Mr. Hanley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he intends to publish his Department's analysis of the public consultation response to the stage 2 options of the London assessment studies.
Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has regarding the effect of gamma and neutron radiation upon food stocks on board Pacific nuclear transport vessels carrying spent nuclear fuel.
Mr. McLoughlin : Food is stored in the accommodation area situated at the stern of the ship, distant from the cargo. The design of these ships is such that there is no measurable difference in radiation from background levels where the food is stored.
Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will commission a study into the short, medium and long-term health effects of gamma and neutron radiation upon seafarers working on United Kingdom registered ships carrying spent nuclear fuel ; (2) if he will commission a study of the potential adverse health effects of being crew members on board ships carrying spent nuclear fuel.
Mr. McLoughlin : My Department commissioned the National Radiological Protection Board to study the radiation doses arising from the sea transport of radioactive materials, including spent fuel. The study was completed in 1988, and the main results presented during an international symposium on the packaging and transportation of radioactive materials held last year. These showed that the doses to which seafarers were exposed were well below recommended limits.
Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the emergency planning arrangements for ship-to-shore-to-ship communications in the event of a ship
Column 2carrying spent nuclear fuel to the United Kingdom being involved in a serious incident involving the release of significant radiation.
Mr. McLoughlin : Adequate arrangements already exist for distress communications within the United Kingdom search and rescue region, for ship -to-shore-to-ship communication. We keep in close touch with BNFL's emergency planning arrangements and I have no reason to doubt the adequacy of the modern systems that would be used to communicate with any ship involved in a more distant incident of this kind.
Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has on the radiation protection standards for workers handling spent nuclear fuel in transport in the United States of America.
Mr. McLoughlin : The radiation protection standards for workers worldwide are based on the recommendations of the International Commission for Radiological Protection (ICRP) publication No. 26. I understand that these apply to all classes of radiation workers in the United States of America.
Mr. McLoughlin : The Ionising Radiations Regulations and their approved code of practice apply to all workers handling radioactive materials and contain the requirements to ensure the necessary standards of safety.
Mr. Latham : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will specify the exact place where the measuring equipment was put within the curtilage of Arnold Lodge, Belvoir road, Bottesford, when his departmental survey into noise from the A52 trunk road was carried out in May 1989.
Mr. Latham : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what specific date or dates the survey was carried out for his Department in May 1989 on noise arising from the A52 trunk road by-pass around Bottesford, Leicestershire ; and what set of measuring equipment was used in each case.
Mr. Latham : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport by what means his departmental survey of noise from the A52 bypass around Bottesford differentiated between (a) noise arising from the concrete surface of the road, (b) engine noise and (c) overall air displacement by traffic movement ; and what allowances were made for variations in the direction of the prevailing wind.
Column 3displacement. It measured actual noise levels. Wind conditions were monitored during the survey. Surveys were abandoned and repeated when wind conditions were outside those specified in "Calculation of Road Traffic Noise (1988)".
Mr. Latham : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when his officials at the regional office in Nottingham intend to reply to the letter sent to them on 12 March by Mr. Colin Love of Arnold Lodge, Belvoir road, Bottesford, relating to the noise survey of the A52 road.
Mr. Atkins : My hon. Friend the Member for Rutland and Melton (Mr. Latham) wrote to me on 28 February with a similar letter from his constituent, Mr. Love. I met my hon. Friend on 27 March to discuss noise from Bottesford bypass and agreed to write to him about whether any further action could be taken. The regional office did not reply to Mr. Love pending this exchange, but will respond shortly.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give details of funding given by his Department to the polytechnic of the south-west in each of the last five years for research into marine collision and avoidance systems.
Mr. McLoughlin : The Department has not funded any research by the polytechnic of the south-west on marine collision and avoidance systems in the last five years. Research into collision avoidance costing £158,500 was, however, commissioned from another research organisation and completed in 1986. The Department is committed to a policy of funding research work through open tendering procedures.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which marine pollution control unit ships were sent to the Rosebay incident ; and (a) at what time each was ordered in, (b) at what time each arrived at the scene of the spillage and (c) at what time each began clean-up operations.
