Supplementary memorandum by the Department
of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (TEA 1B)
1. FURTHER WRITTEN
1. During oral hearings in January Agency
Chief Executives were asked to provide further written evidence
on particular points.
2. HIGHWAYS AGENCY
2.1 In relation to the introduction of Resource
Accounting and Budgeting (RAB) at the Agency, what advertisements
were placed about the original employment of the adviser on RAB
in 1994, and how many applicants there were for the position?
In November 1994 the Agency's Finance Director
appointed an external consultant initially to February 1995, subsequently
extended to April 1995, to review the Agency's preparedness to
introduce commercial accounting. This initial appointment was
by invitation rather than competition.
2.2 An open competition was held in March
1995 in which nine organisations or individuals were invited to
tender for the role of Project Director for the Commercial Accounting
Project (CAP). (It was at this point that the competition referred
to in oral evidence took place). The outcome was the appointment
of the consultant who had previously been advising the Agency.
2.3 How much was paid to the adviser who assisted
prior to the letting of contracts to introduce RAB?
A contract was let to CBC & Associates on
2 February 1998. Prior to this contract the adviser was employed
and paid for his personal services. Other expenditure was incurred
in paying for the management and delivery of a number of projects
under the CAP heading.
2.4 Although the adviser was employed principally
on the CAP project he also provided senior management with advice
on Private Finance Initiative and institutional issues. Between
December 1994 and March 1998 the adviser was paid approximately
2.5 Whether that adviser did in fact win the
contract that was let?
Yes, the Project Director, in the form of CBC
& Associates, did win the contract, which ran from 2 February
1998 to 2 November 2000. In the event CBC provided the only compliant
2.6 How much was the contractor/adviser then
|Financial year||Monies paid to CBC
2.7 Whether system introduced was successful or whether
further contractors were subsequently employed to implement RAB?
The work undertaken by the contractor provided many of the
building blocks required for a successful system. The CBC contract
came to an end on 2 November 2000. The work to integrate the core
RAB requirements into the Agency's Strategy for Financial Management
(SFM) is the subject of further contracts. The SFM goes well beyond
the introduction of resource accounts and is aimed at developing
a comprehensive and integrated set of financial accounting and
business management systems.
2.8 What has been/will be paid to those further contractors?
Between 1998 and 2001 approximately £2,668,000 has been
paid to contractors, other than CBC. It is anticipated that a
further £9 million will be paid to contractors between 2001
and 2004 to deliver the SFM project.
2.9 What were the annual report assessments of the Head
of Internal Audit in the two years prior to his transfer from
the Agencyor what other questions over his competency were
This question relates to the Agency's Head of Internal Audit
up to September 1998.
2.10 Information relating to an individual's performance
is a matter of confidence between the individual and the Agency.
2.11 Discussions had been held with DETR Internal Audit
in January 1998 about the need to upgrade the post of Head of
the Agency's Internal Audit function and for a change in leadership.
This built on previous discussions between the Head of Internal
Audit and the Agency's Personnel Director in November 1997 about
the former's career progression and the weighting of the post.
All these discussions took place before the CAP audit commenced.
This, taken with the Chief Executive's concern about the management
of this difficult CAP audit, led to further discussions with the
Agency's Personnel Director. It was agreed that the post be upgraded,
to be filled by an existing member of DETR staff, that the Head
of Internal Audit would seek a post outside the Agency and that
the Agency would use its best endeavours to help him. He is currently
employed in DETR(C).
2.12 Figures for spending (in real terms) on maintenance
during the past/next few years.
|Year||Motorways and Trunk RoadCapital|
|Motorways and Trunk RoadRevenue|
All figures converted to 2000-01 prices using HM Treasury deflator
update 21 December 2000.
Provision for the period 2001-02 to 2003-04 has reduced because
of the transfer of trunk roads in London to Transport for London;
better procurement practices; a reduction in the maintenance requirement
for trunk road and motorway bridges resulting from a reassessment
of risk; and research showing that a significant proportion of
motorways and trunk roads have a longer life than originlly expected.
2.13 Road resurfacing, specifically the criteria used to
assess which roads should be resurfaced
The road network comprises traditional asphalt surfaced roads
and concrete surfaces.
For the former type, whenever a road needs to
be surfaced as part of its ongoing maintenance programme (based
on whole life cost solutions) the agency would provide quieter
surfacing. The agency anticipates at least 55 per cent of asphalt
surfaced roads will be resurfaced by March 2011.
Regarding concrete surfaces, the agency wrote
to local authorities on 29 December 2000 consulting on the proposed
criteria for resurfacing these roads. Responses are invited by
23 March 2001. The letter and appendices containing the proposed
criteria are available on the agency's web-site under "news".
