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Volume 454: debated on Tuesday 5 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking in response to the findings of the first phase of the study it commissioned into wheel loss; and when his Department intends to commission phase 2 of the study. (107847)

Following the completion of phase 1 of the wheel loss study (which looked at the scale of the problem and current operator practices), we have published the report and are sharing it with the operating industry. We shall also present it to the group of international experts at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe meeting in February 2007.

A further phase of research is planned. Department for Transport officials are currently finalising the specification for this. Allowing time to complete the specification and for the tendering process, I would expect the contract to be awarded early in 2007.