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6 Dec 2007 : Column 1474W—continued

Prisons: Education

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what additional educational (a) facilities and (b) resources are to be made available in Northern Ireland prisons on the introduction of provisions on dangerousness and dangerous offenders. [170457]

Paul Goggins: The proposals contained within the draft Criminal Justice Order (Northern Ireland) 2007 introduce new sentencing options for dangerous violent and sexual offenders; these offenders will only be released when the independent Parole Commissioners consider it is safe to do so. A strategic joint steering group has been established to focus specifically on offender behavioural programmes for high risk offenders in relation to public protection and resettlement. In addition to existing expenditure in this area, we plan to invest a further £4.7million over the next three financial years to implement the strategy. This will include investment in education and psychology services to recruit and train new staff to undertake risk assessments, provide programmes and work directly with dangerous offenders to reduce their risk, and to put the necessary structures in place to manage the process.

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Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was spent on prisoner education at each facility in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years. [170466]

Paul Goggins: The expenditure by the Northern Ireland Prison Service to provide education in each of the last full five financial years is shown in the following table.

Maghaberry Magilligan Hydebank Wood YOC





















In addition to the above expenditure, some courses have been funded by the Department of Education and Learning at HMP Magilligan, and provided by local colleges. The cost of these courses has not been charged to the Prison Service.


Departmental Staff

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many and what proportion of posts in his Department have been recategorised from back office to frontline posts as classified by the Gershon efficiency review in each year since 2004. [172260]

David Cairns: The Scotland Office does not categorise staff as back office or frontline; staff numbers are shown in the office’s annual report, a copy of which is in the House Library.

Departmental Marketing

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will place in the Library a copy of the guidelines issued to staff maintaining his Department's corporate identity; and what the estimated annual cost is of (a) producing and (b) complying with such guidelines. [170227]

David Cairns: The Scotland Office does not have a corporate identity policy and therefore guidelines have not been produced.



Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the primary sources are of bio-fuels; and what percentage of fuels was sourced from each in the last period for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. [171182]

6 Dec 2007 : Column 1476W

Jim Fitzpatrick: Biofuels are currently produced from a wide range of sources, including rapeseed oil, palm oil, soya oil, wheat, sugar beet, and sugar cane. In the longer term there is the potential that biofuels may be produced from other crops and other forms of biomass, including agricultural and forestry residues and the biodegradable fraction of municipal waste. The Department does not have a detailed breakdown of the percentage of UK biofuels that come from these different sources.

Once the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) comes into effect in April 2008, transport fuel suppliers will be required to report on matters such as the feedstock from which their biofuels were produced and its country of origin. The Renewable Fuels Agency will be required to report regularly to Parliament on these matters.

Bus Services: Concessions

Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans she has to abolish the Bus Service Operators Grant; and if she will make a statement. [171672]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 5 December 2007]: As stated in our bus policy document “Putting Passengers First” published last December we are considering with stakeholders whether changes to bus subsidies, including Bus Service Operators Grant, would increase their contribution to our objectives on the environment, congestion and accessibility. This work is ongoing and no decisions have yet been taken. We hope to make announcements on any changes next spring.


Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the number of London households which are expected to buy a new car in the next 10 years, broken down by socio-economic group. [169817]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department’s National Car Ownership Model produces forecasts of household car ownership. This does not provide a breakdown by traditional socio-economic grouping.

The model does not forecast the purchasing of new cars by households explicitly, but does provide changes in car stock and households by the number of cars owned.

The expected change in the number of households in Greater London by car ownership and total car stock from 2007-17 is as follows:

Number Percentage

0 car households



1 car households



2 car households



3+ car households



Total households



Total cars



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Climate Change

Rob Marris: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps her Department (a) has taken and (b) intends to take by (i) 2012 and (ii) 2020 in relation to adaptation to the effects of climate change as they affect her Departmental responsibilities; and if she will make a statement. [165574]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department for Transport (DfT) has contributed to the Climate Change Bill, recently introduced into Parliament, and the cross-Government Adaptation Policy Framework (APF), which is expected to be published in spring 2008.

The Climate Change Bill will set out a requirement for the Government to produce the first UK risk assessment on climate change within three years. Following this, the Government will update the risk report and programme on a five-yearly basis, with one informing the other.

The Adaptation Policy Framework will set out Government’s overall intentions in relation to adapting to the effects of climate change. Following the APF, the Government’s adaptation action plan will be published, which will include specific adaptation targets. As part of the APF, the DFT are developing a Transport Adaptation Strategy, which will offer strategic guidance to DFT stakeholders in terms of risk analysis and management.

