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6 Jun 2006 : Column 498Wcontinued
John Battle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 21 March 2006, Official Report, columns 353-54W, on sterling stamp duty, if he will publish the Governments study into the technical implications of the proposal for a sterling stamp duty. 
Ed Balls: In the context of achieving the millennium development goals, the Government have considered several ideas and proposals for raising development finance and has concluded that a sterling stamp duty could not be practically enforceable given the multiple avenues for avoidance, and the consequently heavy regulatory and implementation costs such a tax would require. There is no intention of going further than this. The UK Government remain fully committed to the millennium development goals, and have set a timetable to reach the target of 0.7 per cent. overseas development assistance-GNI by 2013.
Mr. Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs why the letter of 2 May 2006 from the hon. Member for Walsall, North, regarding a constituent's suggestion for a generator, was not transferred to the Department of Trade and Industry. 
Ian Pearson [holding answer 5 June 2006]: The letter in question has been transferred to and accepted by the Department of Trade and Industry.
Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the Minister for Animal Welfare expects to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire of 12 April. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 5 June 2006]: The Department has no record of having received this letter. If the hon. Member will write to me again, I will ensure his letter is answered promptly.
Mr. Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs why the consultation on the implementation of the Environmental Liability Directive has been delayed. 
Ian Pearson [holding answer 5 June 2006]: The Government's intention is to hold two public consultations on the transposition of the Environmental Liability Directive, the first on policy options and the second on draft legislation. They are currently considering the basis for the first of these consultations.
Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he plans to assess the costs and benefits of introducing mandatory fitness for purpose annual inspections of oil storage tanks. 
Ian Pearson: The Environment Agency is responsible for maintaining and enforcing The Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001. The Agency takes a risk-based approach to enforcement, and does not consider that a further targeted programme of oil storage tank inspections would be a cost-effective way of dealing with oil pollution. The existing regulations apply minimum prescriptive standards to all premises storing oil in above ground fixed or mobile tanks or facilities.
Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the Environment Agency next plans to carry out a review of the effectiveness of the Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001; when this review is expected to report; and which stakeholders will be consulted in the review. 
Ian Pearson: The final stage of the Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001 came into force on 1 September 2005. A full year of incident data is needed before any meaningful evaluation can be undertaken. However, the latest available data show four consecutive annual reductions in the number of oil pollution incidents since the regulations were introduced.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent estimate he has made of the annual carbon dioxide emissions from patio heaters. 
Ian Pearson: Only very limited information is currently available about the number of outdoor patio heaters in use in the UK.
The Government's Market Transformation Programme (MTP) estimates that the number of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) patio heaters is around 630,000 in the domestic sector and between 3,000 and 12,500 in the hospitality sector (pubs, restaurants and hotels). This does not include electric outdoor heating appliances, however, which appear to be gaining market share. The MTP estimates are not derived from surveys or detailed research, and should not be interpreted as accurate data on energy consumption and carbon emissions.
The Liquid Petroleum Gas Association has provided sales figures for LPG supplied in cylinders sized for outdoor heating appliances each year. From the Association's 2005 figures the MTP estimates that annual carbon dioxide emissions from patio heaters in the UK are around 22.2k tonnes.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what advice and guidance (a) the Government's Advisory Committee on Hazardous Substances and (b) the Environment Agency has issued on the use of perfluorooctane sulphonate; 
(2) what guidance the Drinking Water Inspectorate have issued on the use of perfluorooctane sulphonate; 
(3) what guidance his Department has issued on the use of perfluorooctane sulphonate. 
Ian Pearson: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 25 May 2006, Official Report, columns 1916-917W.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will establish a study to evaluate the changes in carbon dioxide emissions from cars as a result of the closure of post offices, bank branches and independent retail shops in the South West region in the last five years. 
[holding answer 5 June 2006]: Defra has no plans to establish such a study. Emissions from these journey types are part of the estimate for road
transport as a whole in the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory, and in the UK projections of emissions.
In considering the external impacts of any closures, it is important to consider a range of environmental, social and economic issues and changes in the transport infrastructure as a whole, not just changes in car use. The report on the validity of food miles as an indicator of sustainable development, published by Defra in July 2005, gives some useful data and an indication of some of the issues that need to be taken into account http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/latest/2005/food-0715.htm
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many automatic number plate recognition cameras are positioned for the purpose of capturing images on the parts of the road network managed by the Highways Agency. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Highways Agency (HA) has responsibility for approximately 1,140 Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras on its network. The Highways Agency uses them for traffic information and monitoring
Cameras used for enforcement purposes are the responsibility of the relevant enforcement agencies and so detailed information would have to be sort from them directly. The HA currently has eight permanent sites where SPECS safety cameras are deployed and these use ANPR technology. These are also operated on a number of roadwork sites but no central record is kept due to their temporary nature.
Traffic Master also has ANPR cameras (blue cameras) on the trunk road network for providing current traffic information to their customers.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the accuracy of the automatic number plate recognition translation software used by his Department. 
