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18 Dec 2007 : Column 1432W—continued

Some data sharing also relates directly to the fact that Departments are also employers. As such, they will pass on personal data to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs for tax collection purposes; when one of their employees moves to another Government Department, they may also pass personal information on to that Department; they also pass on to the Office of National Statistics the results of human resources
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statistical surveys. Some staff contact details are shared through the Government Secure Intranet directory.

The Department also gathers and produces a large amount of non-personal statistical data on travel and transport, and these are published on the DfT website.

The Department may have responded to other one off requests in the last 12 months for particular data from other Departments. These are dealt with on a case by case basis in the light of the legal requirements and any relevant policy considerations.

The Department for Transport is having ongoing discussions with other Government Departments such as the Home Office, Ministry of Justice and Department for Work and Pensions on how to further advance the Service Transformation Programme (December 2006) and the Government Vision for Information Sharing (September 2006).

Finally, I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 21 November 2007, Official Report, column 1179. The review by the Cabinet Secretary and security experts is looking at procedures within Departments and agencies for the storage and use of data. A statement on Departments’ procedures will be made on completion of the review. An interim progress report on the review was published on 17 December 2007, Official Report, column 98WS by the Cabinet Office through a written ministerial statement. I also refer the hon. Member to the statement of 17 December 2007, Official Report, columns 626-6 by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on measures to improve the security of personal data.

Departmental Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many staff work in her Department’s parliamentary branch; and what proportion of their time is spent on dealing with (a) Parliamentary Questions and (b) correspondence from hon. Members and Peers. [174960]

Jim Fitzpatrick: There are 13 members of staff in the ministerial support unit and parliamentary branch at the Department for Transport. Of these, three spend 90 per cent. of their time dealing with parliamentary questions and eight spend approximately 80 per cent. of their time dealing with correspondence from hon. Members and peers.

Departmental Pay

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much her Department and its agencies spent on end-of-year bonus payments in each of the last five years. [171537]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The following table demonstrates how much the Department and its Agencies have spent in the last three years on end of year bonus payments. We have interpreted these to be performance related pay bonuses which are paid in line with Government policy.

Figures prior to 2004-05 can be produced only at disproportionate costs.

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Note: These figures exclude: GCDA and DVLA in 2004/05. GCDA only became an agency in 2005 and figures for DVLA in 2004-05 are not available; and VOSA as bonus payment data can be supplied only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Public Buildings

Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of new buildings approved by her Department were built to the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (a) very good and (b) excellent standard in each of the last five years; and what the construction cost of those buildings was. [172294]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 10 December 2007]: The following data are representative of the new build projects undertaken by the Department for Transport over the last five years.

Build projects BREEAM rating Construction cost (£ million)



2 x very good








1 x very good




1 x excellent




8 x excellent, 1 x very good


(1) No assessments undertaken

Departmental Railway Travel

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent by her Department on first class train tickets in the last 12 months. [171265]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department for Transport and five of its agencies do not record rail travel expenditure by class of travel. The information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The two agencies which do record this information between them spent £2,236,283 on first class rail travel in the last 12 months.

Driving Under Influence

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Government are taking to reduce the incidence of drink-driving on UK roads. [175042]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Government are committed to reducing drinking and driving through a combination of effective law enforcement, maintenance of a tough penalties regime and continuing investment in high-profile national publicity campaigns.

We have already given the police new powers to carry out evidential roadside breath testing, subject to type approval of appropriate equipment. This is supported by a number of other measures in the Road Safety Act 2006 which are designed to deter drink driving and reduce reoffending.

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These include enabling powers to require serious, including repeat, offenders to retake the driving test at the end of their period of disqualification; to improve the operation of the drink drive rehabilitation scheme; to close certain loopholes in the law relating to high risk offenders; and to establish a statutory alcohol ignition interlock programme.

We have recently launched the THINK! 2007 Christmas drink drive publicity campaign which is running in parallel with the seasonal police enforcement campaign. This is a multi-media campaign based around the Moment of Doubt commercial launched this summer, which emphasises the very serious consequences of being convicted for drink driving and provides a powerful deterrent message for potential drink drivers.

We also intend to consult widely on further measures for tackling drink driving, including ways of making police enforcement easier, and are aiming to publish a consultation paper in the early part of 2008.

Highways Agency

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average pay increase proposed for the Highways Agency’s traffic officers in the 2007 pay round is; and what the retail price index inflation rate at the end of the 2006-07 pay year was. [173610]

Mr. Tom Harris: The Highways Agency is proposing an increase of 5 per cent. for the control room operators and 3.5 per cent. for the on-road traffic officers. The retail price index inflation rate for July 2007 was 3.8 per cent. and the consumer price index rate, which is used by Government, was 1.9 per cent.

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the morale of traffic officers within the Highways Agency; and if she will make a statement. [173613]

Mr. Tom Harris: The last agency staff survey in December 2006 did not ask a specific question about morale in the traffic officer service.

