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29 Oct 2007 : Column 854W—continued

Teachers: Nursery Schools

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many specialist qualified early years teachers are in employment in early years settings in England. [160662]

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Jim Knight: As at January 2007 there were 12,900(1) qualified teachers directly involved with the care of three and four-year-old children.

The latest figures on early education places for three and four-year-olds in England were published in Statistical First Release 19/2007 “Provision for children under five years of age in England—January 2007” in May, which is available on my Department’s website:

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many students are training as specialist early years teachers in England. [160663]

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Jim Knight: In 2006/07 a total of 5,160(1) students were training to teach in the Foundation Stage and in Key Stage 1.

Figures for 2007/08 are not yet available.


A11: Road Traffic

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average daily traffic flow was on each section of the A11 in (a) Suffolk and (b) Norfolk in each of the last five years. [161569]

Mr. Tom Harris: The information requested is in the table as follows.

Annual average daily traffic (AADT)( 1)
County A11 section description September 2002-August 2003 September 2003-August 2004 September 2004-August 2005 September 2005-August 2006 September 2006-August 2007

A11 Northbound


A14 to A1101






Suffolk/ Norfolk

A1101 to A134







A134 to A1075






A134 to A134






A1075 to A47






A11 Southbound


A47 to A1075






A1075 to A134






A134 to A134






Norfolk/ Suffolk

A134 to A1101






(1)Annual average daily traffic flows (AADT), is defined as the average of flows for all days within the year.

Aviation: Safety

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will place in the Library documents or information which her Department, or the Civil Aviation Authority, has in respect of the claim by Flybe's cabin crews that poisonous fumes have been leaking into the cabins of Flybe's fleet of BAE 146 aircraft; and if she will make a statement. [161430]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department has received no documents specifically from Flybe cabin crews although we are, of course, aware of concerns about cabin air and have had contact with Flybe management about our plans for research.

The CAA's mandatory occurrence report scheme (MORs) database contains reports of smoke/fume events submitted by UK operators of BAE 146 aircraft. In accordance with the CAA's regulatory practice these reports do not identify operators or aircraft registration numbers. I am arranging for the papers to be placed in the Libraries of the House.

In January 2004 the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) reported on fume events involving BAE 146 and other types of aircraft. Please see the link below. The AAIB will continue to investigate reports of all serious incidents.

I would also refer my hon. Friend to my answer of 25 October 2007, Official Report, columns 468-9W.

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the Air Accidents Investigations branch plans to investigate claims that (a) poisonous fumes and (b) bleed air including toxic particles have been sucked into the cabins of Flybe's fleet of BAE 146 aircraft; and if she will make a statement. [161431]

Jim Fitzpatrick: In January 2004 the AAIB published a comprehensive report of an inspector's investigation into a ‘cabin fumes' related incident occurring to a BAe 146 aircraft (registration G-JEAK) during its descent into Birmingham airport on 5 November 2000. The scope of the investigation however was widened considerably when further similar incidents, some involving other aircraft types, were reported. The report made five safety recommendations, to both the CAA and the FAA, concerning preventative measures and future research. Tests and research are continuing at the present time.

The AAIB have been made aware of 20 events concerning a degradation of cabin air quality occurring to Flybe BAe 146 aircraft since the report was published, four of which have occurred in 2007.

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The AAIB investigate all accidents and incidents falling within the Civil Aviation (Investigation of Air Accidents and Incidents) Regulations 1996. Occurrences falling outside of these regulations are reported using the mandatory occurrence report (MOR) scheme to the Civil Aviation Authority.

Bicycles: Accidents

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Government has taken to reduce the number of road traffic accidents involving cyclists since 1997. [160661]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Measures to improve road safety for cyclists include providing better infrastructure, promoting cycle training, improved training and testing for motorists and encouraging cyclists to protect themselves, by making themselves conspicuous and by wearing a safety helmet.

The new edition of the Highway Code, published in September 2007, includes enhanced advice to all road users to look out for and be aware of vulnerable road users, including cyclists. To make drivers more aware of cyclists the theory test question bank contains a large number of questions about vulnerable road users. The screen-based theory test allows the use of digitised video clips to help test hazard perception with moving images, which include cyclists. The practical driving test has been lengthened, providing a greater opportunity for encountering cyclists.

We have doubled Cycling England’s budget to fund additional links to schools and to fund grants to enable more children to receive Bikeability, the new national cycle training standard.

We concentrate our cycle safety publicity on teenagers and younger children, as these are the most vulnerable groups. We have run various cycle safety campaigns over the last 10 years. Currently, cycling safety messages for younger children are included on the Hedgehogs website including advice and games. Last year we produced an online advertisement for children called ‘No helmet, no ride’, which encourages children to wear a cycle helmet, which last ran in the summer of this year.

