we will of course need to take account of other calls on use of these procedures before a final decision is taken.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: No. This proposal, if assented to by the European Parliament and agreed by the Council of the European Union, would make membership of the European Parliament incompatible with membership of a national parliament from 2004, though the UK has obtained a derogation for serving members of the UK Parliament until 2009. It has no implications for the membership of local authorities.
We are aware of the Clinical Standards Advisory Group report on Services for Patients with Pain published in April 2000, which showed that chronic pain services exist in 220 National Health Service trusts in the United Kingdom.
|Regional office||Median waiting time in days|
|Northern and Yorkshire||46|
The figures reflect all National Health Service trusts treating patients with a specialty code for pain management and are based on elective waiting list and booked hospital in-patient admissions.