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The data requested are not available by local authority. Data based on the ONS area classification are not available for 1997. Estimates of the number of households are available by region for 1997 and for English regions and Wales for 2003, but are not available for more recent years or by income quintile or area classification.

Channel Tunnel Rail Link

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many trains per hour will use the Channel Tunnel Rail Link at Stratford during peak hours; how many of these will be (a) domestic and (b) international; and what the full passenger capacity of each train will be. [80823]

Derek Twigg: We will not be in a position to know how many trains per hour will use the CTRL at Stratford during peak hours until the domestic operator (London South Eastern Railways), and the international operator (Eurostar) announce their timetables for these new services.

Subject to final confirmation of the design requirements, the high speed domestic trains are expected to comprise six-car trains with about 350 seats. The six-car trains will be capable of being coupled to run as 12-car trains. The international trains comprise 16 carriages and have 766 seats.

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

Jim Dowd: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what facilities there are at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency for the return of original documents by secure delivery. [85163]

Dr. Ladyman: It should be emphasised that identity documents are required with applications for a first photocard driving licence only and where there are personal changes subsequently. As over 25 million drivers now have a photocard licence the requirement for identity documents is diminishing. In addition, arrangements are in place for digitised passports to be checked by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) online with the Identity and Passport Service (IPS). Non digitised UK passports can be checked at Post Offices, with the same facility available at DVLA’s 40 Local Offices, which can also check ED passports and those from certain designated countries where licence exchange agreements exist. All these facilities remove the need for submission of a passport to DVLA.

The use of Special/Recorded delivery arrangements for the return of all submitted identity documents to drivers has been examined, but it would involve substantial clerical intervention, which would result in a significant increase in the fees charged for driving licences. The use of plain fit-for-purpose envelopes by DVLA has not revealed any widespread problems. Some drivers send their own special envelopes for return, but this is a matter of personal choice.

Large Goods Vehicles

Mr. David: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will introduce (a) a mandatory register of large goods vehicles instructors and (b) a system of
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check-testing rather than re-testing for large goods vehicle instructors. [84354]

Dr. Ladyman: Currently we have no powers to introduce a mandatory register of LGV instructors. Parliament is currently considering a Road Safety Bill that includes provision to introduce such a scheme by regulation. Arrangements to assure standards maintenance would be part of the consultation before any scheme was introduced.

Before the voluntary register was established in 1997, the Driving Standards Agency proposed a continuing test of instructional fitness and ability (or ‘check-test’) as the means to stay on the register. In response to consultation with the road freight industry and its training representatives, the industry argued strongly for re-qualifying exams involving practical assessment of driving as well as instruction as the means to remain qualified.

Nuclear Material (Transportation)

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much nuclear material is typically transported in a nuclear transport vessel; and what assessment he has made of the impact on the marine environment in the event of an accident or attack causing all such material to leak into the sea. [84863]

Dr. Ladyman: All vessels carrying packaged irradiated nuclear fuel, plutonium and high-level radioactive wastes must be certified as complying with the stringent criteria of the International Code for such cargoes known as the INF Code before they are able to be used for such purposes.

It is not possible to quote “typical quantities” transported in a nuclear transport vessel as the quantity of material varies according to the business contract being served.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published a report in July 2001 to examine the severity, probability and risk of accidents during the maritime transport of radioactive material. In this study the IAEA considered the shipment of radioactive materials including the shipment of irradiated fuel, plutonium, high-level vitrified wastes and fresh mixed oxide (MOX) fuel in a nuclear transport vessel. The study considered a number of issues related to accidents at sea, accident statistics, risk studies and emergency response. The study concluded that all the scientific information available in this area demonstrated that there were very low levels of radiological risk and environmental consequences from the sea transport of radioactive material.

Nuclear Waste Transportation

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which railway lines (a) in and (b) outside London are used for the transportation of nuclear waste. [80463]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 26 June 2006]: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 16 June 2006, Official Report, column 1419W.

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Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the processes and procedures are for co-ordination between the port health authorities throughout the UK and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. [84390]

Dr. Ladyman: The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Association of Port Health Authorities, which

The Government keeps under review arrangements for co-ordination and co-operation between bodies with an interest in port health matters.

Rail Passengers (Overcrowding)

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will visit Castle Point to discuss the overcrowding on the c2c Fenchurch Street Line and the process for obtaining a new terminus rail station on Canvey Island to relieve that overcrowding. [78602]

Derek Twigg: There are no plans by the Department for extending the line to Canvey Island and a new terminus station on Canvey Island would not, in itself, reduce crowding on the route.

