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Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she expects to publish the study funded by her Department into health improvements for families and individuals whose homes have benefited from energy improvements under the Warm Front scheme. 
Mr. Morley: The results from the study funded by Defra into health improvements for those whose homes have benefited from Warm Front will be published in academic journals over the course of 200506. A summary report will be published on the Defra website.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures she has put in place to permit waste disposal authorities which will be introducing new private finance initiative waste management contracts to suspend fines prior to the full introduction of the contract under the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme. 
Mr. Morley: None; under Section 9(2) of the Waste and Emissions Trading Act 2003 a waste disposal authority (WDA) automatically becomes liable for a (financial) penalty if the amount of biodegradable municipal waste it sends to landfill in any one scheme year exceeds the amount authorised by the number of landfill allowances it holds for that year. Before that position is reached, however, a WDA will be able to trade or borrow allowances in a six month reconciliation period that follow the end of a scheme year, in order to balance its books. Alternatively, a WDA can make a case to the Secretary of State for her to use her powers to waive a penalty if the reason for the breach was beyond its control.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reason secondary legislation has not yet been introduced to give effect to powers authorised in 2003 to (a) increase the maximum prison sentence for wildlife trafficking and (b) give the police the power of arrest for such crimes; and if she will make a statement. 
A comprehensive review of these Regulations identified a number of difficult issues. We are now close to resolving these matters and plan to publish a draft Statutory Instrument shortly.
1 Dec 2004 : Column 119W
(2) if he will make representations to the Highways Agency to request that it remove broken-down vehicles on the A249 Iwade to Queensborough whilst the second crossing of the Swale is being built. 
Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 30 November 2004]: The Highways Agency and its contractor, Sheppey Route Ltd., do provide a vehicle breakdown recovery service on the 17km length of the A249 between the M2 near Stockbury and Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey, but only in locations where roadworks are in progress.
This ensures that broken-down vehicles and their passengers are removed quickly from roadworks to a place of safety. On sections of road not subject to roadworks, motorists are responsible for organising their own recovery, as they are anywhere else on the network.
John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress his Department has made on the joint Public Service Agreement target to improve rural air quality by meeting the National Air Quality Strategy objectives for carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, particles, sulphur dioxide, benzene and 13 butadiene. 
2003 saw unusually high levels of PM 1 0 across the UK with Saharan dust storms, continental particles and continued re-circulation of air contributing to several notable particle pollution episodes. Consequently, in 2003, there were exceedences of the objectives for particles (PM 1 0 ) at two rural monitoring sites measuring PM 1 0 .
In implementing the White Paper, "The Future of Transport", my Department is pursuing measures to ensure that air quality continues to improve across the whole country, including rural areas. We are providing significant resources to support local authorities' local transport plans, which are required to take account of air quality and we are actively encouraging the European Commission to produce tighter proposals for emission standards for new vehicles (Euro standards).
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average level of carbon dioxide emitted per kilometre driven was for road traffic in each (a) EU and (b) G8 country in the latest year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: The average level of carbon dioxide emitted per kilometre by new cars under official test cycle conditions for the original EU-15 in 2002 is shown in the table. The table includes data for cars sold by European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) members, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) members, and the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA) members. Together, these three associations account for virtually all cars sold in the EU.
|Member state||Average new car CO 2 (g/km)|
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the robustness of the estimates made for carbon emissions for road transport by the National Environmental Technology Centre. 
Mr. Jamieson: The figures that the National Environmental Technology Centre publish on carbon emissions from road transport are based on internationally agreed emission reporting guidelines which require them to be based on national statistics on fuel consumption. Thus, the figures are as robust as DTI's energy statistics on petrol and diesel consumption in the UK. A very small correction is made for the amount of these fuels used for off-road machinery, for example, lawn mowers, but the relative amounts used for these machines are very small. The allocation of the carbon emissions between different vehicle classes is based on vehicle km data from DfT's national traffic survey and speed-related CO 2 factors for different vehicle types.
Further, the National Environmental Technology Centre emission inventories are subjected to rigorous quality assurance and quality control checking procedures and the data and procedures are reviewed annually by an expert review team of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how the relationship between congestion and carbon emissions is factored into the figures for total carbon dioxide emissions compiled by the National Environmental Technology Centre. 
Mr. Jamieson: The effect of congestion on carbon emissions is included in as much as it affects the overall fuel consumption figures the National Environmental Technology Centre use in the calculations. That is, where increased congestion leads to higher fuel consumption then this would be reflected in the DTI fuel consumption figures used for the carbon emission calculations.
Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the targets are for the length of time between receipt of an application for a driving test and the date of the test in Gillingham. 
Mr. Jamieson: [holding answer 29 November 2004]: The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has a single appointment availability target for all practical driving test centres of nine weeks from the date the test is requested. The Agency also has a target to maintain a national average car practical test waiting time for six weeks. The current appointment availability at Gillingham is twelve weeks, and DSA is working hard to reduce this.
For theory test appointments, the target is to give 95 per cent. of candidates an appointment at their preferred test centre within two weeks of their preferred date. The performance figure achieved during October 2004 at Gillingham theory test centre was 92 per cent.
Mr. Jamieson: [holding answer 29 November 2004]: The Driving Standards Agency's performance against targets, including those achieved at all driving test centres, is assessed initially by the Agency's Central Operations Branch and Business Planning and Performance Team. Internal auditors from the Department for Transport audit these performance figures, which are published at the end of the financial year in the Agency's Annual Report and Accounts. This document is subject to scrutiny by the National Audit Office.
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