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31 Mar 2008 : Column 472Wcontinued
The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligations (RTFO) 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 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 the UK 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 steps she is taking to ensure that the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation will not result in a conflict between the need to grow crops for both food and fuel. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Renewable Fuels Agency (RFA) will have a statutory duty to report annually to Ministers on the effects of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), including the indirect effects such as impacts on food and commodity prices. These reports will inform the development of the Governments longer term biofuel policies.
The Government have also asked the Renewable Fuels Agency to lead an urgent review of the potential indirect impacts of biofuel production. This will, among other things, consider the risk that biofuel policies will affect international food commodity prices in the period to 2020. The terms of reference for this review are available via the Department for Transport's website at:
Dr. Ladyman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she plans to table orders bringing into force sections 11 and 12 of the Road Safety Act 2006 on financial penalty deposits and the immobilisation of vehicles. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: We are working hard to ensure that the provisions are brought into force as soon as practicableand this is likely to be by spring 2009. Implementation is a key priority for the Department, but there is still quite a lot of operational detail to be sorted out and also a number of detailed statutory instruments have yet to be made.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 11 March 2008, Official Report, column 214W, on motorways: road traffic control, what the (a) critical path and (b) key milestones in the schedule are in relation to the scheme around Birmingham. 
Mr. Tom Harris: Tenders for construction of the Birmingham Box active traffic management scheme phases 1 and 2 were invited on 28 February 2008. We anticipate awarding the contract by September 2008. Works should commence in the autumn and complete by summer 2011. The detailed programme for delivery within this timeframe will be agreed with the successful contractor.
Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions (a) she, (b) her Ministers and (c) her officials have had with (i) vehicle satellite navigation manufacturers and (ii) Ordnance Survey on identification of roads inappropriate for heavy goods vehicles and public service vehicles. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: There have been no recent ministerial level discussions with satellite navigation providers or Ordnance Survey. Officials have had informal discussions with providers on issues including mapping and routeing.
The Network Management Board, which is facilitated by the Department for Transport, has set up a sub-group to consider the issue of inappropriate routeing resulting from satellite navigation guidance. The sub-group comprises representatives from Ordnance Survey as well as local authorities, and the Highways Agency.
Any restriction imposed on the use of particular roads is a matter for decision by the relevant local highway authority.
Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what international benchmarks she has assessed in relation to road pricing schemes and their impact on congestion. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Road Pricing Feasibility Study published in July 2004 considered a number of existing charging schemes, working in a range of environments and using various technologies. The Department for Transport continues to monitor progress in road pricing schemes around the world, and in particular in Europe, where new schemessuch as the congestion charge in Stockholmhave been implemented since 2004. The Stockholm scheme in particular has demonstrated that significant reductions in congestion can be achieved by an urban congestion charge.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress is being made on road pricing projects; where the projects are located; and what companies are involved in the projects. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
The Government are inviting the private sector to demonstrate how they might run a system of charging for road use according to time of day and route chosen. On 12 March we issued, to eight pre-qualified bidders, the first Invitation to Tender in this two-year Demonstrations Project, for the framework for Road User Service Providers. We expect that this Framework Agreement will be established
during June 2008, at which point an announcement: will be made as to which companies have been appointed.
The location of the Demonstrations activity could be anywhere in England and Wales and will initially depend on where the successful bidders' volunteer road users are located.
Mrs. Riordan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will bring forward proposals to impose a 20 mph speed limit around schools and in residential areas; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Local traffic authorities are responsible for setting local speed limits and have powers to introduce 20 mph speed limits and 20 mph zones if they believe it appropriate to do so. The Department encourages and supports any local authority wishing to introduce 20 mph speed limits in this way but does not favour a blanket reduction as there are circumstances where a 20 mph speed limit may not necessarily be appropriate.
Mrs. Riordan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on how many roads the speed limit has been reduced from 30 mph to 20 mph since the publication of her Departments circular 01/2006. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: This information is not held by the Department. Local traffic authorities are responsible for setting local speed limits and have powers to introduce 20 mph speed limits and 20 mph zones if they believe it appropriate to do so. They are not required to inform the Department whenever they change a speed limit.
