HC Deb 15 December 2000 vol 359 cc283-5W
Mr. Sayeed

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many people he estimates died over the past three years as a

Mr. Hill

The money allocated for strategic roads in the 10-year plan will allow the Highways Agency to complete the 41 schemes in its Targeted Programme of Improvements. Twenty of these schemes are bypasses, 12 are widening schemes, five are junction improvements and four are congestion schemes. All these schemes have been assessed using the New Approach to Appraisal (NATA) which includes measurement of their impact on safety and congestion levels. Taken together they will deliver significant journey time and safety benefits.

To ensure that it delivers these schemes, the Highways Agency has included 24 milestones for this year in its 2000–01 Business Plan. Following the provision of additional money in the 2000 Budget for accelerating scheme starts, 13 of these milestones are for award of contracts leading to start of construction works. Further milestones for 2001–02 will be published in the 2001–02 Business Plan.

Decisions about the use of the remainder of the money allocated for strategic roads will depend upon the outcome of the multi-modal studies and decisions taken in the context of Regional Planning Strategies. The Access to Hastings multi-modal study reported in December 2000 and we expect a further 12 multi-modal studies to be completed in 2001, with the remaining eight finished in 2003.

Mr. Syms

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will(a) list the light rail projects announced in the 10-year transport plan, (b) give the budget for each scheme and (c) state the progress made towards their implementation. [141667]

Mr. Hill

Eight light rail schemes were specifically mentioned in paragraph 6.61 of Transport 2010: The Ten Year Plan. The current position on each of these projects is set out below. A number of proposals have also been made by other local authorities which are being developed for further consideration.

result of gas explosions; and how many of such deaths would have been prevented had excess flow valves been fitted to dwellings. [141362]

Mr. Meacher

Following are the figures for fatalities resulting from gas-related explosions/fires reported to the Health and Safety Executive under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 for the three years up to 31 March 2000:

Year Number
1997–98 8
1998–99 11
1999–2000 19
1 Provisional

Further analysis of the causation of the incidents would be required before it could be determined precisely how many of these deaths would have been prevented had excess flow valves been fitted. In the judgment of the Health and Safety Executive the majority of the incidents, including those arising from gas escapes from mains and user error in failing to light an appliance after turning it on, would not have been prevented by the presence of an excess flow valve.

However, the Executive will consider further the safety case for the use of such devices in the context of developing the safety-related research strategy proposed in the Health and Safety Commission's recently published Gas Safety Review report.

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