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Expenditure by the Research Councils (which are funded from the DTI science budget) on energy related basic, strategic and applied research and related postgraduate training will rise to over £70 million per annum by 2007-08. Research Council investments cover the full range of energy from renewables, fusion, improving networks and conventional generation, through to research to keep the nuclear option open. Energy research remains a cross-Council priority for future allocations.
Industrial collaborative research and development is funded through the DTIs Technology programme. The Technology programme is designed to stimulate innovation in the UK economy through higher levels of research and development and knowledge transfer. Funding is focussed on projects in strategically important technology areas. The DTI spends around £20 million per annum on low carbon energy technologies as part of this programme.
The UK is also an active participant in the Framework programme, which is Europes main funding vehicle for research and development. The Government actively encourages UK participation in
the Framework programme, and provides help and support to applicants through a dedicated helpline and structured workshops.
In Framework programme 6, which ran from 2002-06, the Energy element was worth €880 million of which the UK was successful in obtaining around €100 million of funding. The Energy Thematic within Framework programme 7 is worth €2.3 billion and runs from 2007-2013. The first call is currently underway.
In September 2006 the Secretary of State published a prospectus for a new Energy Technologies Institute, and confirmed that the Government would commit up to £500 million over ten years to this 50:50 public-private partnership. It will provide a focus for industrial collaboration and substantially increase the level of investment in the R and D necessary to identify the most promising energy technologies, and to accelerate their deployment.
Further support is provided by other Government Departments and organisations. (An example is the Carbon Trust, whichamong other activitiesprovides support for innovation into low carbon energy activities.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on changes in enforcement activity for the Blue Badge Scheme since the introduction of changes in regulations in September 2006. 
Gillian Merron: It is too early to make an assessment at this stage, as the powers of enforcement have only been available to local authorities since September. However, the Department for Transport is working with local agencies to improve data collection and promote good practice in this area.
The Department is committed to tackling all Blue Badge misuse as signalled by a three-month strategic review of the scheme, which will report in September 2007. This will culminate in the production of a comprehensive Blue Badge Reform Strategy by April 2008.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many meetings the Minister of State, the hon. Member for South Thanet (Dr. Ladyman) has attended with representatives of (a) Golden Arrow and (b) Sovereign Strategy since taking office; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Ladyman: As part of the consultations on the Department for Transports review of ports policy, I attended with DfT officials, a lunch on 18 July 2006, organised by Golden Arrow Communications, to hear the views of ports and shipping interests. As Minister of State, I have attended no other meetings organised by Golden Arrow or Sovereign Strategy.
I have attended conferences, receptions and other such events not organised by Golden Arrow Communications or Sovereign Strategy but at which individuals employed by them may have been present. No record is kept of such encounters.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the adequacy of toilet provision within plans for the new platform upgrade at Milton Keynes railway station. 
40 Melton Street
London NW1 2EE
Mr. Tom Harris: The modifications to Milton Keynes Central station are due to be completed and commissioned in time for the introduction of the revised timetables for the West Coast Main Line in late 2008 to January 2009.
Passenger cars and small goods vehicles are currently required to have an exterior rear view mirror fitted on the offside and either one interior mirror or an exterior mirror on the nearside. From January 2010 all cars and small goods vehicles will be required to have two external mirrors. However, in practice, most
manufacturers have been fitting mirrors to both sides of their vehicles for some years.
Mopeds are required to have one mirror and motorcycles and motor tricycles are required to have two mirrors. We are currently working with user groups to get their views on whether these requirements need amending in the context of the Government's motorcycling strategy.
New heavy vehicles from January 2007 have been fitted with enhanced mirrors that improve driver vision. Similar requirements are being considered for existing vehicles as part of a package of measures being proposed by the European Commission. We are currently conducting a public consultation on the policy options for these proposals and this consultation closes on 4 May 2007. Copies of the consultation have been placed in the Libraries of the House and can also be found at:
Dr. Ladyman: Delivery of new, and improvements to existing, non-motorised user crossings is ongoing. The Highways Agency is making good progress; 188 of the sites listed in 2003 having been investigated and works completed where appropriate. Future delivery is subject to the availability of funding and the Agency will continue to deliver improvements where this can be done cost-effectively. Therefore, it is not possible to provide an estimate of the completion date.
Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the announcement that 1,000 new carriages are planned to be added to the rail network by 2014, what assessment he has made of the capacity of non-suburban station platforms to accommodate longer trains. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Secretary of State will publish a High Level Output Specification (HLOS) in the summer which will specify, inter alia, the additional rail capacity the Government wish to purchase. The rail industry will respond to the HLOS in October 2007 with proposals for delivering this extra capacity, including platform lengthening and other infrastructural investment, where appropriate.
Since January 2005 the Department has collected information on whether vehicles involved in reported personal injury accidents in Great Britain are foreign registered. This information is published on
the Departments website in the annual publication Road Casualties Great Britain: 2005 annual report at the following link:
Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consideration he has given to (a) the replacement of the British Rail Class 43 rolling stock and (b) a new generation high speed train. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Department is currently seeking Expressions of Interest for the development and eventual delivery of a new fleet of Intercity Express trains suitable to replace the present high speed trains.
Dr. Ladyman: Average speed cameras were approved at 16 core sites within the National Safety Camera Programme. The National Safety Camera Programme ceased on 31 March 2007. In accordance with DfT Circular 01/2007, highway authorities now have the freedom to deploy type-approved average speed cameras without the Departments approval. The type approval of speed enforcement devices is a matter for the Home Office.
Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the likely effectiveness of time over distance cameras in reducing the levels of (a) fatal, (b) major and (c) minor road injuries. 
Dr. Ladyman: No specific assessment has been made of the effectiveness of time-over-distance cameras. However the independent 4-year evaluation report of the National Safety Camera Programme covered any time-over-distance cameras operating between April 2000 and March 2004. The independent academics concluded that they were equally as effective in reducing collisions and casualties as other fixed and red-light cameras. They also concluded that time-over-distance cameras have been particularly effective at reducing excessive speeds, which are defined as 15mph over the speed limit.
Dr. Ladyman: The primary responsibility for ensuring the safety and roadworthiness of a farm tractor rests with the person who operates and uses itexactly in the same way as it does with any type of vehicle. However, the condition of farm tractors is none the less subject to compliance checks by both the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, and by the Health and Safety Executive during routine farm visits.
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many deaths there were from carbon monoxide poisoning in each London borough in each of the last five years. (132148)
The attached table provides the number of deaths where the toxic effect of carbon monoxide was the cause of death, in each London borough, from 2001 to 2005 (the latest year available).
|Table 1: Number of deaths with a cause of carbon monoxide poisoning,( 1) London boroughs, 2001-05( 2,3)|
|(1) Cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) code T58.|
(2) Based on local authority boundaries as of 2007.
(3) Figures are for deaths registered in each calendar year.
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