The Department has recently commissioned a new research project on local road safety policy and practice, and some information about the implementation of 20 mph zones will be collected from local authorities as part of this study.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much revenue was raised in fines imposed as a result of offences detected by speed cameras in each borough in Greater London in each year since 2001. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department only holds information about speed cameras operating under the national safety camera programme and does not hold separate information for each London borough. London joined the programme on 1 April 2002. The audit certificates for the London Safety Camera Partnership for the last five financial years outlined in the table show the fine revenue from fixed penalty tickets for offences detected by speed and red light cameras operating under the then national safety camera programme. The Department does not hold a breakdown of fine revenue split between red light and speed cameras.
Joan Ryan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many 20 mile per hour speed limit zones each London borough has introduced. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Responsibility for introducing 20 mph speed limit zones in London rests with the relevant highway authority, Transport for London (TfL) and the London boroughs respectively. No information on these zones is held centrally.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what her policy is on the training required of taxi drivers. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: We recognise the benefits that improved training for taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers will bring in terms of better quality of service for passengers, and to the drivers themselves in terms of potentially acquiring new business.
We are providing financial support to GoSkills, the sector skills council for passenger transport, to assist their work in raising awareness of the opportunities for, and benefits of, skills development in the taxi and PHV industry.
However, local licensing authorities are responsible for taxi and PHV licensing decisions in their respective areas, including whether drivers must undertake any particular training or qualification to meet their licensing requirements.
Our licensing Best Practice Guidance for authorities suggests they should consider, in consultation with the local taxi and PHV trades, what training initiatives and requirements are appropriate for their area.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reasons train operating companies are not allowed to acquire new rolling stock within their existing franchise without her Department's approval. 
Mr. Tom Harris: Proposals from train operators are welcome if they are going to fund new rolling stock. The Department needs to ensure contractual arrangements are in place in case of franchise termination so they can continue to operate the service; hence, there is a process in place to give these approvals.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what dates her Department was first
made aware by (a) a rolling stock company and (b) a train operating company of a request for an increased amount of rolling stock on (i) the west coast mainline, (ii) the northern train's franchise and (iii) the southern franchise. 
Mr. Tom Harris: Since the Department for Transport has regular and ongoing discussions with train operators regarding current and projected passenger demand and the efficient utilisation of existing capacity, it is not practically possible to identify dates when specific propositions were first raised. While train operators may seek central Government funding for additional rolling stock, it may also be procured with third party funding or at the commercial initiative of the train operator itself.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much Government capital funding for transport was provided to the City of York from (a) 1987 to 1997 and (b) 1997 to 2007. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The information is as follows:
(a) Prior to 1996-97 North Yorkshire county council was the local highway and transport authority covering York. Figures for Government transport capital funding specifically for the York area are not available. The City of York council was created as a unitary authority in 1996. For 1996-97 it was allocated £3.340 million.
(b) York city council has been allocated a total of £52.830 million of local transport capital funding for the financial years 1997-98 to 2007-08 (inclusive).
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the real terms cost of travelling by (a) bus, (b) rail and (c) private car has been in each region in England in each year since 1997, taking 1997 as the baseline. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: This information is not available at regional level.
Mr. Graham Stuart:
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much of the funding allocated to the
Yorkshire and Humber region for major transport projects up to 2015-16 has been (a) allocated to and (b) spent on individual schemes; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The funding allocated for major transport projects in Yorkshire and the Humber from 2006-07 to 2015-16 is £927 million. The funding so far provisionally allocated to individual schemes is £877.6 million, though some of the schemes concerned have not yet completed formal approval processes. The estimated outturn expenditure on these schemes, from April 2006 to December 2007, is £131.175 million.
Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what official visits she has made to Yorkshire and the Humber since her appointment; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Transport, visited Yorkshire and the Humber recently to open the M606/62 car pool lane. Since my appointment as Regional Minister I have made regular official visits to the region to discuss transport issues with a range of stakeholders.
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) males and (b) females under the age of 19 years were (i) arrested for (ii) charged with and (iii) convicted of driving a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol in each district command unit in each of the last five years. 
Paul Goggins: This information is not available in the requested format.
The following tables provide the numbers arrested and prosecuted for alcohol/drug related driving offences.
|Table 1: Males under the age of 19 years prosecuted and convicted of alcohol/drug related driving offences by DCU address of offender 2002-06|
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