Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what representations he has made to the French authorities on their recent decision to withdraw access to Roaming Permits to UK abnormal load hauliers for use on the French road network; what assessment his Department has made of the disadvantages to the UK abnormal load hauliers sector of having to apply for Route Specific Permits in lieu of those Roaming Permits; and if he will make it his policy to seek to negotiate a bilateral agreement with French authorities to resume UK access to Roaming Permits on the model of that agreement which exists between France and Switzerland. 
[Due for Answer on 8 March.]
The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport (Rachel Maclean): The Department for Transport is working to resolve this disruption as quickly as possible through diplomatic channels and at ministerial level. We are working urgently with our colleagues in the British Embassy in Paris to engage with the French Government on this critical issue. The Department has been engaging with the Abnormal Loads Haulage Sector to establish the impact that this change in process will have on the industry, and we recognise that the process of applying for Route Specific Permits is more time consuming and provides less flexibility for UK hauliers transporting loads from the UK to France, which will have an immediate impact on the sector.