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6 Dec 2007 : Column 1479W—continued

Fixed Penalties: Appeals

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many recorded challenges against penalty charge notices there were in each local authority area in each of the last 12 months; and how many of these were successful. [164633]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government do not hold this information.


Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what Government resources have been used in support of Cardiff’s bid to be the permanent home of the EU Galileo Supervisory Authority; and when the Government next expects an opportunity to present its case. [170783]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 3 December 2007]: The Government, in conjunction with the Welsh Assembly Government, put forward the Cardiff bid to host the EU GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA) in 2005. At the end of 2007, the Finnish presidency reviewed the bids from 11 member states which had declared an interest, but no decision was proposed.

After the negotiations for a public private partnership to take forward Galileo collapsed earlier this year, the Commission put forward proposals for changing the governance of the programme. These will require, among other things, amendments to the EU regulation which set up the GSA. The question of its location is not likely to be considered until the GSA and other regulations have been agreed, some time in 2008.

The Department for Transport, in partnership with the Welsh Assembly Government, the Wales Office, the FCO and other Departments, has taken the lead in promoting the Cardiff bid, mainly through lobbying of other member states. It would not be possible to separate out, or cost, the amount of time spent by officials in promoting Cardiff from the efforts in promoting the Government’s objective for Galileo more generally.

Motor Vehicles: Crime

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of her Department's budget is spent on combating vehicle crime. [164619]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The lead responsibility for combating vehicle crime rests with the Home Office. Many of the activities of DfT and its agencies also help to tackle vehicle crime. Among the key achievements in 2006-07 were: the introduction of theft-resistant number plates to help combat car cloning and car ID theft; and an increase in wheel clamping activities to tackle vehicle excise duty evasion. It is not possible to quantify the precise proportion of expenditure.

Public Transport: Innovation

Mr. Goodwill: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the potential environmental effects of Government encouragement of the use on upright electric personal transporter. [171111]

Jim Fitzpatrick: None. However, if, as I understand, their use is likely to be as an alternative to walking or cycling then their potential to reduce greenhouse gases and local pollution is minimal.

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There are no plans to amend legislation to permit Segway use on public roads or cycle/pedestrian facilities in Great Britain, but the Department for Transport has invited the company to share the results of any research into Segway use elsewhere.

Railways: Exhaust Emissions

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate her Department has made of the average volume of carbon dioxide emissions per passenger per kilometre for travel by rail. [168688]

Mr. Tom Harris: The Department estimates that travel by rail in 2005-06 resulted in an average of 60 g of carbon dioxide emissions per passenger kilometre. A recent report by the Association of Train Operating Companies provides a slightly lower figure for 2006-07 of 58 g per passenger kilometre, reflecting both increased passenger numbers and the wider use of regenerative braking on electric trains.

Railways: Tickets

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what date the Government expects nationwide coverage for the use of smartcards on the national rail network to be reached. [168693]

Mr. Tom Harris: The recently let franchises—South Western, West Midlands, East Midlands and Intercity East Coast have a commitment to start the roll-out of smartcard ticketing by 2010, with the New Cross Country Franchise accepting smartcard tickets issued by other operators. The rail strategy White Paper “Delivering a Sustainable Railway”, published this summer and available in the Library of the House, contains more detail of the Government’s intention to work with the rail industry to roll-out ITSO smartcards more widely across the network by the end of 2014.

Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation

Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps she is taking to ensure that the renewable transport fuels obligation will help to lower carbon dioxide emissions. [170451]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), which will come into effect in April 2008, is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by requiring transport fuel suppliers to ensure that an increasing percentage of their total road transport fuel sales is made up of biofuels. The amount of greenhouse gas emissions saved by different biofuels varies considerably and depends on a wide range of factors including the amount of energy used in the cultivation, processing and transportation of the crop. The RTFO will include a reporting mechanism to encourage transport fuel suppliers to source those biofuels which deliver high levels of carbon savings in a sustainable way, and to allow the policy’s greenhouse gas savings to be accurately quantified. The Government estimate that by 2010 the RTFO could save between 2.6 and 3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum.

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From April 2010 the Government aim to reward biofuels under the RTFO according to their carbon savings in order to provide greater certainty as to the precise carbon savings delivered by the scheme. Further details of how this might be done are set out in a policy paper which is available via the Department’s website at:

Such a change would require a number of changes to the existing RTFO legislation, which would be subject to public consultation.

Road Traffic: Schools

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many of her officials are working on proposals to reduce the traffic generated by the school run. [164624]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The development of proposals to reduce the traffic generated by the school run does not fall into neat boxes that enable us to identify exactly how many officials are engaged on this. There are four officials who do work on reducing car use for journeys to and from school, mainly through the joint DfT/DCSF ‘Travelling to School’ project, in the Department's sustainable travel initiatives team. Additional work to promote and facilitate walking and cycling to school is done by the six officials working in the Department's walking and cycling team and by Cycling England, an independent body set up by the Department in 2005 to promote cycling. In addition, officials in several other teams across the Department work on the development of proposals that have a direct impact on parents' decisions as to whether or not to let their children travel to and from school by non-car modes. They include people engaged in road safety, traffic management, buses, and local and regional transport policy.

