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13 Mar 2008 : Column 528W—continued

Night Flying: East Midlands

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many night flights there were from (a) East Midlands Airport and (b) designated London airports in each of the last 10 years. [192417]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 10 March 2008]: Night flights at the three London designated airports (Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted) are subject to restriction. With some exemptions, a movements and noise quota limit applies during the night quota period (11.30 pm to 6.00 am). The following table sets out the number of movements of aircraft subject to these controls. While there are restrictions on the type of aircraft that can be operated during the shoulder periods (11.00 pm to 11.30 pm and 6 am to 7 am), there are no limits on movements or quota during these periods.

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T otal number of movements in night quota period (11.30 pm to 6 am)
Heathrow Gatwick Stansted

Summer 1997












































(1) i.e. Winter/summer. Note: The totals relate to movements covered by the Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted noise restrictions. They include some movements which were disregarded from movements limits because of delays to aircraft which were likely to lead to serious congestion at the aerodrome or serious hardship or suffering to passengers or animals; or because of delays to aircraft resulting from widespread and prolonged disruption of air traffic.

No similar regime involving a night quota period is in place at East Midlands. Flights are recorded on a calendar year basis and on a night period basis (11.00 pm to 7 pm). Accordingly, these data are not compatible with that provided.

Total number of movements in night period (11.00 pm to 7 am)
East Midlands























Railways: Brighton

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average loading is of the diesel train service between Brighton and Ashford (a) in peak hours and (b) across the working day. [193910]

Mr. Tom Harris: This information is not held by the Department.

Road Traffic: Peterborough

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will (a) review and (b) estimate the likely traffic capacity of the (i) A47, (ii) A1139, (iii) A605 and (iv) A15 roads within the Peterborough city council area in the period up to 2020 consequent upon planned large-scale residential development; and if she will make a statement. [193682]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Reviewing and estimating traffic capacity at this local level is a matter for Peterborough city council in its development of local transport plans.

Southern: Rolling Stock

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 10 March 2008,
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Official Report, columns 9-10W, on rolling stock: Brighton, what assessment (a) she and (b) Southern have made of the capacity of diesel rolling stock available to that company to accommodate passenger demand on the (i) Brighton-Ashford and (ii) other railway lines; and if she will make a statement. [193909]

Mr. Tom Harris: Train operating companies make decisions about the deployment of rolling stock to match customer demand.

The Department for Transport will continue to review train counts and train plans to check that resources are being deployed effectively.

The rail White Paper was published in July 2007. It sets out the resources that we intend to make available to the rail industry and the increases in capacity, as well as safety and performance that we expect the industry to deliver in return.

Transport: Bournemouth

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 6 March 2008, Official Report, columns 2757-58W, on housing: infrastructure, what work programmes have been evaluated for the infrastructure improvements needed to meet new housing developments recommended for the Bournemouth area. [193926]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The recommendations on housing developments for Bournemouth are those of an independent panel that examined the draft regional spatial strategy for the south-west. As part of the Government’s consideration of the report of the panel published in January 2008, the Departments for Transport and for Communities and Local Government are considering the transport implications of the proposed levels of growth. No conclusions have been reached by the Government on any of the panel’s recommendations.

Bournemouth borough council has not put forward proposals to the Government for new housing growth in its area. However, in relation to proposals for growth from Poole council, the Department is working with Poole and its neighbouring authorities including Bournemouth to examine the transport impact of the planned growth in the area.

The Departments for Transport and for Communities and Local Government have provided £200,000 towards the cost of studies by Poole and its neighbouring authorities to assess the need for transport infrastructure improvements and to ensure that the proposed housing growth is sustainable and acceptable environmentally.

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 6 March 2008, Official Report, column 2766W, on transport: finance, how much of (a) the £87 million regional transport budget and (b) the £173.7 million capital funding for the South West was allocated to Bournemouth. [193927]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information is as follows:

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Transport: East of England

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 3 March 2008, Official Report, columns 97-8WS, on rail and road capacity (east of England), what estimate she has made of the cost of the proposed (a) rail and (b) road improvements; and what contribution she expects to be forthcoming from BAA to each. [192367]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 7 March 2008]: The proposed work to look into capacity improvements on the M11 and the West Anglia Main Line will examine a range of potential options. At this stage, it is too early to provide any clear indications of scheme costs.

