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Written Answers to Questions

Friday 14 July 2006

Prime Minister

Oxfordshire Coroner

Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister what meetings (a) he and (b) his officials held with the Oxfordshire Coroner between 17 July 2003 and 31 March 2004. [85519]

The Prime Minister: None.

Party Funding

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Prime Minister when he last had discussions with his Special Envoy to the Middle East on matters relating to party funding; and if he will make a statement. [85416]

The Prime Minister: I have regular meetings and discussions with ministerial colleagues and others on a wide range of subjects. Information relating to internal meetings, discussion and advice is not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.



Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has made a decision on the proposed A21 upgrade; and if he will make a statement. [84872]

Dr. Ladyman: We announced on 6 July our response to the advice from the South East region about its major scheme priorities to 2011. As part of this, we have accepted the region's advice to include the A21 Tonbridge Bypass to Pembury Dualling, the A21 Kippings Cross to Lamberhurst Bypass and the A21 Baldslow Junction Improvement within the programme of schemes that we expect to be taken forward in the South East in
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the next five years, subject to the completion of all necessary statutory procedures and compliance with the Department's scheme appraisal requirements. The Tonbridge Bypass to Pembury and Kippings Cross to Lamberhurst schemes are already included in the Highways Agency's Targeted Programme of Improvements (TPI). The Highways Agency will be developing the Baldslow Junction Improvement scheme so that it can be considered for entry into the TPI in due course. Further advice from the South East region is expected later this year on its priorities for other major schemes in the period up to 2015-16, including other improvements on the A21.

Aircraft Carbon Emissions

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the carbon emissions of (a) a typical short haul aircraft flying 1,000 miles and (b) a typical long haul aircraft flying 3,000 miles; what assessment he has made of the extent to which such emissions vary according to (i) load factors and (ii) the generation of the aircraft; and if he will make a statement. [84111]

Gillian Merron: In the context of the international debate on aircraft emissions control, the Government have supported research on inventories—the EC AERO2K project—that yield fuel consumption information. Average carbon emissions for typical journeys have not been specifically calculated, but are possible future outputs from inventory work alongside aircraft performance modelling.


Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of people who took (a) no, (b) one, (c) two, (d) three or four and (e) five or more single or return flights (i) in total, (ii) to UK destinations, (iii) to European destinations and (iv) to worldwide destinations in the last 12 months, broken down by (A) income quintile and (B) classification of residential neighbourhoods. [84443]

Gillian Merron: The following table shows the number of flights in percentage terms taken by adults in Great Britain during the last 12 months (2005). Data are not available by income quintile, but in five broad bands as shown.

Data are not available by destination or broken down by classification of residential neighbourhoods.

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Household income group
Number of flights in last 12 months Under £10,000 £10,000 but under £20,000 £20,000 but under £29,000 £29,000 but under £44,000 £44,000 or more All respondents






















Three or four







Five or more













Sample size







“2005 British Social Attitudes Survey” conducted by the National Centre for Social Research.
Question: How many trips did you make by plane during the last 12 months. Please count outward and return flights and any transfers as one trip.

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate has been made of the cost to the economy of delays of aircraft (a) take-off and (b) landing in 2005-06. [84445]

Gillian Merron: This information is not held by the Department.

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average delay was for a passenger using (a) all UK airports and (b) each UK airport in each of the last five years. [84446]

Gillian Merron: Information on punctuality for 10 UK airports is collected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Table 2.3 of the DfT publication ‘Transport Statistics Great Britain’ summarises the CAA data for the years 1994-2004.

The latest available data (2002-Q1 2006) for each of the reporting airports for is published on the CAA website in ‘news articles’ at the following address:

Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what guidelines are in place on the degree of glide slope for commercial and cargo planes when making an approach to land at each airport in Great Britain; [84424]

(2) what international guidelines are in place on the degree of glide slope for commercial and cargo planes when making an approach to land at an airport. [84425]

Gillian Merron: International guidance on the approach gradient and glide-path angle is published by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) (ICAO Pans Ops DOC 8168). In designing policy and guidance, applicable at all airports in Great Britain, the Civil Aviation Authority follows this international guidance.

Approach procedures categorise aircraft by their approach speeds and not by the purpose of the flight. The guidance sets out minimum/optimum descent gradients for standard procedures but acknowledges that there may be occasions where steeper approaches might be necessary. Such procedures are normally restricted to specifically approved operators and aircraft.

UK specific information on instrument approaches to UK aerodromes is published in the Civil Aviation Publication 32 (CAP32), the UK Aeronautical Information Publication. This publication contains approach charts for each specific licensed aerodrome which include, among other matters, information on minimum safe altitudes and minimum descent heights.

