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6 Mar 2007 : Column 1840W—continued


Motorcycles: Licensing

Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his estimate is of (a) the minimum number of riding licence test sites which will be required to meet demand for riding tests under the new riding test rules to be implemented in 2008 and (b) the number of such sites which will be operational at that time. [125096]

Dr. Ladyman: The Driving Standards Agency has planned that 26 off-road motorcycle test facilities will be required to meet peak motorcycle test demand. A minimum of 46 such off-road motorcycle test facilities will be operational by the implementation date in October 2008.

Railways: Swindon

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the status is of the proposal to redouble the line between Kemble and Swindon currently with Network Rail; and if he will make a statement. [125555]

Mr. Tom Harris: I understand that Network Rail has consulted rail industry parties on possible changes to the Cotswold line to improve performance. However, this is an operational matter for Network Rail, as the owner and operator of the national rail network. My hon. Friend should contact Network Rail’s Chief Executive at the following address for a response to his question.


6 Mar 2007 : Column 1841W

Rapid Transit Systems

Mr. Scott: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of light rail schemes in reducing urban congestion. [124152]

Mr. Tom Harris: The Government recognise that light rail can help to reduce congestion by delivering quicker, more reliable journeys, thereby attracting people out of cars. The effects in any particular city depend on such factors as design of the light rail system, and traffic levels. The benefits of reduced congestion are taken into account in the assessment which is undertaken by the promoters for any light rail proposal.

Scheme promoters also monitor the performance of their schemes. It is now a mandatory requirement that all schemes receiving Government funding are subject to an evaluation after opening. This will provide future information on the impact of light rail schemes on congestion levels.

Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many local authorities in England and Wales were sued in 2006 for compensation for failure to properly maintain roads and highways by (a) organisations, (b) companies and (c) individuals. [124249]

Gillian Merron: The Department does not collect this information. However, the report “Highway Risk and Liability Claims”, produced in 2005 by the Roads and Highways Liability Claims Task Group, provides much relevant information. The report can be accessed on the UK Roads Liaison Group website at

Rolling Stock: Costs

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what rolling stock leasing charges were in (a) 2004, (b) 2005 and (c) 2006 for high speed trains in (i) Class 180 Adelante, (ii) Class 166, (iii) Class 165, (iv) Class 158, (v) Class 150, (vi) Class 153 and (vii) Class 143 vehicles. [125665]

Mr. Tom Harris: The leasing charges are a commercial agreement between the train operating company and the rolling stock leasing companies.

Speed Limits: Cameras

Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what guidance his Department issues to police authorities on the running of local casualty reduction partnerships; and if he will make a statement. [124679]

Dr. Ladyman: The Department has issued no specific guidance to the police on these matters. However, the current rules governing the National Safety Camera Programme and safety camera partnerships are
6 Mar 2007 : Column 1842W
contained in the Department’s Handbook Of Rules And Guidance For The National Safety Camera Programme For England And Wales 2006-07. On 31 January the Department issued, under cover of a letter signed jointly by myself and the Under-Secretary of State for Policing, Security and Community Safety, new guidance to local authorities, the Highways Agency and the police on the deployment of safety cameras from 1 April 2007. The guidance, which supersedes the handbook from 1 April, provides greater freedom and flexibility on the deployment of cameras as part of new arrangements, encouraging the establishment of wider road safety partnerships. The guidance does not stipulate how these wider partnerships should be structured. We believe this is best determined locally among partners.

Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the Bedfordshire and Luton Casualty Reduction Partnership; and if he will make a statement. [124680]

Dr. Ladyman: The four-year independent evaluation report of the National Safety Camera Programme, published in December 2005, found that there had been a 48 per cent. reduction in personal injury collisions and a 72 per cent. reduction in those killed and seriously injured at safety camera sites in the Bedfordshire Partnership area. In addition there was a 23 per cent. reduction in the number of vehicles exceeding the speed limit at new camera sites.

Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he expects police authorities to take to support local casualty reduction partnerships; and if he will make a statement. [124681]

Dr. Ladyman: The Department for Transport, the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers published a joint statement on 11 January 2005 about roads policing. The police make a vitally important contribution to improving road safety and are encouraged to work closely with local authorities and other partners, to identify the priorities for improving road safety in the local partnership area, including enforcement activity. The Department’s guidelines on the future deployment of safety cameras after 1 April 2007, published on 31 January 2007, encourages local partners to agree a joint strategy and their respective roles within that strategy.

Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations his Department has received regarding changes in staffing levels within the Bedfordshire and Luton Casualty Reduction Partnership; and if he will make a statement. [124682]

Dr. Ladyman: The Department has not received any representations regarding changes in staffing levels within the Bedfordshire and Luton Casualty Reduction Partnership.

Speed Limits: Lancashire

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much revenue speed cameras raised in Lancashire in each of the last five years. [125239]


6 Mar 2007 : Column 1843W

Dr. Ladyman: Speed cameras do not produce revenue. Drivers who break the law pay penalties, as other lawbreakers do. The Department does not hold records in respect to offences detected solely by speed cameras. The audit certificates for the Lancashire Safety Camera Partnership for the financial years outlined in the following table show the fines from conditional offer of fixed penalties for offences detected by speed and red light cameras operating under the National Safety Camera Programme for the last five years. The Lancashire Safety Camera Partnership joined the national programme in October 2001.

£

2001-02

1,197,180

2002-03

5,909,700

2003-04

5,073,600

2004-05

3,532,140

2005-06

3,773,220


Tolls: Greater London

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the merits of applying to other areas the lessons learned from the London congestion charge. [125111]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: Lessons learned from the London congestion charge have, and will continue to, form an important part of the Department’s developing road pricing policy. In particular the fundamental role that improved public transport has played in the success of London’s scheme.

We are working with a number of areas outside London as they consider whether they want to bring forward local pilot schemes to address local congestion. My Department has established the Road Pricing Local Liaison Group which brings together TfL and those other authorities considering local road pricing pilots.

Trade and Industry

Departments: Equal Opportunities

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress his Department has made in achieving gender equality in public appointments to bodies which fall within his Department's responsibility since 1997. [125212]

Jim Fitzpatrick [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 Libraries of the House for the reference of Members. From 1998 copies are also available on the internet at:


6 Mar 2007 : Column 1844W

Departments: Sick Pay

Mr. Touhig: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps his Department is taking to ensure that all agency workers receive the statutory sick pay to which they are entitled; and which categories of agency workers are not entitled to statutory sick pay. [122720]

Mr. Jim Murphy: I have been asked to reply.

The Government's intention is for all agency workers to have equal access to statutory sick pay in line with other workers. The Government are therefore appealing a recent High Court decision which excludes agency workers with contracts of three months or less from entitlement to statutory sick pay.

Employment: Discrimination

Miss Begg: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps his Department has taken to raise awareness of the Age Discrimination Regulations among (a) employers and (b) employees. [125156]

Jim Fitzpatrick: ACAS good practice guidance for employers and employees, and DTI guidance on the occupational pensions aspects of the regulations were published in April 2006. The DTI website contains additional guidance, including the explanatory notes on regulations. The Directgov and BusinessLink sites also provide information and an interactive tool for individuals and employers. The Department for Work and Pensions' ‘Be Ready’ campaign has provided 1.4 million employers with practical information about age good practice and the legislation, and there has been substantial demand for further in depth information.

DTI's £l million capacity building programme provided funds for activities aimed at raising individuals’ and employees’ awareness of their new rights, and for up-skilling advice providers in the field of age discrimination. DTI has also committed a further £100,000 for a media campaign to increase levels of individual awareness of the age discrimination legislation.

Miss Begg: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the number of employer redundancy schemes that could be unlawful under the age discrimination regulations. [125157]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Government do not hold details of employers' individual redundancy schemes. Any such schemes that do not come within the exemption provided in the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 would still be lawful if they can be objectively justified.

Minimum Wage

Miss Begg: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the policy reasons were for limiting the payment of the development rate minimum wage to 18 to 22-year-olds. [125158]


6 Mar 2007 : Column 1845W

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Government believe that there should be a lower rate of the minimum wage for younger workers.

Employment and unemployment levels for young workers are already significantly less favourable than those for older workers and our concern is that we might exacerbate this position if we moved young workers onto the adult rate.

The Low Pay Commission has consistently advised that there is a lower rate for younger workers. In their 2005 report the Low Pay Commission said:

Post Offices

Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which post code districts will be exempt from the proposed access criterion that 95 per cent. of the population should live within six miles of a post office; in which (a) local government area and (b) county each district is located; what the size in (i) square miles and (ii) square kilometres is of each; what the estimated population is of each; what the location is of existing post offices in each district which will be exempt; and what the location was of post offices in each district which have closed since 1997. [119289]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 6 February 2007]: POL does not maintain information on the location of post offices in each district which have closed since 1997 or relating to the local government areas. Population numbers are estimated using established methodologies for calculating accessibility.


