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A3 ( Hindhead)

Virginia Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 17 January 2005, Official Report, columns 669–70W, on the A3, for what reasons Ministers did not inform the right hon. Member for South West Surrey and the right hon. Member for North-East Hampshire (Mr. Arbuthnot) (a) about the redesignation of the A3 at Hindhead and (b) that the timetable for the A3 Hindhead Tunnel has been delayed. [213953]

Mr. Jamieson: Given the number of schemes covered by the Highways Agency's press announcement issued on 1 December 2004, it was not possible to notify MPs individually about the specific implications for schemes affecting their constituencies.

Car Hire Services (Disabled People)

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of (a) car hire and (b) car breakdown services that are not accessible to
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disabled people; what proportion this amounts to of the total number of these services in operation in the UK; and if he will make a statement. [214190]

Charlotte Atkins: The number of car hire firms in the UK is estimated to be over 500 companies and the numbers of firms that provide breakdown recovery services is estimated to be between 1200 and 1500.

There is currently no legal requirement for these companies to offer a service to disabled people. Some of the car hire companies, especially the larger ones, do offer a basic service to disabled people such as offering portable hand controls and many of the vehicle recovery operators also provide a service for disabled people, but it is not possible to estimate the numbers.

The Government are currently consulting on proposals to bring car hire companies and vehicle breakdown recovery operators within the scope of Part 3 of the Disability Discrimination Act to extend the rights of disabled people to access these services.

Car Servicing (Fatal Accidents)

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will introduce procedures to record the number of fatal car accidents that occur as a result of poor servicing of cars. [214141]

Mr. Jamieson: From 1 January 2005, the national system for the collection of data on accidents involving personal injury has included questions on contributory factors to accidents.

This will provide information on whether vehicle defects contributed to an accident, although it will not distinguish whether the defect was a result of poor servicing.

Conditional Offer Fixed Penalty Scheme

Mr. Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reasons the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency offices in Swansea do not accept licences issued in Northern Ireland in respect of the Conditional Offer Fixed Penalty Scheme. [211287]

Mr. Jamieson: Driver licensing is a devolved matter in NI. While a driving licence issued by either GB or NI authorities is legally recognised by the other, there is at the present time no mutual recognition of endorsable fixed penalties between them.

However, the Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003 inserted a new section in the Road Traffic Offenders Act allowing a Northern Ireland driving licence holder to be issued with a Great Britain counterpart. This came into effect on 11 October.

Since that date there has been a facility for NI licence holders to obtain a GB counterpart. This allows access to the fixed penalty system in GB.

Departmental Spending

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his latest estimate is of unallocated departmental spending in (a) 2005–06, (b) 2006–07, and (c) 2007–08; and if he will make a statement. [213269]

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Charlotte Atkins: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend, the Chief Secretary on 2 February 2005, Official Report, column 910W.

DVLA Fines

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of entries on the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency system where details of an individual's address are not accurate. [208283]

Mr. Jamieson: A survey conducted by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in 2003 established that 75.2 per cent. of the address details held on its driving licence database were correct in every detail. The corresponding figure for its vehicle database was 85.6 per cent. The main cause of error was motorists' failure to notify DVLA that they had changed address and 18 per cent. of driving licence holders and 7 per cent. of vehicle keepers had failed to do so. This means that DVLA's records were sufficiently up-to-date to allow law enforcement agencies to trace vehicle keepers in over 92 per cent. of cases.

Since then, DVLA has mounted a publicity campaign to encourage motorists to update their details. A further survey, to be conducted this year, will measure the effectiveness of that campaign. Major changes have also been introduced to the way that payment of vehicle excise duty is enforced. These are encouraging motorists to notify DVLA promptly when vehicles change hands.

Integrated Transport Strategy (York)

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received on the (a) car parking charges imposed by the York council for parking in York at night and (b) closure of the Parkand Ride schemes in York at 8 p.m. at night; and what assessment he has made of the impact of these policies on achieving an integrated transport strategy in York. [214031]

Charlotte Atkins: The Department has received no such representations and consequently we have made no assessment of the impact of these policies on achieving an integrated transport strategy in York. These are local issues, to be determined by City of York council as local highway authority.

Rail Usage

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the target set in the 10-Year Plan 2000 to increase rail use by 50 per cent. by 2010 is still in force. [212113]

Mr. Darling: As I have made clear on a number of occasions this target was unrealistic. Last year Britain's railway carried over 1 billion passengers and people are travelling further by rail than in any year since 1946.

New Public Service Agreement (PSA) targets come into effect in April 2005. The current growth target for rail will be replaced by a target to improve punctuality and reliability of rail services to at least 85 per cent. by 2006, with further improvements by 2008". This target better reflects the Government's and passengers' immediate priority of improving performance. Obviously as
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performance improves more people will want to travel by train and the Government's rail policy is to encourage them to do so.

Road Accidents

Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many reported road accidents involved drivers who had passed their test within one year of the incident in each of the last five years. [211883]

Mr. Jamieson: The information requested is not available. However, we know from research we have undertaken that one in five new drivers has some sort of accident within one year of passing their driving test. A cohort study of new drivers currently under way will refresh this information.

Roadside Advertising

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has made of a possible link between prominent roadside advertising and road accidents. [213470]

Mr. Jamieson: Although there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that advertising alongside motorways can have a detrimental effect on road safety, the results of studies carried out to date have been inconclusive.

Transport Authorities (Thames Gateway)

Sir Sydney Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State forTransport how many local transport authorities in the Thames Gateway outside Greater London have reported on the six core accessibility indicators as part of their local transport plan. [214654]

Charlotte Atkins: Guidance issued to local transport authorities in December 2004 on the next round of local transport plans (LTPs) includes the requirement that authorities set at least one target relating to accessibility, based on one of the six core indicators, a local accessibility indicator or both. This is a new requirement following the recent development of accessibility planning guidance.

Provisional LTPs including this requirement are not due to be submitted until July 2005, with the final LTPS to be completed by March 2006.

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