§ Mr. David Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he has consulted the number plate industry on his new number plate format proposals; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Glenda Jackson
The number plate industry were, along with the motor industry generally, and other interested parties, including the police and public, included in last year's consultation on proposals for a new vehicle registration format. Their views were taken fully into account. More recently, in response to representations from the number plate industry, DETR officials met number plate industry representatives in May. Their views were considered fully before the Government's public announcement on the new format was made on 10 June. That announcement included a commitment to undertake further research on the memorability of the new format, in particular on whether the random letters should be placed on the left or right of the plate. As a result of the number plate industry's continuing concerns about the spacing of numbers and letters, the Department will be considering these detailed points as a part of this further research.