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Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will instruct employment tribunals to (a) award costs against and (b) reflect in the value of awards those bringing or defending a claim irresponsibly. 
Bridget Prentice: Employment tribunals are independent judicial bodies therefore neither the Secretary of State nor any Government official has the power to instruct or direct employment tribunals on the amount, or circumstances in which an award of costs or compensatory award should be made.
The Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2004 give employment tribunals the power to consider an award of costs against a claimant or respondent in respect of costs incurred by the other party. This includes instances where a tribunal or chairman considers that a party or their representative has acted vexatiously, abusively, disruptively or otherwise unreasonably, in the bringing of proceedings. The amount of the award is determined by the tribunal in accordance with the guidance given in the rules.
Mr. Hanson: Young offenders are those prisoners aged 18 to 21 years old who are referred to as young adults. The Prison Service uses control and restraint (C and R) techniques to restrain prisoners, including young adults, as a last resort in order to bring a violent or refractory prisoner under control and only when all other de-escalation techniques have failed. An independent review into the techniques used to restrain young people, below the age of 18, in custodial settings is currently under way and will report to Ministers in June this year.
Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether (a) the Civil Aviation Authority and (b) her Department has commissioned research on the effect of oil leaks of engines on passengers and crew of Boeing 757s. 
Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 1 April 2008]: The health and safety of passengers and crew is a priority for the Government, which is leading research into fume events. This research is not exclusive to Boeing 757s.
In 2007 the Department for Transport began a world first research project to try to capture and analyse 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 Departments website (www.dft.gov.uk). The next phase of work is to use the equipment identified to capture real-time fume events; this work is being developed.
Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations she has received from the airline industry on illnesses caused by chemicals from oils and lubricants leaking into cabin air supplies. 
Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 1 April 2008]: The British Air Transport Association (BATA) is an active member of the Aviation Health Working Group (AHWG), the stakeholder forum for aviation health. A number of airlines have volunteered to participate in the cabin air sampling study.
Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many representations she has received from (a) airline pilots, (b) passengers and (c) air crew on illnesses relating to cabin air contaminated by engine leakage. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: We would not necessarily expect individual pilots or cabin crew to contact the Secretary of State as their main representative organisations, BALPA and the T and G, are members of the Aviation Health Working Group, the stakeholder forum for all aviation health issues. With regard to passengers, figures quoted by the Air Transport Users Council to the House of Lords inquiry into Air Travel and Health in 2007 noted that out of a total of 20,000 written complaints since January 2001, 58 were categorised as medical. Of those 58 the main issues raised were pregnancy; injuries, typically from skiing; and allergies, typically from peanuts.
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Government do not hold precise data on imports of biofuels used in the UK. We will have more accurate data once the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) comes into effect on 15 April. Under the RTFO, transport fuel suppliers who wish to earn renewable transport fuel certificates in respect of their biofuels will have to report to the Renewable Fuels Agency (RFA) on matters such as the country of origin of and the wider sustainability of those fuels. Further detail on the reporting requirements is available via the RFA's website at:
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consideration she has given to making arrangements under the new boatmasters' licences to give dispensations to boatmasters operating in Category C tidal estuary waters proportionate to the relative risks encountered in their operating waters. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Government are considering an amendment to the Merchant Shipping (Inland Waterways and Coastal Operations) (Boatmasters' Qualifications and Hours of Work) Regulations 2006 which would introduce a new category of licence. This would allow masters to operate in a geographically limited area on tidal waters, without the comprehensive and rigorous qualification required by the existing Tier 1, Level 2 licence, subject to the agreement of the relevant navigation and port authorities.
The safety of those who use the UK's waterways has always been the focus of the BML, and it is this concern for safety that led to the current situation of onerous qualification requirements. Any amendment to the BML regulations will follow extensive consultation to ensure that public safety will not be compromised.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The following extract from the Department's Public Transport Statistics Bulletin, a copy of which is in the House Library, shows the bus passenger journeys, in calendar years, since 1997-98.
|Bus passenger journeys( 1) by GO region: 1997-98 to 2006-07|
|(1) Each boarding of the vehicle is counted as one journey.|
(2 )Wales includes Great Orme trams.
PTE data are from DfT's survey of operators. They might differ from PTEs own survey data.
DfT survey of PSV operators
The Department for Transport does not hold information on the number of rail passenger journeys made in each region in each year since 1997. The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) does, however, publish regional rail passenger flows in the National Rail Trends Yearbook editions, which are available in the House Library or from their website:
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