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Dr. Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what total public spending (a) per head of population and (b) in total was on bus services in (i) County Durham, (ii) Tyne and Wear, (iii) Northumberland and (iv) the North East of England in each of the last 10 years. 
Gillian Merron: The majority of financial support for bus services is provided by local authorities in line with policy choices made at a local level, from their Revenue Support Grant supplemented by Rural Bus Subsidy Grant paid to authorities by the Department. The figures requested are shown in the following tables and include re-imbursement of concessionary fares on local buses, (consistent figures are available only from 1998-99).
|Bus support per head of population|
|£ per head|
|Durham||Tyne and Wear||Northumberland||All North East|
|Durham||Tyne and Wear||Northumberland||All North East|
| Note: The figures for Tyne and Wear contain some inconsistencies which are currently being checked by the passenger transport executive. Source: Local authority returns to DCLG, revenue outturn (RO2).|
Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many employees of the Confederation of Passenger Transport are seconded to his Department; and what the length of each secondment is. 
Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many of his Departments employees have been seconded to the Confederation of Passenger Transport in each of the last five years, broken down by grade; and how long each secondment lasted. 
Gillian Merron: There has been one pay band 6 (grade 7) secondment to the Confederation of Passenger Transport since the Department for Transport was formed in May 2002. The secondment lasted three years and 10 months from May 2002.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he will reply to the letter of 6 March (reference DT/007188/06) from the hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Lidington), on railway services, on behalf of Mr M. M. of Aylesbury. 
Gillian Merron: The Department does not issue official credit cards. The Department uses charge cards which are issued to officials, including some senior civil servants, to meet specific business needs.
The Department has adopted the Government Procurement Card for purchasing low-value goods and services, and Corporate Cards for some official travel and related expenditure, issued under the umbrella of the OGCbuying.solutions pre-tendered National Framework contract.
|Responsibility level||Male||Female||Department declaring being disabled|
|(1) Others relate to staff in HA, GCDA and VOSA whose grades do not fit into the general clerical grade structure.|
Members of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS) can pay additional contributions to top up their pension either through the Civil Service Additional Voluntary Contributions Scheme (CSAVCS), a money purchase arrangement, or by buying added years of service in the PCSPS. As an
alternative to membership of the PCSPS recruits from 1 October 2002 have been able to join a stakeholder arrangement, the partnership pension account.
Salary advances for the purchase of season tickets
Desktop journey planning tools
Promotion of public transport and local and national transport information via intranets, internal newsletters and other communication routes.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the potential impact on the transport infrastructure of the proposed supply of discounted oil to London from Venezuela. 
Gillian Merron: The supply of oil or oil products at discounted rates to the UK is a commercial decision for Venezuela. The Department is not at present aware of any firm commitment by the Government of Venezuela to do so. It is therefore not possible to speculate on the potential implications for UKs transport infrastructure.
Peter Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many civil servants were employed in his Department before the Gershon Report; what net reductions are proposed in the Gershon Report; how many reductions have been made; and how many civil servants are expected to be employed in his Department in the Gershon target month of April 2008. 
Gillian Merron: The Departments 2006 annual report records 16,338 full-time equivalent (FTE) civil servants in the Department for Transport, including its six agencies, for 31 March 2004 and 18,005 FTE for 31 March 2008. The Gershon Report proposed a reduction of 700-500 from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and 200 from the Centre of the Department by 31 March 2008. On 31 March 2006, DVLA and the centre had exceeded their trajectories for 2005-06 and are making good progress towards meeting the 2007-08 target. Further detail will be available in the Departments Autumn Performance Report. The Departments headcount reflects the 700 reductions in back office areas and necessary increases in front-line service areastransport security, accident prevention, driving test provision, and traffic officer servicesin order to meet customer demand. The Department has also taken on the Strategic Rail Authoritys responsibilities.
Derek Twigg: The High Return Alternative Tender (HRAT) formed part of the Invitation to Tender (ITT) for the Greater Western Franchise issued by the Strategic Rail Authority in June 2005. The Department intends to make this public once the franchise agreement has been placed on the public register, and is working to do this as soon as possible.
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