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24 July 2007 : Column 919W—continued

Automatic Number Plate Recognition

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what guidance has been given to local authorities on the installation and use of automatic number plate recognition systems. [151309]

Jim Fitzpatrick: No specific advice has been given by the Department to local authorities on the installation and use of automatic number plate recognition systems.

Aviation: Security

Sir Paul Beresford: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the adequacy of security measures at UK airfields from which private aircraft and pilots operate. [152024]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 23 July 2007]: Aviation security measures in the UK National Aviation Security Programme are constantly kept under review. We are working closely with the EU in considering the appropriateness of security measures
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for smaller aircraft. The security measures in the UK National Aviation Security Programme apply to aircraft over a certain size used for civil public transport purposes and the airfields from which they operate from.

Bicycles: Parking

Emily Thornberry: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many cycle parking spaces were installed by each highway authority in England in each of the last five years. [152050]

Ms Rosie Winterton: This information is not collected centrally.

Birmingham New Street Station

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport further to the oral answer to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Northfield of 17 July 2007, Official Report, columns 146-47, on Birmingham New Street, what further clarification of the further information is required from partners putting forward the redevelopment case for New Street station; and if she will make a statement. [152084]

Mr. Tom Harris: We are very clear that something has to and will be done to improve New Street station.

This is fully recognised within the proposed funding provision for the railway for the next planning period (2009-14) and the funding elements for major improvements for the rail related aspects of Birmingham New Street station have today been announced as being given high priority by government.

The proposals of Birmingham city council and its partners seek a very significant investment commitment from the public purse. The Department is therefore scrutinising these proposals carefully and has asked for information to ensure that the funding sought from government represents best value.

This information includes alternative proposals for optimising the benefits of public investment and clarification of proposals for ensuring that the public sector's contribution is set at the right level.

Blue Badge Scheme

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) when she expects to announce the results of her Department's review of eligibility for the Blue Badge parking scheme; [152102]

(2) for what reasons people with inflammatory bowel disease are not eligible for the Blue Badge parking scheme; and if she will extend eligibility for the scheme to such people. [152103]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Blue Badge Disabled Parking Scheme is primarily designed to assist people with severe difficulty in walking. People with specific conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, are therefore not eligible for a badge unless their walking is very seriously affected.

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The Department for Transport (DFT) is currently conducting a strategic review of the Blue Badge Scheme, which will consider whether the scheme should be extended to other disability groups.

The strategic review will report to DFT Ministers in September 2007. A subsequent announcement will follow prior to the publication of a comprehensive Blue Badge reform strategy by April 2008.

Bus Services

Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many bus services have been (a) withdrawn and (b) added to service (i) in total and (ii) in each traffic area region in each year since 2004-05. [152132]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information is not available without incurring disproportionate costs.

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the percentage change in bus usage in (a) England, (b) Yorkshire and the Humber, (c) the City of York and (d) London has been since 1997. [152202]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested for England, Yorkshire and the Humber and London is available from Table E of the “Public Transport Statistics Bulletin GB: 2006 Edition”, a copy of which is held in the House of Commons Library.

The information for York is not available from DfT sources. York City council reported an increase in bus passenger journeys of 57 per cent. between 2000-01 and 2005-06 in its delivery report for its first local transport plan.

Bus Services: East Sussex

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent by her Department on bus subsidy in East Sussex in the last 12 months, broken down by parliamentary constituency. [151430]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department provides grants to local transport authorities through the Rural Bus Subsidy Grant, Rural and Urban Bus Challenge and Kickstart schemes. A total of £1.146 million was paid under these schemes to East Sussex county council in the financial year 2006-07. Figures are not available by parliamentary constituency.

In addition, the Department pays Bus Service Operators Grant to operators of local bus services throughout the country but information on this expenditure is not collected on a parliamentary constituency basis.

Information is not available in the form requested on local authority expenditure on bus support from the Government’s unhypothecated Revenue Support Grant or their own resources.

