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One study uses subjects with peripheral visual field defects and assesses their performance in a range of tasks that may be relevant to driving impairment. The report on this study is likely to be available in mid 2003.
Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what additional funds the Strategic Rail Authority plans to make available to (a) train operating companies and (b) Connex South East to upgrade stations to conform with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995; 
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Mr. Jamieson: Although it is the responsibility of the station facility operators to ensure that their stations meet the requirement of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995, the Strategic Rail Authority has said in its strategic plan that it will make available additional funding to ensure train operating companies are resourced, where necessary, to implement the requirements of the DDA on access to stations. Until the review of the Disabled People's Protection Policy for each train operator has been completedthe SRA expects by the end of this yearthe full scope of the work required will not be known and priorities will then have to be applied to implementation.
Mr. Jamieson: The train operator Wales and Borders currently provides one direct service between Manchester Piccadilly and London Waterloo via Leominster, but there is no requirement under the terms of the franchise for any such service.
Mr. Jamieson: Working at or from home is one option for working flexibly which is available to staff in my Department. At present over 350 staff currently have remote access to out IT systems to enable them to work from home or on the move.
Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 25 June 2002]: Implementation of the Strategic Rail Authority's plan will deliver increased frequency of suburban services and substantial investment in stations. Many stations in south London already receive high frequency services but more will be done to improve journeys and make better use of the established network in south London. Improvements will be delivered via franchise replacement, major projects such as the East London Line extension, and specific programmes for station improvements. The SRA is considering fares integration in London as part of its wider review of fares policy. It is also working with stakeholders to develop improved journey information and branding.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to revise the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 1994; when his Department will give approval for the operation of the pelican crossing in Chelmer Village Way, Chelmsford; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Jamieson: We expect to introduce revised and updated Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions in the autumn. My officials received an application on 6 June to authorise signals for a Toucan (pedestrian and cycle crossing) in Chelmer Village Way and the authorisation was issued on 20 June.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to consult local hon. Members, local councils and Essex county council on the possibility of a new Thames river crossing. 
Consultation with local hon. Members and local councils, including Essex county council, is currently taking place in relation to the Government's London Orbital multi modal study (Orbit). Consultants published a provisional strategy for Orbit on 11 June 2002. This includes recommendations for further work on a lower Thames crossing. Details of the provisional strategy are included in an Orbit newsletter sent out to 3,000 key stakeholders in June. The content of the provisional strategy has not been formally considered by my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister or his officials at this time.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what meetings, and on what dates, his Department (a) has had and (b) are planned with the Thames Gateway South Essex on a possible new Thames crossing; and what the agenda for these meetings was. 
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Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how much public expenditure was incurred in organising the 2001 general election in (a) the UK, (b) Greater London and (c) Enfield; and if he will make a statement. 
These figures represent advances made; when final accounts are submitted and paid they are expected to rise. In addition in England and Wales, around £18 million was paid for the delivery of candidates' election material and for electoral equipment. No further breakdown of this figure is available in the form requested. The responsibility for funding parliamentary elections in Scotland and Northern Ireland are matters for the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Northern Ireland, respectively.
Mr. Timms: The Government have conducted studies of the benefits of ICT and e-commerce to business and SME's. Other organisations have conducted studies which suggest that broadband has a range of benefits, with the potential to bring about productivity improvement e.g. lower transaction costs when communicating with customers and suppliers.
Mr. Timms: UK Online: the broadband future published in February 2001 sets out our research activities. The UK also has bilateral contacts with countries in the EU and around the world, and has a memorandum of understanding on co-operation with the US Federal Trade Commission. This allows us to benchmark progress more qualitatively.
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Mr. Timms: I have recently met with a number of business leaders, including representatives of several mobile telecommunications firms, BT, Cable companies and Tesco.com. I hope to meet shortly with several other major players, both from within and outside the telecoms sector. I have also met Keith Todd, the chairman of the Broadband Stakeholder Group, to hear the views and comments of the 250 members of the Stakeholder Group.
The Government have worked closely with business and other stakeholders to develop and take forward the UK broadband strategy and will continue to do so. Latest developments in this strategy can be found at www.e-envoy.gov.uk, and my speeches and press notices on broadband can be found at www.dti.gov.uk
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made on the target set in February 2001 to make the UK the most competitive and extensive broadband market in the G7 by 2005. 
Since then the market has continued to develop, with prices falling, coverage increasing and take-up accelerating. Around 66 per cent. of the population are now able to access one or more of ADSL, cable or wireless technologies, with nearly 40 per cent. having a choice.
BT has now enabled 1,115 exchanges to deliver broadband services, and has given customers the ability to register their interest with a promise to make broadband available when the level reaches a specified figure. This allow more than 40 resellers of BT's wholesale ADSL to offer broadband to customers.
The Government have set out a comprehensive programme of action, including a £30 million fund to help the regional development agencies develop innovative schemes to extend broadband networks, as well as measures to tackle competition, supply, demand and content.
We will shortly be announcing the next steps for public sector procurement, with a view to maximising the buying power of the public sector and ensuring that broadband is bought in a cost-effective, joined-up manner.
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