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10 Nov 2003 : Column 13Wcontinued
Mr. Collins: To ask the Prime Minister which Department will answer the letter from the hon. Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale to him of 21 October concerning the proposed closure of the Holehird Leonard Cheshire home for the disabled in Windermere; and when it will do so. 
The Prime Minister: I strongly believe that science and technology are vital to our country's future prosperity. As a government, we need to ensure that the UK continues to be one of the top countries in the world for scientific research.
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I read the letter from Professor Burke and others with interest. In light of this, I have responded to the letter re-iterating that this government's approach is to make decisions on GM crops on the basis of sound science. The reason why we have not yet made a formal response to the results of the farm-scale evaluations is that we are waiting to hear the assessment of the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment, which we expect to receive around the end of this year.
The Prime Minister: The prospectus will be a Labour Party publication. Individual departments account for their progress annually and regularly publish consultation documents on policy issues that are funded by those departments.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Prime Minister if he intends to make representations for clemency to the President of the United States in the event that the appeal on behalf of Mr. Kenny Richey to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals is unsuccessful. 
Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Solicitor-General for what reasons the Serious Fraud Office did not initiate an investigation into whether payments made by a firm whose name has been communicated to her were authorised in the UK. 
Mr. Jamieson: During the 12 months ending June 2003, the latest period for which figures are available, foreign-registered lorries made 1.4 million trips to Great Britain. However, the number of vehicles was much less than this because individual lorries may make more than one trip.
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Mr. John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to amend the Montreal Convention by substituting (a) incident for accident and (b) personal injury for bodily injury. 
Mr. McNulty: Under the terms of the international 1999 Montreal Convention, in the case of death or injury to passengers airlines are strictly liable for claims up to 100,000 SDKs, and may be exonerated only from higher claims if they can prove absence of negligence.
Within such a regime it would be inappropriate to broaden the scope of airline liability by substituting (a) incident for accident or (b) personal injury for bodily injury, and I have no plans to propose amendments to the Convention.
Mr. John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will press the European Union not to ratify the Montreal Protocol until airline liability is extended to include the health of air passengers. 
Mr. McNulty: The Centre for Rail Skills was established in July 2003 as the industry-wide training organisation. The CfRS does not itself provide training courses but is responsible for co-ordinating and facilitating them. This training takes place across the whole of the rail industry and throughout the country and is therefore delivered at a wide range of venues rather than from a single location.
Brian White: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what statutory investigatory powers the Department has; which ones will be superseded by use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000; and what plans he has for removing these legacy powers. 
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Section 180 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, to inspect a vehicle that has been involved in a road accident.
Section 75 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982, to obtain information in connection with investigations of air accidents.
Sections 257 to 260, 267 and 268 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, to require the production of documents and call witnesses under a formal inquiry, and require production of ships' documents and other documents necessary for inspections and examinations.
Section 119 of the Railways Act 1933, to require the production of information to make directions to railway operators about safety.
Powers under section 259(2)(k) the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 to compel people to assist the Maritime and Coastguard Agency will be retained as they are used for other purposes not relating to accessing communications data. If the draft Order is enacted, these powers will not be used or attempted to be used for obtaining communications data.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research his Department (a) has carried out and (b) has collated on the effect on the risk of collision of (i) hand-held and (ii) hands-free mobile phone use when driving. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Department commissioned the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents to review the relevant research on the use of any mobile phone while driving. The report, was published in 2001 and is available on-line at:
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with representatives of police forces concerning the enforcement of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) (No 4) Regulations 2003; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Jamieson: The Department consulted representative police organisations prior to making the new regulation introducing an offence of using a hand-held mobile phone when driving. Enforcement will be a matter for the police.
National press advertising will appear in late November 2003 and early December 2003.
Information will be emailed to the top 1,000 UK companies/Central and Local Government Departments in November 2003 encouraging them to cascade messages to employees.
National press release will be issued on 17 November 2003 and journalists approached to generate national and regional media coverage.
Variable message signs on motorways will carry messages regarding the new legislation.
Public relations activity will target relevant HR, business, personnel, office management, legal and auto-fleet magazines in November 2003.
Promotional materials including posters and leaflets are now available and will be disseminated by Road Safety Officers around the country.
Detailed information about the new legislation is available on the Think! website www.thinkroadsafety.gov.uk and the DfT website.
National cinema advertising will begin in February 2004 and run for eight weeks.
Mr. Jamieson: The Department's advice leaflet on mobile phones and driving has been updated to take account of the new regulations and the text was recently added to the THINK Road Safety site at www. thinkroadsafety.gov.uk/mobile/index.htm. Printed copies (product code T/INF/885) will shortly be available free of charge from the Department's distribution centre, telephone 0870 122 6236.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many children under 16 (a) received a serious head injury as a result of a cycling accident and (b) died in each of the last 10 years. 
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|Financial year||Number of admissions of children under 16|
|Calendar year||Deaths from head injuries in cyclists||All deathsin cyclists|
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