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20 Jul 2005 : Column 1803W—continued

Road Haulage Forum

Mr. Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many times the Road Haulage Forum has met in each year since its establishment. [12748]

Mr. Darling: The Road Haulage Forum has met on 17 occasions to date, as shown in the table.
Road haulage forum meetings
19998 April, 19 July, 6 September, 8 December
20009 February, 17 April, 26 July, 19 October, 14 November
200119 February, 5 July
200228 January, 23 October
200311 September
200426 April, 9 December
200529 June

Roads Budget (Milton Keynes)

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much central funding Milton Keynes unitary authority has received for its roads budget in each year since 1997. [12917]

Dr. Ladyman: The Department for Transport has approved approximately £18.6 million of funding support for Milton Keynes unitary authority between April 1997 and March 2005 in local transport capital settlements. Approximately £10.9 million has been for capital highways maintenance and £7.7 million for local improvements to the road network and roads based public transport.

In addition central funding support for services, including routine highways services, is provided through revenue support grant. This is not allocated by the Government between individual council services.

The funding support provided directly to Milton Keynes unitary authority through the local transport capital settlement for each year is shown in the following table. It has been for Milton Keynes unitary authority to determine exactly how these allocations are spent, in line with its local transport plan and priorities.
Milton Keynes unitary authority local transport capital settlement

Capital highways maintenanceIntegrated transport blockMajor schemesTotal

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Sickness Absence

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many days the Department has lost due to sickness in the past five years for which figures are available. [11474]

Ms Buck: The Department for Transport was established following machinery of Government changes on 29 May 2002.

The annual report Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service" published by the Cabinet Office in November 2004 contains reported sickness absence data for the calendar year 2003 for the Department and its agencies.

Table A of the report gives details of both the average working days absence per staff year and the number of staff years on which that calculation is based on. Reports for earlier years are available on the Cabinet Office website.

From our internal recording process the total number of days recorded as sick across the Department including its agencies for 2004 is 175,860.

The Department is committed to managing sick absence effectively and to putting in place the recommendations of the Managing Sickness Absence in the Public Sector" report. The DfT board takes an active interest in the issue of attendance management.

South West Trains

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to change the process for awarding the franchise held by South West Trains. [9073]

Derek Twigg: The award of the South Western franchise to replace the existing South West Trains and Island Line franchises in February 2007 will follow a similar process to that adopted for the Greater Western and Thameslink/Great Northern replacements currently out to market. The process is set out in Franchise Replacement Process, June 2005", which is available on the SRA website.

Speed Cameras

Mr. Scott: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many speed related accidents occurred in (a) each of the three years before and (b) each year since the introduction of the speed camera at the southern end of the M11. [11962]

Dr. Ladyman: Tables highlighting accident data for the southbound carriageway of the M11 between Junctions 5 and 4 in the location of the camera are shown in the table. The tables show speed related injury
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accidents since 1998, three years prior to installation of the camera, and for three years after its introduction. The camera was installed in May 2001.
Before the camera was installed

Number of accidentsNumber speed relatedSpeed accident injuries
From Sept 1998311 slight
1999332 slight, 1 severe
2000411 slight
To May 2001000

After the camera was installed

Number of accidentsNumber speed relatedSpeed accident injuries
From June 2001532 slight, 1 severe
2002531 slight, 2 severe
2003411 severe
To August 2004443 slight, 1 severe

Although numbers of speed related accidents have increased since the installation of the camera, traffic flows have also significantly increased on this section of M11. However, because there has been a significant growth in traffic over this period the accident rate on this section has dropped overall, and is lower than the national average for a motorway.

The need for further safety measures on this section of road is continuously reviewed as is the need for the existing speed camera.

Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many drivers have been penalised in the North Wales Police force area in each of the last three years as a result of detection by (a) fixed and (b) mobile speed cameras. [12602]

Dr. Ladyman: The Department does not record fines paid, by camera type (fixed/mobile) but only records total fines received. In the last three audited years, the number of fixed penalty fines paid as a result of detections by safety cameras in the North Wales police force area was:

Tonnage Tax

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the possible effects on the UK economy of a requirement for beneficiaries of the tonnage tax to employ only UK officers and crew. [13243]

Dr. Ladyman: No such assessment has been made. Under EU anti-discrimination law, we cannot reserve jobs solely for UK seafarers but have to include European economic area nationals as well.

Uninsured Drivers

Mr. Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to use (a) the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and (b) motor insurance databases to reduce the number of uninsured drivers. [12616]

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Dr. Ladyman: Following the report on uninsured driving by Professor David Greenaway we commenced actions which will use both the DVLA and motor insurance databases to tackle the problem of uninsured driving.

The police already make considerable use of the motor insurance database (MID) to help detect uninsured driving. However we introduced in the Serious and Organised Crimes Act 2005 provisions to improve police access to the MID. This will enable them to have data on uninsured vehicles for use with their automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) equipment. This should significantly improve their detection capabilities. We plan to have the necessary regulations in place by autumn this year.

Vehicle Registration

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 7 July 2005, Official Report, column 613W, on Vehicle Registration, what changes there have been to the requirement or option to submit V28 forms to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency since 1996. [13193]

Dr. Ladyman: No changes have been made in this period to the requirement for local authorities or other enforcement agencies to notify DVLA on the V28 form of abandoned vehicles. The form was modified earlier this year to remove the option to notify a vehicle as scrapped". This follows the introduction of the End of Life Vehicle Regulations 2003 which require cars and light vans to be disposed of through authorised treatment facilities.

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