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Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much in (a) security tax, (b) fuel surcharge, (c) air passenger duty and (d) other taxes charges is levied on a ticket costing £50 from Heathrow to a European destination. 
Gillian Merron: It is for individual airlines to consider how to meet the costs of their operations and set charges for passengers. There is no need to earmark separate elements, though some choose to do so for presentational reasons.
In relation to air passenger duty on a flight to a European destination, airlines currently have to pay £5 for each passenger in standard class and £10 for each passenger in other classes. Those rates rise to £10 and £20 respectively from 1 February.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what progress his Department has made towards ensuring that people with upper limb disabilities are fully eligible for a badge under the blue badge parking scheme; 
Gillian Merron [holding answer 26 January 2007]: Following discussions with The Thalidomide Trust, the Department has agreed to change the existing upper limb criterion for a blue badge to include disabled people who drive a vehicle regularly, have a severe congenital disability in both arms and are unable to operate, or have considerable difficulty in operating, all or some types of parking meter.
This change requires amendment regulations which we are currently finalising, along with new guidance to local authorities and a revised explanatory leaflet on the Scheme. We intend consulting on this regulatory package shortly and implementing/issuing them as soon as possible thereafter.
Gillian Merron: The runway at Bristol airport is being resurfaced in accordance with standard industry practice. The Civil Aviation Authority understands that the runway surface of grooved Marshall asphalt concrete material has both positive and negative texture characteristics, and is satisfied that the safety of operations at the airport is being maintained.
All operators of local bus services which are available to and used by the general public are eligible to receive this grant. There are over 90 operators based in the Lancashire area currently claiming BSOG.
BSOG expenditure in England this financial year is forecast to total £390 million. The grant is in general equivalent to a rebate of 80 per cent. of the fuel duty incurred by bus operators, with a higher rate of rebate for cleaner fuels.
Gillian Merron: The majority of support for local bus services is provided by local authorities using the Governments Revenue Support Grant (RSG), which is an unhypothecated block grant, and authorities own resources. It is for each authority to decide how much of their RSG allocation to devote to bus support.
The Department has however specifically supported the provision of bus services in rural areas by the payment of the Rural Bus Subsidy Grant (RBSG) This grant, introduced in 1998, is paid to local transport authorities according to numbers living in rural areas. Between 2000-01 and 2006-07 Lancashire county council has received almost £7.8 million in RBSG.
We have also provided funding to local authorities through the Rural and Urban Bus Challenge and Kickstart competitions held between 1998 and 2003. Since 2000 Lancashire county council has received awards totalling £5.85 million in these competitions.
Mr. Leigh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his Departments response to the Committee of Public Accounts 43(rd )Report of 2005-06, whether his Department is assessing the merits of requiring bus operators to report their performance data to the Traffic Commissioners and the public in its review of legislative and other aspects of bus operation outside London. 
Gillian Merron: On 12 December the Government published their proposals for a modernised national framework for bus services in the document Putting Passengers First. This document sets out a range of proposals to improve bus services, including a new performance regime where operators provide performance data to their local Traffic Commissioner, and where local authorities, as well as operators, can be held to account for their contribution to the performance of local bus services.
Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when his Department began to measure its carbon emissions; what the volume of those emissions was in the last period for which figures are available; when his Department started to offset those emissions; what the cost is expected to be of offsetting his Departments emissions; and if he will make a statement. 
The figures for the Departments estate are collected in the annual sustainable operations in government questionnaire. A copy of the 2005-06 questionnaire has been placed in the Libraries of the House. It should be noted that the Departments procedure for collecting this information has recently been subject to significant review and that, as a result, some earlier figures may need to be revisited.
There is a cross-Government target for the central Government office estate to be carbon neutral by 2012, which will require Departments to offset emissions every year from 2012 in order to achieve a zero balance. The Departments current priority is to implement measures to change behaviour and reduce the environmental impact of our operations and travel.
