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Jim Fitzpatrick: The UK national aviation security programme states that airports, airlines, in-flight caterers and listed air cargo agents report to the Department for Transport any act of unlawful interference or occurrence that may affect the security of civil aviation within their spheres of operation. It would be inappropriate to comment on the number of security alerts at UK airports.
Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment the Government have 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 [pursuant to the reply, 8 October 2007, Official Report, c. 84W]: I should like to make clear that it is the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre (BACC) that is responsible for the pre-transmission examination and clearance of television advertisements, and not the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
Mr. Tom Harris: I refer the hon. Member to the White Paper for the 2007 pre-Budget report and Comprehensive Spending Review presented to Parliament by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 9 October 2007.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will make it a requirement for all vehicles using diesel to be fitted with diesel particulate filters; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Construction standards for vehicles, including the standards that must be met for exhaust emissions, are set at a European Union level through negotiations in which the United Kingdom plays an active part.
New emission standards for cars and vans have just been agreed. These standards will force the adoption of particulate filters on new models of diesel cars and vans brought to the market from 2009, and on all newly registered diesel cars and vans by 2012.
A proposal from the European Commission for new, and stricter, exhaust emission standards for lorries and buses is expected towards the end of this year or in the early part of the next. These standards are expected to become mandatory for new vehicles from around 2012, and to tighten particulate emissions limits by around 70 per cent.
While the retrofitting of particulate filters on cars is seldom feasible, because it is precluded by space constraints and can require reprogramming the engine management system, the retrofitting of particulate filters to heavy duty vehicles is sometimes possible. The Government encourage retrofitting existing lorries and buses with technologies designed to reduce particulate emissions through the Reduced Pollution Certificate schemes. These schemes offer operators of heavy duty vehicles a reduction in Vehicle Excise Duty for vehicles modified to meet stricter emission standards.
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what duty her Department has to report to the police or any other relevant authority if a driver assessed by the Driving Standards Agency's driver quality monitoring programme is judged to be unacceptable with serious faults or unacceptable with dangerous faults. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The driver quality monitoring assessment is not a driving test, but an assessment of the driver on behalf of the bus operator. If a driver commits a serious or dangerous fault this will be relayed to the bus operator, which will then follow its own internal procedures. The Driving Standards Agency does not have a duty to report this to the police or any other relevant authority.
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the Driver Quality Monitoring (DQM) programme is; how DQM assessments are conducted on bus drivers; against what scoring system drivers are assessed; and how much DQM generated for the Driving Standards Agency in each financial year since 2000-01. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Driver Quality Monitoring (DQM) is a non-statutory service that the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) performs on behalf of bus companies. Assessors travel incognito on random bus routes and assess the ability of the driver over a 20-minute period. The Assessors then prepare a report for the relevant bus operator.
A four band score against 10 aspects of passenger consideration (supporting explanatory comments given)
A four band score against 13 aspects of driving ability (supporting explanatory comments given)
Box 1 = Fully acceptable,
Box 2 = Acceptable with some driving faults,
Box 3 = Unacceptable with serious faults,
Box 4 = Unacceptable with dangerous faults.
Nine safety comments (Such as handling cash in motion or talking to person while driving)
|n/a = not available|
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many assessments on drivers were carried out as part of the Driver Quality Monitoring (DQM) programme in each financial year since 2000-01; and how many drivers were (a) assessed as unacceptable with serious faults and (b) assessed as unacceptable with dangerous faults in each year. 
Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has had with Irish Water Safety on the Irish experience of the impact of the introduction of compulsory personal flotation devices for fishing crews and some leisure sailors; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has been monitoring the experience of the Irish Department of Transport Maritime Safety Directorate with interest and regular contact has taken place regarding the introduction of regulations requiring the wearing of personal flotation devices.
Research has also recently been undertaken by the MCA to assess the approach taken to the wearing of lifejackets adopted by other countries, and the effect on casualty statistics, and the MCA is currently reviewing the findings.
On the basis of this ongoing work, the National Water Safety Forum has recently approved an initiative by the MCA and in partnership with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, the Royal Yachting Association and the British Marine Federation to investigate a three to five-year national lifejacket campaign.
Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the cost of extending the rebate in graduated vehicle excise duty to otherwise-qualifying liquefied petroleum gas vehicles registered prior to March 2001; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Based on the figure of licensed vehicles as at end June 2007, the estimated revenue cost of extending the alternative fuel rate of graduated vehicle excise duty to light private goods powered vehicles registered before 2001 and currently licensed would be between £400,000 and £550,000.
Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the environmental effects of encouraging the use of liquefied petroleum gas and other low emissions vehicles; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Recent research undertaken by the Department suggests that, in comparison with petrol-powered equivalents, cars professionally retrofitted to run on liquefied petroleum gas may offer some advantage in terms of CO2 emissions, but generally perform no better in terms of air quality emissions than the equivalent petrol vehicles. The findings of the research will be available on the Department for Transport website at www.dft.gov.uk and copies will be available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Tom Harris: The Highways Agency currently has no plans to improve the design and safety of the M2 junction 5. A safety improvement scheme was carried out at this junction in 2005 and this has resulted in a fall in the accident rates at this location. However, the agency continues to monitor the situation.
I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 9 October 2007, Official Report, column 496W. Following investment in this junction between 2000 and 2005, safety improved and the junction is now a relatively low priority in safety terms. The Highways Agency continues to monitor the situation.
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