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18 Jan 2007 : Column 1255Wcontinued
Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many names and addresses of drivers were sold by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to third parties in (a) December 2005 and (b) December 2006. 
Dr. Ladyman: The DVLA does not sell driver information. Where the law requires information on vehicles and their keepers to be released to third parties a fee is levied to cover the costs of the transaction only so that the burden does not fall on the tax payer. The DVLA does not collate the number of such transactions.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many companies have submitted expressions of interest in bidding for the East Coast Mainline rail franchise; and when he expects to announce the identity of the shortlisted bidders. 
Mr. Tom Harris: Due to commercial sensitivity it is not DfT policy to provide the number of companies submitting an expression of interest. The expected announcement of who has been shortlisted will be made on 9 February 2007.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the estimated annual average cost to the public purse is of providing a diesel Jaguar XJ ministerial car, including associated staff and running costs. 
Dr. Ladyman: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 8 November 2006, Official Report, column 1574W, given to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles).
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what categories of individuals are permitted to use vehicles from the Government Car Service. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Prime Ministers guidance, Travel by Ministers, and the Ministerial Code, copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House, set out who is permitted to have an allocated car and driver provided by the Government Car and Despatch Agency.
GCDAs short-term hire and green car services may be used by the civil service and the wider public sector. It is for each Government Department or public body to determine use.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) people were employed and (b) vehicles were owned by the Government Car Service in (i) 2001 and (ii) 2006. 
Dr. Ladyman: Information on the number of people employed by the Government Car Service and its fleet size is available in the annual report and accounts of the Government Car and Despatch Agency, copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the answer of 5 December 2006, Official Report, column 230W, on helicopter noise, what the conclusions were of the meeting held with representatives of the London Assemblys Environmental Committee to discuss the recommendations in the committees report, London in a spinA review of helicopter noise; and if he will make a statement. 
Gillian Merron: I held a very constructive and productive meeting with representatives of the London Assemblys Environment Committee. We agreed on two key priorities which were the improvement of data collection with a central database and a clear complaints procedure for the public. The Department will be taking these issues forward in dialogue with the Civil Aviation Authority, National Air Traffic Services and the Committee.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the value of the Irish subsidy component of the light dues system in (a) 2006-07 and (b) future financial years. 
Dr. Ladyman: The contribution from the General Lighthouse Fund to the provision of aids to navigation in the Republic of Ireland is expected to outturn at around £6.8 million in 2006-07, and is forecast at £7.0 million in 2007-08. The General Lighthouse Authoritys corporate planning process does not yet provide for estimates beyond 2007-08.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what limits he imposes on emissions from motor scooters; and if he will take action to remove from public roads the most polluting motor scooters. 
Dr. Ladyman: Emission limits for motorcycles and mopeds are set by European Union (EU) Directive 97/24/EC, as amended by 2002/51/EC. These directives set mandatory emission limits for new motorcycles and mopeds. Three successive stages of emissions limits were introduced for motorcycles and two for mopeds. All new machines must now meet the following emissions limits:
|Carbon monoxide||Hydrocarbons||Oxides of nitrogen|
There are no plans to remove particular motorcycles or mopeds from the roads. New vehicle emissions limits combined with normal fleet turnover ensure that higher emitting vehicles are removed from the fleet over time.
Motorcycles and mopeds continue to be a very small contributor to total road transport emissions.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the answer of 13 December 2006, Official Report, columns 1068-69W, on the Oyster Card, when he expects to receive a report on the work between his Department and Transport for London. 
Dr. Ladyman: The report on the Departments research referred to in my previous answer will be published on the Departments website by the end of January. Copies of the report will be placed in both House Libraries.
Discussions between the Department and Transport for London are ongoing. Transport for London is undertaking a detailed technical scoping study to identify the changes required to ensure all Oyster equipment is ITSO compliant. Publication of this report is a matter for Transport for London.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what (a) public-private partnerships and (b) private finance initiative contracts have been entered into by his Department; what assets were
transferred to the private sector as part of each deal; what the value of these assets was; what the total cost is of each contract; and what estimate was made of the cost to his Department of traditional procurement over the life of each contract. 