6 Mar 2007 : Column 1846W
Postcode districts Branch name Postcode

AB36

Strathdon

AB36 8UL

AB37

Ballindalloch

AB37 9AS

AB37

Marypark

AB37 9BL

AB37

Glenlivet

AB37 9ED

AB37

Tomintoul

AB37 9ET

AB37

Tomnavoulin

AB37 9JA

DD9

Brechin

DD9 6AY

DD9

Little Brechin

DD9 6RQ

DD9

Montrose Street

DD9 7EF

DD9

Edzell

DD9 7TA

DG10

Moffat

DG10 9JH

FK21

Killin

FK21 8UH

IV13

IV16

Evanton

IV16 9XT

IV23

Garve

IV23 2PR

IV23

Lochluichart

IV23 2PZ

IV23

Dundonnell

IV23 2QZ

1V26

Ullapool

IV26 2TY

IV26

Achiltibuie

IV26 2YG

IV27

Rosehall

IV27 4BE

IV27

Lairg

IV27 4DP

IV27

Altass

IV27 4EU

IV27

Kylesku

IV27 4HW

IV27

Lochinver

IV27 4JY

IV27

Drumbeg

IV27 4NW

IV27

Durness

IV27 4PN

IV27

Achfary

IV27 4PQ

IV27

Balchrick

IV27 4RU

IV27

Scourie

IV27 4TB

IV27

Tongue

IV27 4XF

IV27

Talmine

IV27 4YP

IV28

Rogart

IV28 3XA

IV4

Beauly

IV4 7BT

IV4

Kiltarlity

IV4 7JG

IV4

Tomich

IV4 7LF

1V4

Cannich

IV4 7LN

IV52

Plockton

IV52 8TL

IV53

IV54

Applecross

IV54 SLR

IV54

Lochcarron

IV54 8YD

IV54

Strathcarron

IV54 SYR

IV63

Drumnadrochit

IV63 6TX

IV63

Glenmoriston

IV63 7YA

KW11

Strathnaver

KW11 6UA

KW12

Westerdale

KW126UP

KW12

Halkirk

KW12 6XN

KW9

Brora

KW9 6NY

ML12

Biggar

MLI2 6AA

ML12

Broughton

ML12 6HQ

ML12

Symington

ML12 6LJ

ML12

Elsrickle

ML12 6QZ

ML12

Abington

ML12 6SD

ML12

Crawford

ML12 6TP

NE48

Falstone

NE48 1AA

NE48

Kielder

NE48 1EQ

NE48

Bellingham

NE48 2AA

NE48

West Woodburn

NE48 2RX

NE48

Simonburn

NE48 SAW

NE48

Stonehaugh

NE48 3DY

NE48

Birtley

NE48 3HL

NE48

Wark

NE48 3LG

NE48

Gunnerton

NE48 4ED

PA22

Colintraive

PA22 3AS

PA29

Tarbert

PA29 6TN

PA29

Glenbarr

PA29 6UT

PA29

Tayinloan

PA29 6XG

PA29

Clachan

PA29 6XL

PA29

Skipness

PA29 6XT

PA42

Port Ellen

PA42 7BD

PA60

Craighouse

PA60 7XS

PH10

Blairgowrie

PH10 6AA

PH10

New Rattray

PH10 7BT

PH10

Bridge of Cally

PH10 7JG

PH10

Kirkmichael Vill. Store

PH10 7NT

PH11

Alyth

PH11 8AH

PH11

Glenisla Village Shop

PH11 8PQ

PH16

Pitlochry

PH16 5BL

PH16

Kinloch Rannoch

PH16 5PF

PH17

PH18

BlairAtholl

PH18 5SG

PH20

Newtonmore

PH20 IDA

PH21

Kingussie

PH21 1HR

PH21

Kincraig

PH21 INA

PH25

Nethybridge

PH25 3DA

PH31

Roy Bridge

PH31 4AE

PH35

Invergarry

PH35 4HG

PH49

Glencoe

PH49 4HS

PH49

Ballachulish

PH49 4JB

TD3

Gordon

TD3 6JW

TD7

Selkirk

TD7 4BZ

TD7

Midlem

TD7 4QB

TD7

Station Road

TD7 5DJ


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