2.14 Delay to works affecting a roundabout on the A19 York
The A19/A 1237 Rawcliffe Roundabout to the North of York
improvement is to be jointly funded between the agency and the
City of York Council, in recognition that a high proportion of
the improvement works are necessary to provide access to the Council's
proposed Rawcliffe Bar Park and Ride. As such a legal agreement
is required between the Highways Agency and the Council. We have
now reached a point where we believe that the details of the agreement
as drafted are now satisfactory and we await signature by the
2.15 Width of the hard shoulder (specifically in the Stockport
As a consequence of widening the predominately two lane mainline
M60 carriageway between Junction 25 and Junction 1 to three lanes,
it has been necessary to provide narrowed hard shoulders and to
omit hard shoulder provision at certain locations. This is because
additional land for the widening was not available and the extra
lanes had to be provided within the existing highway boundary.
The additional capacity was required to accommodate increased
traffic resulting from the opening of the final section of the
Manchester Ring Road between Denton and Middleton.
2.16 The police were consulted on the proposals and within
the constraints of the scheme design, maximum provision was made
to allow the use by emergency services of the hard shoulder/hard
strip. The loss of some of the hard shoulder provision on this
length of motorway was set against the benefits that will result
from increased running capacity, in terms of fewer accidents involving
2.17 We are very conscious of the safety implications
of providing narrow hard shoulders and of omitting hard shoulders.
Where the hard shoulder narrows to less than three metres there
are advance signs warning drivers that there is "No hard
shoulder for x yards" and the area adjacent to the running
lanes is hatched out. For widths between 3.0 metres and 3.3 metres
(our hard shoulder provision) we consider that it is still possible
for vehicles to stop safely, clear of the running lanes. Along
this length of motorway there is a closed circuit television system
operated by the police.
2.18 As an additional safety measure this system is being
reinforced by an accident incident detection system which will
be linked to the police control office. This system will automatically
alert the police should any vehicle break down or stop on a section
of narrow hard shoulder for more than 30 seconds. This will greatly
reduce the police response time to incidents. This new system
is expected to be fully operational by the end of March 2001.
2.19 Noise insulation, specifically in Marsh Green, Exeter
When the A30 HonitonExeter Improvement contract was
let the Agency required to construction of earth banks adjacent
to the A30 at certain locations to reduce the impact of traffic
noise. 32 households were also offered noise insulation in January
1997. This has now been installed in those properties that accepted
the offer. No other Exeter households have been offered noise
insulation since the first section of road was opened to traffic
in August 1999.
2.20 The Agency is currently in the process of reassessing
all properties within 300 metres to identify any which may now
be eligible for noise insulation. This assessment not only takes
account of the higher than predicted noise levels, but also updated
2.21 The Government has also made a commitment in the
10 year PlanTransport 2010that all concrete trunk
roads, including this stretch of the A30, will be resurfaced with
quieter materials within 10 years.
3.1 The administrative staff Terms and Conditions Agreement
specifies a ratio of 80:10:10 in terms of permanent, casual and
fixed term appointments in the Agency's five Area Offices. At
the end of December 2000, DSA employed 48.9 (full time equivalent)
staff on casual contracts and 11.6 (full time equivalent) staff
on fixed term contracts. These represent 24 per cent and 6 per
cent of the total administrative staff in the Area Offices respectively.
3.2 As explained in oral evidence, the Agency is seeking
to reduce the number of casual contacts. The Chief Executive has
had discussions with the Union about the staffing levels and plans
to recruit a further 20 (full time equivalent) permanent Administrative
Assistance (AA) staff in the Newcastle Area Office before the
end of the financial year and up to 10 at Administrative Officer
(AO) level. A further review of the administrative staffing requirements
in the Area Offices will be made against the agreed 2001-02 Business
Appeal arrangements for approved driving instructors
3.3 Any applicant refused registration as an Approved
Driving Instructor, or a person whose registration is revoked,
may appeal to the Secretary of State. Similar provisions apply
in respect of licences issued to trainee instructors who wish
to offer paid instruction whilst preparing for the final part
of their qualifying exam.
3.4 Appeals are considered by a panel who make recommendations
to the Secretary of State. He is responsible for making the final
decision. DETR have decided that it would be more in tune with
Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights if appeals
were determined by an independent tribunal. Powers have been granted
by the Transport Act 2000 to transfer jurisdiction for appeals
from the Secretary of State to the Transport Tribunal.
