|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Local authorities provide on and off road cycle facilities such as cycle tracks and cycle lanes, using their Local Transport Plan (LTP) Integrated Transport Block grant from the DfT (which covers schemes costing less than £5 million and includes such cycle
schemes) plus their own funding, the DfT Integrated Transport Block grant to local authorities is £372 million for 2008-09. The Department has encouraged local authorities to develop a cycling strategy as part of the LTP process from 2006 to 2011. It is for local authorities to determine the development of the local cycle networks as part of that strategy. Sustrans, who have developed the NGN, then work with local authorities to link the local networks to it. The Department is also providing £2.5 billion in 2008-09 to the Mayor of London through a Total Transport grant. The Mayor is responsible for determining how much is spent on cycling and the development of cycle networks in London.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many hours (a) in total and (b) on average per employee were worked by civil servants in her Department in the last year for which records are available. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Contracted hours are managed locally in the Department with no single system used to centrally monitor hours worked. As such, the information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the level of punctuality of trains on the East Coast Main Line (a) has been since National Express started running the service and (b) was in the last year of the Great North Eastern Railways operation of the franchise. 
Mr. Tom Harris: National Express East Coast (NXEC) started its services on 9 December 2007. NXECs current Moving Annual Average Public Performance Measure for punctuality is 82.5 per cent. and the target is 84.7 per cent. (as of 1 March 2008).
As at 8 December 2007 (which was GNERs last day of operation on the East Coast Main Line) the Moving Annual Average Public Performance Measure for punctuality was 81.7 per cent. The target was 83.5 per cent.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which of her Departments programme budgets were administered by the Government Offices for the Regions in each of the last five years. 
Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 18 March 2008]: The Government offices do not currently, nor have in the last five years, directly administered any programmes on behalf of the Department for Transport.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what dates (a) she and (b) the Minister with responsibility for railways the hon. Member for Glasgow, South (Mr. Harris) met representatives of First Great Western in the last 12 months. 
19 July 2007
25 February 2008
24 May 2007
26 June 2007
19 July 2007
23 October 2007
30 January 2008
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government are committed to enhancing the legislative competence of the National Assembly for Wales where appropriate. Clauses 115 and 116 were included in the Local Transport Bill at the specific request of Ministers in the Welsh Assembly Government.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will amend her Department's guidance to local authorities to support a policy of allowing motorcycles to use bus lanes; and if she will make a statement. 
In February 2007 the Department for Transport published Traffic Advisory Leaflet 2/07: The Use of Bus Lanes by Motorcycles. This makes clear to local highway authorities that it is for them to decide
whether or not to allow motorcycles to use bus lanes and encourages them to make an objective assessment of the issue.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the evidential basis is for the recommendations in her Department's Local Transport Note 1/97 against allowing motorcycles to use bus lanes. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The recommendation in Local Transport Note 1/97 includes an explanation that there was insufficient evidence at the time of publishing about the risk to pedestrians if motorcycles were allowed to use bus lanes as a default position.
However based on evidence from more recent studies, in February 2007 we issued new guidance in Traffic Advisory Leaflet 2/07, The Use of Bus Lanes by Motorcycles. This makes clear to local highway authorities that it is for them to decide whether or not to allow motorcycles to use bus lanes and encourages them to make an objective assessment of the situation based on local factors. The new guidance revises our previous advice concerning this issue in LTN 1/97.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the suitability of the provisions of the second European driving licence directive for motorcycles, with particular reference to the (a) adequacy and (b) safety of the swerve and brake test; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The 50 kph avoidance manoeuvre, the controlled stop and an emergency stop at a minimum speed of 50 kph are three separate elements of the off-road manoeuvres element of the practical motorcycle riding test.
(a) The avoidance manoeuvre has been developed to simulate another road user pulling out into the path of the rider and therefore better prepare them for dealing with real life hazards. Both braking exercises allow competence to be assessed in handling of the front and rear brake, vision, direction and the position on the motorcycle.
(b) These exercises will take place in a secure environment off the public road. Candidates who display unsafe levels of control will not be allowed to continue with the on-road element of the test.
Ms Rosie Winterton
[holding answer 25 March 2008]: New regulations introduced on 15 October last year have changed the design of the Blue Badge to
include a tamper proof hologram and a new gender specific number to aid parking enforcement. In addition, I recently announced the pilots of a tamper proof laminate to further prevent badge fraud.