However the survey did ask the question “How satisfied are you with the Highways Agency as a place to work?”. The figures in response to this question were— 65 per cent. of traffic officers gave a positive response to the question, while 15 per cent. gave a negative response. 20 per cent. were neither satisfied or dissatisfied.

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of (a) traffic officers and (b) other Highways Agency staff expressed confidence in the agency board in the last staff survey. [173614]

Mr. Tom Harris: The last Highways Agency staff survey in December 2006 did not include a question about confidence in the Agency's board.

London Bridge Station: Repairs and Maintenance

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps she is taking to ensure co-ordination of the upgrade work on London Bridge station and Thameslink in order to minimise disruption to passengers. [174320]

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Mr. Tom Harris: The upgrade of London Bridge station is part of the Thameslink programme. Network Rail has set up a dedicated project team to deliver the necessary infrastructure enhancements, and will be working closely with train operating companies, TfL, and passenger groups to ensure that disruption to passengers is minimised.

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the cost of upgrading London Bridge station. [174322]

Mr. Tom Harris: The upgrade to London Bridge station forms part of the Thameslink programme, which will be delivered by Network Rail. Construction costs for London Bridge are expected to be around £400 million. There are also management and compensation costs which apply to the Thameslink programme as a whole and which are not allocated to individual elements of the project.

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she expects the upgrade of London Bridge station to start; how long she estimates the upgrade to take; and if she will place in the Library the contracts that have been let in relation to the upgrade. [174383]

Mr. Tom Harris: The works at London Bridge will be delivered by Network Rail, whose current programme shows that preliminary work will start in 2011, substantive works will start after the London Olympics, and the station works will complete during 2015.

All contracts regarding the upgrade of London Bridge station have been managed and let by Network Rail (and its predecessor organisation Railtrack). As Network Rail is not a public body it is not possible to place any contracts in the Library.


Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she expects to be in a position to estimate public sector financial impacts of Metronet not fulfilling its contract on the London Underground; and what her policy is on the timetable for considering proposals on tackling such impacts. [170014]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The comprehensive spending review 2007 settlement sets out the expected levels of Transport for London grant and borrowing to 2017-18 and makes provision for costs arising from Metronet's administration. It is now for Transport for London to manage their costs and priorities within their overall financial envelope.

Network Grant New: Wales

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimated proportion of the budget for Network Grant New is to be spent in Wales in 2007-08. [168362]

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Mr. Tom Harris: Government direct grants to Network Rail (NR) are not allocated to the company on a regional or territorial basis. However, historic expenditure by NR on rail infrastructure on a route by route basis, including those parts of the network in Wales, are published in NR's Annual Return which is available on their website at:

Network Rail: Cost Effectiveness

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what funds will accrue to her Department as a result of any cost efficiencies achieved by Network Rail. [164634]

Mr. Tom Harris: No funds will accrue to the Department. Any Network Rail efficiency savings in excess of those required by the Office of Rail Regulation in setting Network Rail’s income are re-invested by the company in the railway or used to reduce its debt.

Public Transport: Elderly

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Government have taken to increase accessibility of public transport for elderly and disabled people. [174162]

Ms Rosie Winterton: There has been significant progress in making public transport accessible to elderly and disabled people through regulations made under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. For a number of years all new buses, coaches and trains have had to meet accessibility standards and 58 per cent. of buses and over 40 per cent. of trains now do so. The entire national fleet of buses must meet accessibility standards by 2017, and trains by 2020.

We have made available £370 million to Network Rail to improve station accessibility by 2015, with over 90 stations already identified for improvement by 2011.

In December 2006 we extended civil rights to disabled people so that they can expect to be treated fairly and without discrimination when using land-based public transport. We have also been working at the international level to improve accessibility to air transport.

As well as physical accessibility, we are addressing elderly and disabled peoples' concerns by improving concessionary fares provision. Since 1 April 2006, people aged 60 and over and disabled people have been entitled to free bus travel within their local authority area from 9.30 am Monday to Friday and all day at weekends. The statutory minimum concession will be extended to allow free off-peak travel on local buses anywhere in England from 1 April 2008.

Public Transport: Safety Measures

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Government have taken to improve passenger safety on public transport since 1997. [174161]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government, the transport industry, local authorities and others are investing in and undertaking wide-ranging initiatives to improve the personal security of transport staff and passengers.

Since 1997, the Government have developed and introduced the Secure Stations Scheme, which is designed to improve personal security at overground and underground rail stations. Guidance has also been issued to the rail industry on how to improve personal security on trains.

The Safer Travel on buses and coaches Panel (STOP) was set up in 2002. The panel is currently working on an update to earlier guidance it has produced, in the form of a toolkit that will help local authorities and operators tackle antisocial behaviour on buses.

A range of good practice guidance has been produced to interested parties who are involved in reducing crime and the fear of crime on the public transport system. This includes guidance on how best to use the legal system, and a guide to protecting bus and coach crews. We are also continuing to encourage Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) to help tackle crime committed on public transport.

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