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Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with other government departments on the impact on the RSPB bird reserve at Dungeness of an extension of Lydd Airport in Kent. 
Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made towards the development of a hydrogen fuelled aircraft; and what the Governments role is in the development of such an aircraft. 
In practice, alternative fuels for aviation are not an imminent prospect. Hydrogen also has its own environmental drawbacks: at altitude, it is a global warming gas. Consideration also has to be given to the energy needed for hydrogen production, as well as to infrastructure and safety issues.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many garages and petrol stations provide (a) bio-fuels, (b) liquefied petroleum gas and (c) compressed natural gas; and what steps he is taking to increase these numbers. 
The Government provide funds to the Energy Saving Trust to run their Infrastructure grant programme. The grants assist the building of refuelling stations for alternative fuels (natural gas/biogas, hydrogen and bio-ethanol). The Department for Transport also funds ESTs Low Carbon Research and Development Programme to accelerate low carbon vehicle technologies to the market place.
The Government encourage the use of alternative fuels through reduced rates of Vehicle Excise Duty for cars run on certain alternative fuels (for example LPG) and registered after 1 March 2001. Bio-diesel and bio-ethanol also both benefit from a 20p per litre fuel duty incentive. The Government are also introducing a Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation in April 2008 which will ensure a significant and stable market for biofuels in the UK, and is likely to mean that biofuels are available in low blends at the majority of forecourts in the UK.
Gillian Merron: Last year the Department, jointly with the Scottish Executive, commissioned consultants to carry out an evaluation of the Kickstart scheme and the similar Bus Route Development Grant scheme in Scotland. The results of this study will be published shortly on the Departments website.
Decisions on funding for any future Kickstart competitions will be made in the light of the Governments 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review, and the review of bus subsidies announced in our bus policy document, Putting Passengers First.
(a) The number of residents of Chorley aged 60 and over, who, from 1 April 2006, are entitled to free off-peak local bus travel is 21,400.
(b) Information on take-up of the concession in Chorley is not held centrally. Local authorities hold details of their residents who applied for concessionary travel.
[holding answer 5 March 2007]: The Civil Aviation Act 2006 (Commencement No.1) Order 2007, made on 1 March, brings section 4 of the Act
into force. This section gives operators of non-designated airports powers to establish a noise control scheme and to charge penalties to operators of aircraft that breach the terms of that scheme.
Gillian Merron: Expenditure on UK travel and subsistence for the Department for Transport (Central), and five of its agencies is shown in the table. The figures are derived from staff expenses claims, and from paid invoices from suppliers. HA and DSA do not account separately for UK and overseas travel and subsistence, and could provide the information only at disproportionate cost. GCDA joined the Department during financial year 2005-06, and so its figures are only included for that period.
Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress his Department has made in achieving gender equality in public appointments to bodies which fall within his Departments responsibility since 1997. 
Gillian Merron [holding answer 5 March 2007]: The Government remain committed to improving diversity on the boards of public bodies and the principle of equal representation of women and men in public appointments. The annual Cabinet Office publication Public Bodies contains details of the number of women appointed to public bodies each year by Department. For 1997-2006 copies of these documents are available in the Library for the reference of Members. From 1998 copies are also available on the internet at:
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what expenditure is planned to be carried out in Pendle by his Department in each year up to 2010; and if he will make a statement. 
The local transport capital funding allocations made for Lancashire county council for the years up to 2010-11 are detailed in the following table. The Department does not allocate local transport plan funding to individual constituency areas. It is up to
Lancashire county council to determine where it allocates the fund support provided for the county according to its local priorities.
|Lancashire||Integrated transport||Highways capital maintenance|
|(1 )Yet to be allocated and announced|
In addition the Department is paying Lancashire county council a grant under the Rural Bus Challenge (RBC) competition for a project that operates in Pendle called the Pendleside Wayfarer. This received an award of £706,704, part of which has been paid.
Bus Services Operators Grant, paid by the Department to bus companies;
Revenue Support Grant to Pendle district council (in respect of concessionary fares);
Revenue Support Grant to Lancashire county council (in respect of socially necessary services).
Revenue support grant is provided to a local authority to use for services according to its local priorities and the Government do not identify specific levels of funding to be spent on particular activities, such as supporting bus services.
Gillian Merron: The Department and its agencies commission research and advice through a wide range of research contractors, including industry, academia and public research establishments. We also contribute to European and other international research programmes.
However, information about the Departments evidence needs and how we meet them is given in the Evidence and Research Strategy (accessible at: http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/scienceresearch/er/ers/). Details of many research projects can be found on the DfT Research Database (http://www.rmd.dft.gov.uk/). and on the websites of the Highways Agency (http://www.ha-research.co.uk/) and the Maritime and
Coastguard Agency (http://www.mcga.gov.uk/c4mca/mcga-quidance-requlation/mcga-dgs-research_reports.htm).
Gillian Merron: For the period, 1 February 2006 to the 31 January 2007, the following items belonging to the Department for Transport and its Agencies have been reported as stolen from departmental buildings:
|Item||Value (£) (if known)|
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with the
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on recent reductions in the budget for British Waterways. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs leads on inland waterways, but DfT and Defra officials do meet on a regular basis to discuss issues of mutual interestincluding this issue. However, it is ultimately a matter for navigation authorities to prioritise their activities in the light of competing demands for available resources.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many delays of more than (a) five minutes, (b) 10 minutes and (c) 15 minutes there were on the London Underground (LU) in each year since 1990 during which his Department had responsibility for LU, broken down by line. 
Gillian Merron: Responsibility for London Underground passed to Transport for London and the Mayor of London on 15 July 2003. Performance since then has been an operational matter for London Underground who are best placed to answer direct. London Underground does not hold figures in the breakdown requested and the information on the years prior to 1996 could be provided only at disproportionate time and cost. The figures for 1996 to 2003 are:
|Number of train delays >15 minutes||1996-97||1997-98||1998-99||1999-2000||2000-01||2001-02||2002-03|
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