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8 Oct 2007 : Column 82Wcontinued
|DFT spend per head on local public transport|
Mr. Newmark: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what guidance her Department provides to bus operators on the priority to be given to users of pushchairs and wheelchairs when there is insufficient room in a vehicle to carry both. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Powers granted to Government under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 enabled the Department for Transport to make regulations allowing wheelchair users to access new buses and travel in safety and in reasonable comfort. No such powers were granted in respect of people using pushchairs.
The Department published guidance in 2003 advising bus staff of their duties with respect to disabled passengers, and more than 150,000 copies of this document have been issued.
More recently, the Department has worked with the Disability Rights Commission (now the Commission for Equality and Human Rights) to produce sector
specific guidance for transport operators on avoiding discrimination. The guidance for buses and scheduled coaches provides advice on use of the designated wheelchair space by passengers other than wheelchair users, and this document is available from their website at www.equalityhumanrights.com
While other passengers are at liberty to use the designated wheelchair space when it is not required by a wheelchair user, it should be vacated, if at all possible, when it is required for a wheelchair user to travel.
Mr. Newmark: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what guidance her Department provides to bus operators on the safety implications of the carriage of more than one (a) wheelchair user and (b) pushchair per vehicle; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations 2000 (PSVAR) specify vehicle construction requirements to enable disabled passengers, including wheelchair users, to access new buses and travel in safety and reasonable comfort. Each new bus falling with scope of these regulations is required to be fitted with at least one wheelchair space.
The Public Service Vehicles (Conduct of Drivers, Inspectors, Conductors and Passengers)(Amendment) Regulations 2002 require that the driver of a bus which complies with the PSVAR allow a wheelchair user to board if the designated wheelchair space is unoccupied, and it is safe to do so. An operator should not transport more occupied wheelchairs than there are designated wheelchair spaces on their vehicle. The Department published guidance in 2003 advising bus staff of their duties with respect to disabled passengers, and more than 150,000 copies of this document have been issued.
There are neither regulations nor guidance relating specifically to the safe carriage of pushchairs on buses. However, there are general regulations in force which seek to protect the safety of all passengers on buses.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of how many and what percentage of the bus fleet have hybrid engines, broken down by region. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The number of hybrid-electric buses cannot currently be identified from the DVLA vehicle registration database.
Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) accidents and (b) traffic offences occurred involving hire cars in each of the last five years. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The information requested is not available.
Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment the Government has made of the top speeds of the most popular cars currently using British roads and of trends in the advertised top speeds of vehicles sold in the UK. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Government have made no assessment of the top speeds of cars using British roads, nor of trends in the advertised top speeds of vehicles sold in the UK. However the Government reached an agreement with the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) about not glamorising speed and all advertisements have to be pre-cleared.
Mr. Gauke: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many press officers are employed by the Civil Aviation Authority. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: In the CAA's Corporate Communications department, there are three full-time press officers and two members of staff who job-share a press officer post.
Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people were seriously injured in collisions between cyclists and pedestrians in each of the last five years. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The number of people seriously injured in reported personal injury accidents between pedal cyclists and pedestrians in each of last five years is shown as follows:
|Number of serious casualties|
Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many traffic accidents there were involving cyclists in (a) Wirral, South and (b) Merseyside in each of the last five years. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The number of reported personal injury road accidents involving at least one pedal cyclist in (a) Wirral, South and (b) Merseyside in each of the past five years is shown in the table.
|Number of accidents|
Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of cycle helmet wearing rates; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The findings of surveys of helmet wearing rates on major and minor built up roads from 1994 to 2004 and 1999 to 2004 are shown in the following tables.
|Table 1: Cycle helmet wearing rates on major built up roads 1994 to 2004|
|Table 2: Cycle helmet wearing rates on minor built up roads 1999-2004|
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