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David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many asylum seekers have applied for (a) full and (b) provisional driving licences in the last year for which figures are available. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Department has already advised masters of UK and Red Ensign Group registered shipping that they may temporarily cease broadcasting automatic identification system signals when in open waters, if they judge that the security of the vessel is being compromised by them. More detailed advice to masters on this issue is contained in the Departments counter piracy note issued to mariners, published in November 2005, as Marine Guidance Note 298.
The Department has also reached an agreement with an internet provider of AIS information to introduce a package of risk mitigation measures including a time delay and a reduction in the quantity of information accessible from the site.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the merits of the introduction of regulations requiring all (a) new bicycles to be fitted with operational lights and (b) purchasers to be provided with safety helmets; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: No formal assessment has been made of the merits or otherwise of introducing regulations to require all new bicycles to be fitted with operational lights and all purchasers to be provided with safety helmets.
Existing regulations require the use of lights on pedal cycles between sunset and sunrise: non-compliance is an offence. Requiring the fitment of operational lights at point of sale would not ensure that the lights were thereafter maintained in working order, nor would it ensure that riders turned them on. However, such regulation would deprive cyclists of choice, as there are several legally acceptable varieties of cycle lights, ranging from dynamo to battery-operated and steady to flashing, from which cyclists are currently free to choose.
Our policy on cycle helmets is to persuade cyclists to protect themselves by using them, but providing helmets with each new bicycle would not guarantee
that they would be used. The Government will keep their policies in thisas in all areasunder review in the light of discussion in Parliament and elsewhere.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps are being taken to promote cycling in cities outside London; and how much was paid in grants supporting the promotion of cycling in each of the last five years. 
Derek Twigg: Funding for cycling outside London is primarily provided through the local transport plan system which funds local highway authorities. We do not have a breakdown between cities and other areas. Expenditure on cycling outside London for the past five years is set out in the following table:
|LTP spend on cycling schemes as reported by local highway authorities|
|Spend on cycling (£000)|
In addition, we created Cycling England in March 2005 with a budget of £5 million per annum to work with local authorities and others to co-ordinate the development of cycling. The Secretary of State recently announced a doubling of its annual budget to £10 million per annum for the next three years. Cycling England is investing £8.4 million over three years in six cycle demonstration townsAylesbury, Brighton, Darlington, Derby, Exeter and Lancaster.
In addition the Department has spent over £12 million on the links to school programme between 2003-04 and 2004-05. We also provided £4.47 million between 2002-03 and 2003-04 through our cycling projects fund to support nearly 300 local cycling projects across England.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many applications (a) to change and (b) to modify bus routes have been made to the traffic commissioners in each area of England in each of the last three years for which figures are available; 
(2) on how many occasions the traffic commissioners have intervened (a) to prevent and (b) to modify a change to a bus route of which they had been notified in each of the last three years for which figures are available. 
Gillian Merron [holding answers 14 July 2006]: The traffic commissioner must accept all properly completed applications to register or vary a local bus service. New registrations can only be refused where the operator concerned has a condition on their licence which prevents them from providing the service as applied for.
Information on the number of new and varied local bus service registrations is published in the traffic commissioners annual report. Copies of the publications are available in the House of Commons Library and can also be found on the DFT website at:
Dr. Ladyman: Advertising consisting of press, online, and radio activity will commence on 24 July and will run until mid-September explaining the change to the law and encouraging people to ring our campaign hotline for further information.
PR activity will run from week commencing 17 July beginning with the GMTV car safety week with features on TV each morning. Thereafter, we shall continue to target national and local press and broadcast media, online media and magazines until the end of September, encouraging features as children return to school.
Road safety officers in local authorities will also be raising awareness of the new regulations. Stakeholder and brand partner materials have been developed for local use including posters, leaflets and online creative, full details of which are available on the THINK! road safety websitewww.thinkroadsafety.gov.ukalong with full details of the new regulations.
We provisionally approved the Hall lane improvement scheme for funding through the local transport plan programme in 2000 and the Edge lane west scheme in 2004. It is for the city council to obtain the necessary statutory powers for the implementation of these schemes before seeking final funding approval from the Department.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the reason is for the delay in his reply to the letter of 24 April 2006 from Wiltshire county council about rail services in Wiltshire. 
Derek Twigg: The amounts spent on the Crossrail project in each year since 2004-05 are shown in the following table. The figures provided set out expenditure by both Cross London Rail Links Ltd, and the Department for Transport.
|Financial year||CLRL costs||DfT costs|
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 26 June 2006, Official Report, column 33W, on the Dart Harbour and Navigation Authority, when he expects to provide the substantive reply. 
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his answer of 6 July 2006, Official Report, column 1267W, on detrunking, what additional funds have been provided to each local authority in the 2006-07 financial year to meet the cost of maintaining the detrunked roads; what proportion of that authority's total allocated funds for its local transport plan the additional amount represents; and if he will make a statement. 
The breakdown of routine maintenance funding for 2006-07 for each local authority in England with a detrunked road can be found in the maintenance of roads grant determination 2006. The grant information is available on the Department's website at: http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_roads/documents/page/dft_roads_611492.hcsp
The additional capital maintenance funding provided to each of these local authorities for their detrunked roads can be found in the local transport plan settlement decision letters, issued in December 2005. The letters also contain details of each authority's local transport capital settlement for financial year 2006-07. These letters are also available on the Department's website at: http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/qroups/dft_localtrans/documents/divisionhomepage/610730.hcsp.
Dr. Ladyman: The agency operates a premium checking facility at four local offices located at Wimbledon, Glasgow, Nottingham and DVLA reception area in Swansea. It is available to holders of full EEA, Gibraltar and designated countries driving licences exchanging their licences for a UK one. The designated countries are:
Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Falkland Islands, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea(1), Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland and Zimbabwe.
Applicants opting to use this service must hold a current passport from one of the countries referred to above. In these circumstances staff will check their application for accuracy and completeness and return their passport to them over the counter. A fee of £4 is levied for this service.
(1)Motorcycle entitlement from the Republic of Korea is not exchangeable.
Derek Twigg: The Department was first informed of First Great Westerns intended fares strategy in its franchise bid received in September 2005. First Great Western has already implemented a new range of fares which offer significantly lower prices than anything previously available for both first and standard class travel for passengers who book ahead. In addition, since the commencement of the franchise in April, First Great Western has obtained secure station accreditation status at a further five stations as part of a continuing programme and have also signed two major contracts worth nearly £150 million which will significantly improve the interiors and technical reliability of the high speed train fleet over the next 18 months.
The Government are aware that it can be too easy for non-UK resident drivers to avoid paying fines when found guilty of traffic offences. We are determined to address this and enabling provisions for a new system of graduated fixed penalties are contained in the Road Safety Bill currently before Parliament. These provisions will also allow enforcement agencies to take an immediate cash
deposit, equal to a fixed penalty notice or court- imposed fine, from foreign drivers who commit offences, bringing us into line with our continental neighbours.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 6 July 2006, Official Report, column 1268W, on freight containers, what proportion of the containers in use on the UKs roads will be affected by these changes. 
Dr. Ladyman: Directive 96/53/EC effectively prohibits the carriage of conventional 45ft ISO deep sea containers. In 2004 there were an estimated 142,000 of these containers in circulation worldwidearound 1.4 per cent. of the deep sea container marketbut we have no data on the numbers that may be in use on UK roads.
As the directive includes a 10-year derogation until 31 December 2006 which permits the carriage of such containers on oversize vehicles in service before implementation, there are expected to be few in number, and that those containers still in circulation can be used elsewhere other than on the EU road network.
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