Mr. McLoughlin : As part of the overall response to the spillage of oil from the Rosebay, arrangements were put in hand by the MPCU at 17.00 on 12 May to locate and charter from commercial sources the nearest specific types of vessel required to mount as soon as possible an operation to mechanically recover oil from the sea surface. Subsequently, a vessel to carry the recovery equipment, the Laila Viking, and a coastal tanker to receive recovered oil, the BP Warrior, located at Great Yarmouth and Milford Haven respectively, were taken on hire with effect from 00.01 on 13 May. A tug at Brixham, the Pendragon B, to deploy the boom associated with the recovery equipment, was taken on hire at 04.00 on 14 May.
The three vessels, which had to work together as a team, arrived at the scene of the incident at 08.10 on 14 May, special heavy duty ship- separating fenders necessary for the operation were towed out from Kingswear and fitted in position by 19.00 on 14 May and final adjustments were then made to the system. Recovery operations began at first light on 15 May.
Further arrangements were started at 11.35 on 14 May to contract another coastal tanker to provide reserve
Column 4storage space for recovered oil. Esso Tenby was taken on hire when she arrived on scene at 03.00 on 15 May ; to date, it has not been necessary to use this vessel in operations.
The Warren Spring laboratory research vessel, Seaspring, a small self- contained tank vessel with an MPCU oil recovery system on board, was activated at 19.38 on 13 May for inshore work. She arrived on scene from Ipswich at 07.45 on 16 May and commenced clean-up operations at 14.42 the same day.
Mr. Atkins : I have no plans at present. I do strongly advise motorcyclists to use dipped headlamps and to wear fluorescent material during the day to help make them more readily seen. This recommendation is included in the highway code.
Dr. Marek : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to ascertain how much grant could be paid by the European Commission towards the electrification of the Crewe to Holyhead main line.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will introduce regulations regarding the wearing of survival suits (a) by passengers, and (b) by crew, on helicopters operating on North sea rigs and platforms ;
(2) whether he will introduce standards for survival suits to be worn by passengers in helicopters travelling to and from North sea rigs and platforms ;
(3) if he intends to introduce regulations to ensure a standard lifejacket to be worn by helicopter passengers on North sea rigs and platforms.
I am advised by the authority that provisions already exist in the Air Navigation Order for the wearing of survival suits by crew members. The authority has no jurisdiction to legislate for the wearing of suits by passengers though I understand that the suits are normally so worn.
The carriage of lifejackets for the use of passengers is governed by the provisions contained in the Air Navigation Order and such lifejackets must meet the standards specified by the CAA.
From what I have seen, the proposals do not seem to go far enough. The Community's long-term aim should be to set a mid-1990s diesel standard based as closely as possible on the United States 1994 standard, both in limit values and test procedure. This is the strictest of all the diesel emission standards being considered worldwide. In particular, it would require substantial reductions in the amount of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and particulates emitted by new vehicles.
Mr. Colvin : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list in the Official Report those airlines that have been fined under the Immigration (Carriers' Liability) Act 1987, showing the number and total value of fines for the years for which statistics are available.
Liability was incurred in 14,295 cases in the period from the introduction of the Act (4 March 1987) to 28 February 1990. This gave rise to charges totalling £14.295 million. The following carriers and agents incurred liability in that three-year period :
Aero Transporti Italian
Aeroflot Soviet Airlines
African Safari Airlines
Air New Zealand
Aircraft Management Consortium
Anglo-Soviet Shipping Co. Ltd.
Balkan Bulgarian Airlines
Barrie & Nairn Ltd.
Birmingham Executive Airways
Brantford Int. Agencies Ltd.
British Air Ferries
British Island Air
British West Indian Air
Burnett & Co. (Newcastle) Ltd.
CAAC Main Line China
Caledonian Airways Ltd.
Canada 3000 Airlines Ltd.
Captain W. F. Taylor
Clay Lacy Aviation Ltd.
Constantine Brantford Ltd.
Cunard Line Ltd.
Currig Line Agents
Cutting & Co. (Humber) Ltd.
Denholm Ship Agency
El-Al Israel Airlines
Executive Aviation Services
Falmouth Fishselling Co.
Fred Olsen Lines
Gambia Air Shuttle Ltd.
GB Airways Ltd. (Gibraltar)
H. E. Kamal Adham
Hill Dickinson & Co.
Hoverspeed UK Ltd.
International Business Air
J. F. Marshall & Son Ltd.
John Cook & Son