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many passengers used UK airports in (a) total and (b) broken down by airport in each of the last five years. [84447]

Gillian Merron: Information on terminal (arriving and departing) passengers at each UK airport is published by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and available on their website at the following address:

Bus Services

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the proportion of (a) rural and (b) urban households which have access to a regular bus service. [85129]

Gillian Merron: The data requested are published in Table 5.9 in the Transport Statistics Bulletin ‘National Travel Survey: 2004’. This publication is available at www.dft.gov.uk/transtat/personaltravel and a copy has also been deposited in the House of Commons Library.

Car Clubs

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many areas have car clubs; how many cars each has available; and what public funding each receives. [84501]

Gillian Merron: Information about car clubs is published on the CarPlus website at www.carplus.org.uk. According to this, there are 30 car clubs, with a total of 345 cars covering 40 towns and cities, and 9,124 users.

Comprehensive Spending Review

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with (a) the Treasury and (b) the Cabinet Office regarding the pre-comprehensive spending review report; and if he will make a statement. [82844]

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Gillian Merron: The Secretary of State for Transport has had and will continue to have wide ranging and regular discussions with the Chief Secretary about preparations for the 2007 comprehensive spending review, as a matter of key importance to the Department for Transport's medium and long-term planning.

Disabled People (Blue Badge Scheme)

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which of the recommendations of the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee's review of the blue badge scheme which were accepted by the Department have been implemented; and if he will make a statement on progress towards those accepted recommendations which have yet to be implemented. [84348]

Gillian Merron: DPTAC made 47 recommendations about the blue badge scheme. Of those that were accepted, five required no further action. Provision for a power to inspect blue badges has been made through Section 94 of the Traffic Management Act 2004. The Commencement Order was made on 29 June 2006 with an implementation date of 29 September 2006.

Research is being carried out into the feasibility of setting up a national database of blue badge holders; the independent mobility needs of certain groups of people, such as those with autism or mental health problems, to determine whether there is a need for extending the eligibility for a badge; and examining the provision and use of parking spaces for disabled people in the central London area.

Work continues on the remaining recommendations. These include a number that require changes to regulations (such as extending the scheme to children under the age of two and those with temporary mobility impairments) and we will consult on a draft regulatory package later this year which will address 23 of the remaining recommendations.

Social Exclusion

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research has been conducted since 2001 by or for his Department on the links between social exclusion and transport. [84688]

Gillian Merron: The Department contributed to the Social Exclusion Unit’s research into the links between transport and social exclusion (‘Making the Connections’, published in 2003). Accessibility planning was introduced as a result of this report, and we have taken forward a programme of further research, in liaison with other Government Departments and local authorities, to inform its development and implementation. Details of the projects conducted, and associated published reports, are on the Department’s website at www.accessibi lityplanning.gov.uk.

Since 2001 the Department has been funding a research project implementing 103 child pedestrian training schemes (‘Kerbcraft’) in 64 English local authorities in areas of deprivation. Last year the Department published the
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research findings into understanding community severance. The Department is currently examining the extent that voluntary and community transport contributes to reducing social exclusion, and is examining travel training schemes to improve socially excluded people’s awareness of and ability to access public transport safely and independently.

The Department has two research projects in progress, findings from which will be available by the end of the year. ‘Understanding the travel choices, needs, behaviours and aspirations of people in later life’ is a qualitative study involving 55 depth interviews with a range of older people. As a part of this study, older people have been asked about whether they have any transport-related barriers to accessing key services and social activities. In addition, a small-scale analysis of survey data on the links between fear of crime, travel choices and social exclusion is also in progress.

The Department is also about to complete a piece of work with the Plunkett Foundation and the Community Transport Association to look at the role of social enterprise in community transport. This will include a programme of work to support those community transport operators interested in becoming more self-sustaining.

The Dealing with Disadvantage initiative was launched in October 2002, and subsequently renamed the Neighbourhood Road Safety Initiative (NRSI). DfT allocated approximately £17 million to 15 local authorities to develop innovative strategies to improve road safety in their most deprived wards. The NRSI was originally envisaged to run until March 2006, but this has been extended and central government funding will now end in March 2007. The NRSI evaluation was commissioned in January 2004 from a consortium led by University College London. The evaluation is due to be completed in October 2008.

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what changes in (a) legislation and (b) guidance issued by (i) his Department and (ii) its agencies there have been since the publication of the Department’s report on social exclusion and the provision and availability of public transport in 2000; [84689]

(2) what changes in (a) legislation and (b) guidance issued by his Department or its agencies there have been since the publication of ‘Making the Connections’ final report on transport and social exclusion by the social exclusion unit in 2003. [84690]

Gillian Merron: A number of measures have been taken:

Accessibility planning

Guidance on Local Transport Plans (LTPs), issued in December 2004, required authorities to incorporate accessibility strategies in their second-round LTPs, which were submitted to the Department at the end of March 2006 and cover the period to 2010-11. At the same time, the Department published and distributed detailed guidance to local authorities on accessibility planning in LTPs.

Flexible services and the voluntary sector

In 2002, Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) was extended to a wide range of community transport (voluntary sector) services.

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