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17 Nov 2004 : Column 1491W—continued

Car Servicing Industry

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has held with stakeholders in the car servicing industry on improving standards. [198858]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 16 November 2004]: None. This is a consumer issue so primary responsibility lies with the Department for Trade and Industry.

Commercial Drivers (Time Regulations)

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how the Government plan to enforce the new time regulations for commercial drivers and crew. [198330]

Mr. Jamieson: Inspectors from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) will enforce the new working time regulations for commercial drivers; mainly, in response to complaints they receive.

Data Protection

Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 2 November 2004, Official Report, columns 155–56W, on data protection, if he will make a statement on the conviction of Barry Dickinson, formerly employed by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. [197453]

Charlotte Atkins: Mr. Barry Dickinson was dismissed from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency with effect from 14 October 2004. This followed a police investigation leading to a court case where he pleaded guilty to the charges against him. He was dismissed from the Agency for gross misconduct in connection with the release of information in contravention of the data protection rules.

Departmental Contracts

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which non-accounting and non-information technology external organisations which previously held contracts with his Department (a) won new contracts at the culmination of the existing contracts and (b) won new contracts after a period of inactivity with his Department in each of the past four years. [196903]

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Charlotte Atkins: The information is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Departmental IT

Brian White: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of the Department's (a) implemented and (b) planned computer systems use open source software; and what plans are in place to raise this level. [195665]

Charlotte Atkins: At present, it is estimated that less than 1 per cent. of the Department's current or planned computer systems use open source software. The Department's procurement of software solutions follows the 'level playing field' Government OSS policy, which does not require the raising of levels of OSS usage in Government, rather that Government considers OSS solutions alongside proprietary ones in IT procurements and that contracts should be awarded on a value for money, case by case basis. The Government's OSS Policy can be viewed at

Departmental Offices

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost of (a) decoration and (b) refurbishment of the London offices of the Department was in each of the last four years. [196138]

Charlotte Atkins: Since the Department's inception in May 2002 expenditure on its London offices has been:
(£000) plus VAT

(a) decoration:nil6,082
(b) refurbishment works298,23399,807

In 2003–04 the Department also paid £1,203,362 plus VAT towards the fit out works for two floors that it has leased in a building in the Victoria area.

Departmental Policies (South Dorset)

Jim Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will set out, with statistical evidence relating as closely as possible to the South Dorset constituency, the effects of changes to departmental policy since 1997 on the South Dorset constituency. [194965]

Charlotte Atkins: The Department for Transport has put in place a considerable programme of improvements across a wide range of transport policy areas since 1997. The South Dorset constituency will have benefited from these. For example, the injury totals for all road causalities in Great Britain fell from 327,803 in 1997 to 290,607 in 2003, and the numbers of children aged under 16 years killed or seriously injured on our roads fell from 6,452 in 1997 to 4,100 in 2003. On our railways, passenger kilometres have increased from 32.1 billion in 1996–7 to 40.9 billion in 2003–4, a rise of 27 per cent. In terms of improvements to air quality, emissions
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of the UK's two main pollutants—nitrous oxides and particles—fell by 31 per cent. and 27 per cent. respectively between 1997 and 2002.

The funding provided direct to Dorset county council, which includes the South Dorset area, for local transport over the past five years is set out in the following table. It has been for Dorset county council to determine how that allocation has been spent, in line with their local transport plan and their priorities.


The Neighbourhood Statistics Service provides a wide range of statistical information at parliamentary constituency level, taken from the 2001 census and other sources. This service is available on the National Statistics website at http://neighbourhood.statistics.

Departmental Publications

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his Department's target is for the interval between publication of (a) departmental announcements and documents and (b) material published by public bodies for which his Department has oversight and their posting online; and what the average interval was in the latest year for which figures are available. [195394]

Charlotte Atkins: The Department aims to publish statements, announcements and associated materials to the DfT website ( within 30 minutes of their release into the public domain. We achieve this in the majority of cases (over 95 per cent.) and this target is frequently exceeded. Press notices are published automatically as they are released.

Where documents are not embargoed under a timed release, the aim is to publish the documents to the DfT website on the same day as they are released into the public domain. Practice across the Department's Executive Agencies generally mirrors the Departments although most aim for same day rather than 30-minute publishing.

It is not possible to provide figures, which demonstrate the average interval between documents being published and appearing online, as not all publications are published centrally and not all are associated with identified statements and announcements.


John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people were employed by (a) the Northern Lighthouse Board, (b) Trinity House and (c) the Commissioners of Irish Lights in each of the last 10 financial years; what the (i) role and (ii) terms of reference of each body are; and what the expenditure of each body was in each year. [197346]

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Mr. Jamieson: The information requested is set out below:
Average employees
(including part-time)
Operating costs
(£ millions)
(a) Northern Lighthouse Board
(b) Trinity House Lighthouse Service
(c) Commissioners of Irish Lights

All the figures in the table are cash prices

The role and terms of reference of the General Lighthouse Authorities is to provide and maintain aids to navigation around the coastline of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar and to deliver a reliable, efficient and cost effective service for the benefit and safety of all mariners. The Trinity House Lighthouse Service provides the service for coastlines of England and Wales, the Northern Lighthouse Board for Scotland and the Isle of Man, and the Commissioners of Irish Lights for the whole of Ireland as an all Ireland body.

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