In January 2008 I published new local authority guidance and launched a £0.5 million fund to promote improved enforcement at a local level. The Department for Transport is also consulting on proposals to improve enforcement of the Blue Badge scheme. This may include the creation of a secure machine readable badge and national data sharing.
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 25 March 2008]: The Department has published advice on provision and design of parking for disabled car users in Traffic Advisory Leaflet 5/95 Parking for Disabled People and Inclusive MobilityA Guide to Best Practice on Access to Pedestrian and Transport Infrastructure.
Mr. Tom Harris: Currently there are 42 services per day between Kettering and Leicester. The draft timetable for December 2008 shows 24, though the operator may run more if there is a commercial case for doing so and if paths are available.
Mr. Tom Harris: This is an operational matter for Network Rail and the Association of Train Operating Companies. The hon. Member should contact Network Rail's Chief Executive at the following address for a response to his question.
40 Melton Street
London NW1 2EE
Mr. Tom Harris: Decisions on calling patterns are based on a number of considerations. These include existing and future demand at the stations concerned; the amount of on-train capacity available to accommodate boarding passengers; the effect of stopping on other passengers travel times; the impact of the call on resources such as line capacity and overall train fleet size; and the availability of alternative services.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reasons her Department does not allow train operating companies to acquire vehicles from rolling stock companies without her Departments agreement in cases where such acquisitions take place within the terms of an existing franchise. 
Mr. Tom Harris: Improving rail performance is a key objective for the Department and joint action plans are in place between Network Rail and National Express East Anglia (NXEA) to address performance issues. The most recent published Public Performance Measure (PPM) figures are those for the period from 6 January to 2 February 2008 when NXEAs PPM was 89.1 per cent. The NXEA moving annual average was 90.1 per cent. These compare to whole industry figures of 89.6 per cent and 89.6 per cent. respectively.
The Departments rolling stock plan, published on 30 January, showed NXEA receiving an extra 188 (new and cascaded) carriages. The new carriages will be used on the London to Stansted airport route, in turn releasing carriages to enhance capacity on other services.
Mr. Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what weight she gives to the likely effect on (a) car journeys and congestion, (b) value added tax receipts, (c) fuel duty receipts, (d) carbon emissions, (e) air pollution and (f) reliability of journey times when assessing the costs and benefits of a light rail scheme. 
Mr. Tom Harris:
The Department uses a framework called the New Approach to Appraisal (NATA) to undertake cost-benefit analysis of schemes relating to all transport modes including light rail. The Department aims to consider all impacts of transport schemes, including those listed, when undertaking cost-benefit analysis. No definitive set of weights are applied within this framework, with the contribution of each of these factors varying according to the specific circumstances of the scheme. For example, the significance of congestion
relief to the assessment of schemes in areas experiencing high delays will tend to be greater than schemes in areas experiencing few delays.
To ensure consistency across schemes, where possible, impacts are converted into monetary equivalents using a common set of values. This allows a variety of impacts to be aggregated and compared. In practise, the weight attached will depend on the size of impact that a scheme will have on each factor and the value attached to these impacts. Where available, standard values are used to value impacts, e.g. carbon emissions are valued at the standard cost of carbon issued by DEFRA.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will consider suspending the renewable transport fuel obligation until comprehensive certification and assessment schemes are put in place. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Government have made clear that we will not support any increase in biofuel targets until we are satisfied that the biofuels can be delivered sustainably. That remains our position, and we are negotiating hard to ensure that future EU biofuel targets are underpinned by mandatory sustainability criteria which are as robust and wide-ranging as possible.
The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligations Order 2007 implements the RTFO scheme and the Government could not suspend the introduction of the RTFO without amending or repealing the order. The new amending or repealing order would require consultation in accordance with the Energy Act 2004 and would be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure, with debates in both Houses of Parliament.
The Government believe that suspending the introduction of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) until such time as mandatory, EU-wide sustainability criteria for biofuels are in place would be counter-productive. The reporting requirements under the RTFO will cause suppliers to develop systems for capturing environmental and sustainability information which will help prepare for the introduction of mandatory standards and inform the development of those standards. In addition, the UK is widely perceived as playing a leading role in developing a sustainability framework for biofuels through the reporting requirements under the RTFO. Abandoning this could marginalise us in EU negotiations, and give other member states greater influence over the direction of the EUs future biofuel policies.
Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consideration she has given to the merits of a moratorium on the implementation of the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation. 
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|