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12 Mar 2008 : Column 441W—continued

Bus Services: Rural Areas

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent representations she has received on improving rural bus services. [193594]

Ms Rosie Winterton: We have received a number of representations from Members of Parliament, relevant organisations and members of the public on this matter.

Meeting the transport needs of rural communities is a key component of our policies on local bus services and the further development of community transport provision.


Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the level of cabotage activity of (a) British hauliers in other EU member states, with particular reference to Germany, the Netherlands, France and Italy and (b) EU hauliers in the UK, with particular reference to those from Germany, the Netherlands, France and Italy; and if she will make a statement. [192916]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Using data made available by Eurostat, the most recent estimates (for 2006) for cabotage activity are set out in the following tables.

Table (a): Cabotage by UK registered vehicles in EU member states
Countries in which cabotage took place Tonne kms (billion)

Germany, Netherlands, France and Italy


Other EU member states


All EU member states


Table (b): Cabotage within the UK by country of vehicle registration
Country of vehicle registration Tonne kms (billion)









Other EU member states


Total EU cabotage(1)


(1) 2005 data for Italy has been used since 2006 is not yet available

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Departmental Cars

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) which (a) Ministers, (b) officials and (c) others entitled to use cars supplied by the Government Car and Despatch Agency used cars supplied by (i) Kelly Executive and (ii) Little's Chauffeur Drive at her Department's expense in 2007; [191823]

(2) what protocols determine the (a) eligibility and (b) use by (i) Ministers, (ii) former Ministers and (iii) officials in her Department of cars supplied by (A) Kelly Executive and (B) Little's Chauffeur Drive; and how much was spent by her Department on services from each such company in 2007; [191826]

(3) what the terms and conditions of her Department's contract with Kelly Executive are; and if she will make a statement. [191827]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 5 March 2008]: The Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA) makes use of outside car and driver contractors to cover for peak periods, out of normal working hours work or where all its own resources are already utilised. GCDA provides these resources to any minister or official when it is operationally required to do so as set out in its framework document, copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House.

These contracts are with a number of car and driver companies and were set up in 2003 following a public sector procurement exercise conducted under European Union procurement procedures. The contracts were let using the Cabinet Office's standard contract. GCDA became part of the Department for Transport in November 2005 and these contracts were migrated to the DfT at that time.

Since April 2007 GCDA has purchased services worth £170,600 from Kelly Executive and £19,600 from Little's Chauffeur Drive. Both figures exclude VAT. All these fees were recharged to the appropriate Department.

Departmental Official Hospitality

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent by her Department and its agencies on (a) alcohol and (b) entertaining in the last 12 months. [187955]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Generally, the Department for Transport (DfT) operates a no alcohol policy. In exceptional cases, where the Department is holding a special event or staff are attending a venue away from their normal office and working long hours necessitating an evening meal, some limited provision of alcoholic drinks at public expense may be permitted at the discretion of a senior civil servant. Spend incurred in such situations is not centrally recorded and this information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The Department’s various accounting systems do not in all cases show expenditure on entertaining. Where this is recorded, combined spend at DfT(central) and the Vehicle Certification Agency was 18,638 in the last 12 months. This includes costs incurred during reciprocal events, the Royal opening of a new wing at the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (Farnborough) and the hosting of an international conference on rail. The
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Government Car and Despatch Agency and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency both recorded zero expenditure.

Entertainment costs are not recorded as a specific cost category within the accounting systems in use at the Driving Standards Agency, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, Highways Agency and at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. Such costs are charged to generic codes and could be extracted only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Public Expenditure

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether consideration has been given to applying gender responsive budgeting to her Department’s budget. [192107]

Jim Fitzpatrick: No specific consideration has been given to applying gender responsive budgeting to the budget of the Department for Transport, but HM Treasury will be conducting further work during 2008 that will determine whether it is prudent and feasible to disaggregate public expenditure statistics by gender.

