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Road Deaths

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of people killed in road accidents on roads maintained by local authorities in the last year for which figures are available. [62295]

Dr. Ladyman: The number of fatalities on local authority roads in personal injury road accidents in Great Britain in 2004 was 2,637.
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Roads (Romford/Havering)

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent on repairing roads in (a) Romford and (b) Havering in each of the last 10 years. [63004]

Dr. Ladyman: This information is not held centrally and would only be obtainable from the relevant local highway authorities, Essex county council and the London borough of Havering respectively.

School Run

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has held with local education authorities on the staggering of school opening times to ease traffic congestion arising from school transport. [62372]

Dr. Ladyman: The Secretary of State for Transport has not had any recent discussions with local education authorities on the staggering of school opening times to ease traffic congestion arising from school transport.

The Government believe that decisions regarding term dates and school opening times are best taken locally by those affected, and reflect the needs of parents, pupils and the local community. The school governing body decides when sessions should begin and end on each school day.

The joint Department for Transport and Department for Education and Skills Travelling to School" project works with local authorities and schools to develop travel plans. The project encourages:

The project's objective is for local authorities to work with all schools to help them develop and implement school travel plans that meet local circumstances before the end of the decade.

Smartcard Technology

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans his Department has for the roll-out of smartcard technology for travel on (a) buses, (b) trams and (c) metro systems outside London. [62198]

Dr. Ladyman: In England, outside London, it is for local transport authorities, working with public transport operators, to decide whether to introduce smartcard technology on buses, trams and metro systems, in response to local needs and priorities.

Local Transport Planning Guidance stipulates that the Integrated Transport Smartcard Organisation (ITSO) Specifications, which form part of the e-Government Unit e-Government Interoperability Framework GIF standards, shall be used for all procurements.

The ITSO Specifications—the national standards for ticketing systems—were published by the Department for Transport in March 2004.
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Superannuation Liability

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what total amount of employers' normal contributions accruing superannuation liability charge have been accounted for by his Department in each of the last five years for which data are available. [61357]

Derek Twigg: The total amount of employers' accruing superannuation liability charge that has been accounted for by the Department since it was created in 2002 is:

(10) Estimated.


Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was made available to (a) prevent and (b) deal with terrorist attacks on UK ports and harbours in 2005–06. [59541]

Dr. Ladyman: The cost burden of maintaining secure ports and harbours falls mainly to industry. The lead for dealing with terrorist attacks when they occur in the UK lies with the Home Office, the police and other emergency services. The Department is unable to provide information on how much of their total provisions for 2005–06 was made available to prepare for terrorist attacks in the UK's ports and harbours. Within the Department, the Directorate of Transport Security and Civil Contingencies works closely with industry to ensure that the regulatory provisions for security that apply to ports and harbours .are met. In 2005–06 the Directorate budgeted £1.7 million which includes the running costs for 34 staff who are mainly working to prevent terrorist attacks on maritime transport targets including our ports and harbours. Staff who are working on cross-cutting tasks within the Directorate also contribute to this effort.

Traffic Offences

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received from police forces proposing the introduction of a power to seize vehicles showing multiple traffic offences. [61274]

Dr. Ladyman: None. I am aware of a possible issue that was brought to my attention by the hon. Member for South-West Bedfordshire (Andrew Selous) in the course of the Second Reading debate on the Road Safety Bill and which that hon. Member has since met me to discuss. I invited the head of ACPO roads policing to give me his views, which were to the effect that no new powers are required to deal with the issue. I am currently considering his advice.

Transport Statistics

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the passengers in excess of capacity
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figures were for each route on (a) rail and (b) metro services in each passenger transport authority area in each of the past eight years. [61126]

Derek Twigg: Figures for passengers in excess of capacity (PIXC) apply to weekday commuter trains arriving in London between 07:00 and 09:59 and those departing London between 16:00 and 18:59. The PIXC measure does not apply to rail and metro services within Passenger Transport Authorities in the UK and therefore such information cannot be provided, due to the disproportionate cost of resources required to extract this in the format requested.



Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether the British Government has honoured agreements reached with farmers in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, regarding the payment of compensation in return for the eradication of poppy crops. [62477]

Dr. Howells: I have been asked to reply.

No recent representations have been made by local community leaders in Helmand Province to the British embassy in Afghanistan regarding the non-payment of compensation for poppy eradication. However, I am aware of claims by the Senlis Council on this subject. As my right hon. Friend the Defence Secretary told the House on 27 March 2006, Official Report, columns 529–31, the Senlis Council campaigns for the legalisation of opium production in Afghanistan on the grounds that it might be used for medicinal purposes. Neither the Government of Afghanistan nor the UK believe that legal cultivation would be viable in the present situation in Afghanistan.

The programme of compensated eradication in 2002 was led by the Afghan Transitional Authority who considered it appropriate to offer a one-off programme of payments to opium farmers on the basis that the poppy crop had been planted during the Taliban regime, before the current regime came to power. The UK provided financial assistance worth £21.25 million to support the new regime's commitment to tackle drugs production, but it was the responsibility of the Afghan authorities to administer the system of payments with farmers. The Government did not set up a bank account for this purpose. Compensated eradication was never seen as a long-term solution to drug control and does not form part of the present Afghan government's National Drug Control Strategy.

We are aware of reports that UK funds for compensated eradication may have been misused in the past. The Government take all reasonable measures to guard against fraud and financial irregularity in the use of public funds. All public expenditure, including that in respect of counter narcotics work in Afghanistan, is subject to the established scrutiny procedures of parliamentary committees and the National Audit Office.
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