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Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions on what occasions he and his Department have held meetings since May 1997 with representatives from (a) BP, (b) Shell, (c) Exxon- Mobil, (d) Enron, (e) Conoco, (f) Texaco and (g) TotalFinaElf; if he will state the purpose of each meeting; and if he will provide details of the outcomes and agreements reached as a result of each meeting. 
Dr. Whitehead: Ministers and officials from this Department meet representatives from major oil companies regularly to discuss a range of issues. It is not the normal practice of the Government to release details of meetings or discussions with private individuals or companies.
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Mr. Jamieson: The European Directive on the dimensions of certain categories of vehicles was amended on 17 January 2002 to allow increases in the length of buses and coaches. The changes include provisions to ensure that longer buses are compatible with UK road layouts. My Department will shortly be consulting on regulations to implement it into UK law.
At present it is planned to hold a trial of a number of coaches 12.8m in length (current UK maximum is 12m) that will be travelling between Bath, Swindon, London Heathrow airport and London. The purpose of this trial is to assess options for wheelchair accessibility.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what is the (a) current status of, (b) start date of and (c) expected completion date for the channel tunnel rail link phase one project. 
Mr. Byers: Section 1 of the channel tunnel rail link, from the channel tunnel to Fawkham junction, is currently on time, on budget and approximately 78 per cent. complete. Work started in 1998 and is due for completion in 2003.
Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what action is being taken to reduce the number of working days lost through absence of staff on medical grounds on the London underground. 
Mr. Jamieson: In response to what London Underground (LU) recognised was an unacceptable level of performance during 200001, they initiated a programme of activity to address this and get performance moving back to the levels which had been achieved in 19992000. A major focus of this activity was to reduce peak hour train cancellations due to the non-availability of train operators, as well as to better manage staff absences of all kinds.
The benefits of this work are now being realised, with the level of peak cancellations due to the non-availability of train operators now running at less than 20 trains per week, down by 80 per cent. since December 2000, and the level of employee attendance generally, improving. Details of the specific management actions being taken are a matter for LU.
Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, (1) pursuant to his answer of 28 January 2002, Official Report, column 50W, for what reason London Underground is not able to provide information on absence on medical grounds for (a) 199697, (b) 199798, (c) 199899 and (d) 19992000; 
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Mr. Jamieson: London Underground Ltd. advises that accurate and consistent figures for the period in question could be provided only by gathering information from individual staff records. This information can therefore be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what steps he is taking to encourage participation by his Department in Fair Trade Fortnight from 4 to 17 March. 
Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list the incidents involving trains carrying (a) radioactive materials and (b) other nuclear materials which have resulted in the radioactive contamination of (i) vehicles and (ii) packaging in the north-west of England in the last six months. 
Mr. Jamieson: Such incidents are reported on an annual basis in the review of accidents and incidents including the transport of radioactive material. These reports are placed in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what proportion of households in which the head of the household is registered as disabled paid at least (a) 5 per cent., (b) 10 per cent. and (c) 15 per cent. of their gross income in council tax in the last year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many staff were seconded between (a) PWC Consulting and PricewaterhouseCoopers, (b) Ernst & Young, (c) Deloitte & Touche, (d) KPMG and (e) Andersen and his Department in (i) 19992000, (ii) 200001 and (iii) April 2001 to the latest date for which figures are available. 
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Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the implications of the European Union Transport White Paper for vertical integration of the UK rail Industry. 
Mr. Spellar [holding answer 5 February 2002]: EC Directive 2001/14, referred to in the EU Transport White Paper, requires the separation of infrastructure capacity allocation functions from the provision of railway transport services. This does not necessarily preclude vertical integration, and any proposals which meet EU requirements will be afforded due consideration.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list, for 199798 and for each subsequent financial year, the amount spent (a) in the United Kingdom and (b) abroad by (i) his Department, (ii) its agencies and (iii) its non-departmental public bodies on (1) providing mobile telephone equipment, including handsets and other associated equipment, (2) telephone calls made using such equipment and (3) telephone calls made using privately owned mobile telephones but subsequently reclaimed by (x) Ministers and (y) staff. 
|Fiscal Year||Mobile phone spend by DTLR|
(22) Year to date
|Mobile phone spend||199798||199899||19992000||200001||200102(23)|
|Vehicle Certification Agency||(24)||(24)||(24)||9,607.44||10,610.39|
|Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre||1,281.16||2,741.16||2,066.60||927.68||1,875.68|
|Maritime and Coastguard Agency||(24)||74,686.00||88,075.00||105,130.00||97,410.00|
|Fire Service College||3,591.00||3,517.00||4,183.00||1,404.00||2,525.00|
|Driving Standards Agency||13,226.00||10,791.00||16,134.00||21,357.00||16,504.00|
|The Rent Service||(24)||(24)||57,000.00||133,000.00||99,000.00|
|Tower Hamlets Housing Action Trust||1,134.53||1,412.66||2,497.92||1,684.42||(24)|
|Health and Safety Executive||(24)||(24)||195,353.00||239,575.00||197,344.00|
|Liverpool Housing Action Trust||(25)13,000.00||13,000.00||13,000.00||13,000.00||13,000.00|
|Northern Lighthouse Board||9,942.67||34,681.00||48,997.99||52,764.06||36,930.40|
|Waltham Forest Housing Action Trust||3,629.00||1,406.00||341.00||682.00||41.00|
|Castle Vale Housing Action Trust||16,700.00||18,200.00||13,300.00||17,300.00||12,000.00|
|Stonebridge Housing Action Trust||2,819.00||2,556.00||1,838.00||1,582.00||1,345.00|
|Trinity House Lighthouse Service||46,000||47,000||45,000||46,000||(26)59,000|
(23) Year to date
(24) Figures unavailable
(25) Estimated figures
(26) Projection to end of fiscal year
Figures do not reflect machinery of Government changes
Figures are unavailable from the remaining NDPBs, without incurring disproportionate cost
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