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8 Jan 2002 : Column: 589W
to his answer of 19 November 2001, Official Report, column 35W, on London Underground, what action has been taken against Westinghouse Rail Systems in response to the number of signal failures in the three years since that company introduced the new signalling system. 
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the restoration of regular ferry services between Newhaven and Dieppe; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: The ferry service has been restored. The vessel concerned was withdrawn from service while serious safety deficiencies identified by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency and its French counterpart were rectified. The safety of passengers is my paramount concern.
Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions whom he has met to discuss the implementation of the Mayor of London's proposed congestion charging scheme; and what was discussed at these meetings. 
Mr. Jamieson: Ministers meet a variety of people to discuss a variety of issues including congestion charging. Any congestion charging scheme in London is a matter for the Mayor. The Government's involvement is with respect to exemptions policy and value for money in the use of the net proceeds.
Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many representations he has received on the Mayor of London's proposed congestion charging scheme. 
Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what (a) responsibilities and (b) powers he has with respect to the implementation of a congestion charging scheme in London; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Government's powers in relation to congestion charging in London extend to ensuring that the net revenues from any scheme are spent on value for money transport measures and to national exemptions policy.
I understand that the consultation period on the scheme does not close until the middle of January 2002 and that the Mayor is aiming to announce his decision in mid February. The Government will consider the final version of the spending plan once Transport for London has finished the consultation process.
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Regarding exemptions policy, we have already announced that there will be England-wide exemptions from both road user charging and the workplace parking levy for ambulances and for police and fire emergency vehicles, and for at least some disabled people; and some form of England-wide exemption or concession from the workplace parking levy for NHS hospitals. We have no plans at present for any further England-wide concessions or exemptions.
Dr. Whitehead: 49, across our six buildings in central London. It is our policy however to allow staff parking only for those with disabilities affecting their mobility, or for medical or exceptional operational requirements.
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the value was of the Government's local government financial settlement for the (a) East Devon district council and (b) Devon county council in each year from 197879 to 200102; and what the percentage increase was on the previous year. 
Dr. Whitehead: Information on allocations to individual authorities in years before 1990 is no longer held centrally. The table gives figures for Standard Spending Assessments (SSA) for the two authorities from 199091 to 200102, and the percentage increase in each year after adjusting for changes in function or funding responsibilities. Local government restructuring applied to Devon from 199899 so it is not possible to calculate a meaningful increase for the county in that year.
|Year||SSA (£ million)||Percentage increase|
|East Devon DC|
8 Jan 2002 : Column: 591W
Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what percentage of European funding available to (a) Cornwall, (b) South Yorkshire, (c) Merseyside and (d) West Wales and the Valleys under the Objective 1 Programme has been committed to projects in the respective areas. 
Ms Keeble: The table gives the information requested for the three Objective 1 areas in England as at the 20 December 2001. The implementation of the Objective 1 programme in Wales is a matter for the National Assembly but I understand that as at the end of November, 23 per cent. of the funds available to the programme had been committed.
|Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly||South Yorkshire||Merseyside|
|Commitments so far as a proportion of total allocation(8)||20.9||24.2||15.9|
|Value of grant committed so far(9)||64.6||172.2||134.1|
(9) £ million
Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how much funding from the Single Regeneration Budget was granted to projects in Cornwall between 1997 and 2001. 
Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how much funding from the Single Regeneration Budget was granted to projects in Cornwall between 1994 and 1997. 
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Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the progress towards better integration of motorcycles into overall transport planning. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Government recognise that motorcycles have a part to play in a national transport strategy. My Department is actively seeking to include them in all relevant transport planning and policy documents.
The Government's White Paper on the Future of Transport, "A New Deal for Transport: Better For Everyone", recognised that mopeds and motorcycles can provide an alternative means of transport for many trips. It acknowledged that where public transport is limited and walking unrealistic, motorcycling can provide an affordable alternative to the car, bring benefits to the individual and widen their employment opportunities.
Our Guidance on Full Local Transport Plans built on this. It stated that local authorities should take account of the contribution powered two wheelers can make in delivering integrated transport policies and should consider specific measures to assist motorcyclists in making integrated journeys. Indeed, it advised that all relevant aspects of LTPsincluding road safety, planning and social policiesshould take account of the needs of motorcyclists.
The Government's 10-Year Plan for transport highlighted advantages of motorcycles over cars and the Government's Planning Policy Guidance, which concerns planning as applied to land use and transport, also includes references to motorcycling. It recognises a role for motorcycles as an alternative to the car, particularly where public transport is limited and walking unrealistic, and advises local authorities to consider such measures as appropriate motorcycle parking and the inclusion of motorcycles in park and ride schemes.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what progress he has made towards reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured in road accidents involving cars and motorcyclists over the past 12 months; 
Mr. Jamieson: The number of motorcyclists killed and seriously injured in accidents with cars rose from 4,195 in 1999 to 4,508 in 2000. We are seeking to address this at a local and national level. The Local Transport Plan process requires local authorities to produce a local road safety strategy. This should set out how authorities plan to tackle road traffic casualties in their area, including the current road accident casualty problem. Measures to be pursued will be for the local authority to determine in the light of local circumstances. The local safety strategy should also outline what education, training and publicity work will be undertaken by the authority.
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At a national level our Road Safety Strategy includes a number of measures to improve motorcycle safety. We have already replaced the one-year ban for learners who do not pass the motorcycle test within two years with a further training requirement. We have introduced a training requirement for newly qualified drivers wishing to ride a moped and ended the exemption from the motorcycle theory test for those holding a full car licence. The theory test for drivers also now includes more questions about motorcyclists. We have also co-operated with industry in the production of codes of practice for motorcycle couriers and fast food delivery riders.
Other measures we are pursuing include issuing advice to car drivers and motorcyclists about the vulnerability of motorcyclists, improving training for all riders, establishing a register of accredited motorcycle instructors, and engineering and technical measures which may protect motorcyclists better.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he intends to publish guidance for local authorities about the installation of secure parking facilities for motorcycles in towns and cities. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Department is preparing a Traffic Advisory Leaflet setting out advice to local authorities and others on providing high quality, secure and accessible parking for motorcycles. This is planned for publication by Easter.
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