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9 Dec 2004 : Column 712W—continued

Bus Services

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his latest estimate is of the level of the total financial support from each English county council for bus services in each year from 1997 to 2005; and if he will make a statement. [199900]

Charlotte Atkins: A table has been placed in the Libraries of the House, which show figures for the financial support for the provision of bus services by all local passenger transport authorities from 1997–98 to 2002–03. This information has been taken from local authority and Passenger Transport Authority administrative returns. Figures for actual or estimated expenditure by local authorities beyond March 2003 are not yet available.

Local authorities also provide capital funding for infrastructure used by bus services and concessionary fares reimbursement to bus operators.

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of the subsidy given to bus services in England in each year from 1997 was spent in (a) London and (b) the rest of England. [201606]

Mr. Darling: The following table shows the total amount of bus subsidy provided by local authorities outside London, spending by Transport for London/London Regional Transport on bus services in London net of fare income, and concessionary fare and BSOG payments in London and outside London.
£ millions adjusted to 2003–04 prices
LondonOther EnglandTotalLondonOther EnglandTotal

Outside London, subsidy for local bus services consists of tendered services supported by local authorities (which includes funding provided under the Rural and Urban Bus Challenge Schemes and Rural Bus Subsidy Grant), Concessionary Fare Reimbursement for older people, disabled people and children (where child concessions are funded by the local authority), and Bus Service Operators Grant claimed by operators from DfT (formerly Fuel Duty Rebate). Local authorities make their own decisions on the level of public transport revenue support and—subject to a statutory minimum—concessionary fare schemes.

In London, the level of support for London buses has been a matter for the Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) since July 2000. Prior to this date, responsibility rested with London Regional Transport (LRT). The Mayor/TfL make their own decisions about how much to spend in support of London bus services, funded by both fare income and a single block grant from Government covering all TfL responsibilities. London boroughs continue to be responsible for concessionary fare reimbursement. Bus Service Operators Grant is paid direct to the operators of London Bus Services by DfT.
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Sources of the data are the Greater London Authority, local government returns to ODPM, and DfT records of Bus Service Operators Grant. Data for 2003–04 from ODPM are budget estimates.


Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of cyclists who wore protective headgear in the latest period for which figures are available, broken down by age. [203903]

Mr. Jamieson: Cycle helmet wearing rate surveys are regularly carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory. The latest in 2002 shows:
Cycle helmet wearing rate on major built up roads in 2002


We continue to monitor wearing rates—a new survey was carried out in 2004 and it is hoped to publish the report in 2005.

Deaths (Drink-Driving)

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many deaths associated with drink-driving were reported in Coventry last year. [201815]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 7 December 2004]: Estimates of deaths associated with drink driving are not made for individual local authorities.

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reasons a person who gets divorced and remarries must supply to the DVLA their divorce papers in addition to their marriage certificate. [203698]

Mr. Jamieson: DVLA is required to examine original documents when it receives an application for a first photocard driving licence. Submission of a current passport in the name to be shown on the licence is the best option as this is clear proof that identity has been examined in full by the issuing authority. Where this is not possible DVLA reserves the right to call for sufficient documentation to establish a link across any, and all, change(s) of name which might have occurred. In certain cases this might involve requests for submission of divorce papers.


Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list his official engagements over the last six months; who was present at each meeting; what the (a) date and (b) location was of each meeting; what issues were discussed; and what plans he has to establish a public register of such information. [202398]

Charlotte Atkins: Ministers meet many individuals and organisations and attend many functions relating to Government business, and as part of the process of policy development. To provide the detailed
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information requested would incur disproportionate cost. The daily on the record briefing by the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman regularly provides details of Minister's public engagements.

Ferry Services

Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which rules determine the ferry services operating within UK domestic waters for which the checking of boarding cards or tickets is mandatory or is to become mandatory. [200981]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 30 November 2004]: A number of domestic ferry operators are currently regulated under the Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990 (AMSA). Those ferry services currently regulated under AMSA were asked in March 2003 to put in place a package of enhanced security measures, including all foot and vehicle passengers having their boarding cards or tickets checked on entry to the ship.

My Department is currently conducting a review of the UK's domestic passenger security regime, as part of the risk assessment of all domestic maritime operations required under EU Regulation 725/2004. For some passenger operations, access control and checking boarding passes may form part of the package of security measures required of operators. However this is still under consideration as part of this review.

London Borough Councils (Transport)

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the responsibilities for transport of London borough councils; and what plans he has to alter those responsibilities. [201603]

Mr. Darling: Under the GLA Act 1999, London borough councils fulfil the following transport roles:

I refer the hon. Member to my answers given to him on 10 November 2004, Official Report, column 715W, with regards to plans to change these responsibilities.

Mersey Crossing

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he will announce the timetable for the construction of the new proposed Mersey Crossing. [201927]

Charlotte Atkins [holding answer 6 December 2004]: Halton borough council recently submitted to my Department a revised appraisal of the proposed New Mersey Crossing. We expect to announce a decision on the proposed scheme during 2005. It is not possible to indicate any timetable for construction at this stage.

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