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26 Jan 2005 : Column 347W—continued


Concessionary Travel

Mr. Michael Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will estimate the number of pensioners eligible for free bus passes and travel; and what percentage of the pensioner population this represents. [208970]

Charlotte Atkins: In England, there are five areas where older people (men and women aged 60 and over) are offered free concessionary travel on local bus services. These are the London boroughs, Merseyside, Crawley, Redditch and Thurrock. Reading and the West Midlands offer free local bus travel to residents aged 65 and over. Free local bus travel is also offered by Bournemouth and Plymouth to residents aged 80 and over and by Rossendale to residents aged 90 and over.

We estimate that 1.96 million older people are eligiblefor free bus travel in these areas, representing 18.9 per cent. of older people in England. The remaining 8.42 million older people in England are entitled to at least the statutory half-fare minimum requirement on bus services, with no charge for the pass, though local authorities can offer more generous schemes and many provide concessions between half fares and free travel, such as flat fares. There are 9.19 million pensioners in England (men aged 65 and over, women aged 60 and over) of which 1.79 million are eligible for free local bus travel. This represents 19.4 per cent. of pensioners in England.

Some other authorities offer the choice of free travel with a charge for the annual concessionary travel pass as an alternative to the statutory minimum half fare with a free annual pass. Some local authorities also extend their concessionary fare schemes to cover other forms of
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public transport—including the free schemes in the London boroughs, Merseyside, and Crawley and the partially free scheme in the West Midlands.

Figures are based on Office of National Statistics 2003 population estimates.

DVLA (Fines)

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many fines were issued to drivers for failing to notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency about a change of address in each of the last five years. [210165]

Mr. Jamieson: The offence of failure to notify a change of address or personal details is normally taken into account as part of investigations into other more serious driving and traffic offences.

Any penalties subsequently imposed by courts for major offences may incorporate a penalty for non-notification, but the court statistics only record the prime offence(s). There are no statistics available for this specific offence of failure to notify changes.

Some 2.7 million replacement driving licences are issued annually by DVLA in response to notifications from drivers of changes to their personal details.

Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on energy costs incurred by his Department in each of the last two years. [202413]

Charlotte Atkins: Pursuant to my answer of 15 December 2004, Official Report, columns 1094–96W the revised energy costs recorded by the Department for the periods 2002–03 and 2003–04 are as follows:

DfT HQ311,833323,39518,57823,43600330,411346,831

Overall the decrease in costs from 2002–03 to 2003–04 is 4 per cent. although the figures for costs alone can be misleading if not placed within the wider context of changes in unit price, areas measured, levels of consumption and improved record keeping. The DfT estate comprises some 1,680 properties of varying size, use and nature of occupation and is therefore not possible to make any comprehensive or definitive statements about energy cost changes on such a diverse estate, which may be attributable to these and other factors.

Increases and decreases in unit charges and area occupied can also mask efforts to improve energy efficiency so a better measure of performance is consumption at those properties where energy monitoring is both possible and carried out where the overall usage was down 2.2 per cent. over the same period. For more details on consumption I would refer the hon. Member to my answer of 20 October 2004, Official Report, columns 687–88W to the hon. Member for Ashford (Mr. Green).

The Department will continue to aim to reduce energy consumption and meet other energy targets set out in the Framework for Sustainable Development in the Government Estate.
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Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the running costs of the Department were in each year since 1997, broken down by (a) electricity, (b) water, (c) gas, (d) telephones, (e) mobile telephones and (f) televisions. [206679]

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Charlotte Atkins: The Department for Transport was formed in May 2002 and as a result the information provided relates only from the years 2002–03 onwards.

The Department's running costs for the items requested are shown in the following table:

Running cost typeDfT centralAgenciesTotalDfT centralAgenciesTotal
Mobile telephone79.4386.6466.0111.8440.9552.7

Freedom of Information

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what categories of information are available under Freedom of Information legislation that have not been provided in written parliamentary answers by his Department in the last three years. [207813]

Charlotte Atkins: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs (Mr. Leslie) on 24 January 2005, Official Report, column 140W.


Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate his Department has made of the likely growth in passenger numbers on the rail network over the next (a) five and (b) 10 years, broken down by (i)national rail network, (ii) First Great Western franchise area and (iii) First Great Western Link franchise area. [210440]

Mr. McNulty: The information is not available in the form requested. The Strategic Rail Authority's (SRA) Capacity Utilisation Policy: Network Utilisation Strategy" document, published in June 2003, states that their planning assumption is that demand growth between 2001–02 and 2010–11 will be in the region of 20–30 per cent. The SRA's Great Western Main Line Route Utilisation Strategy" consultation document, published in January, states that overall passenger growth for the Great Western Main Line area is forecast to be around 18 per cent. between 2002–03 and 2011–12.


Virginia Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library advice which he received from (a) the Highways Agency and (b) departmental officials on determining priorities between road schemes, prior to his recent announcements on road spending. [208216]

Mr. Jamieson: We have no plans to do so at present.

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