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Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many locations offer courses to people as an alternative to having points placed on their licences; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Ladyman: I am advised by the police that all but one of the forces in the UK offer driver improvement courses as an alternative to prosecution for careless driving. The other police force is in the process of joining the scheme.
Eleven forces are currently running the national model of speed awareness courses as an alternative to prosecution for exceeding the speed limit, and others are planning to join the scheme. The eleven police force areas are as follows:
Devon and Cornwall
We intend to exercise for Great Britain all but one of the national derogations available under the new EU Regulation. However, we do not intend to exercise a newly available derogation for specialised vehicles transporting money and/or valuables. This is because there is no obvious case to exempt such operations which currently take place within the scope of the existing drivers hours rules without any apparent difficulties.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will estimate how many of the vehicles used in the UK recovery industry are fitted with tachographs which conform to Regulation EC 561/2006. 
Dr. Ladyman: At present, there is no requirement to fit tachographs to specialised breakdown vehicles. However, the new EU Regulation on drivers hoursRegulation (EC) No. 561/2006will require that any such vehicles that are over 3.5 tonnes and are operated beyond a 100km radius from their base must be fitted with a tachograph by 31 December 2007.
Dr. Ladyman: The Department for Transport has made no measurements aimed at establishing the change in volume of carbon emissions of cars as they age, but the assessment is that any change will be slight.
The carbon emissions from cars appear primarily in the form of carbon dioxide, emissions of which are directly related to fuel consumption. In a well-maintained vehicle, any change in fuel consumption over time would be expected to be small.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what account he intends to take of changes in the prospects for the development of Heathrow Airport in deciding whether to build a new runway at Stansted. 
Gillian Merron: The Government's position remains as given in the December 2003 Future of Air Transport White Paper. We support the development of a third runway at Heathrow provided stringent environmental limits can be met and the support for a second runway at Stansted is independent of any development at Heathrow.
Gillian Merron: Under the provisions of sections 69 to 74 of the Road Traffic Act (RTA) 1991, London local authorities are granted wheel-clamping powers to use as part of their decriminalised parking enforcement (DPE) operations. Outside of London, local authorities that have been granted DPE powers by an order under schedule 3 of the RTA 1991 are also generally granted wheel-clamping powers by that order. The powers granted by such orders apply the provisions of sections 69 to 74 of the RTA 1991 to the relevant local authority.
The regulation of private clamping companies operating on private land is a matter for the Home Office. Since 3 May 2005, under the Private Security Industry Act 2001, individuals who carry out licensable vehicle immobilising activities as defined by the Act against a release fee, in England and Wales on private land, require a licence issued for the purpose by the Security Industry Authority (SIA). This requirement includes wheel-clamping and applies to in-house and contract workers.
Dr. Ladyman: The Department will consult on options for the future conduct of the MOT schemespecifically the frequency of testingfollowing a recommendation that we do so in the Davidson Review of the implementation of EU legislation.
Dr. Ladyman: The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) publish this information annually in an Effectiveness Report. The Effectiveness Report for 2005-06 is available online at www.vosa.gov.uk. A hard copy of this report and reports for previous years have been placed in the House of Commons Library, Business and Transport section.
Dr. Ladyman: The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency publish the failure rate for vehicles of all ages in an effectiveness report which is available from the House of Commons Library, Business and Transport section.
Dr. Ladyman: Powers are available under existing legislation to enable enforcement bodies to take action against excessively noisy vehicles. The legislation requires that vehicle exhaust systems and silencers are maintained in good and efficient working order and not altered so as to increase the level of noise emissions.
As an aid to roadside enforcement the Department is considering whether a sufficiently robust in-service metered noise test might now be feasible. Such a test would enable enforcement bodies to stop vehicles and conduct noise tests at the roadside to identify excessively noisy vehicles. The Department will be letting research later this year to inform policy development.
Dr. Ladyman: In establishing whether a particular car is suitable for use, the Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA) must be satisfied that it offers value for money and meets the guidance Travel by Ministers. The GCDA must comply with European Union and UK procurement regulations for the public sector and cannot favour one manufacturer over another purely on the grounds of the country of manufacture of a particular vehicle.
Currently Cabinet ministers may choose either a diesel powered Jaguar XJ which is made in the UK, or a Toyota Prius made in Japan. Other Ministers may choose any car providing its average carbon dioxide emissions are less than 185 grams per kilometre.
The performance of the Chelmsford park and ride scheme was reported on by Essex county council in its delivery report in 2006 to the Department. The report outlines the impacts of the first Essex Local Transport Plan (over the period 2001 to 2006).
The evidence provided in the delivery report was assessed by the Department against local and national objectives. The Department classified the Essex local transport plan as having been delivered to a good standard. As part of the assessment process the Department gave credit to those authorities that delivered substantial increases in park and ride facilities.
Essex county council reported that the Chelmsford park and ride scheme, which was delivered in March 2006, is proving to be a success. It reported that there has been a significant reduction in traffic flow along congested routes with an average of over 4,000 people using the site each week and 440 fewer cars travelling on the Baddow Bypass on weekdays at peak periods. The scheme cost £5.5 million and was completed to budget and on schedule.
Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the merits of the introduction of park and ride facilities on the outskirts of Greater Manchester. 
It is for the authorities of Greater Manchester, working in partnership with operators proposing schemes, to assess their potential taking account of transport, environmental, social and economic effects, user benefits and financial implications.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 6 February 2007, Official Report, column 772W, on Pendolino trains, whether Milton Keynes Central requires any significant work to (a) a platform length and (b) other areas to accommodate the longer trains. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The platforms at Milton Keynes Central station can accommodate the present length of passenger trains used on the West Coast Main Line. The station would also be able to accommodate the Pendolino trains if extended to 10 or 11 cars, which has been the subject of recent negotiations with Virgin Trains.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport in what ways his policy on low cost ticketing systems for public transport systems has been informed by recent research commissioned by his Department; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Department is currently researching low cost smartcard ticketing systems. The research is being undertaken by Cheshire county council under contract to the Department and the study will assess a number of innovative ticketing proposals during the next 12 months. This will include, for example, a multi journey park and ride ticket and a combined travel and visitor pass, for use in the Cheshire area.
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