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Sudan: Armed Conflict

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of the humanitarian impact of the activities of the Lord’s Resistance Army; and if he will make a statement. [196914]

Gillian Merron: The activities of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) have had a devastating impact on civilians in northern Uganda and parts of southern Sudan. At the height of fighting between the LRA and the Ugandan army in 2003 over 2 million people were displaced from their homes. An estimated 25,000 children and young people were abducted by the LRA between 1990 and 2006. Although many have returned, approximately 4,000 remain unaccounted for.

Since the signing of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement in August 2006 the security and humanitarian situation in the conflict affected areas has improved dramatically. The United Nations estimates that since 2006 over 400,000 people have been able to return home and a further 526,000 have moved to sites nearer to their homes where they are able to access their land. Even for those that currently remain in camps the situation has improved markedly with most people now able to access land for farming. Health and other social services have also improved with better access for trained personnel and supplies.

Sudan: Overseas Aid

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether the Government will contribute to the annual budget of the World Food Programme’s Humanitarian Air Service in Darfur; and if he will make a statement. [195670]

Gillian Merron: The UK Government do not contribute directly to the annual budget of the World Food Program’s Humanitarian Air Service in Darfur.

The UK Government channel all their humanitarian funding to UN agencies in Sudan through the Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF). The UK Government have committed £40 million to the CHF and £40 million to the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) in 2008. The Humanitarian Air Service is currently applying for money from the CHF and the CERF.

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Zimbabwe: HIV Infection

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of the availability over the last 12 months of antiretroviral treatment in Zimbabwe; and if he will make a statement. [197125]

Gillian Merron: Of the 300,000 people who require it approximately 100,000 people have access to antiretroviral therapy (ARVs) in Zimbabwe (an increase of 50 per cent. in the last 18 months).

The Government of Zimbabwe’s capacity to procure needed drugs has weakened over the last 12 months. However, several bilateral donors, including the UK Government, the EC, the United States and the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria have increased their support for the procurement of antiretroviral medicines. Deliveries are now regular and predictable.


A14: Lorries

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many lorry movements there were on average per day on the A14 in 2007; and what percentage of overall vehicle movements along the road this figure represents. [195939]

Jim Fitzpatrick: 2007 road traffic estimates are not yet available. These will become available in July 2008, as part of the publication ‘Road Statistics 2007: Traffic, Speeds and Congestion’.

Aircraft: Air Conditioning

Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of recent changes to aircraft design which result in cabin air no longer being taken from engines; if she will re-examine the findings of the relevant study from the Committee on Toxicity; and if she will make a statement. [196734]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 31 March 2008]: We are aware that new aircraft designs, such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, are using a different cabin air system. But older aircraft will be in use globally for many years to come. Hence the Department, following the advice and recommendation of the Committee on Toxicity, is developing cabin air sampling research with a number of participating airlines to assemble real-time data on substances which may be in cabin air during fume events.


Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many internal flights there were in each of the last five years; and how many there are forecast to be in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11. [195923]

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Jim Fitzpatrick: The number of internal flights (air transport movements, excluding double counting) in the UK in each of the last five years is as follows:

Flights (£000)











Civil Aviation Authority

The coverage of air transport movements (ATMs) in the DfT aviation forecasting model, along with the methodology and results, is set out in ‘UK Air Passenger Demand and CO2 Forecasts’ (2007), available at:

This differs from the coverage of the figures reported above. The differences arise from the range of airports and domestic charter operations covered, and the categorisation of oil rig and Channel Isles traffic. The difference amounts to around an extra 45,000 ATMs per annum in 2005.

Owing to the tolerance with which the iterative forecasting model works, forecast results are rounded and presented at no less than five-yearly intervals. The central forecast is for annual domestic air transport movements to grow from 765,000 in 2005 to 840,000 in 2010. This equates to growth in annual domestic flights from 385,000 in 2005 to 420,000 in 2010.

Aviation: Health Hazards

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will investigate the potential impact on health arising from the seeping of emissions from engine lubricants on to the flight decks of aircraft. [197528]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Government do not want anyone’s health to be at risk when travelling by air, and are leading research in this area. In 2007 we commissioned a world first research project to try to capture substances released during transient fume events. The first stage of this work was to identify and test equipment capable of sampling any potentially harmful substances in cabin air. The report into this first stage work was published by Cranfield university on 21 February after peer review. It is published on the Department's website. The next phase of work is to use the equipment identified to capture real-time fume events; this work is being developed.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what measures are in place to prevent the incapacitation of pilots and co-pilots arising from the seeping of emissions from engine lubricants on to the flight decks of aircraft. [197529]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) investigations into reported incidents have resulted in measures to minimise occurrences. For example, overfilling engines with oil can result in oily fumes. The CAA has worked with aircraft operators, and with
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engine and aircraft manufacturers, to ensure that revised oil filling instructions are made available. Mandatory procedures have been put in place to ensure aircraft systems are examined and, where necessary, rectified and cleaned before further flight. To minimise the effects on pilots, the CAA has published advice to operators that, in the event of a suspected air contamination in the flight deck, pilots should consider the use of oxygen equipment.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what (a) regulations and (b) international agreements govern the spraying of biocides in the passenger deck of international aircraft; and what substances are permitted to be so sprayed. [197530]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The use of insecticide is required under the International Health Regulations of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on flights to or from certain destinations to prevent infectious and contagious diseases.