3.5 In parallel, DSA intend to improve the way the Registrar's
decisions come into effect, in order to provide for more timely
and effective enforcement action. Currently, where an instructor
appeals against removal from the Register, the Registrar's removal
decision is automatically suspended until the end of the appeal
process. This means that an instructor can continue to offer driving
lessons, notwithstanding the standards of conduct or professional
competence that led to the Registrar's decision. Learners are
often vulnerable youngsters, and we think the current position
undermines the personal security and safety reasons for having
a statutory register of instructors.
3.6 We therefore intend that the Registrar should be
able to decide that his removal decision should come into effect
after 14 days. If the instructor appeals, he or she will have
10 days to ask the Transport Tribunal to be allowed to continue
instructing while the appeal is being considered, and the Tribunal
will decide that request within the original 14 days.
3.7 We also wish to strengthen the redress available
to professional instructors. We are aware that some have expressed
concerns that their check-tests have not been properly conducted.
The magistrates' courts (Sheriffs courts in Scotland) already
have the power to review the conduct of qualifying exams. Again,
amendments made by the Transport Act will give those courts the
powers to review the conduct of the full range of tests and assessments
that instructors can take.
3.8 These changes will help us to deliver on the commitments
in the Road Safety Strategy to improve the supervision and appeals
arrangements for instructors. We hope to complete the transfer
of the appeals functions to the Transport Tribunal within the
next two years.
4. VEHICLE INSPECTORATE
Inspections carried out at the request of a Traffic Commissioner
or Traffic Area Office
HGV Operator Assessments
4.1 New entrants to, and those already established in,
the haulage industry must satisfy the Traffic Commissioner (TC)
that they will keep their vehicles fit and serviceable at all
times. The Vehicle Inspectorate (VI) Examiners check operators'
compliance with "O" Licence conditions and that the
vehicles are fit for service by periodically carrying our maintenance
assessment comprising either:
Maintenance Investigations which involve
a check of a sample of the vehicles in an operator's fleet as
well as on his premises, and safety inspection records, these
are usually carried out:
when the TC or Licence Review Board asks for
a full investigation;
for all new operators joining the industry;
where evidence exists of unsatisfactory maintenance
Maintenance Appraisals which are carried
out where the Examiner feels there is sufficient evidence available
to him without inspecting the vehicles eg from the operator's
maintenance file, from vehicle spot-check records on VI's roadworthiness
database, and/or his own local knowledge to make a positive report
that maintenance arrangements are satisfactory.
The majority of maintenance assessment requests are issued
by the Traffic Area Office when an operator's five-yearly review
of his suitability to hold a licence falls due or when a variation
to the licence is requested. However, Traffic Commissioners can
request a maintenance assessment at any time.
4.2 During 1999-2000 VI carried out 35,637 HGV maintenance
assessments which involved 39,048 inspections of vehicles in operators'
fleets. For 1998-99 the figures were 35,702 and 39,425 respectively.
Traffic Enforcement Requests
4.3 VI Traffic Examiners follow up a variety of other
requests from Traffic Commissioners which result in a report being
submitted for TC consideration. The types of request and the number
of reports generated (according to our records) are shown in the
|Specific drivers' hours investigations where there is concern that an operator and/or his drivers are breaching the legislation
|Retrieval of a vocational driving licence instances where a driver's conduct or continued fitness to hold a vocational driving licence has been called into question and the Traffic Commissioner has revoked or suspended the licence
|Information as to the environmental suitability of a site used as an operating centre where vehicles are/will be based
|Investigations into reports of illegal operation
|Retrieval of an operator's licence||162
|Investigations into reports of illegal parking of goods vehicles
|Specific requests for roadside checks often aimed at certain sectors of the industry
|Other general goods vehicle investigations not falling into the above
The figures are for HGV requests only.
4.4 The above is a good indicator of what happens. For
historical reasons, different Traffic Area Offices and Traffic
Commissioners have taken slightly different approaches when requesting
work from VI. VI and TAN have set up a liaison group to iron out,
to some extent, these inconsistencies but more specifically aimed
at improving both the effectiveness and efficiency of our support
for the "O" Licence regime.
