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10 Jan 2006 : Column 488W—continued

Christmas Celebrations

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Department is taking to celebrate Christmas this year. [36749]

Ms Buck: The Department took a number of steps to celebrate Christmas last year, including publicising the Whitehall carol service and the DfT, ODPM and DEFRA carol service.

Concessionary Transport

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has held with Transport for London on discounted or free parking in London for resident pensioners. [40611]

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Ms Buck: None, although Transport Ministers meet the Mayor and the Commissioner of Transport for London from time to time to discuss matters of mutual interest.

Responsibility for parking enforcement in London generally rests with the relevant borough. It is a matter for individual local authorities to decide on the nature and scope of parking controls and to balance the needs of residents, emergency services, local business and those who work in and visit the area.

Connex South Eastern Franchise

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 14 November 2005, Official Report, column 895W, on railways, how much his Department spent on external consultants in connection with the termination of the Connex South Eastern franchise under section 30 of the Railways Act 1993, broken down by consultancy. [39381]

Derek Twigg: The information is as follows:
First Class Partnerships670,000
Clifford Chance156,000
AB Publishing Ltd.54,000
Hwe8 Ltd(J McLaren)17,000


Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 7 December 2005, Official Report, columns 1309–10W, on damages, if he will make a statement on each case to which he refers. [39719]

Ms Buck: The Department's policy is that damage claims are subject to special control procedures as laid out in government accounting, which is available at Every claim is looked at on a case-by-case basis, and following careful appraisal legal advice is sought where necessary. It would not be appropriate to reveal further specific details of individual cases where these would conflict with commercial or legal confidentiality.

Departmental Correspondence

Dr. Strang: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of how much correspondence from his Department was addressed to people who have (a) died and (b) moved house in each of the last five years. [40048]

Ms Buck: The Department does not keep a record of returned correspondence and is therefore unable to provide the information requested. The only exception is for vehicle registration documents transactions carried out by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, where all Post Office returned registration documents were analysed. This showed that, over the five years
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ending December 2005, a total of 533,864 (0.6 per cent.) of the 86,505,364 registration documents issued were undelivered.

Of these 84 were returned because the intended recipient had died and 71,812 because the intended recipient had gone away".

A further 174,042 were returned because the intended recipient was not known at the address given, 277,626 because of application error by the licensing dealer or customer and 10,330 without a specific reason being given.

Departmental Data

Dr. Strang: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what methods his Department employs to ensure that its data are up-to-date, with particular reference to information on people who have (a) moved house and (b) died. [37789]

Ms Buck: A variety of means are used to ensure that the Department keeps the personal data it holds up to date including:

Specific details for the Department's Agencies are as follows:


It is a legal requirement for drivers and vehicle keepers to notify DVLA of a change of name, address or vehicle details. DVLA is dependent on the motoring public to inform the Agency of new information as soon as the change occurs. Until a change is notified, DVLA remains unaware that the record is out of date. Because of legislative constraints, DVLA is unable to use third party information to update its records.

DVLA has introduced several initiatives aimed at improving the accuracy, traceability and up to dateness of its records. These initiatives include the introduction of the new vehicle taxation rules (continuous registration), rollout of the new vehicle registration certificate to all vehicle keepers, and an intensive accuracy publicity campaign.

DVLA marks the record of those who have died on the basis of information received from the Office of National Statistics to prevent further correspondence being sent out which may cause distress to the bereaved's family.

The results of DVLA's 2005 Accuracy Survey indicate that 97.4 per cent. of vehicle keepers are able to be traced from the information on the vehicle record. The equivalent figure for 2003 was 90 per cent.


The Driving Standards Agency keeps registers of approved trainers and instructors, including Approved Car Driving Instructors (ADIs) and LGV Driving Instructors. Instructors are encouraged to inform the
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Agency of any change of name or address within 10 days. All ADIs are provided with a change of address card when they register. The four yearly renewal of instructors' registration and periodic testing of ADIs' continued fitness and ability to give instruction, require up to date information. Otherwise an instructor could face removal.

DSA is introducing an Integrated Register of Driver Trainers. To ensure information on the new Register is as current as possible DSA wrote to all instructors last year. The details requested included their email address for possible future communications.

DSA is establishing an Internet service that will enable instructors to update their own records electronically.

Details are checked when instructors contact DSA. In addition, DSA sends a quarterly magazine Despatch and ad hoc updates to instructors. Any returns are checked against DSA and DVLA records to see if a more up to date address is available.


Customers are encouraged to provide up-to-date information to validate our records whenever they require the services of the agency. Re-validation of certificates, which occur on a regular basis, for both ships and seafarers require up-to-date information.


The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) does not hold data on the public.

Users of the computerised MOT system are responsible for updating their records on the system. Site Managers annually receive a reminder to confirm or amend information about their site including personnel details. When VOSA receive notification of a person's death their record is amended accordingly. Instructions on these processes are included in the system user guide and internal VOSA Operating Instructions.

Pre-funded account holders are similarly responsible for updating VOSA on any changes in their contact details.

Operator licence holders update their records with VOSA's traffic area offices through a self-service system.

Departmental Estate

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the former (a) buildings and (b) land of (i) his Department and (ii) (A) non-departmental public bodies, (B) agencies and (C) independent statutory bodies for which his Department is responsible which have been sold since 7 May 1997; what the sale price of each (1) was at the time of sale and (2) is at current prices; and whether the money accrued was (x) retained by his Department and (y) claimed by the Treasury. [40137]

Ms Buck: The Department was formed in May 2002.

The requested information has been placed in the Library of the House. Information on the current value of sale prices can be provided only at disproportionate costs.
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Sale proceeds were retained by the following DfT agencies: Driving Standards Agency, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency and the Highways Agency.

All Northern Lighthouse Board and Trinity House Lighthouse Service sale proceeds are remitted to the General Lighthouse Fund.

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