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Mr. Tom Harris [holding answer 20 October 2006]: The Secretary of State has regular discussions with HM Treasury, including on such matters to do with the financing of Crossrail as may be relevant at the time.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of cycling (a) injuries and (b) deaths which may have been prevented had the cyclist been wearing a helmet in each of the last five years. 
Dr. Ladyman: The evidence indicates that cycle helmets provide protective benefits in the event of a collision and therefore prevent and reduce injuries. Research suggests that between one third and one half of pedal cycle casualties attending hospital sustained an injury to the head or face.
However, we do not know how many head injuries may have been prevented or reduced had the cyclist been wearing a helmet, since we do not know what level of protection is offered in different types of accidents.
Dr. Ladyman: The Department's activity to promote cycle safety forms part of the THINK! road safety campaign and encourages riders to wear protective clothing including helmets whenever they are out on their bikes. We have developed on and offline resources aimed at 7 to 16-year-olds containing cycle safety messages which include Cyclesmart, a partnership with Disney, Cyclesense and Skillz on Wheelz campaigns aimed at teens. This activity has been ongoing since 2003.
Due to departmental reorganisations, sourcing total expenditure figures for prior to 2002 would involve disproportionate costs. The Department's executive agencies have not run separate campaigns focusing on cycling helmets in the past four years.
Gillian Merron: It is the policy in the Department for Transport and its agencies that staff are not reimbursed for expenditure on alcoholic beverages. Reimbursement for food is not recorded separately in the Department and the majority of agencies, but forms part of the rules for day and night subsistence allowances. Subsistence costs, and specific food costs where available, are included in the following table. Two agencies, GCDA and DSA cannot separate travel and subsistence, and so a total figure including food, accommodation, and travel is shown. Information about food costs alone would be available only at disproportionate cost.
|(1) GCDA joined DfT in November 2005. (2) Available only at disproportionate cost. (3) DSA changed their accounting procedure for 2003-04, resulting in the apparently higher figure.|
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of (a) staff and (b) new staff employed since April 2005 in (i) his Department and (ii) each of the agencies for which he has responsibility is recorded as disabled. 
Gillian Merron: The Cabinet Office publishes statistics on staffing facts and figures across the civil service. The Civil Service Statistics 2005 report includes details of the number of staff by disability status.
|Total staff||Recorded as disabled||Percentage disabled||Percentage of new staff employed since April 2005 recorded as disabled|
|(1) Numbers less than five have been suppressed.|
The figures provided in the table have been taken from two different sources. Figures in columns one to three have been extracted from the CSS 2005 report and figures in column four have been extracted from internal departmental recording systems.
It should be noted that there is no requirement for staff to register as disabled. Information supplied about disabilities is on a voluntary basis so the above figures may not reflect the true picture.
Gillian Merron: The statutory minimum entitlement to free local bus travel for pensioners is currently from 9.30 am to 11 pm Monday to Friday, with no peak time restrictions at weekends or on bank holidays. Local authorities already have the discretion to vary their concessionary fare schemes to include peak time bus travel, based on their judgment of local needs and their overall financial priorities. There are no plans at present to change the statutory times.
Association of Transport Co-ordinating Officers
Better Government for Older People & Older People's Advisory Group
Bus Users UK
Community Transport Association
Confederation of Passenger Transport UK
Deaf Blind UK
Disability Charities Consortium
Disability Rights Commission
Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee
Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities
The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
Help the Aged
Joint Committee on the Mobility of Disabled People
Joint Committee on the Mobility of Blind and Partially Sighted People
Local Government Association
London Councils (formerly Association of London Government)
London Travel Watch
National Pensioners Convention
Passenger Transport Executive Group
Royal National Institute for the Blind
Royal National Institute for the Deaf
Gillian Merron: From April 2008 people aged 60 or older and disabled people will be entitled to free off-peak local bus travel anywhere in the country. No decision has been made on the funding mechanism. We are consulting local authorities, bus operators and other interested parties on the best framework for delivering the improved concessionary fares entitlement.
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