In addition, and as part of their joint ‘Travelling to School’ project, DfT and DCSF are providing sufficient funding for local authorities to employ around 250 school travel advisers who work with schools to help them develop and implement school travel plans, which are seen as the key strategies for reducing car use for journeys to and from school. The school travel advisers are supported by a network of 11 regional school travel advisers.

Roads: Gloucestershire

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate her Department has made of the likely effect of (a) the new settlement planned at Hunts Grove and (b) the new waste facility planned for Javelin Park on traffic flows on (i) Junction 12 on the M5 and (ii) the B4008. [171005]

Mr. Tom Harris: The Highways Agency has assessed the likely impact of the proposed Hunts Grove development and estimates that it will increase traffic flows at M5 Junction 12 by 612 and 547 vehicle movements in the morning and afternoon peak hours respectively. The estimated increase in traffic flows on
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the B4008 is assessed to be an extra 157 and 129 vehicle movements in the morning and afternoon peak hours respectively.

A package of appropriate improvement works to mitigate the effects of the development on Junction 12 has been agreed in principle between the Highways Agency, Gloucestershire county council and the developers. Mitigation works to improve the A38/B4008 Cross Keys Junction have also been agreed in principle between the county and developers.

As soon as a transport assessment is received for the proposed new waste facility planned for Javelin Park then an assessment of the impact on Junction 12 of the M5 and the B4008 can be undertaken.

Severn Bridge: Tolls

Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will take steps to amend Regulation 5 of the Severn Bridges Act 1992 to allow the introduction of facilities to pay by card and online; and if she will make a statement. [169320]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 4 December 2007]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I have given today to the hon. Member for Clwyd, West (Mr. Jones). (UIN 168704).

Severn Crossings

Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans her Department has to introduce facilities for the payment of tolls on the Severn crossings by (a) debit and (b) credit cards. [168704]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 27 November 2007]: We recognise the potential benefits of a more flexible payment system for the Severn crossings. Therefore, the Government are exploring the legal and commercial issues raised by credit and debit card payments through a working group involving Department for Transport officials and Severn River Crossings plc.

Speed Limits: Cameras

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will compensate drivers who have been erroneously (a) fined and (b) charged with speeding on the evidence of illegally operating speed cameras. [171172]

Maria Eagle: I have been asked to reply.

Whether or not a person is properly convicted is a matter for the courts. If a person believes his/her conviction should not stand, they should consider whether to appeal to the appropriate appellate court. There is a compensation scheme in place for those who appeal successfully, but this only applies in certain very narrowly-defined circumstances.

Under section 133 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor (Mr. Straw) will pay compensation where an applicant has a criminal conviction quashed at an out of time appeal on the basis of a new or newly discovered fact that shows beyond reasonable doubt
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that there has been a miscarriage of justice, unless the non-disclosure of the unknown fact was wholly or partly attributable to the convicted person. Every application is considered on its merits.

The Secretary of State and Lord Chancellor would decide whether an applicant is eligible for compensation and if he approved compensation the independent assessor would decide on the amount of compensation.

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the number of driving licences which have been disqualified as a result of points being issued on the evidence of illegally operating speed cameras in the last period for which figures are available. [171173]

Mr. Coaker: I have been asked to reply.

Information on driving licence disqualifications through totting up of penalty points does not include details of the circumstances giving rise to the endorsements of points on the licence.

Vehicle Number Plates

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what regulation applies to the placing of (a) a European 12 star flag and (b) a UK union flag on vehicle number plates above the initials GB. [171120]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001, prescribe the requirements to which number plates and registration marks must conform. Regulation 16 relates to the international distinguishing sign and other materials.

Waterloo Station

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how much funding will be provided for track alterations to enable domestic main line services to utilise the platforms of the Waterloo International terminal; [166637]

(2) when she expects the platforms of the Waterloo International terminal to be opened for domestic services. [166638]

Mr. Tom Harris: Ownership of Waterloo International transfers to the Department at the end of March 2008 following Eurostar's de-commissioning of the facility as an international station. The Department is currently working closely with Network Rail and Stagecoach South West Trains (the train operating company) to finalise the design and costs associated with the partial conversion of Waterloo International to accommodate some domestic passenger services. The cost information should be finalised early next year. Works on site are expected to commence soon after the station transfers to the Department and will take several months to complete. Services could then operate into and out of Platform 20 of Waterloo International from the start of the timetable change date in December 2008.

Options for the medium to long-term use of all five international platforms are being assessed by the Department and Network Rail as part of a wider
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strategy for the upgrade of Waterloo station. Costs will be determined as part of this process. The medium term proposals would require significant infrastructure alterations at Waterloo. Additionally, it would be linked to the procurement of additional rolling stock to lengthen trains. The timescale for implementation is likely to be around 2012-14.


2006 Pre-Budget Report

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library the data supporting chart 5.1 in the 2006 pre-Budget report; and what the expected benefits to families in each category will be of the health in pregnancy grant. [170069]

Jane Kennedy: The requested data is given as follows.

Weekly gains for families with children from tax credits and other children's measures by April 2007
Gross income (£) 1 child (£) 2 children (£) 3 or more children (£) Number of families with children in income band (million) Families with children in income band as a percentage of population

Under 10,000






























50,000 and above






Overall average






HM Treasury

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