§ Dr. Cable
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, (1) pursuant to the answer of 17 October 2001, from the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions,Official Report, column 1228W, on road works, what assessment has been made of the pilot schemes in the London borough of Camden and in Middlesbrough; how many daily charges have been made; what assessment has been made of the disruption to road users; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) pursuant to the answer of 17 October 2001, from the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, Official Report, column 1227W, on the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, if he will place the interim report in the Library; if the further report has been completed; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Jamieson
Consultants—Halcrow—were appointed by the Government last year to measure the effectiveness of the powers under section 74 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 by which highway authorities are able to impose charges on utility companies, where the latter dig up the highway and these works are not completed by an agreed deadline. These powers were activated on 1 April 2001.
An interim monitoring report, covering the first few months of the new powers was produced by Halcrow in March. I am arranging for copies of this to be placed in the Libraries of the House. However, a full report, covering the first 12 months of the operation of the scheme, is due to be delivered to my Department shortly.
Pilot schemes to test further powers under which local authorities can charge utility companies "lane rental", whenever the latter dig up highways to install or maintain their apparatus, began on 4 March 2002 in Camden and Middlesbrough. We do not yet have reliable data on the effect of the pilots. However, the Government also appointed Halcrow to measure the impact of lane rental, both in terms of the effect on the disruption caused by 878W utility works and the costs which it imposes on those utilities. Halcrow are due to deliver their first report to my Department, covering the first few months of the scheme, later this year.
§ Dr. Cable
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many local authorities by 31 March, had(a) shown intent to fine and (b) fined utility companies under the powers given in section 74 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Jamieson
To date 112 local authorities have notified my Department that they are using or intend to use the section 74 powers to charge utility companies. We understand that all, or nearly all, of those have already imposed charges for overstaying.