There is also the cyclesense website aimed at teenage cyclists, giving advice and tips of cycling safety. This year in an MTV/THINK! competition teenagers were asked to come up with ideas for TV commercials about road safety, including cycling, aimed at their peers. This activity ran over five months and the three best ideas were produced as TV commercials and teens voted for their favourite ad online. Invisible, about being seen when out cycling and wearing a helmet, came second.

The Department’s leaflet ‘Drive Safe Cycle Safe’ also encourages drivers and cyclists to share the road safely. The Department has grant funded a number of projects to improve road safety for cyclists including a RoSPA produced DVD on safety for cyclists and lorries.


Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether an EU-US taskforce on biofuels has been set up in accordance with the statement made in the 2007 Budget. [159195]

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Jim Fitzpatrick: Following the statement in Budget 2007, the UK put forward a set of proposals for consideration on cooperation between the EU and

US on biofuels.

A commitment was reached at the EU-US summit in April this year, for the EU and US to work together to develop a set of compatible specifications for pure biofuels, taking into account existing standards; work to promote strategies for sustainable biomass cultivation, including standards as appropriate; establish a roadmap for developing compatible standards for biofuels; continue analysis of biofuel resource assessment; and exchange information on the respective EU-US research agendas on second generation biofuel sources. In addition, the EU and US affirmed their commitment to reach agreement on transatlantic research cooperation under the bilateral EU-US science and technology agreement, which will focus on the development of second generation biofuels.

Biofuels: Animal Products

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment she has made of the potential merits of converting tallow into biodiesel; [161599]

(2) what estimate she has made of the cost of converting tallow into biodiesel; [161600]

(3) what assessment her Department has made of the advantage of converting tallow into recycled products; and if she will make a statement; [161635]

(4) what estimate she has made of the cost of converting tallow into recycled products. [161636]

Jim Fitzpatrick: I announced during the debate on the RTFO Order in the Seventh Delegated Legislation Committee on 23 October that the Government would commission an independent review of the likely impacts of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) on the other UK industries that use tallow as a feedstock.

The Government will be finalising the scope of, and terms of reference for the review, over the coming weeks. The review will cover the wider environmental advantages and disadvantages, as well as the economic impacts, of using tallow as a biodiesel feedstock. It will be informed by stakeholders from the relevant industries, including the biodiesel, oleochemicals, soap and cleaning products industries, and by other relevant stakeholders. I intend that it should report by April 2008.

British Waterways Board: Finance

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what discussions she has had with her counterpart in the Welsh Assembly Government on the funding of British Waterways; and if she will make a statement; [160718]

(2) what discussions she has had with her counterpart in the Scottish Executive on the funding of British Waterways; and if she will make a statement. [160719]

Jim Fitzpatrick: British Waterways is mainly funded by the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) in England and Wales and by the Scottish Executive in Scotland.

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The Department for Transport provides funding to British Waterways through the Freight Facilities Grant (FFG) scheme.

There have not been any discussions between Transport Ministers and their Welsh and Scottish counterparts with regards to the funding of British Waterways.

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether her Department plans to make a financial contribution to British Waterways; whether she has had discussions with British Waterways on funding; and if she will make a statement. [160720]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Defra is the single Government sponsor of British Waterways (BW) in England and Wales. It provides core funding towards the upkeep of its waterways. Other Government Departments have the flexibility to fund the inland waterways direct where they can deliver specific policy requirements, eg through grants for regeneration and freight projects where funds are provided to reflect the contribution of inland waterways to departmental objectives.

Earlier this year, the Department provided BW with Freight Facility Grant (FFG) funding of £1.37m towards the cost of constructing the lock in the Prescott Channel. When complete, the lock will enable the transport of construction materials by water to the Olympic site. BW has also applied for an additional £0.5 million relating to the transport of materials by water to the Stratford City development site. A decision on whether to agree to this additional funding has not yet been made.

The Department has had no other discussions with BW on funding. However, I understand that Defra and BW were working closely together on planning for the CSR07 period in the context of the Department's overall priorities and financial pressures. Defra is also working with BW on a new long term strategy for a sustainable network that delivers wider government priorities including regeneration, protection of historic and natural environment, well-being and freight.

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what grants her Department provided to British Waterways in each year since 1997; and if she will make a statement. [160767]

Jonathan Shaw: I have been asked to reply.

Before the creation of the Department for Environment , Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and Department for Transport (DfT) in 2001, policy for transport and sponsorship of British Waterways (BW) rested with the Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR). DETR funding provided to BW between 1997 and 2001 is set out as follows:

Amount (£ million)











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