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11 July 2006 : Column 1700W—continued

Departmental Emissions

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent estimate he has made of the carbon emissions of his Department; what commitment he has made to reducing such emissions; and if he will make a statement. [81053]

Gillian Merron: On 12 June Government launched new targets for sustainable operations on the Government estate, including ones to reduce carbon emissions. The Department for Transport is currently assessing its position against these targets and will publish performance data in due course.

Our performance in respect of the 2004-05 financial year can be found in the Sustainable Development Commission’s report “Leading by example?”.

Departmental Consultations

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his practice is regarding meeting, discussions with and taking into account the views and opinions of (a) private individuals and (b) representatives of organisations when drawing up and framing legislation to be introduced by his Department; and if he will make a statement. [81641]

Gillian Merron: The Department always seeks a full range of views when drawing up and framing legislation. Consultation is a key part of the policy-making process; both informal and formal. The Department holds regular meetings with representatives of the principal stakeholder groups for our policy areas and with relevant experts.

Organisations and individuals can also contribute to the Department’s formal consultations which abide by the code of conduct on consultation. Known stakeholders are alerted to the fact that a formal consultation is taking place. As required by the code, the Department then gives feedback on the responses received and on how the consultation process influenced the policy decision.

Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the value of the grant paid to Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive was in each of the last five years. [82440]

Derek Twigg: The total funds allocated by the Department for Transport to the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive are set out in the following table. These totals include funding for rail, bus services and local transport. In the case of rail and bus service funding, these allocations are entirely in the form of grant. Local Transport Plan funding covers integrated transport block (for small schemes), maintenance and major projects, and are allocated as a combination of
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capital grant and supported borrowing. 2005-06 figures are provisional and subject to audit.

£ million












Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what safety regulations govern hang-gliding; what guidance he has issued on the subject; and if he will make a statement. [83772]

Gillian Merron: All aircraft in the United Kingdom, including hang-gliders, must be flown in accordance with the Rules of the Air Regulations 1996. There are no registration, design certification or pilot licensing requirements for hang-gliders. The Civil Aviation Authority has not issued any guidance on hang-gliding.

London-Swansea Rail Line

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the merits of linking the main London-Swansea rail line to a rail link to Ebbw Vale. [83669]

Derek Twigg: This is a matter for the Welsh Assembly Government.

Low-emission Vehicles

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what financial incentives the Government provide for the purchase of low emission vehicles; and which vehicles on sale in the UK are eligible for those incentives. [82321]

Dr. Ladyman: The single biggest financial incentive for most drivers is provided by fuel duty. Motorists can make substantial fuel duty savings by choosing more efficient, less polluting vehicles.

In 2001 vehicle excise duty for cars was reformed and is now graduated by carbon dioxide emissions. This gives a clear signal to motorists to choose less polluting vehicles. In Budget 2006 this framework was further reformed to strengthen environmental signals. Private and light goods vehicles first registered before March 2001 are taxed according to their engine size, in one of two bands.

Company car tax is also graduated according to CO2 emissions, having been reformed in 2002.

The CO2 ratings for new cars are published on the website of the Vehicle Certification Agency and in its publication “New Car Fuel Consumption and Emission Figures” (latest edition May 2006) and VED rates are published on the DVLA website.

Concerning grants, I refer the hon. Member to the written statement “Transport grant and advice programmes” which I made on 7 June 2006, Official Report, columns 30-32WS.

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Media Analysis Reports

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department produces a monthly media analysis report. [82205]

Gillian Merron: The Department’s use of the services provided by its media analysis contractor ended in February 2006. We are currently reviewing how we measure the effectiveness of our communications.

All the media analysis reports can be found on the DfT website at:

and at:

Motorway Surface Noise

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport by what criteria an area is assessed for its eligibility for motorway surface noise alleviation. [84162]

Dr. Ladyman: Resurfacing of strategic roads, including motorways, is carried out when maintenance of the existing surface is required on safety grounds or as a result of general wear and tear caused by traffic. When resurfacing is required, quieter surfacing materials are used as a matter of course.

