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Earl Ferrers: EC member states have agreed to include Swietenia macrophylla as an Appendix III species under EC Regulation 3626/82. There has been no proposal from the Commission to add the species to Annex C2 of the Regulation.
Earl Ferrers: The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (the Washington Convention) requires exporting countries to be satisfied that plants or animals to which the convention applies have been lawfully acquired before export permits are issued. The EC regulation which implements the convention within the Community enables member states to refuse to issue import permits if they are not satisfied that the convention's requirements have been met.
Earl Ferrers: Together with my right honourable friends the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Secretary of State for Wales, my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Environment is today issuing for consultation a draft of the statutory guidance which we must give to the Environment Agency about its objectives and about the contribution which it can make towards achieving the goal of sustainable development. To put that guidance in context, we are also issuing a more general document which restates the principles of sustainable development and offers a commentary on the duty which the agency has to take account of likely costs and benefits, including those to the environment.
Earl Ferrers: The waste White Paper Making Waste Work: A strategy for sustainable waste management in England and Wales--will be published on 12 December. It builds on the ideas set out in the sustainable development strategy, published in January 1994. The strategy aims to improve the way we manage our waste. Only by taking responsibility for the waste which we produce can we ensure that our environment is protected both now and for future generations.
Earl Ferrers: Expenses which can be directly and solely attributed to travelling to council meetings and other council business can be recovered. The use of a car incurs such expense. The use of a bicycle does not. That is why the legislation extends to cars but not bicycles.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of National Heritage (Lord Inglewood): Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Royal Parks Agency under its Chief Executive, Mr. David Welch. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
The Agency has sought funding from the Millennium Commission for its proposal for a new royal park on the east side of London. An application was submitted to the Commission last month and is under consideration.
What is the increase in the number of parking spaces that would be provided in the West Carriage Drive of Hyde Park under the Royal Parks Agency's recent proposals for narrowing the West Carriage Drive; and
What is the status of the Agency's "indicative only" proposals at the north and at the south end of the West Carriage Drive of Hyde Park and whether it is in accordance with OECD's recommended practice for parts of a road to be developed before the "macroenvironmental aspects" of the whole scheme have been examined; and
Whether the road works which the Royal Parks Agency is proposing to the West Carriage Drive take account of the works which will be necessary when Crossrail is being constructed and what co-ordination there is between the parties to these works, Westminster City Council, and others whose interests may be affected; and
Whether the Royal Parks Agency has made the traffic studies on which the current proposals to reduce traffic flow in the West Carriage Drive of Hyde Park are based available to all the parties affected by this project.
I have been asked by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for National Heritage to reply to your Parliamentary Questions about proposals for controlling traffic on the West Carriage Drive in Hyde Park. I have replied separately to your question about the new Royal Park.
The proposal you refer to is currently being considered by Westminster City Council under the provisions of Department of Environment Circular 18/84, which sets out the procedures for submitting planning applications for developments on Crown land. The procedures involve consultations with all relevant parties, including highway authorities and the Traffic Director for London as appropriate. Public transport does not run through the Royal Parks and we do not normally consult the taxi drivers' associations or the Garden History Society on this sort of proposal.
The proposals currently under consideration by Westminster Council only concern the provision of speed tables, incorporating pedestrian crossings, at Temple Gate and in front of the Magazine on West Carriage Drive. The road width would not be reduced since the existing parking bays on either side of West Carriage Drive mean it is already single carriageway in each direction. Introducing the speed tables will in fact make it safer as they will prevent motorists travelling along empty parking spaces in the inside lane and then having to swerve into the outside lane when they meet a parked car, as frequently happens at present. It will also allow motorists to pull into and out of parking spaces at the road side more safely. If implemented, these proposals will result in a net loss of 12 parking spaces in Hyde Park, because they include the removal of the car park at the old Serpentine Restaurant site and its return to parkland.
We submitted our long-term proposals for traffic calming on West Carriage Drive to Westminster City Council at this stage for information only, in order to show how the planning application for the speed tables/pedestrian crossings in the central section of the park fit into the eventual plan for the road. We appreciate that we shall have to carry out traffic impact and any other environmental assessments that may be appropriate in relation to our proposals concerning Victoria Gate and Alexandra Gate and the right turn into West Carriage Drive. When we have identified funding for this stage of the proposed works, we will submit a formal application to Westminster Council under the Circular 18/84 procedures. The proposed crossings currently under consideration by Westminster are intended to slow down traffic at these points, but we would not expect them to affect the amount of traffic using the park and do not therefore consider it necessary to carry out traffic flow studies on these particular aspects of the proposals.
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