Dr. Ladyman: Three of DfT's Agencies operate automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) systems: Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, and Highways Agency.
DVLA's ANPR cameras are type approved by the Home Office for the detection and prosecution of Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) offences. The type approval process involved rigorous testing of both the hardware and software. The ANPR systems also undergo an annual programme of testing and calibration in accordance with Home Office approved procedures to ensure continual accuracy.
VOSA's ANPR cameras are used to identify non compliant commercial vehicles and operators for stopping or checking, and if necessary to initiate enforcement action. VOSA's ANPR system complies with the ACPO national minimum standards for approval and performance acceptance. During testing the system gave 98 per cent. recognition and identification, which is in line with ACPO guidelines.
Highways Agency's ANPR cameras are used solely for live traffic information such as journey time information and incident warnings, and for monitoring scheme
performance and success, such as changes in traffic patterns and delays. The National Traffic Control Centre (NTCC) only requires a match rate between adjacent cameras of about 10 per cent. to provide accurate traffic information, and the system meets this requirement.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much has been spent on the (a) purchase, (b) installation and (c) maintenance of automatic number plate recognition camera systems on roads managed by the Highways Agency in each of the last five years. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Highways Agency (HA) has responsibility for approximately 1,140 Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras on its network. These cameras are purchased, installed and maintained through different methods.
National Traffic Control Centre (NTCC) has around 1,033 of the ANPR cameras on the HA network provided by the operating company TiS. TiS is contracted to deliver a number of services to the NTCC and receives a monthly payment for service delivery. TiS are responsible for purchasing, installing and maintaining the equipment to support service delivery and the cost of providing that infrastructure is a matter for the operating company.
The remaining 108 ANPR cameras are deployed on the motorway network in the West Midlands. 50 cameras were installed on the Active Traffic Management (ATM) section of the M42 during 2005-06 at a cost of £350,000. The other 58 cameras were purchased and installed in 2002-03 at a cost of £271,000 and upgraded in during 2004-05 and 2005-06 at a cost of £340,000 primarily for the purchase and installation of ancillary equipment such as fibre optic cables but not new cameras.
Maintenance of cameras and other technology equipment is carried out under a specialised traffic technology maintenance contract for all such facilities in the West Midlands. The annual cost for maintaining the 108 ANPR cameras as part of the overall maintenance contract is estimated as £62,500.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to announce proposals for reforms to the British Transport Police; what the expected cost is of the reforms; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg [holding answer 5 June 2006]: A review of the British Transport Police is currently being undertaken. Once a conclusion is reached a statement will be made to both Houses.
Dr. Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had regarding the possibility of a high speed rail link from London to the North East. 
Derek Twigg: Looking at the feasibility and affordability of a north-south high-speed link is a manifesto commitment. The Government have committed to take this forward as part of Sir Rod Eddington's study and in the development of a long term strategy for the railways.
The Department has had a wide range of discussions with interested parties on this topic and will continue to do so as it progresses this work towards the publication of the rail strategy next summer.
Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has for the internal redevelopment of Lime Street Railway Station, Liverpool. 
Derek Twigg [holding answer 5 June 2006]: The redevelopment of Lime Street station is a high priority in the Liverpool City Region Development Plan (LCDP). Network Rail, Liverpool Vision, Liverpool city council, the train operators and Merseytravel have developed proposals.
Network Rail have advised me that they are liaising regularly with Merseytravel and have now agreed to jointly develop a list of planned works. Wider ranging improvements to the Station would require third party funding.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many minutes an average MOT test took in (a) 2005, (b) 2001, (c) 1998 and (d) the last period for which figures are available. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Department for Transport calculated that an average MOT test for a car took (a) 52.2 minutes in 2005-06; (b) 48.6 minutes in 2001-02; and, (c) 44 minutes in 1997-98.
We have recently undertaken a test timing exercise to determine the time it takes to conduct an average MOT test now. The results of the exercise are currently being analysed and will be made public shortly.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to encourage the continued manufacture of rail vehicles in the UK. 
Derek Twigg [holding answer 25 May 2006]: It is the policy of the Government to encourage open competition for the supply of rail vehicles and decisions on where to manufacture such vehicles are ultimately taken by train manufacturers on the basis of cost and competitiveness. The Department for Transport has discussed the situation with train manufacturers and will seek to provide them with better information on future procurement timescales and to facilitate a more even spread of train orders, thus enabling longer term decisions to be made on the maintenance of UK manufacturing capability. It is worth noting that 70 per cent. of the trains procured between 1996 and 2005 were manufactured or assembled in the UK.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many passengers have used Saltash Railway Station in each of the last five years. 
Derek Twigg: Analysis based on ticket sales indicates that the number of journeys made to and from Saltash Railway Station each year since 2002 was as follows:
|Year( 1)||Total operating journeys|
|(1 )Rail reporting yearApril to March|
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