Gillian Merron: A table with estimated total capital value, estimated total unitary charges payments and the conventional public sector comparator for PFI projects overseen by the Department for Transport that have reached financial close has been placed in the Libraries of the House.
No assets were transferred to the private sector as part of these deals.
PFI capital values typically refer to the cost of constructing project assets. The cost information in the table is an estimate of these costs. They are estimated costs because it is a feature of PFI contracts that responsibility for construction risk is transferred to the contractor. The final cost is the responsibility of the contractor. The construction cost is an element of the unitary charge payment. The total unitary charge is a projection that covers payment for both the construction cost and other costs that arise from delivering the service. These typically include the cost of maintenance, managing the service, and operational activities over the duration of the contract. The estimated unitary charge may vary over the duration of a contract as it reflects changes in the indexation of payments, usage related-payments, contract deductions and service changes.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what role his Department played in the recent major reconfiguration of the timetable introduced by First Great Western. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The detailed construction of the timetable is a matter for First Great Western working within the framework provided by the Department for Transports (DfT) minimum specification. Where desirable changes have been identified, the DfT has made changes to the specification if this has proved necessary to facilitate their implementation.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he plans to mitigate the effect of the cost of road pricing on low-income families; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Ladyman: We are asking local authorities, in preparing proposals for road pricing schemes, to assess the impact on all groups, including those on low incomes, to inform the scheme design.
No decisions have been taken on whether to introduce a national road pricing scheme or how such a scheme should be designed.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department spent using Royal Mail in each of the last five years. 
Gillian Merron: The Department was formed in May 2002. Since this date the central Department and its agencies have paid the following amounts to Royal Mail:
Total payments for 2002-03 and 2003-04 exclude payments made by the Department for Transport (central) London Headquarters because this information is no longer available.
Total payments for 2006-07 to date include an estimate by DVLA.
Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many speed cameras there were in Plymouth on (a) 31 December 2000 and (b) 31 December 2006. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Department only holds information regarding the number of speed camera sites operated by Safety Camera Partnerships. There may be one or more speed cameras installed within the approved site. The information is recorded by highway authority and the following table relates to the number of fixed and mobile speed camera sites recorded on local authority roads within the Plymouth city council area at the specific dates.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to bring regulations under the Traffic Management Act 2004 into force. 
Gillian Merron: The Department for Transport is currently implementing several parts of the Act to a published timetable. This is available at the address as follows.
The implementation dates for some later aspects of the timetable have yet to be finalised.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what rules govern aerial exercises over urban conurbations in the UK by (a) the Royal Air Force and (b) the United States Air Force; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg [holding answer 4 December 2006]: Military low flying is not permitted over towns and built up areas with populations of more than 10,000. For this purpose low flying is deemed to be below the 1,000 feet minimum separation distance for helicopters and light fixed wing aircraft; and below the 2,000 feet minimum separation distance for all other aircraft. Above these heights urban areas may be overflown, unless other airspace restrictions apply; however, air combat training is not permitted over densely populated areas. Permission to fly lower may exceptionally be granted for ceremonial flypasts. These regulations apply to both RAF and United States Air Force aircraft.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the likely impact of the EU proposal to treat all airspace above 25,000 feet as European airspace on military aviation operations by British and US forces. 
Mr. Ingram: The EC initiative to establish a European upper flight information region encompassing all airspace above 28,500 feet is not expected have any impact on military aviation operations by British and US forces based in the UK.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average pass rate was of the annual personnel weapons test among part-time service personnel in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the first batch of (a) uparmoured FV430s and (b) Vector armoured vehicles to be fully operational in (i) Iraq and (ii) Afghanistan; and what his estimated timetable is for the delivery of the remaining vehicles. 
Mr. Ingram: The first batch of BULLDOG vehicles (up-armoured and upgraded FV430s) has arrived in Iraq and is fully operational. On current plans, delivery of the full fleet should be completed by May 2007. Currently there are no plans to deploy BULLDOG to Afghanistan.
On current plans, an initial batch of fully operational VECTOR vehicles should be delivered to Afghanistan by February 2007. Delivery of the full fleet should be completed by August 2007. There are currently no plans to deploy VECTOR to Iraq.
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