Rules established by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) permit the use of certain insecticides, which have the approval of and are recommended by the WHO, based on their efficacy and minimal human toxicity. These rules are binding on International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) contracting states.

All pesticides used for aircraft disinsection in Great Britain (GB) must be approved by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) under the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986. The active ingredient in sprays in GB is either 2 per cent. permelhrin or 2 per cent. d-phenothrin.


Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment her Department has made of the merits of second generation biofuels. [197579]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Advanced biofuel production processes have the potential to deliver significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector. These processes also have very significant advantages in potentially using a much wider range of materials than those used for current biofuels, including materials which do not compete with food products, thus reducing the environmental pressures from using land for biofuel crop production. The Government's aim is to create the right market incentives, through policies such as the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), backed up by technology support, for such fuels to flourish.

The Government have funded a number of pieces of recent research by the National Non-Food Crops Centre (NNFCC) on the feasibility of advanced biofuel production processes. These include work on the feasibility of second generation biodiesel production in the UK, available via the NNFCC's website at:

as well as an evaluation of emerging biodiesel technologies and a mapping of the development of advanced biorefinery concepts which could become reality beyond 2020.

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Bus Lanes: Motorcycles

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will undertake research into the use of powered two-wheeled vehicles in bus lanes; what research she has evaluated on the matter; and if she will make a statement. [197631]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department has commissioned three research projects to investigate the effects of allowing powered two-wheeled vehicles to use bus lanes. The research, in Bristol, Swindon and the City of Westminster, considered the impact of schemes on both motorcyclists and other road users.

The case for allowing powered two-wheeled vehicles in bus lanes is very much a site-specific matter. The research has helped identify potential benefits and disbenefits that local authorities need to consider in determining whether or not to permit motorcycles to use their bus lanes. The results of this research provide the basis for the Department’s current advice in Traffic Advisory Leaflet 2/07 “The use of bus lanes by motorcycles”.

Bus Services: Concessions

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many local authorities in England offered subsidised bus services after 11 pm in each year since 1997. [195929]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information is hot held at the level of detail requested. Local authorities have discretion to offer concessionary travel beyond the statutory times defined in the Transport Act 2000. The statutory minimum concession is available to eligible residents on local buses from 9.30 am to 11 pm Monday to Friday and at all times at weekends and on bank holidays.

Bus Services: Schools

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the effect on road safety of the use by local authorities of buses exempt from the requirement to have passenger seatbelts fitted to transport children to school. [197245]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department has not made a specific assessment of the implications of carrying children in buses that are not equipped with safety belts. However, a review of the benefit of safety belts in minibuses and coaches recognised technical difficulties associated with fitting adequate seat belts retrospectively to other types of bus.

‘Road Casualties Great Britain 2006’ shows buses to be one of the safest forms of road transport with the rate of killed or seriously injured passengers, on a mile for mile basis, being approximately one-third that for passenger cars.

Local authorities are able to specify that transport providers supply buses with safety belts and should consider if this is appropriate as part of their risk assessment.

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Car Sharing

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what meetings and discussions took place between (a) her Department and (b) the Highways Agency and (i) car share organisations, (ii) bus companies and (iii) other groups with experience of high occupancy vehicle lanes prior to the decision not to proceed with the proposed high occupancy vehicle lane on the M1 between junctions 7 and 10. [197576]

Mr. Tom Harris: Various official-level meetings and discussions with stakeholders have taken place over the course of the M1 HOV lane scheme’s development, including with the Campaign for Better Transport, the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), National Express, Carplus and Liftshare. Officials have also met with highway authorities in other countries who have experience of high occupancy vehicle lanes. Ministers met with the CPT and National Express in autumn 2007.

Civil Service Appeal Board

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many and what percentage of appeals by employees of (a) her Department and (b) its agencies were (i) heard and (ii) upheld by the Civil Service Appeal Board in each of the last 10 years; how much was awarded in compensation by the Board to each successful appellant in each year; what the reason was for each compensation award; how many appellants were reinstated by the Board in each year; and what the reason was for each (A) dismissal and (B) reinstatement. [192508]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department for Transport was established in 2002, Since then it has responded to 21 cases brought to the Civil Service Appeal Board.

12 cases were on grounds of gross misconduct, two for breach of ICT policy, two for bringing the agency/department into disrepute, four for other individual reasons and one for which the information is not currently available.

Six appeals were upheld (29 per cent.), five on the grounds of unfair dismissal and one for a minor procedural error by the Department. The total compensation paid was £128,837.55. Only one individual was reinstated (in 2005) following an upheld appeal, as the Board concluded that there was insufficient evidence that the appellant was deliberately bringing the agency/Department into disrepute.


Dr. Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions she has had with Welsh Assembly Ministers and Ministers of other devolved administrations to ensure that appropriate funding is made available throughout the UK to encourage the promotion of the shift from cars to cycling. [189212]

Ms Rosie Winterton: DfT Ministers have had no such meetings but they are in regular contact with Ministers in the devolved Administrations about a range of issues.

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Decisions on local transport issues are a devolved matter.

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