Jim Fitzpatrick: Airport parking charges are a commercial matter for the airport operator. The Office of Fair Trading is, however, able to investigate if it suspects that a feature or a combination of features of the market in which airport services are supplied by an airport operator prevents, restricts or distorts competition.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Two documents were published on 22 November. The consultation document Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport, of which the impact assessment forms annex B of this document. The Department also published the UK Air Passenger Demand and CO2 Forecasts report. Both documents have been placed in the Library and are also available on the Department for Transports website (www.dft.gov.uk/heathrowconsultation). The consultation runs until 27 February 2008 and, in line with Government practice, a summary of consultation responses will be published and a copy will be placed in the Library.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of the increase in flights at (a) Heathrow and (b) other UK airports in each of the last 10 years was of short haul leisure flights. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Government protect commuters by regulating the average annual increases in season tickets. On Southeastern, this increase is limited to 3 per cent. above inflation from 2007 to 2011.
Individual fares can increase by more than the average, as long as no individual regulated fare increases by more than 8 per cent. above inflation from one year to the next. Therefore, individual regulated fares on Southeastern can rise by up to 11.8 per cent. for 2008.
Southeastern is committed by its Franchise Agreement to zonalise all fares in London from January 2008, including seasons. To achieve this, and to maintain a balanced fare structure, a general derogation against fares regulation was granted for a number of season fares within London. There were no specific discussions on fares from Bexleyheath.
The new zonal fares structure on Southeastern will help pave the way for Oyster Pay-As-You-Go smart ticketing, to be rolled out across national rail in London from 2009. It simplifies the current complex system of individually-priced station-to-station fares.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what factors she took into account in distributing the grant to cover the cost of the implementation of the new concessionary fares scheme for bus travel from April 2008; and what representations she has received on the potential inequalities of the distribution of the grant funding; 
(2) what estimate she has made of the ability of councils to pay for the concessionary travel scheme; and whether councils will be required to pay for the costs of visitors to the council area using the concessionary travel scheme. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: From 1 April 2008, people aged 60 and over and eligible disabled people in England will be entitled to free off-peak local bus travel anywhere in England, not just within their local area as at present.
The costs will be apportioned to the Travel Concession Authority where the concessionaire boards the bus rather than where the concessionaire is residentthis is the only practical means of operating an England-wide concession for April next year.
The extra £212 million for the national bus concession will be distributed by the Department for Transport via a special grant. This extra funding is based on generous assumptions about pass take-up and trip levels and the overall probable cost impact of the new concession. We are therefore confident this funding will be sufficient in aggregate to meet the extra costs to local authorities. In addition, we have announced that we will be providing local authorities with approximately £31 million for the issuing of the national pass.
Any discretionary local enhancements, such as peak bus travel, are funded from an authority's own resources. Local enhancements can be restricted to
eligible local residents. It is for local authorities to implement affordable local schemes taking account of their statutory obligations and their assessment of local circumstances and need.
Regarding representations on the potential inequalities of the distribution of the grant funding, the Department for Transport's consultation on the formula basis for the distribution of the special grant closed on 23 November. The consultation included a number of different options for distributing the new funding, taking account of likely cost drivers, including bus patronage, eligible residents and visitors. A summary of the responses will be published in due course.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department provides funding to encourage cycling through a number of different mechanisms. These are through a central budget, to local authorities through the local transport plan (LTP) settlement, and to the Mayor of London via a total transport grant through Transport for London (TfL). These combined give the following spend:
|Cycling spend (£ million)|
This is a partial picture. There are many other initiatives that can contribute to the encouragement of cycling. For example, road safety and traffic calming schemes such as 20 mph zones or through programmes such as the Sustainable Travel Towns where all forms of sustainable travel including cycling are encouraged.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what projects her Department has commissioned from external consultants in each of the last five years; and how much was paid by her Department to those consultants in each instance. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Lists have been placed in the Libraries of the House for commissions recorded within the Department and its agencies' accounting systems as consultancy for financial years 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07.
Details of the projects commissioned by the Department in financial years 2002-03 and 2003-04 are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate costs. Total expenditure recorded by the Department on consultancy in these years was £227.5 million (2002-03) and £239.5 million (2003-04).
Jim Fitzpatrick: There are a total of (a) 55 EU foreign nationals and (b) 21 non-EU foreign nationals employed in DVLA, GCDA, the Highways Agency, MCA, VCA and VOSA. Details for the Central Department and DSA can be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many secondments of staff were made (a) to and (b) from her Department in each year since 1997; which organisations staff were seconded (i) to and (ii) from; how many staff were seconded in each year; for how long each secondment lasted; and what the cost was of each secondment in each year. 
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