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Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the economic impact of the proposed A21 upgrade on the local community; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Ladyman: An economic appraisal of the scheme has been carried out in accordance with Department for Transport guidance. The views of local businesses, the public and interested parties were taken into account as a result of the Public Consultation undertaken in 200203, which led to the Preferred Route Announcement in February 2005.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what surveys his Department has conducted on the effect of the proposed A21 upgrade on local businesses; and whether these surveys have been made available to residents in the areas affected by the route. 
Dr. Ladyman: Specific surveys have not been carried out on the effect of the proposed A21 on local businesses. However, the views of local businesses, the public and interested parties were taken into account as a result of the Public Consultation undertaken in 200203, which led to the Preferred Route Announcement in February 2005.
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on his plans in respect of airlines which have not taken voluntary measures in relation to airline insolvency insurance. 
Ms Buck: Following initial meetings on 24 October, airlines representing half of UK international passengers carried on scheduled services have agreed to implement voluntary measures in relation to insolvency insurance. I plan to contact further airlines and continue this process.
Ms Buck: It is for the industry to work towards improved emissions performance of passenger aircraft within a policy framework set by the international community and by increasing Government and market expectations of environmental responsibility.
Dr. Ladyman: If a driver accepts a fixed penalty notice, the fine is £60. If convicted in court, the maximum fine is £2,500. The offence also attracts three penalty points on the driver's licence and could also result in disqualification at the discretion of the courts, or if the total number of penalty points on the driver's licence required it.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he plans to introduce legislation to require passengers to wear seat belts in the passenger seats of coaches; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Ladyman: Drivers and front seat passengers are required to use seat belts in all vehicles where they are installed. Passengers in the rear (that is all other) seats of buses and coaches are required to use seat belts where they are available in vehicles up to 2,540 kgs unladen weight (roughly 16 seats).
Regulations are presently in preparation to come into force in 2006 (subject to parliamentary approval) to require seated passengers aged three years and above in the rear seats of larger buses/coaches to use seat belts where they are available. This follows a departmental consultation in 2004 about the changes needed in seat belt wearing regulations in order to transpose the requirements of European Directive 20/2003/EC into domestic legislation. The consultation document and the subsequent decision letter are available on-line at: www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_rdsafety/documents/divisionhomepage/039143.hcsp
David Mundell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many emergency calls were made to the Coastguard Service in each of the last five years; and how many such calls were found to be hoaxes. 
|Total number of calls||Hoax calls|
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will estimate (a) the cost of extending to the rest of England the London scheme of free bus travel for under-16s, and (b) the cost of extending free travel to under-18s in full-time education; 
(2) what estimate he has made of (a) extending the travel concession on buses for under-16s in London to all of England and (b) extending that concession to include under-18s in full-time education. 
Analysis for the Department for Transport estimated the costs of providing free bus travel, at all times and for all purposes, for five to 16-year-olds at around £365 million. Extending free bus travel to 17 and 18-year-olds, for education trips only, would cost about another £65 million. The costings are in 200203 prices.
9 Nov 2005 : Column 507W
Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many existing stopping services from Oxford, Reading and Slough to Paddington will cease to operate once Crossrail is constructed. 
Derek Twigg: Crossrail services will subsume many of the suburban services, but project planning assumes that a twice hourly diesel operated service will run throughout the day between Reading and London Paddington on the Relief (slow) Lines. These trains could be a continuation of the existing twice hourly stopping service between Oxford and Reading.
Dr. Ladyman: The proposed low carbon car grant programme is technology neutral. Any car meeting the necessary emissions standards would be eligible for a grant irrespective of the technology used. As electric cars have no tailpipe emissions they are generally treated as ultra low carbon emitting vehicles (i.e. <100g/km CO 2 ).
Dr. Ladyman: Fully electric vehicles are exempt from vehicle excise duty (VED). New electric hybrid vehicles (i.e. those that are powered by a combination of electricity and another fuel) registered since March 2001 enjoy a VED discount over conventionally fuelled vehicles.
The company car tax system includes an incentive to encourage take up of low and zero emission technology. Cars that are capable of running solely on electricity and other alternative fuels benefit from a discount from the equivalent petrol company car tax percentage charge.
All current and proposed grant programmes to encourage the take up of low emission vehicles are technology neutral. The eligibility criteria for the programmes focus on reducing emissions, irrespective of the technology used. Applications for electric cars and technology will be assessed against technology-neutral criteria and considered equally alongside other technologies.
9 Nov 2005 : Column 508W
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