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17 Nov 2005 : Column 1386W—continued

Transport (Emissions)

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what change there has been in (a) road transport vehicle carbon dioxide emissions and (b) single occupancy car commuting from her Department against a baseline year of (i) 2003–04 and (ii) 2004–05. [28091]

Jim Knight: The following information relates to Defra and its executive agencies.
(a) Road transport vehicle carbon dioxide emissions (tons)


(2) Baseline year

(b)Single occupancy car commuting


(3) Baseline year.

Water Voles

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps the Government is taking to maintain the population of water voles. [27136]

Jim Knight: The Government and its agencies are providing funding for a number of key projects and activities to maintain the population of water voles. These include:

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It is difficult to estimate the number of water voles with any great degree of accuracy, but the current best estimates are 875,000 in the UK, with 486,000 in England. A more comprehensive national monitoring scheme is currently being planned as part of the Tracking Mammals Partnership.


Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what regulations govern the release of wildfowl into the wild; and how many wildfowl have been released into the wild in each of the last five years. [23356]

Jim Knight: The term wildfowl" relates to all species of ducks and geese, and also swans (three species in England in winter). Only certain ducks and geese may be hunted. There are no specific regulations governing the release of native wildfowl into the wild. Only Mallard are released for the purposes of wildfowling. Mallard are native to England and they would not be covered by the provisions of section 14 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which prohibits releases of species of birds not ordinarily resident in or a visitor to the European territory of any member state.

The Game Conservancy Trust (GCT) record certain information about gamekeeping and shooting activities through the National Gamebag Census (NGC), a voluntary scheme established by GCT in 1961. The GCT has estimated that over the last 5 years, around one in 10 NGC shoots in England release ducks and the average number released per shoot in England is under 500.


Bus/Light Rail Use

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average cost of a bus ticket to Brighton from Bexhill-on-Sea will be in 2006 following changes to Government subsidies. [29327]

Derek Twigg: The Department does not forecast average ticket prices on particular bus routes. Fare levels are primarily a commercial decision by the operator concerned who will no doubt take into account a wide range of factors.

Concessionary fares provision by local authorities will also be relevant. From 1 April 2006, people aged 60 and over and disabled people will be entitled to free off-peak travel on bus journeys within their local authority area and local authorities have discretion to work together to provide concessions on cross-border routes.
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Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport by how much the use of (a) bus and (b) light rail changed in (i) 2004 and (ii) 2005 to date compared with 2000 (A) in England and (B) broken down by region; and what the predicted level is for 2010. [27563]

Ms Buck: The information is given in the following table.
Percentage change from 2000–01 to:
Region2003–042004–052010–11 (forecast)
North East-9-13n/a
North West0-2n/a
Yorkshire and the Humber-6-9n/a
East Midlands-2-7n/a
West Midlands-8-10n/a
East of England-8-9n/a
South East-3-3n/a
South West-2-2n/a
England ex London-5-7n/a
Light Rail
North East1713n/a
North West610n/a
Yorkshire and the Humber1116n/a
East Midlandsn/an/an/a
West Midlands-5-7n/a
England ex London1123n/a
Bus and Light Rail
England ex London-4-6n/a

n/a = not available

A forecast for passenger journeys in England outside London will be prepared, once the full impact of free concessionary fares for disabled travellers and those aged 60 and over can be properly assessed.

Mr. Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many buses in operation offer easy access facilities; and what is his target for easy access facilities on buses. [28310]

Mr. Darling: Information provided by bus operators shows that 46 per cent. of full-size buses running on local routes are wheelchair accessible. This equates to 21,300 vehicles from a fleet size of 46,300 full size buses. The number of accessible buses is much greater in larger towns and cities, and in the case of London is virtually 100 per cent. PSV Accessibility Regulations require all large buses used on local or scheduled services to be wheelchair accessible by 1 January 2017.

Criminal Offences

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the criminal offences created in legislation sponsored by his Department between the end of the 2003–04 session and the end of April, broken down by Act. [28368]

Ms Buck [holding answer 14 November 2005]: The question is taken to refer to criminal offences created directly in primary (rather than subordinate) legislation
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sponsored by the Department for Transport which received Royal Assent in the period 1 October 2004 to 30 April 2005.

The relevant legislative provisions are as follows.

The Railways Act 2005

The Disability Discrimination Act 2005

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