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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport by what criteria expenditure on transport projects is judged; what rate of interest is used in discounted cash flow analyses; what value is attributed
to (a) time savings and (b) the saving of life; by what ratio of benefits to costs such projects are judged; and what allowance is made for cost overruns. 
The most recent values used to estimate the benefits of the prevention of road accidents are set out in the Highways Economic Note No. 1: 2004 Valuation of the Benefits of Prevention of Road Accidents and Casualties which can be found on the DfT website.
Dr. Ladyman: DVLA holds information on engine size for all vehicles. Information on carbon dioxide emissions is held for most vehicles registered since March 2001. Further information is available at www.dft.gov.uk/transtat
Arising from the recommendations of the Review of Further Education (FE), the Department for Employment and Learning will bring forward new arrangements for improved collaboration between FE colleges and other education and training providers, including voluntary and community-based organisations. The involvement of non-statutory
organisations is intended to encourage those in the community who are reluctant to re-engage with the formal FE college structure to take up opportunities to develop their skills and generally improve their prospects of employment.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent assessment he has made of the level of security provided by security personnel at (a) airports and (b) ports; and if he will make a statement. 
The Department keeps the preventative transport security measures required under regular review. Industry implementation of the measures is subject to an ongoing programme of compliance monitoring and enforcement by DfT inspectors.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people are waiting for digital hearing aids in each board area of Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Goggins: The Health and Social Services Boards have advised that the number of people assessed as suitable for a digital hearing aid and currently awaiting fitting within each of the four board areas is:
A new electronic referral management system will manage all GP referrals for assessment. Those who can be assessed and treated without consultant intervention will be dealt with in a primary/community care setting and diagnostic requirements will be managed so that these are delivered within a set time of six weeks. Only those who need to see a consultant will be referred onward to a hospital.
Dr. Alasdair McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what measures his Department has in place to improve the enforcement of the law relating to (a) lighting bonfires and (b) the burning of tyres and other toxic waste on bonfires. 
David Cairns: The 2004 report by the Interagency Working Group on bonfires set out the Department of the Environment's remit, and the limited range of its powers with regard to bonfires (a copy of the report is available in the Library). Primary responsibility rests with district councils and landowners.
The Department's focus in relation to the burning of tyres and waste on bonfires is twofold. Firstly, it is continuing its campaign with commercial outlets producing waste tyres (through visits and guidance) to advise them how to dispose of tyres legally and to reinforce their duty of care obligations.
Secondly, under the Duty of Care provisions in the Waste and Contaminated Land (NI) Order 1997, it is maintaining its enforcement brief against the producers of trade waste (including tyres), or those who transport it to bonfires.
David Cairns: In 2006, the Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) targeted businesses that produce waste tyres by means of an advisory campaign involving mail shots and individual visits to premises by enforcement officers.
EHS is taking action, under the Duty of Care provisions within the Waste and Contaminated Land (NI) Order 1997, against the producers of trade waste (including tyres), or those who transport it to bonfires. From the July 2006 bonfire season, EHS is investigating seven cases that may result in prosecution of those who have not followed its advice and have allegedly allowed tyres to be disposed of on bonfire sites.
Although it is not possible to quantify the number of tyres being burned on bonfires due to the clandestine nature of storage before fires are built, observations would indicate that a lesser amount was burned this year.
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the average (a) number of trips made to and from hospital and (b) combined cost of travel and hospital car parking incurred by cancer patients in 2005-06; and if he will take steps to exempt cancer patients from hospital car parking charges. 
Paul Goggins: The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety has made no assessment of the number of trips made to and from hospital by cancer patients in 2005-06, or the travel and hospital car parking costs incurred by them.
Not all acute hospital Trusts charge for car parking; those that do have in place policies regarding exemptions for patients and visitors who must attend on a frequent basis over a short period of time. For example, Belfast City Hospital provides an exemption from car park charging to radiotherapy patients whose course of treatment requires them to attend on more than 10 occasions. Chemotherapy patients are similarly exempted from the cost of car parking if their stay is longer than four hours. This policy makes a distinction between those actually receiving treatment and those attending the hospital for another reason.
In addition, the Hospital Travel Costs Scheme provides for patients who are in receipt of certain state benefits, or who are on a low income, to be reimbursed for hospital travel costs, including car parking charges.
Decisions about charging for car parking at hospitals, and exemptions from such charges, are matters for individual health and social services trusts. I will, however, be asking trusts to review their policy in this area.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was spent by (a) the Northern Ireland Office and (b) each of the Northern Ireland departments on (i) hospitality, (ii) taxis, (iii) advertising, (iv) public relations consultants, (v) headhunters and recruitment consultants and (vi) management consultants during (A) 2003-04, (B) 2004-05 and (C) 2005-06; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hanson: The following tables set out the total cost of (i) hospitality, (ii) taxis, (iii) advertising, (iv) public relations consultants, (v) headhunters and recruitment consultants and (vi) management consultants in (a) the Northern Ireland Office and (b) each of the Northern Ireland departments during (A) 2003-04, (B) 2004-05 and (C) 2005-06. Figures in respect of the 11 Northern Ireland Departments advertising costs for 2005-06 are not yet completed but will be provided as soon as possible. For some Departments it has not been possible to provide the cost of taxis as expenditure is not recorded at this level. The relevant tables are noted accordingly.
|Northern Ireland Office|
|Department of Agriculture and Rural Development|
|n/a = not available|
(1) not yet available
|Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure|
|n/a = not available|
(1) not yet available
|Department of Education|
|(1) not yet available|
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