In line with the provisions in the 2003 Future of Air Transport White Paper, BAA will contribute to the costs to the extent that improvements are required to cater for airport-related traffic, subject to the necessary referral to the economic regulator and the planning process.

Transport: Kent

Mr. Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which integrated transport projects undertaken by Kent county council in north Kent have been financed by the proceeds of the Dartford River Crossing tolls; and in which constituencies those projects are located. [193046]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department has made available £1 million per year extra since 2003 to Kent county council to help deliver local transport projects. This is in recognition of the impact of the crossing on local residents.

This funding is provided as an addition to the local transport block capital allocation for Kent county council, which in 2007-08 totalled £36.737 million. Responsibility for allocating these funds is a matter for Kent county council, and the Department does not require the authority to provide detailed returns on its decisions.

Travel Concessions

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps she is taking to ensure that local authorities receive funding from central Government to fully cover the costs of implementing the national concessionary fares scheme. [193111]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government are confident that the overall level of funding for the statutory minimum provision of concessionary travel is sufficient to cover the full cost.

Following the introduction of the free off-peak local bus travel concession within local authority areas in April 2006, central Government provided an extra £350 million in 2006-07 and £367.5 million in 2007-08 for statutory concessionary fares through the revenue support grant. The Department is now paying an additional
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special grant of £212 million in 2008-09 (rising thereafter) just to cover the cost of extending the statutory minimum bus concession to provide free off-peak local bus travel anywhere in England. This additional amount of £212 million is based on our assessment of the likely cost impact of the new concession which is based on generous assumptions about pass take-up, fares and increased patronage.

The proposed distribution of this grant was published by the Department for Transport in the Special Grant Report (No. 129) on 19 February. The final distribution will be subject to parliamentary debate and a copy of the report is in the Library of the House.

In addition, the Government paid a grant of over £31 million in total to travel concession authorities (TCAs) in England outside London in this financial year (2007-08) to cover the cost of issuing concessionary travel passes. The passes grant to each TCA is based on an allowance of £4 for each pass currently in circulation, uplifted by 20 per cent. to recognise that the new concession is likely to be more attractive than the existing one.


Car Allowances

Annette Brooke: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will publish the results of the review of the Approved Mileage Allowance Payments Scheme. [193748]

Angela Eagle: The Chancellor announced in Budget 2008 that the Government would maintain the tax-free mileage allowance (AMAPs) rates and thresholds at current levels.

Charities: Income Tax

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps the Government plan to take in relation to the potential effects on charities in receipt of gift aid of the new basic rate of income tax to be introduced in April 2008. [193342]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 12 March 2008]: HM Treasury has recently consulted on ways to drive up charitable giving from individuals through gift aid.

The Government published their response to the consultation at Budget.

Child Tax Credit

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 6 March 2008, Official Report, column 2800W, on welfare tax credits, how many of the households with positive entitlement to child tax credit did not claim it in 2005-06. [193701]

Jane Kennedy: HMRC tax credit statistics show that take-up of the child tax credit was 82 per cent. by case load in 2005-06, rising to 96 per cent. for those families with children on the lowest incomes. Consistent take-up estimates for families classified as being in poverty according to the definition used in “Households Below Average Income” are not available.

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Departmental Recruitment

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what civil service grade his Department's director in public services is; how the position was advertised; which search consultants were involved; what references were taken up for the successful candidate; at what level the decision to appoint was taken; and whether Ministers were involved in the decision. [192739]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 10 March 2008]: The director of public services is graded as senior civil service payband 2.

Rockpools was engaged by the Department to assist with the recruitment campaign, and the post was advertised in The Sunday Times on 9 December 2007.

In line with the civil service commissioners' recruitment code, the selection panel was chaired by a civil service commissioner and comprised the Treasury's second permanent secretary, along with an external representative. No Ministers were involved in the decision-making process.

Appropriate references were obtained on the successful candidate in line with the Department's policy on pre-employment checks.

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