All central Government official and ministerial air travel has been captured under offsetting schemes since April 2006. Payments are made on an annual basis at the end of each financial year and the Department estimates its contribution for 2006-07 to be in the region of £10,000.
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department has given to concessionary fares schemes for (a) pensioners and (b) disabled people in Lancashire by (i) borough councils and (ii) county councils. 
From April this year, older and disabled people have been guaranteed free off-peak local bus travel within their local authority area. The Government provided an extra £350 million in 2006-07 and will provide a further £367.5 million in 2007-08 to
fund the extra costs to local authorities. The funding for concessionary fares is provided through formula grant and is unhypothecated; therefore it is not separately identified for each local authority.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many letters to his Department sent from hon. Members during Session 2005-06 remain unanswered, broken down by those which are (a) one, (b) two, (c) three, (d) four and (e) over six months old. 
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of expenditure by his Department in each Government office region in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much programme expenditure sponsored by his Department was spent via each of the Government offices for the regions in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which fixed assets his Department sold for more than £10,000 in (a) 2004-05 and (b) 2005-06; and what the (i) sale value, (ii) purchaser and (iii) date of sale was of each asset. 
Gillian Merron: The requested information, other than that requested at b(ii) has been placed in the Library of the House. The information requested at b(ii) is not recorded centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Gillian Merron [holding answer 26 January 2007]: The Department for Transport was formed in 2002. The Department comprises of a central department plus seven executive agencies each with its own pay and reward system. Information has been collected from the central department and all seven agencies and collated in to one set of figures. Figures for 2003 are not readily available and can be obtained only at disproportionate costs.
In 2006 the total sum of performance bonuses paid to staff was £9,023,290. Bonuses are paid in respect of overall performance or for exceptional performance on a specific task or at a specific time. This figure contains £341,757 for DfT centrals 2005 performance award bonuses which were also paid in 2006.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department has assessed the merits of introducing measures to ensure that standards of driving attained at the time of taking a driving test are maintained; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Ladyman: Drivers are most at risk when they are newly qualified and inexperienced. The majority of more experienced drivers have the skills needed to drive safely and therefore priorities and resources are being targeted on improving training prior to the driving test, together with increasing remedial training for drivers who transgress on the legal requirements.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has made to the European Union on the Government's policy on the European Commission road safety action programme; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Ladyman: The European Commission road safety action programme was published in 2003 and has been discussed at the Transport Council where Ministers adopted formal conclusions to which the UK agreed. The Council noted that in accordance with the action programme, many measures can be advanced on the basis of collaboration and cooperation to roll out best practice, but it also invited the Commission to bring forward legislative proposals where appropriate.
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent by each of his Departments Executive agencies in each Government office region in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which executive agencies are the responsibility of his Department; what the function is of each agency; and what the budget was of each agency in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Gillian Merron: Information on the function and budgets for each of the Departments Executive agencies are published in the Departments annual report 2006 (Cm 6817), chapter 2 The responsibilities and organisation of the Department, paragraphs 2.19 to 2.42 and annex A tables A2 and A3.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his Department's estimate is of (a) the current shortfall of large goods vehicle (LGV) drivers and (b) the requirement for new LGV drivers over the next 10 years. 
However we are currently funding a research project in this area, managed by Skills for Logistics (the relevant sector skills council). This is: identifying the key skills required for LGV drivers; identifying availability of existing training places; reviewing the availability of existing and potential drivers (including from backgrounds currently under-represented in the sector); considering the need for drivers on a regional basis; and assessing gaps in knowledge and future trends. The research is planned to report in the spring.
Dr. Ladyman: It was originally planned to centralise the administration of the operator licensing system for goods and public service vehicles by 31 March 2007. This work would include the processing of applications and the issuing of licences under delegated authority of the traffic commissioners. All processing of applications was transferred in the week beginning 22 January 2007 and it remains the intention to complete the transfer by 31 March 2007.
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