Noise barriers have been installed on existing strategic roads where serious and pressing cases of high levels of traffic noise experienced by nearby residents have been identified and where there has been no early prospect of quieter surfacing materials being laid. These cases, which were listed on 11 November 1999, Official Report, columns 681-83W, were identified using criteria announced by the Minister on 22 March 1999, based on calculated noise levels and road opening dates.

Multi-Modal Studies

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on (a) progress with and (b) plans for multi-modal studies. [83015]

Gillian Merron: I refer the hon. Member to the answer that was provided on 10 October 2005, Official Report, columns 96-98W.

Rail Fares

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many passenger train operating companies permit the use of a cheap day return ticket all day. [82503]

Derek Twigg: Most train companies have a few cheap day return fares that are valid all day, usually well away from urban areas or for travel in the opposite direction to the peak passenger flow. Most cheap day return tickets carry a morning peak restriction, and cheap day
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returns set by at least five train operating companies also have an evening peak restriction. Cheap day return tickets are not regulated, so the Department does not collate information on these restrictions.

Rail Timetables

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will seek a review of the time of early morning trains on the Gloucester to Bristol line. [83266]

Derek Twigg: The Department of Transport has no current plans to seek a review of the times of trains on the Gloucester to Bristol line.

Railways (Crime)

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many crimes have been reported at each train station in each of the last five years. [82600]

Derek Twigg: This information is not held by the Department for Transport. Information relating to crimes at railway stations is held by the British Transport Police who can be contacted at: British Transport Police, 25 Camden Road, London NW1 9LN.

Reading-Taunton Freight Line

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will take steps to ensure that freight traffic from the Mendip quarries is re-routed via Bristol to enable essential repair work by high-output machinery on the Reading to Taunton line; and if he will make a statement; [83528]

(2) what discussions he has had with the owners of (a) Whatley and (b) Merehead Quarry on their use of freight trains at times when repairs could be effectively carried out to the Reading to Taunton line by high-output machinery; [83529]

(3) if he will ensure that the high-output machinery for repairing and improving rail track is used on the West country route between Reading and Exeter and not transported to other parts of the rail network until the work is completed. [83532]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 10 July 2006]: These are operational matters for Network Rail, the owner and operator of the national rail network. The hon. Member should contact Network Rail’s chief executive at the following address for a response to his questions.

Rural Bus Services

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many rural bus services have been lost in Suffolk in each of the past five years. [82727]

Gillian Merron: The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) do not keep the statistics requested by
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county. They do, however, compile this information according to traffic area. The number of new and cancelled bus services by traffic area from 1998-2005 were provided in an answer give by my predecessor on 16 February 2006, Official Report, columns 2505-6W.

The following table shows the figures for 2005-06 which are now available.

Traffic area New Cancelled

North Eastern



North Western



Eastern (incorporating Suffolk)



West Midlands









South Eastern plus Metropolitan






Traffic Commissioners

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to include the monitoring of the operation of bus services in the remit of the Traffic Commissioners. [82822]

Gillian Merron: The Traffic Commissioners do already have powers to monitor local bus services. They can and do take action against operators who fail to run a bus service in accordance with the registered details of the service.

Education and Skills


Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what support his Department provides for children and families affected by alcoholism in (a) England, (b) the north-east, (c) the Tees Valley and (d) Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland constituency. [79325]

Beverley Hughes: The Government are taking robust action to reduce significantly the numbers of young people affected by substance misuse, (including alcohol). The Department for Education and Skills, the Home Office and Department of Health agreed a joint approach to the development of universal, targeted and specialist services to prevent drug harm and to ensure that all children and young people are able to reach their potential. This will often cover a wide range of substances, including alcohol and volatile substances and is supported by a ring fenced budget—The Young People's Substance Misuse Partnership Grant.

In addition, the Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy, led by the Home Office, aims to minimise harm caused by alcohol and tackle adult problem drinking. The strategy includes a work theme on young people and parents.

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Arrangements for safeguarding children and promoting their welfare have been strengthened through the Every Child Matters reform. The Children Act 2004 places a duty on local authority children's services departments to protect children from significant harm, including from alcohol misusing parents.

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