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19 Apr 2006 : Column 700W—continued

Council Workers Strike

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has estimated the cost to the transport industry of the council workers strike of 28 March 2006 as a consequence of closures and reduced capacity at bridges and tunnels. [63971]

Dr. Ladyman: The Department has not undertaken any analysis of these specific costs.

EU Regulations

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans his Department has made to inform UK lorry drivers of their obligation to work on Co-ordinated Universal Time when the new EU digital tachograph regulations come into force. [63972]

Dr. Ladyman: Universal Time Co-Ordinated (UTC) is the same as Greenwich Mean Time. All records made by a digital tachograph vehicle unit will be made against UTC, irrespective of the vehicle's country of origin or what country the vehicle is in. Drivers using vehicles equipped with digital tachographs need to understand that vehicle units record in UTC and the implications of this should be explained as part of the overall package of guidance and training available to industry from the tachograph manufacturers and other organisations. Vehicle units display both local time and UTC; guidance on how to set the vehicle unit display to local time is contained within the user handbooks provided by tachograph manufacturers and should normally be part of any training package aimed at drivers.

Both the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency have arranged seminars to help industry better understand the implications of digital tachographs, including UTC. In addition, VOSA's digital tachograph website——contains general information about digital tachographs.

Fuel Duty Exemption

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the cost of extending the existing fuel duty exemption for buses to coaches. [62445]

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Dr. Ladyman: There is no fuel duty exemption for buses. This Department however does pay Bus Service Operators Grant to operators of local bus services and many community transport services in respect of the fuel used in providing those services. This recognises the particular role of such services in providing a local public transport network and contributing to the Government's objectives of reducing congestion, improving the environment and increasing social inclusion.

We have made no estimate of the cost of extending this grant to coaches, though it would clearly be substantial.

Government Car Service

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Lewes of 13 March 2006, Official Report, column 1886W, on the Government Car Service, what make and model of car has been made available to each Government Minister; how many hours a day a chauffeur is available to them; what the monthly cost is of this provision; and how much is accounted for by (a) running costs of the vehicle, (b) costs of the chauffeur and (c) all other costs. [63981]

Dr. Ladyman: The Prime Minister's guidance "Travel by Ministers" sets out what official cars are available for Ministers. The total contracted cost of providing ministerial cars in 2005–06 was £5,683,100. A breakdown of the figures in the format requested is not readily available and could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost. However, the contracted costs for each Ministerial department for the year were:

of cars
Annual contracted value (£)
Cabinet Office(27)7446,200
Department of Health6365,700
HM Treasury5330,600
Home Office7461,600
Law Officers2127,400
Northern Ireland Office5433,000
Privy Council Office3140,200
Scotland Office2, 3158,900
Wales Office(28)172,900

(27) Cabinet Office figures include cars for the Prime Minister's Office, the Leader of the House of Lords, the Chief Whip in the House of Commons and the Minister without Portfolio.
(28) The right hon. Alistair Darling MP is both Secretary of State for Transport and Secretary of State for Scotland. All his GCS costs are met by the Department for Transport. The right hon. Peter Hain MP is both Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Secretary of State for Wales. All his GCS costs are met by the Northern Ireland Office.
(29) The GCS car and driver provided to the Scotland Office is shared by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, David Cairns MP and the Advocate-General.

19 Apr 2006 : Column 702W


Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what provision he has made for a public consultation on the revised assumptions to be used in the Stage Two air quality modelling assessments for Heathrow. [63646]

Derek Twigg: The air quality technical panel's review of airport-related emissions at Heathrow has been completed and we expect to publish a full report shortly. This will comment on emissions sources and recommend how these can best be represented and modelled in future years. The work has been independently peer reviewed and its findings will inform the next stage of assessment and subsequent consultation.

Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much has been allocated to his Department's project for the Sustainable Development of Heathrow, including associated staffing costs and the use of consultants. [63647]

Derek Twigg: Provision of around £1 million has been made to cover work to date, mainly on the technical review of air quality, noise assessment and surface access modelling. This takes no account of Departmental staffing costs, which are not separately identified. Expenditure in the coming year could be of a similar order.

High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research his Department has undertaken into the effectiveness of existing high occupancy vehicle lanes in (a) the UK and (b) other developed countries; and if he will publish it. [62631]

Dr. Ladyman: In November 2004, the Highways Agency commissioned consultants KBR to produce a report entitled 'High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes Feasibility Study' looking at potential sites for car sharing lanes on the motorway network. This report is available on the agency's website .

Highways Agency

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many plants and shrubs have been planted by the Highways Agency in each year since 1997; and at what cost. [63659]

Dr. Ladyman: The numbers of trees and shrubs planted by the Highways Agency in each planting season (November-March) from 1997 to 2005 and their cost are:
Number (million)Cost (£ million)

19 Apr 2006 : Column 703W

Figures for 2005–06 are not yet available.


Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans costing over £5 million there have been for improving rail infrastructure in the East Dorset area, including Bournemouth, over the last four years. [63569]

Derek Twigg: Network Rail has responsibility for the maintenance and improvement of railway infrastructure, working within the resources available to them, as determined by the Office of Rail Regulation. The Department does not have the detailed records of expenditure over individual sections of route.

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans costing over £5 million there are for improving road infrastructure in East Dorset, including the Bournemouth area, over the next four years. [63570]

Dr. Ladyman: The Poole Bridge Regeneration Initiative was provisionally approved for funding through the Local Transport Programme in 2001 and is currently being progressed by Poole borough council through the necessary statutory procedures.

There are no other major road infrastructure schemes costing over £5 million currently approved by the Department in East Dorset, including the Bournemouth area.

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