Tom Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on his Departments progress in fulfilling its statutory obligation as a public body of promoting the rights of disabled people. 
The Department for Transport is currently assessing its policies in accordance with the duty and the results of this exercise will be included in its Disability Equality Scheme (DES). The DES will set out how the Department intends to meet its duty to promote disability equality including the arrangements in place to assess the impact of its activities together with an action plan outlining how it intends to improve outcomes for disabled people.
A great deal has already been achieved in this area. For example, we have introduced regulations under part 5 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA 1995) making all new rail vehicles, buses and coaches accessible. Over 4,400 compliant rail vehicles are already in service and almost half the bus fleet is accessible. These improvements have already had a significant impact on the day-to-day mobility of disabled people.
We are also implementing the transport provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005. The new Act contains measures amending the rail vehicle accessibility regime and will extend part 3 of the DDA 1995 (which deals with access to goods and services) to the operators of all land-based public transport, vehicle hire and breakdown services from 4 December 2006.
Transport infrastructure, such as stations and airports, is already covered by these provisions which require service providers to remove obstacles that mean disabled people find it impossible or unreasonably difficult to access services. Policy initiatives, such as the recently announced Access for All fund (a £370 million ring-fenced resource available to improve access to railway stations) will provide further improvements.
Gillian Merron: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by the then Parliamentary-Under Secretary of State on 28 November 2005, Official Report, columns 1487-88W, to the hon. Member for Richmond Park (Susan Kramer).
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the threat by GNER trains to take the Rail Regulator to court over the decision to allow Grand Central Railways to run a Sunderland to Teesside to London rail service. 
Derek Twigg: The Office of Rail Regulation publishes rail usage information quarterly in National Rail Trends. The most recent publication covered quarter 3 2005-06 (October to December 2005) and showed there were 285 million passenger journeys in the quarter.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the effects on road safety of requiring drivers to wear reflective vests when leaving their vehicles at the roadside following a breakdown or accident; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the impact on road safety of requiring drivers to wear reflective vests when leaving their vehicles at the roadside following a breakdown or accident; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what advice his Department has issued on action to be taken by motorists and their passengers when leaving a vehicle at the roadside in the event of an accident or breakdown on roads which do not have a hard shoulder; 
(4) when his Department last reviewed the advice to motorists provided in the Highway Code on the action
to be taken following an accident or breakdown at the roadside; when he expects the consultation process on revising the Highway Code to be completed; and if he will make a statement; 
(5) what assessment he has made of the extent to which motorists follow existing guidance in the Highway Code on the action to be taken following an accident or breakdown at the roadside; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Ladyman: We will continue to monitor experience in other countries that introduce legislation requiring drivers to wear reflective vests when leaving their vehicles at the roadside following a breakdown or accident. If clear evidence starts to emerge that it is beneficial, we would look again at the need to legislate.
The Highway Code advises motorists and their passengers what action to take when leaving a vehicle at the roadside in the event of an accident or breakdown. The Department has also produced a leaflet, A Guide to Safer Motorway Driving, which also covers breakdowns. This advises drivers and their passengers where to stand after a breakdown, so that they are least vulnerable to being hit by other vehicles.
We have reviewed this advice as part of the current major revision of the Highway Code. The public consultation, which began on 15 February and ended on 12 May, includes proposed new advice to motorists in the section on breakdowns, which says
help other road users see you by wearing light coloured fluorescent clothing in daylight and reflective clothing at night or in poor visibility.
No assessment has been made as to whether motorists follow the guidance in the Highway Code on actions to be taken following an accident. Although failure to comply with the non-statutory rules in the code will not, in itself, cause a person to be prosecuted, the code may be used in any court proceedings under the traffic acts to establish liability.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people have (a) been killed and (b) seriously injured after leaving their vehicles atthe roadside following an accident or breakdown on(i) motorways and (ii) other trunk roads in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what research his Department (a) has undertaken and (b) plans to undertake into the reasons for trends in the seat belt wearing rate for car drivers between (i) October 1996 and October 1997,(ii) October 2002 and April 2003 and (iii) April and October 2005; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) when he expects the Great Britain car and van seat belt wearing percentage rates for April to be published; if he will place a copy in the Library when published; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) males and (b) females received an exemption from the requirements of section 14 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 in the last period for which figures are available, broken down by (i) age group and (ii) reason for exemption; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Newmark: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many persons have been (a) killed and (b) seriously injured on the A12 in Essex in each of the past five years; and what the corresponding figure is in 2006 to date. 
Dr. Ladyman: The following table shows the number of people killed and seriously injured on A12 in Essex over the last five years. The Highways Agency does not currently hold full accident details for the first quarter of 2006.
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Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell (Chris Grayling) of 19 April 2006, Official Report, column 709W, on SPECS cameras, if he will list the 16 core sites; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell (Chris Grayling) of 19 April 2006, Official Report, column 709W, on SPECS cameras, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of SPECS cameras in (a) reducing accidents and (b) reducing (i) serious and (ii) minor injuries. 
Dr. Ladyman: No specific assessment has beenmade of the effectiveness of SPECS time-over-distance cameras. However the independent four-year evaluation report of the national safety camera programme covered any SPECS cameras operating between April 2000 and March 2004. The independent academics concluded that SPECS cameras were equally as effective in reducing collisions and casualties as other fixed and red-light cameras. They also concluded that SPECS cameras have been particularly effective at reducing excessive speeds, which aredefined as 15 mph over the speed limit.
Derek Twigg: Operation Shield was conceived as a high visibility Intelligence led policing tactic to tackle knife related crime and forms part of the British Transport Polices (BTP) strategy to reduce violence against the person. The BTP trialled the use of portable metal detecting scanners at London stations for a period of eight weeks from 6 February 2006. During the eight week trial 1,148 stops were carried out from a total of 9,728 people passing through the scanners. 107 arrests were made, of which 48 were for the possession of offensive weapons. The operation is now being rolled-out nationally, across England,
Scotland and Wales. It will be deployed on specific pre-planned intelligence-led operations as and when appropriate.
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