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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 13 February 2006


Butler Inquiry

Adam Price: To ask the Prime Minister whether the Government provided information to the Butler inquiry team relating to his meeting with President Bush and his advisers held at the White House on 31 January 2003. [51515]

The Prime Minister: The Government co-operated fully with the Butler review.


Maritime Safety

Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many cases involving (a) near miss incidents and (b) contraventions of International Collision Prevention Regulations there have been in the Channel in each year since 2000, broken down by flag. [48825]

Dr. Ladyman: The number of near miss incidents and contraventions of International Collision Prevention Regulations, broken down by flag, by year is shown in the following table.
Near misses
Antigua and Barbuda13431
British Virgin Islands1
Cayman Islands1111
French Antarctic Territories121
Hong Kong China3
Irish Republic1
Isle of Man13
Korea (North)1
Marshall Islands2
Netherlands Antilles1
Portugal (MAR)11
St. Vincent and the Grenadines32
United Kingdom12579

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The figures are taken from the Channel Navigation Information Service (CNIS) for the period 23 February 2003 to 31 December 2005. CNIS was installed and commissioned in February 2003.


Mr. Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many new bus services have commenced running in the North Western Traffic Area in each financial year since 1997. [50356]

Ms Buck: The following table shows the number of new bus services registered in the North Western Traffic Area in each financial year since 1 April 1998. The number of services registered before this date cannot be recovered without disproportionate cost.
Financial yearNew bus services registered

Commission for Integrated Transport

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of whether there is a potential conflict of interest between the chairmanship of his Commission for Integrated Transport and the role of Transport for London Commissioner. [50817]

Ms Buck: The role of the Commission for Integrated Transport (CfIT) is focussed on future strategic issues and best practice at a national level, so I am satisfied that there is no general conflict of interest. I believe CfIT benefits from the added value of such a senior figure as Chair. However, in the event that CflT's work was to impinge on TfL's responsibilities the Chair has made it clear that he would declare an interest and if necessary excuse himself from that work. There are many other commissioners and a Vice Chair of CfIT who in that case would have no conflict.

Ferries (Fire Safety)

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the recommended method is of extinguishing fires on board roll-on roll-off ferries; and if he will make a statement. [50143]

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Dr. Ladyman: The Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS 1974) requires passenger roll-on roll-off ferries to be fitted with a type-approved, fixed pressure water spraying system to extinguish fires on the vehicle decks.

The convention also requires drainage or pumping arrangements sufficient to ensure that the water from the spraying system will be discharged rapidly from the ship, to avoid the serious loss of stability that could arise due to water accumulating on the vehicle decks.

Structural fire protection and fire suppression systems are also required throughout the accommodation and machinery spaces.

Heathrow Airport

Mr. Marshall-Andrews: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many and what proportion of night flights into Heathrow operated on (a) a westerly and (b) an easterly flight path (i) in 2004 and (ii) in 2005. [48014]

Ms Buck: The Department does not hold detailed information on this, which is an operational matter for National Air Traffic Services Ltd. (NATS). I understand that they are willing to assist in collating this information and suggest my hon. and learned Friend directs his inquiries to the chief executive of NATS.

Hydrogen Powered Fuel Cell Buses

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how much the trial of hydrogen powered fuel cell buses in London cost; and how much of this amount was met by (a) his Department, (b) the European Union, (c) the Energy Saving Trust and (d) other sources; [48264]

(2) whether he has received a report on the conclusions drawn from the trial of hydrogen powered fuel cell buses in London; and when he next expects to receive such a report; [48265]

(3) how many hydrogen powered fuel cell buses have been in operation in each year since 2004. [48267]

Ms Buck: Three hydrogen-powered buses have been in operation in London since January 2004 as part of a European demonstration programme supported by this Department and a number of other stakeholders. No other hydrogen-powered buses have been in operation in the UK during the years in question.

The trial was due to finish in December 2005, but London and a number of other European cities taking part in similar trials are currently in discussions with the European Commission about extending the project for a further year. A report summarising the lessons learned from the trials across Europe is due to be published shortly.

We estimate that the total costs of the London trial have amounted to over £3 million. Costs have been shared among a number of partners. The European Commission provided just over £1 million of support, and the UK Government provided just under £500,000 through the Department for Transport's New Vehicle Technology Fund programme, administered by the Energy Savings Trust. The trial was overseen by Transport for London and a number of other project
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partners provided financial and other support. These included London Bus Services Ltd., FirstGroup, Daimler-Chrysler, Ballard, and BP.

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