Departmental Translation Services

Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent on translation services by her Department, associated agencies and non-departmental public bodies in (a) 2003-04, (b) 2004-05, (c) 2005-06, (d) 2006-07 and (e) to date in 2007-08. [187983]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The figures requested are in the following table. Those for DfT(c) include interpretation as well as translation. Separate translation information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

£ 000
2003- 0 4 2004- 0 5 2005- 0 6 2006- 0 7 2007- 0 8











































(1 )Data not available
(2 )Data not available except at disproportionate cost

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

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency: Data Protection

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what checks are carried out on organisations which have made written requests to obtain information from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency database. [187701]

Jim Fitzpatrick: A review on the release of information from DVLA’s vehicle register was carried out in 2006 by the then Minister for Transport.
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Following that review, DVLA remained of the view that the release of vehicle keeper data following alleged breaches of criminal, civil and contract law remains, in most circumstances, a reasonable cause.

However, 14 new measures were introduced for both manual and electronic applications. Although companies who apply manually are not required to be Accredited Trade Association members (as are those who make requests via secure electronic links), they are required to provide a significant amount of additional evidence to support each and every application for data, as well as fully explaining the reason for their request for information, and how the information will be used. In the case of car parking enforcement companies, this includes providing a résumé of their business, evidence that the company is acting on the landowner's behalf, that a parking charging scheme is in operation, and where applicable, that the company is registered at Companies House and with the Information Commissioner’s Office. All forms contain a note that reminds applicants that it is a criminal offence under Section 55 of the DPA to falsely obtain personal information.

If the additional evidence requirements are complied with, information is then released in accordance with Regulation 27 of the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 2002.

The Agency carries out ad-hoc audits on companies and other public bodies to ensure that enquiries are appropriate.

Great Western Trains

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what further steps the Department will take in the event of a failure by First Great Western to fulfil its obligations under the remedial plan notice issued on 26 February 2008; and if she will make a statement. [192970]

Mr. Tom Harris: Material non-compliance with the Remedial Agreement would be a default of the franchise agreement, which could lead to the Government terminating First Great Western’s franchise.

Great Western Trains: Portsmouth

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what performance levels were achieved by First Great Western for the Portsmouth to Cardiff rail service in each year from 1997; what plans she has to review the operation of this franchise; and if she will make a statement. [177350]

Mr. Tom Harris: I refer the hon. Member to the written statement made by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, on 26 February 2008, Official Report, columns 73-4WS.

In the year to 10 November 2007, the figures published by Network Rail show that FGW achieved an average punctuality of 82.3 per cent. across the franchise as a whole and 79.6 per cent. during the preceding four week period. The Department for Transport does not have historic records on the performance of trains on the Portsmouth to Cardiff route separately.

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Heathrow Airport

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the number of additional (a) tube, (b) rail and (c) car movements to Heathrow Airport that will be generated by the opening of a third runway; what assessment she has made of the impact of these additional journeys on air pollution; and what financial contribution BAA will be expected to make to offset the effects of the third runway on (i) pollution, (ii) noise and (iii) congestion. [192368]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 7 March 2008]: Our forecasts suggest that, compared with a ‘do nothing’ option in 2020, a third runway in 2020 would attract the following additional air passenger trips: 1.2 million a year on the underground, 2.3 million a year on heavy rail and 10.2 million a year on the road (including taxis). There is more detail in the supporting technical report on Surface Access published alongside our consultation document and available on the Department’s website at:

Emissions from surface access transport have been fully taken into account in the modelling of local air quality impacts. Our assessment is that the critical limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulates (PM10) can be met with a third runway in 2020, subject to appropriate constraints.

Funding the necessary infrastructure and any mitigation measures required as a result of the development would be a matter for BAA, as the airport operator, in light of the planning process.

Humber Bridge: Tolls

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many complaints her Department received on the price of the Humber Bridge Toll in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement. [192436]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department for Transport receives correspondence on a range of issues related to the Humber Bridge. Most recently 8,334 people signed an e-petition on the No. 10 website calling for the Government to “cancel the Humber Bridge debt and reduce tolls”. The Government’s response has been posted on the No. 10 website at:

Copies have been placed in the House Libraries.

Landing Charges

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will make it her policy to prevent BAA from cross-subsidising landing charges through income from retail units in their airports. [192369]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 7 March 2008]: Government have no role to play in the prices airports charge users for their services.

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At designated airports in the UK, prices charged are a matter for the independent industry regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Competition Commission, and the airports themselves.

At all other airports in the UK, airports set their own charges in line with competitive market forces.

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