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27 Jan 2003 : Column 526Wcontinued
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority last carried out a spot check on road vehicles being unroadworthy and untaxed; what action was taken against the owners; and if he will make a statement on the co-ordination of effort between the DVLA and local enforcement authorities in tackling unroadworthy and untaxed vehicles. 
The Agency took part in 656 roadside checks in 200001, and 1,102 in 200102. The keepers of all unlicensed vehicles detected by these checks were pursued for using an unlicensed vehicle on the road. So far in 200203 the Agency has taken part in 842 checks, 79 of which were held in conjunction with vehicle excise duty campaigns involving the Agency's wheelclamping teams and the Stingray camera units. Any unlicensed vehicles detected in these checks were also clamped as well as being pursued for having no tax disc.
DVLA can only tackle instances of unlicensed use identified at roadside checks. The police pursue cases of unroadworthy vehicles. Other enforcement agencies involved in roadside checks include Vehicle Inspectorate, Customs and Excise, Benefits Agency and the Immigration Service.
Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what guidelines his Department has set for the Strategic Rail Authority on consultation with (a) hon. Members, (b) local authorities and (c) passengers' representatives in advance of proposed changes to and withdrawals of rail services; 
(3) how his Department was consulted by the Strategic Rail Authority on changes to the May 2003 timetable; 
(4) what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the Strategic Rail Authority's consultation on changes to the May 2003 timetable. 
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Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will review the decision by the Highways Agency regarding traffic calming at the junction between the A49 and the Condover turning; 
Mr. Jamieson : I am satisfied that the Highways Agency's decision not to extend the existing 30 mph speed limit on the A49 to include the Condover turning is correct. On the basis of the criteria that we use to decide appropriate speed limits, an extension would be very difficult to justify. In addition, West Mercia Police have confirmed that they would not support an extension in this case.
The Route Management Strategy for the A49 between Ross-on-Wye and Shrewsbury is looking at all existing speed limits along the route in the light of the criteria to ensure consistency. That work will include the Condover turning where there have been two personal injury accidents in the last 10 years. A report is due in the spring.
The introduction of speed limits is very carefully controlled as, to impose an inappropriate limit that would not appear reasonable to most drivers in the prevailing conditions could bring the national system of speed limits into disrepute and lead to greater non compliance.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost was of the largest transport infrastructure project in the United Kingdom constructed without recourse to public sector funding since 1973. 
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Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost of a life figure used is in cost benefit calculations relating to safety improvements in (a) rail, (b) road, (c) air, (d) pedestrian (e) cycling and (f) other modes of transport. 
Mr. Jamieson: The value used for the prevention of a fatality in cost benefit analyses of all surface transport policies and schemes was published in DFT's "Highways Economics Note No. 1: 2001" which is in the Libraries of the House. There is no formal value set for measures affecting our passengers.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what targets the Government have for increasing (a) rail freight and (b) rail passenger use; and when he expects the targets to be met. 
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what targets the Government have for reducing traffic (a) pollution and (b) congestion; and when he expects the targets to be met. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Department's PS A targets and progress against the objectives in the 10 Year Plan are set out in 'Delivering Better Transport: Progress Report' which was published 17 December 2002, a copy of which has been placed in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the (a) economic and (b) other effects of withdrawing Virgin train services to and from Blackpool North station. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Strategic Rail Authority made the changes to improve performance which had deteriorated with the introduction of Virgin's winter 200203 timetable. Frequent services will continue to be provided from Blackpool North to Preston from where passengers will be able to join Crosscountry and other main line services. This, by and large, was the position up to the end of the Summer 2002 timetable.
Mr. Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on her policy on the status of the BBC as a public sector, public service broadcaster in relation to the round of GATS negotiations. 
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Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many cases of computer misuse there were in her Department in each of the last five years, broken down by each category of misuse; and how many of those cases resulted in disciplinary action. 
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