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[holding answer 7 December 2005]: The provisions governing the release of vehicle keeper data have been in place for over 40 years. Regulation (1)(e) of the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 2002 allows DVLA to
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release information from the vehicle register to anyone who can demonstrate 'reasonable cause' to have it. 'Reasonable cause' is not defined in legislation and requests are considered on their merits.
DVLA's inquiry unit deals with approximately 30,000 requests for information each week. When details can lawfully be released, a fee of £2.50 is charged to prevent administrative costs being borne by the taxpayer.
When these provisions were introduced, the large numbers of vehicles currently on the roads, or the range of bodies requesting access was not anticipated. For these reasons, I have announced a review of regulations governing release of information early in the new year.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 30 November 2005, Official Report, column 562W, on festivals, how much was spent by the Department on the Celebration of Culture event on Friday 11 November 2005. 
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 30 November 2005, Official Report, column 562W, on festivals, how much money was made available by his Department for staff to travel to (a) the Swansea Chinese Association's New Year Celebration, (b) the 2004 Diwali Event at the NEC in Birmingham and (c) the November 2005 Asian Mela Event at the NEC. 
The Highways Agency reimbursed a total of £200 in travel costs to enable three staff to represent the agency over two days at the 2004 Diwali event at the NEC in Birmingham, and reimbursed a total of £210 in travel costs to enable six staff to represent the agency over three days at the Asian Mela Event at the NEC.
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Ms Buck: As is the case with the current statutory minimum entitlement, dial-a-ride and community transport services will not be included. Local authorities will have the discretion, as they do at present, to offer concessions on these services based on their judgment of local circumstances and their overall financial priorities.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many payments for maladministration have been made by (a) his Department, (b) its agencies, (c) its non-departmental public bodies and (d) other bodies for which his Department has responsibility in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
A great deal has already been achieved. For example, we have introduced regulations significantly improving access for disabled people to all new trains, buses and coaches; over 4,700 accessible rail vehicles will be in service by the end of 2005 and almost half of the bus fleet is already accessible across the country, with much higher proportions in many urban areas.
Measures in the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 will further increase disabled people's rights when travelling by public transport. These include extending to transport services the right of access" disabled people currently have to services such as shops and banks. The new Act also allows us to set an end date", of no later than 1 January 2020, by which time all trains will have to be accessible. We are on course to implement these measures in December 2006 in line with our published timetable.
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Ms Buck: The Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations 2000 (as amended) require buses with a capacity of more than 22 passengers, used on or after 31 December 2000 to be accessible to disabled people including wheelchair users. The regulations set end dates of 1 January 2015 for small single deck buses, 1 January 2016 for large single deck buses and 1 January 2017 for double deck buses to comply with the regulations. After those dates all buses in service will be accessible. Bus operators are free to choose how and where they introduce compliant buses, often leading to higher concentrations of accessible buses in major cities.
Ms Buck: We have introduced accessibility planning" into the local transport planning process to encourage local authorities and other agencies to assess more systematically whether people can access transport services in their areas. This process covers all forms of transport from buses, coaches and taxis to cycling and walking networks. Making provision for disabled people is a condition against which the resulting Local Transport Plans (LTPs) are assessed.
Swindon borough council is using its LTP funding for an on-going programme of improvements at bus stops that will assist disabled passengers. The programme involves provision of raised kerbs at bus stops to minimise the step height between the pavement and the bus. This allows easier access for wheelchair users and for other people who have difficulty with high steps such as many older people.
Routes to bus stops are also being improved with new link paths and dropped-kerb road crossings and bus Stop Clearways are introduced to ensure that parked cars do not obstruct the stops allowing buses to pull up alongside the raised kerbs.
Local bus operators are providing new accessible low floor buses in Swindon and the Local Transport Plan funding to improve bus stops will allow the benefits of this investment in new vehicles to be maximised.
At a national level there has been significant progress in making public transport accessible to disabled people through regulations made under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA 1995). We made the Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations in 2000 and many of the trains calling at the station comply with those. Although the older rolling stock serving Swindon doesn't comply it can nevertheless accommodate passengers travelling in a wheelchair.
More generally disabled people in Swindon as elsewhere in the country will also benefit from the provisions in the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 (DDA 2005). We have already laid regulations which
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will, from December 2006, lift the transport exemption in Part 3 of the for land-based public transport, vehicle hire, breakdown services and vehicles used on leisure and tourism transport services. We will also be consulting shortly on draft regulations to set an end date" of no later than 1 January 2020 for when all trains will have to meet the rail vehicle accessibility regulations and to apply those regulations to older trains when they are refurbished.
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