The Department would consider any fully-costed business case for proposals for new stations or developments to the national rail network.

c2c has been consulting on proposed December 2006 timetable changes which they say will lead to additional seats in the morning peak.

Reactor Fuel (Shipping)

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether (a) former roll-on-roll-off ferries and (b) other single-hulled, single-engine vessels have been used to transport mixed-oxide reactor fuel in British waters (i) since 1997 and (ii) in the last 30 years. [84865]

Dr. Ladyman: The transportation of mixed oxide reactor fuels is a commercial matter for the suppliers, carriers and owners of the material.

All vessels used to transport mixed-oxide reactor fuel must be certified as complying with the International Code for such cargoes known as the INF Code, before they are able to be used for such purposes.

The criteria needed to be met by the INF Code vessels are stringent and include comprehensive certification, robust damage stability, enhanced fire
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safety measures, strict management and training of crew and a competent and well tested shipboard emergency plan.

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much mixed oxide reactor fuel has passed through British waters in each year since 1997; and from which countries it has come. [84867]

Dr. Ladyman: The amounts of mixed-oxide reactor fuels on board ships is a commercial matter for the suppliers, carriers and owners of the material.

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his maritime pollution contingency plans include how to respond to an accident involving a vessel transporting nuclear fuel. [84868]

Dr. Ladyman: The National Contingency Plan for Marine Pollution from Shipping and Offshore Installations does indeed cover incidents involving a ship carrying radioactive materials.

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what changes are planned to the way in which mixed oxide reactor fuel is transported in British waters. [84869]

Dr. Ladyman: The transport of mixed-oxide reactor fuel is in accordance with a comprehensive framework of international regulations and agreements which are reflected in national legislation to ensure that the levels of safety provided by the equipment and its operation meet certain stringent requirements. The UK will continue to meet its obligations to implement the latest edition of these international regulations and agreements.

As part of our continuing assessment of the radiological consequences of transporting radioactive material by sea, studies are carried approximately every 10 years. We will be commissioning the next study within the next three months. Should the findings of this study require changes to the international regulations or agreements, the UK Government will propose those changes by established processes, including consultation with industry and environmental stakeholders.

Speed Limits

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to allow a local highways authority to decide not to install a national speed limit sign at the end of a lower speed limit zone if (a) such a decision can be justified by the rural nature of the road and (b) the road concerned is a cul-de-sac. [84369]

Dr. Ladyman: Local highway authorities have the power to set speed limits at an appropriate level. All changes of speed limit are required by law to be clearly signed to allow drivers ample time to adjust their speed accordingly.

Drivers are required to know the speed limit in force at any given time and the Department would not wish to mislead them into thinking a lower speed limit was in force, irrespective of the circumstances. It is also important to retain national consistency.

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Tonnage Tax Participants

Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was paid by tonnage tax participants as payment in lieu of training in each of the last five years for which records are available; and how the money was spent. [84391]

Dr. Ladyman: It was agreed when the tonnage tax scheme was devised that the collection of payments in lieu of training (PILOT) and the distribution of moneys would be carried out independently of the Department. PILOT payments are made to the Maritime Training Trust (MTT), a body set up by the Chamber of Shipping and maritime trade unions, and the moneys received are allocated by the Maritime Educational Foundation (MEF), a charity established by the MTT to promote UK seafarer training. My officials have contacted the MTT/MEF, which will provide the requested information direct to the hon. Member.

Traffic Volume

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the (a) total volume and (b) percentage change in traffic was for each year between 1997 and 2006; and what proportion of the change he estimates derived from each (i) income quintile and (ii) classification of residential neighbourhoods. [84444]

Dr. Ladyman: The levels of motor vehicle traffic and the percentage changes each year from 1997 to 2005 are given in the following table.

Motor vehicle traffic estimates, Great Britain, 1997 to 2005
Billion vehicle kilometres and percentage change
All motor vehicles Percentage change from previous year




























It is not possible to estimate the proportion of the change attributable to each income quintile or according to the classification of residential neighbourhoods.

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the value is of outstanding unpaid claims to the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency in respect of problems MOT garages have experienced with the new MOT computer system. [82439]

Dr. Ladyman: On 30 June 2006, there are unpaid claims totalling £114,300 relating to problems with MOT Computerisation. VOSA is considering each case submitted to determine whether it is justified.

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Vehicle Excise Duty

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people his Department calculated as being liable for payment of vehicle excise duty in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [83589]

Dr. Ladyman: Vehicle excise duty (VED) is levied on vehicles, not individuals. As vehicles can be owned by more than one person or by a company or organisation, figures for the number of people liable to pay VED are not available. Statistics showing the number of licensed vehicles for each year from 1995-2005 are available on the Department for Transport website at the following address:

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