Departments: East Sussex

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much funding her Department allocated to projects in (a) Eastbourne and (b) East Sussex in each of the last 10 years. [151432]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: The following table shows the capital funding allocated to East Sussex county council in the local transport capital settlements from 1998-99 to 2007-08. From 2000-01 to 2007-08 the figures shown include block allocations for integrated transport block and highways capital maintenance, along with specific funding for major schemes.

For most of the funding it has been for the county council to decide on its distribution between Eastbourne and the rest of the county, according to its local policies and priorities.

East Sussex council
£ million





















Departments: Land

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what disposals her Department made of land in Hampshire in each year since 1997; and whether she required any of the land to be used for social housing. [149898]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department for Transport was formed in 2002 and since that date has disposed of the following plots of land in Hampshire:



4 plots sold


0 plots sold


4 plots sold


8 plots sold


6 plots sold

2007 (as at 17 April)


It is the responsibility of local planning authorities to identify and release land for housing as part of the planning process. This means that the requirement for the provision of social housing will need to be negotiated and agreed with the local planning authority. The Government have implemented a number of initiatives to assist with land supply for housing. A Register of Surplus Public Sector Land held by central Government bodies has been established. English Partnerships review the sites on the register to identify those which could have the potential for housing development. As of June 2007 there were over 700 sites on the register. Sites are continually being added as they are identified as surplus by landowners and removed once expressions of interest are received after a site has been marketed.

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Departments: Legislation

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which Bills introduced by her Department in the last five years contained sunset clauses; and what plans she has for the future use of such clauses. [151834]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Of the enacted Bills introduced by the Department for Transport in the last five years one contains a sunset provision.

Under section 16 of the Road Safety Act 2006 no order can be made under the new section 34D of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (orders relating to the alcohol ignition interlock programme) after the end of 2010 or such later date as the Secretary of State may specify by order, subject to any order by the Secretary of State terminating the restriction. In the intervening period (“the experimental period”) section 16 imposes more limited restrictions on the making of orders under section 34D.

The appropriateness of a sunset clause for the whole or any part of any proposed legislation is considered on a case by case basis. It is also addressed when a regulatory impact assessment relating to legislation is being prepared.

Motor Vehicles: Insurance

Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will estimate the average cost of car insurance to the individual. [152155]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The latest insurance industry estimates available are for the year 2005 and are that the average cost of car insurance for all drivers is £370 per annum.

Motor Vehicles: Safety Measures

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress she has made in discussions with her EU counterparts on the Government's policy that motorists in the UK should not be required to use daytime running lights; and if she will make a statement. [151703]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Secretary of State has not yet had an opportunity to discuss daytime running lights (DRLs) with her EU counterparts. However, the Department for Transport and the Secretary of State will continue to work with our EU partners on this subject to make sure the concerns of the UK Government are considered in any decision on the fitment and use of DRLs.

Motor Vehicles: York

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many vehicles in York pay reduced vehicle excise duty (VED) because they have smaller engines; and how many are exempt from VED because they are old vehicles. [152203]

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Jim Fitzpatrick: The rate of vehicle excise duty (VED) is directly linked to engine capacity for motorcycles, tricycles and private and light goods vehicles registered prior to 1 March 2001. At the end of March 2007, the numbers of licensed vehicles within these tax classes, registered to keepers residing in the City of York unitary authority were as follows:

Tax class Engine capacity Number of licensed vehicles

Private and light goods

Not over 1549 cc


Private and light goods

Over 1549 cc



Not over 150 cc



151 cc to 400 cc



401 cc to 600 cc



Over 600 cc



Not over 150 cc



Over 150 cc


At the end of March 2007, there were also 850 licensed vehicles registered within the City of York that were exempt from VED due to them being constructed prior to 1 January 1973.

Railways: Poole

Mr. Syms: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans she has to increase capacity on commuter trains between Poole and London, measured by (a) new carriages and (b) passenger numbers; and when the new capacity will be rolled out. [151575]

Mr. Tom Harris: Stagecoach South Western replaced the train units that serve the train service to Weymouth from commencement of the new franchise (February 2007). The train service consisted of five car class 442 units with a capacity of 495 passengers which were replaced with five car class 444 units with a capacity of 520 passengers. The department is not aware of any further plans by Stagecoach South Western to increase capacity on this line.

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