Details about the number and type of foreign heavy goods vehicles
stopped and inspected (by comparison to domestic vehicles) each
4.5 The following table shows the numbers of UK and foreign
vehicles stopped at roadside checks.
|1.Roadworthiness Spot Checks
|a.UK vehicles examined||70,775
|b.Immediate prohibitions issued||5,681
||(8 per cent)||5,800
||(8.7 per cent)|
|c.Delayed prohibitions issued||8,970
||(12.7 per cent)||8,496
||(12.8 per cent)|
|d.UK trailers examined||24,046
|e.Immediate prohibitions issued||1,914
||(8 per cent)||2,013
||(8.4 per cent|
|f.Delayed prohibitions issued||2,658
||(11 per cent)||2,625
||(11.1 per cent)|
|g.Foreign vehicles examined||3,684
|h.Immediate prohibitions issued||314
||(8.5 per cent)||301
||(8.6 per cent)|
|2.Traffic Enforcement Checks
|a.UK vehicles examined||144,277
|b.Drivers' hours convictions||11,710
|c.Overloading prohibitions issued||2,818
||(2 per cent)||3,284
||(2.2 per cent)|
|d.Foreign vehicles examined||13,790
|e.Drivers' hours prohibitions issued||853
||(6.2 per cent)||757
||(six per cent)|
|f.Overloading prohibitions issued||504
||(3.6 per cent)||614
||(4.7 per cent)|
i. Data on foreign lorries is not split by vehicle type.
ii. The Foreign Vehicles Act does not provide for the
issue of delayed prohibitions to foreign vehicles.
iii. It is not possible to split out the motor vehicles
and trailer prohibition rates.
iv. Only one prohibition notice is issued per vehicle
although it may contain a list of defects where more than one
has been found. The most serious defect determines whether an
immediate or delayed prohibition is issued.
v. Roadworthiness fleet check vehicle inspections are
not included in the above table as these are in support of the
UK operator licensing system and are conducted at an operator's
premises or at a local HGVTS and not at the roadside.
vi. For the periods shown VI had no powers of prohibition
for UK drivers' hours offences. The power of prohibition is contained
in the Transport Act 2000, and VI will commence using it in February
Carriage of excess fuel by foreign hauliers
4.6 It is not an offence for a vehicle to be fitted with
supplementary fuel tanks, although all tanks have to meet the
same standards as the main fuel tank. The size of fuel tanks is
not specified in the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations.
The Regulations require only that "tanks be constructed and
maintained to prevent leakage, be made of metal and that they
are fixed in such a position and so maintained as to be reasonably
secure from damage". Vehicle Inspectorate examiners would
not therefore take enforcement action (such as the issue of an
immediate prohibition) unless a vehicle exhibited roadworthiness
defects, for example if the tank was likely to fall off, if it
was leaking enough (either through the tank itself or from pipes
or the filler cap) to cause a hazard to the vehicle and/or other
road users, or if the cap was missing altogether.
4.7 It is possible that additional tanks might attract
the attention of HM Customs and Excise if, for example, they believed
fuel was being imported in a vehicle for other than direct use
by that vehicle
Vehicle Crime Bill
4.8 Further information about a role now planned for
the Inspectorate under the Bill is as follows:
The Agency will carry out vehicle identity checks
(VIC) on PLG class vehicles in VI test stations. The vehicles
involved will have been notified to DVLA as written off by insurers
and some will have applied to re-register them under the original
identity. The check is to ensure that the vehicle is not constructed
from stolen parts or is not a stolen vehicle disguised as one
previously written off.
VI is assisting DVLA with the creation of an HGV
(trailer) computer registerto help track stolen trailers.
5. DRIVER AND
Bar coding of number plates
5.1 Miss McIntosh introduced her question about the display
of bar codes on number plates in the context of their use on plastic
photocard driving licences. It should be noted that the bar code
displayed on the photocard licence simply provides a link for
production purposes between it and the paper counterpart on which
driving convictions are recorded. No information relating to the
licence holder is recorded on this bar code.
5.2 The Vehicles (Crime) Bill will provide DVLA with
the power to set up a mandatory register for all number plate
suppliers. It will also provide for the inclusion of additional
security features on number plates as part of the manufacturing
process. Legislation will introduce measures to make it more difficult
for criminals to obtain number plates to which they are not entitled
and to link number plates to the vehicle for which they are intended
making it difficult for plates to be produced by unregistered
5.3 Suppliers will be required to make a series of checks
before selling a plate and keep records of transactions to establish
an audit trail for inspection. These measures will be underpinned
by the introduction of new criminal offences and will come into
effect by early 2002.
5.4 The inclusion of security features on number plates
eg bar codes, microchips or visible vehicle identity numbers will
play an important role in assisting the police to trace a plate
back to the supplier. Whilst it is currently technically feasible
to include bar codes on number plates, their use will require
police officers to carry the necessary equipment in order to read
the information contained within them.
5.5 DVLA is working closely with the police and other
interested parties on the introduction of a more secure number
plate and will take their views fully into account in designing
the new system. It is anticipated that security features such
as bar codes will not therefore be introduced until 2004.
6. MARITIME AND
Coastguard staff turnover
6.1 Staff turnover at Coastguard Stations between 1 January
to 31 December 2000:
|Average across Coastguard||556