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5 Mar 2008 : Column 2540W—continued


In addition to the above forms available to people who do not speak English, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency makes available in Welsh, all forms and documents for persons residing in Wales.

The Highways Agency also offers a translation service on request for all its published documents. Details of the service are provided in each publication. During 2007-08 there were no foreign language requests.

The Driving Standards Agency publishes the Welsh version of The Highway Code on behalf on the Department for Transport

Information on translations by the Department‘s non-departmental public bodies is held by the bodies themselves. This information is not held centrally.


5 Mar 2008 : Column 2541W

Driving Tests

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many multi-purpose driving test centres (a) have been established, (b) are in the process of construction and (c) are awaiting the identification of a suitable site in each Government office region. [191533]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 4 March 2008]: The figures for England by Government office region are as follows:

London

South East

South West

East of England

West Midlands

East Midlands

Yorkshire and the Humber

North West

North East

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which planned multi-purpose driving test centres will not be opened before October 2008. [191534]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 4 March 2008]: There will be 23 multi-purpose test centres that are planned but will not be opened before October 2008. The centres concerned are:


5 Mar 2008 : Column 2542W

Galileo

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions she has had with her EU counterparts on their levels of support for the Galileo project. [191065]

Ms Rosie Winterton: I held discussions on Galileo with European counterparts at last November’s Transport Council. The subsequent Council conclusions confirmed member states' unanimous support for the programme.

On 28 February my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport held a meeting with the French Transport Minister that included a discussion on the programme. Both countries reaffirmed their support for Galileo at this meeting.

Great Western Trains: Rolling Stock

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions took place with the rolling stock company responsible for the Thames Valley commuter trains run by First Great Western prior to her written ministerial statement of 26 February 2008, Official Report, columns 73-4WS, on First Great Western franchise on the intention to refurbish these trains. [190606]

Mr. Tom Harris [holding answer 29 February 2008]: The Secretary of State has held no discussions with the rolling stock company responsible for the Thames Valley commuter trains run by First Great Western.

Higher Civil Servants: Resignations

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many members of the Senior Civil Service in her Department resigned and received a payment on leaving the Civil Service in (a) 2003, (b) 2004, (c) 2005, (d) 2006 and (e) 2007. [190242]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The number of resignations from the Senior Civil service in the Department for Transport was as follows:

Number

2003

2

2004

2

2005

1

2006

8

2007

10


No one who resigned received a payment on leaving the Civil Service.


5 Mar 2008 : Column 2543W

Maritime and Coastguard Agency: Pay

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment she has made of the (a) grading levels and (b) pay of staff of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency; and if she will make a statement. [188741]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Maritime and Coastguard Agency regularly reviews grading and reward structures and systems in accordance with public sector pay policy and best HR practice for the management of people and reward structures.

Motor Vehicles: ICT

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she expects to publish the results of the consultation on in-vehicle information systems. [189870]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department intends to publish a summary of the results of the initial consultation on in-vehicle information systems this spring. It will be available on the departmental website and copies will be sent to the Libraries of both Houses.

Public Transport: Sight Impaired

Jessica Morden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of enforcement procedures under Part 5 of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 relating to the rights of blind or partially sighted people to travel with their guide dogs. [190331]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Part 5 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 enables regulations to be made requiring all new land-based public transport vehicles to be accessible to disabled people. Regulations have been made for trains, buses and coaches (used on local and scheduled services), though there are no specific regulations which make provision for guide dogs. However, Part 5 of the Act also places a duty on licensed taxi drivers, operators and drivers of licensed private hire vehicles in England and Wales to carry guide, hearing and other prescribed assistance dogs in their taxis and to do so without charge. We have made no specific assessment of the effectiveness of enforcement procedures.

Railways: Pensions

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the findings of the Railway Pensions Commission's final report. [190172]

Mr. Tom Harris: I welcome the Railway Pensions Commission's final report and appreciate the work they have done. This report raises some important and complex issues. It is initially for the rail employers and unions to take these forward, and they will be entering into detailed discussions shortly. The Department for Transport is also considering the Commission's findings, but it is too early for me to comment on them.


5 Mar 2008 : Column 2544W

Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Government plans to take to reduce levels of disruption caused by road works. [190937]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government have taken a number of steps to reduce the disruption caused by works in the highway. These include a duty on local highway authorities to manage the expeditious movement of traffic on their network and to consider the impact on neighbouring networks. Three sets of Regulations come into force this spring to strengthen the powers of authorities to control works in the highway by statutory undertakers, mainly utility companies.

The Highways Agency (HA) puts considerable effort into reducing the disruption caused by planned works. The HA uses the latest techniques to reduce the time works takes and provides information to the public of possible delays, which allows them to choose a different route.

Trains: Carbon Emissions

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the potential advantages in carbon reduction terms from the use of hybrid diesel and battery trains. [188473]

Mr. Tom Harris: The Department for Transport has commissioned a study, to be published in March, which identifies potential carbon savings through the use of hybrid diesel high speed trains. Further work is being commissioned to identify the benefits of hybrid technology for trains operating urban and rural services.

Transport for London: Finance

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what Transport for London’s debt is; and if she will make a statement. [189305]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Transport for London’s financial status, including levels of debt at any given point of time, is the responsibility of the London Mayor.

Duchy of Lancaster

Carbon Emissions

Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what tonnage of carbon dioxide was offset by the Government Carbon Offsetting Fund in respect of (a) his Department’s and (b) the Prime Minister’s Office’s air travel in 2006-07. [191115]

Mr. Watson: The Prime Minister’s Office forms an integral part of the Cabinet Office.

The tonnage of carbon dioxide offset by the Government Carbon Offsetting Fund in respect of the Cabinet Office’s air travel in 2006-07 was 1,631 tonnes.


5 Mar 2008 : Column 2545W

Departmental Expenditure Limits

Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to the Written Ministerial Statement of 19 February 2008, Official Report, columns 34-37WS, on the departmental expenditure limit (2007-08) for what reasons there was a drawdown on the reserve for V matched funding. [191148]

Phil Hope: As set out in the written ministerial statement made by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 19 February 2008, Official Report, columns 35-37WS, there was a draw down on the reserve of £4,729,000 for v matched funding.

The youth volunteering organisation v is able to draw down on Government match funding on a pound for pound basis, when they secure funding from the private sector, as set out in Budget 2005. This match fund is held in the HM Treasury Reserve to be drawn down by the Office of the Third Sector on behalf of v.

Government Departments: Data Protection

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what (a) (i) procedures and (ii) guidance his Department has provided and (b) recommendations his Department has made across Government on the secure disposal of electronic and hard copy media by Government departments and agencies; and if he will make a statement. [190730]

Mr. Watson: The Manual of Protective Security (MPS) sets out the policies that Departments should apply across all areas of security including the secure disposal of data.

On 21 November 2007, Official Report, column 1179, the Prime Minister announced that he had asked the Cabinet Secretary, with the advice of security experts, to work with Departments to ensure that all Departments and all agencies check their procedures for the storage and use of data. The publication of an interim report was announced on 17 December 2007, Official Report, column 98WS. A final report is expected in spring 2008 which will outline steps taken during the course of the work.


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