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25 Jun 2007 : Column 521W—continued

Ministers: Official Cars

Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 11 June 2007, Official Report, column 727W, on Ministers: official cars, how many cars are allocated to Ministers in each Government Department, broken down by (a) Minister and (b) car model given in the answer. [145453]

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Dr. Ladyman: The information requested in respect of the number of cars allocated to Departments is currently being collated and will be published in the coming weeks.

Motor Vehicles: Cherished Number Plates

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport why a vehicle inspection is required for a vehicle over 15 years old before a cherished number plate transfer can take place. [145588]

Dr. Ladyman: The instruction to inspect all vehicles over 15 years old from date of manufacture/first registration whichever is earlier, was issued by the DVLA after a review of cherished transfer and retention applications. Vehicles over 15 years old were identified as being in a 'higher risk' category for fraudulent applications. A subsequent review of this instruction reveals it's introduction as effective, as applicants are now aware that vehicles will be called for inspection to ensure that the vehicle exists.

Motor Vehicles: Exhaust Emissions

Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the full emissions profile per mile is, both laden and unladen, for (a) 38 tonne heavy goods vehicle (HGV), (b) 44 tonne HGVs, (c) transit type vans and (d) family saloons. [145736]

Dr. Ladyman: Vehicle emissions vary significantly depending on the exact operating conditions. In the case of local pollutants, emissions depend greatly on the age of the vehicle and hence the emissions standards it was designed to meet. The following data are based on the vehicle emissions factors used in the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory which are derived from Department for Transport (and other) vehicle emissions test data. The figures quoted relate to average emissions over all UK roads for the year 2005 fleet. Emissions may be significantly different for specific sections of road and will decrease for subsequent years as vehicles meeting the latest emissions standards enter the fleet.

Vehicle type NOx PM 10 CO HC CO 2

Petrol Passenger Car






Diesel Passenger Car






Diesel Light Goods Vehicle






Articulated HGV






The emissions factors underlying the aforementioned data are based on testing up to the year 2001. The Department is in the process of updating these factors based on new test data accumulated over the last five years.

The aforementioned data represent vehicles at typical load conditions. The Department does not hold data on the unladen and fully laden emissions of
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vehicles or the relative emissions of articulated HGVs of different gross vehicle weights. However, we are conducting research on the impacts of payload on fuel consumption and hence CO2 emissions. Preliminary results from this work suggest a reduction of 0.112 miles per gallon per tonne of payload. This equates to in the region of a 1.1 per cent. increase in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions per tonne.

Motor Vehicles: Insurance

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he plans to set a target of having real time data entry in the Motor Insurance Database of insurance polices by the end of 2008. [145392]

Dr. Ladyman: There are continuing discussions with the Insurance industry on the targets for updating the Motor Insurance Database (MID), but there is no current plan to set a target of the end of 2008 for real time data entry to the MID.

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department has met the recommended target date set by the Greenaway report for reducing the permitted interval between an insurance policy being issued and details uploaded in the Motor Insurance Database from 14 days to seven days by the end of 2006. [145407]

Dr. Ladyman: The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) (owned by the insurance industry) own and operate the Motor Insurance Database (MID). The latest figures for mid June indicate that 94.4 per cent. of all appropriate records are provided by the insurance industry to the MID within seven days which is in line with expectations to meet the new target date of January 2008 agreed with the Department.

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of motor insurance providers’ capacity to comply with the requirements of rapid data entry to the Motor Insurance Database. [145408]

Dr. Ladyman: The Department receives regular reports from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) on the update status of the Motor Insurance Database (MID) and these show that insurers are achieving good results.

The Department has made no recent assessment of insurers capacity to move to rapid or real time data entry for the MID. However the Department will continue to discuss improvements to the MID update targets with the Industry.

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he has taken to improve the recording of information by insurance providers on claims settled directly in connection with incidents involving uninsured drivers, as recommended by the Greenaway report. [145410]

Dr. Ladyman: The insurance industry has had extensive consultations on this recommendation. These have not yet resulted in a final solution and officials
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from the Department will be having further discussions with the industry with the intention of implementing this recommendation.

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will bring forward proposals for more severe penalties for insurance providers who do not comply with permitted interval period between an insurance policy being issued and details uploaded to the motor insurance database. [145789]

Dr. Ladyman: The Motor Insurer's Bureau (MIB) (owned by the insurance industry) own and operate the Motor Insurance Database (MID). There is a statutory requirement for all motor insurers to be members of the MIB and, as part of the requirements of membership, all motor insurers are required to meet the agreed targets for updating the MID. The MIB have the power to impose a penalty of up to £250,000 for non compliance. The insurance industry is currently achieving the standards agreed with this Department and consequently more severe penalties are not required.

