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17 Nov 2005 : Column 1389W—continued

Departmental Vehicles

Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many vehicles his Department owns; and what the purpose, annual cost, type of fuel and average number of miles used per week is in each case. [25637]

Ms Buck: The requested information is provided in the following table.

The annual costs and mileage incurred relate specifically to the unique operational environment in which our property centres operate.

For example, the Highways Agency operate a large winter maintenance fleet and due to the harsh environment in which they operate have a disproportionately high running cost. Mileage data has not been provided for the salt loaders or for the snow blowers. The salt loaders, although road registered, rarely leave the depot and the snow blowers are transported to the site on the back of a lorry and may only get used once a season.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency vehicles are used mainly for transporting personnel and equipment in response to emergencies.

Direct comparison between the costs and mileage incurred by DfT property centres is therefore not meaningful.
Mobility and vehicle information service

Costs and mileage incurred
Number of vehicles owned30
Vehicle purposeDisabled driver training and assistance
Fuel used
Dual fuel1
Annual costNot available
Average mileage per week959

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Driving Standards Agency

Costs and mileage incurred
Number of vehicles owned 206
Vehicle purposeDriver testing/examiner training and
Fuel used
Dual fuel10
Annual cost£525,132
Average mileage per week15,855

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

Costs and mileage incurred
Number of vehicles owned11
Vehicle purposeAutomatic number plate reader
vehicles: tax evasion monitoring and
Fuel used
Annual cost£43,000
Average mileage per week594

Highways Agency

Costs and mileage incurred
Number of vehicles owned367
Vehicle purposeWinter maintenance: salt spreaders, salt loaders and snow blowers
Fuel used
Annual cost£19,600
Average mileage per week122

Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Costs and mileage incurred
Number of vehicles owned402
Vehicle purposeSearch and rescue
Fuel used
Annual cost£424,000
Average mileage per week23,892

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

Costs and mileage incurred
Number of vehicles owned258
Vehicle purposeHGV/PSV road traffic enforcement(4), road
traffic accident investigation, mobile office
and workshop, pool vehicles, training aids,
MOT incognito.
Fuel used
Dual fuel53
Annual cost£478,534
Average mileage per week43,615

(4) Powers to stop, automatic number plate reader.

Mobile Phones

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the operation of the regulations introduced in December 2003 prohibiting the use of mobile phones while driving. [29348]

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Dr. Ladyman: The police are responsible for the enforcement of the prohibition on the use of hand held mobile phones while driving. The Road Safety Bill, currently before Parliament, contains provisions to make the offence endorsable (3 penalty points) which also automatically raises the Fixed Penalty Notice to 60. If a case goes to court, the penalty on conviction will include penalty points and discretionary disqualification on top of the existing maximum fine of £1,000 (£2,500 in the case of a goods vehicle or a bus/coach driver).


Rob Marris: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what date the consultation on rail closure procedures will start; and if he will make a statement. [26462]

Derek Twigg: We expect to consult on the closure guidance in due course.

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the (a) a.m. peak and (b) p.m. peak figures for (i) passengers in excess capacity and (ii) the total number of passengers were for London commuting service trains servicing Milton Keynes as measured in the most recent survey. [27180]

Derek Twigg: For the Milton Keynes/Northampton to Euston service group, in the 'AM' peak, Passengers in Excess of Capacity (PIXC) is 0.2 per cent. The total number of passengers using this service group was 6559.

For the Euston to Milton Keynes/Northampton service group, in the 'PM' peak, PIXC is 0.5 per cent. The total number of passengers using this service group was 6,748.

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many rail penalty fares were (a) issued, (b) appealed and (c) successfully appealed in the last year for which figures are available. [28263]

Derek Twigg: The Department for Transport does not keep records of how many penalty fares are charged, or appeals made. This is a matter for the train operators concerned.


Mr. Geoffrey Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to publish the draft Taxi Access Regulations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995; and if he will make a statement. [27969]

Ms Buck: We are currently developing a technical specification to set the design parameters for accessible taxis. To assist this process, the Department held a seminar for stakeholders from industry, organisations representing disabled people and licensing authorities in June to discuss the complex issues around taxi accessibility. The views expressed at the seminar will be used to shape a consultation package.
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We do not yet have a timetable for introduction of taxi accessibility regulations but the current situation is that local licensing authorities remain free to introduce their own accessibility policies and many have done so already.

Transport Modernisation

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Government are taking to modernise (a) buses and (b) trains. [26455]

Ms Buck: Outside London, bus services are deregulated and the provision of vehicles is primarily a matter for operators. In London, Transport for London can determine the standard of vehicle used by contracted operators. A survey carried out by the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT) of its members found a reduction in the average fleet age of buses from 7.5 years in 2002 to 7.2 years in 2004.

On the railways, some 4,500 new carriages have been introduced into service over the last five years. This has meant replacing around 40 per cent. of all carriages, with the result that the UK rolling stock fleet is now among the youngest in Europe.

Transport Plan

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the extent to which the 10-Year Plan for Transport of July 2000 has been implemented, with particular reference to the (a) 50 per cent. growth in passenger rail services and (b) 80 per cent. growth in freight by 2010. [26956]

Ms Buck: The implementation of the 10-Year Plan is now being taken forward by the Future of Transport White Paper published in July 2004. The current PSA target for rail, as outlined in the White Paper, is

This was agreed for the three year period relating to the Spending Review 2004.

Figures on rail passenger usage and rail freight are published quarterly in National Rail Trends (published by the Strategic Rail Authority up to 24 June 2005 and thereafter by the Office of Rail Regulation) and in the Department's annual publication Transport Statistics Great Britain.

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