In response to the Government’s 2003 White Paper “The Future of Air Transport”, UK airport operators have produced comprehensive master plans that rigorously evaluate the impacts of future airport development proposals, including the impacts of air travel on climate change.

As well as funding industry research into climate adaptation through the Rail Safety and Standards Board, the DFT has established a cross-rail industry forum to identify the challenges that climate change poses to the railway.

The DFT confirmed in the recent rail White Paper “Delivering a Sustainable Railway” (July 2007) that the specification of future rolling stock, starting with the Intercity Express train, will require suppliers to take account of climate adaptation issues in their designs. Network Rail is already designing increased resilience into its renewals work.

The Department has recently completed some research on behalf of the UK Roads Board on adapting materials and techniques in highway works to the changing climate. This will be published as a guide for local authority highway engineers.

The Highways Agency (HA) will deliver a strategy report on climate change adaptation by the end of March 2008, detailing how it can continue to provide a robust network in light of predicted UK climate change effects. The HA has already written two reports in conjunction with the Met Office, cross-referencing the weather-related parameters contained in their standards, specifications and operating procedures against predicted future UK climate change.

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Cycling: Children

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether she is considering introducing measures to encourage cycling by children. [164628]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department is already actively encouraging children to cycle.

We have spent £16.2 million over the last two and a half years on providing safe routes from residential areas to over 500 schools and have provided funding for the ‘Bike IT’ scheme which works with schools to increase the number of young people cycling.

We have launched Bikeability—the new training scheme which gives children (and adults) the skills and confidence to deal with current traffic conditions and are investing £1.67 million in training approx 47,000 year 6 children to Bikeability level 2 this year. This is in addition to the investment in cycle training local authorities are already making. And more funding will be available next year.

Many of the improvements local authorities are making to local cycling infrastructure and cycle networks can also encourage young people to cycle. One of the cycle demonstration towns we are funding, Derby, has a specific focus on targeting improvements to encourage those under 25 to cycle.

Delivery Services

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which companies are under contract to her Department to provide mail services. [170175]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Mail services are provided to the Department for Transport by Royal Mail, City Link Post, TNT Post UK Ltd. and DHL Global Mail (UK) Ltd.


Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many staff are tasked with assisting the ministerial design champion in his duties as such, broken down by grade. [164641]

Mr. Tom Harris: Aesthetic considerations for Highways Agency structures and heritage issues are embedded within the project design procedures. Currently no members of the Highways Agency are dedicated to supporting my duties as the ministerial design champion, although a pay band eight structures engineer is the focal point for structural design aesthetics and a pay band seven environmentalist is the focal point for heritage issues.

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency: Complaints

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many customer complaints the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency received in the last 12 months, broken down by type of complaint received. [164644]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) manages more than 40 million driver and 32 million vehicle records. In financial year 2006-07 DVLA received a total of 6,668 complaint cases.

This can be broken down into:

6 Dec 2007 : Column 1479W

Drivers Complaints


Vehicles Complaints


General Complaints


Electric Vehicles

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will take steps to encourage local authorities and businesses to install charging points for electric vehicles. [171777]

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what her strategy is for encouraging (a) local authorities and (b) businesses to develop a comprehensive infrastructure network of charging points for electric vehicles. [172576]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department for Transport provides grants through the Energy Saving Trust to local authorities and businesses in England for up to 50 per cent. of the cost of installation of electric vehicle charging points which are for public use.

Euston Station

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will require Network Rail to make arrangements to help commuters with luggage, the elderly and disabled to access the underground from the concourse of Euston station while the escalators are being refurbished; if she will assess the compliance of the works with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 2005; whether her Department was consulted over the works; if she will take steps to monitor the compliance of future works by Network Rail with the DDA; and if she will make it her policy to require Network Rail to (a) provide and (b) advertise assistance to vulnerable groups when such works take place. [172001]

Mr. Tom Harris: This is an operational matter for Network Rail. I understand, however, that they are working with London Underground to ensure that passengers are re-directed to the most appropriate alternative route until the works are completed at the end of this month.

Any work carried out at stations must comply with the standards in “Train and Station Services for Disabled People: A Code of Practice (2002)”. The Department would only expect to be consulted if proposed works did not meet these standards. Network Rail also has a duty under part 3 of the DDA 1995 to make reasonable adjustments to allow access to their goods and services. They are responding to this duty.

As a condition of their licence to operate, Network Rail are required to publish a Disabled Persons’ Protection Policy, approved by the department, setting out the service level they commit to provide to people with reduced mobility, when accessing their stations.

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