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to require motor insurance providers to notify the motor insurance database and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency immediately of any insurance policy cancellation. [145790]

Dr. Ladyman: Motor insurers are required to notify the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB), who maintain and operate the Motor Insurance Database (MID) of all changes (including cancellations) to motor insurance policies. I have no intention to require insurers to also notify the DVLA as dual notification would not deliver any additional benefits but would introduce additional costs.

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will require every motor insurance policy issued to contain information on both the insured driver and the vehicle they are insured to drive. [145791]

Dr. Ladyman: Motor insurers are required to keep information about all vehicles insured under all motor insurance policies, and to supply such information to the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB). Motor insurers are also required to keep information about the persons, or classes of person, entitled to drive a vehicle under any particular policy. For most private policies the drivers are specified on the policy. However fleet policies often cover the use of many hundreds or thousands of vehicles and drivers and in these cases the policy merely specifies a class of driver, for example, any authorised employee. Any requirement for insurers and others to record by individual name all drivers covered by a large fleet policy, and to process all changes to the lists of authorised drivers, would potentially be a large and onerous administrative burden which would have limited value to the enforcement authorities. It is not proposed to change the current arrangements, at the present time.

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Motor Vehicles: Testing

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many representations he has received asking for the MOT testing regime to be extended to every other year; and if he will place in the Library copies of such representations. [145117]

Dr. Ladyman: Nine letters have been received by the Department in support of the proposals in advance of the formal consultation on the subject.

A copy of each of these letters has been placed in the Library. These have been anonymised because there was no indication from the authors whether or not they objected to their full details being made public.

Parking: Fees and Charges

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much income was derived by local authorities from parking (a) charges and (b) penalties in the most recent financial year available, broken down by region. [145358]

Gillian Merron: I refer the hon. Member to my answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Regent’s Park and Kensington, North (Ms Buck) on 27 March 2007, Official Report, column 1425W.

Railways: Kent

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has estimated the cost of subsidy by South East Trains of free rail transport for Kentish passengers seeking to join Eurostar at Ebbsfleet. [145647]

Mr. Tom Harris: The arrangement between Southeastern and Eurostar, announced on 8 June, whereby passengers can use services from any Southeastern station to connect with Eurostar trains at Ashford or Ebbsfleet is a commercial agreement between the two companies. There is no additional call on subsidy as a result of this arrangement.

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has made an estimate of the expected change in the (a) passenger miles and (b) carbon footprint which will result from passengers having to join Eurostar for Brussels at Ebbsfleet rather than at Ashford. [145648]

Mr. Tom Harris: No estimate has been made to date, but this information has been requested from Eurostar following a meeting I had with MPs local to Ashford on 11 June 2007. I will write to the hon. Gentleman to confirm the response from Eurostar in due course.

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the reduction in journey time from London to Ramsgate via Ashford that he expects to follow the introduction of fast link trains on domestic routes. [145649]

Mr. Tom Harris: The journey time from St. Pancras to Ramsgate via Ashford using the new high-speed
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service is expected to be one hour 25 minutes, compared with one hour 45 minutes currently from London Bridge.

Railways: Standards

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many trains were cancelled in each of the last 12 months, broken down by region. [145215]

Mr. Tom Harris: Train cancellation data for the rail network as a whole are collected and processed by Network Rail. For a response, the hon. Member may wish to contact Network Rail’s Chief Executive at the following address:

Railways: Theft

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many thefts of (a) luggage and (b) other items were reported on (i) the East Coast and (ii) West Coast main lines in the most recent 12 month period for which figures are available. [145742]

Mr. Tom Harris: This information is not held by the Department for Transport but by the British Transport Police who can be contacted at:

Railways: Tickets

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the availability of ticket machines at unstaffed stations; [144282]

(2) what performance targets train operating companies are set on ticket sales at stations; [144283]

(3) what recent discussions he has had with the rail industry on the sale of tickets at stations. [144284]

Mr. Tom Harris: The Secretary of State has made no assessment of ticket machines at unstaffed stations, as ticket selling is the responsibility of the relevant train operator.

At staffed stations, operators are obliged through their passenger licence and franchise agreement to use reasonable endeavours to limit ticket office queuing times to three minutes at off-peak times and five minutes at peak times.

The Secretary of State has had no discussions about changing this obligation, but has discussed how new technology such as smartcards, print-at-home tickets or tickets sent directly to mobile phones might be used to avoid the need to queue at ticket offices at all. Several operators are already trialling such tickets.

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Roads: Devon

Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make an urgent assessment of the safety of the Devon Expressway between Marsh Mills and Ivybridge. [145194]

Dr. Ladyman: The Highways Agency monitors the safety of each section of road and junctions with a view to implementing improvements as priority allows. Accident statistics for this length of road are approximately 10 per cent. lower than national average for trunk road dual carriageways. The Agency is aware of the potential increase in future demand from major developments in and around Plymouth and work is under way to provide improved signing and CCTV monitoring of this corridor as well as to identify local improvement measures as traffic volumes increase.

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