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24 Apr 2008 : Column 2210W—continued


Disabled

Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what targets her Department has set in relation to its employment of people with disabilities over the next five years. [199053]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department for Transport is currently reviewing employment targets generally and this includes targets in relation to the employment of people with disabilities. We expect the review to be complete by the summer of 2008 and targets will be published then.


24 Apr 2008 : Column 2211W

Galileo

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions she has had about the potential uses of the Galileo European satellite navigation system for all Government Departments. [200186]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 21 April 2008]: I and my transport ministerial colleagues have regular discussions with departmental officials and with Ministers from other Departments about transport issues across the range of our responsibilities.

The Government recognise that Galileo should be a useful tool for delivering a variety of policy aims and improved services in transport and other sectors. That is why officials continue to work closely with all interested Government Departments to identify potential public sector uses for Galileo and to promote this as part of their engagement with the Location and Timing Knowledge Transfer Network (drawn from UK industry, academia, end users and Government).

Lorries: Safety Belts

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many heavy goods vehicles not fitted with seat belts were registered in each of the last 10 years; [200470]

(2) what assessment she has made of the costs and benefits of fitting seat belts to heavy goods vehicles; [200471]

(3) what her estimate is of the number of heavy goods vehicles that are not fitted with seat belts. [200473]

Jim Fitzpatrick: All vehicles over 3.5 tonnes gross weight first used on or after 1 October 2001 have been required by law to be fitted with seat belts. The following table shows by year the number of goods vehicles in-use that were registered before that date.

Thousand

1997

442

1998

441

1999

459

2000

471

2001

466


Prior to 2001 some manufacturers were providing seat belts in their vehicles on a voluntary basis however we do not have statistics to show the fitting rate.

A cost and benefit study was conducted as part of the review leading to the mandatory requirement for seat belt installation. This concluded that, assuming 100 per cent. seat belt fitment, three lives and 35 serious injuries could be saved per year. At today’s values this represents a benefit of £9.9 million.

We estimate that in 2006, 266,000 vehicles first registered before October 2001, were still in use. However, a review of the age of the fleet by year shows that, on average, the number of vehicles registered before that date is reducing by approximately 40,000 per year.


24 Apr 2008 : Column 2212W

Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) fatalities and (b) injuries there were involving drivers of heavy goods vehicles which were not fitted with seat belts in each of the last 10 years. [200472]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The information requested is not collected.

Motor Vehicles: Petrol Alternatives

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Government are taking to promote alternatives to petrol powered vehicles. [201231]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Government encourage the use of alternative fuels through reduced rates of vehicle excise duty for cars run on certain alternative fuels and registered after 1 March 2001, and through differentials in fuel duty between petrol and diesel and other fuels. Vehicles powered wholly by electric power are exempt from VED.

The Government fund the running of an Infrastructure grant programme. The grants assist the building of refuelling stations for alternative fuels (natural gas/biogas, hydrogen and bio-ethanol). It is also funding research and development into battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles through a low carbon vehicles innovation platform, which brings together funding from the Department for Transport, Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

The Government have also introduced the renewable transport fuel obligation (RTFO). The RTFO, which came into effect from 15 April 2008 aims to ensure that sustainable biofuels make up an increasing percentage of total UK road transport fuels, and means that biofuels are starting to become available in low blends at the majority of forecourts in the UK.

Personal Location Beacons: Licensing

Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consideration her Department has given to the merits of a licensing regime for personal location beacons for land-based use. [200372]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The UK Search and Rescue (UKSAR) Inland Consultative Committee is currently looking at the use of personal location beacons on land and is in the process of gathering views from interested parties which will be discussed at their next meeting on 11 June with a view to ultimately making recommendations to the UKSAR Strategic Committee—an inter-agency national forum, chaired by DfT, with responsibility for advising on the structure, scope and framework of the organisation of UKSAR.

Press

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what the cost of the press offices of (a) her Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies each year was in 1996-97; what the cost was in each quarter since 1 April 2007; and if she will make a statement; [189671]


24 Apr 2008 : Column 2213W

(2) how many press office staff were employed by (a) her Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies (i) in each year since 1996-97 and (ii) at the latest date for which information is available. [189672]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department for Transport was created in May 2002. Records of costs from 1996-97 until 2001-02 are not readily available owing to departmental and agency re-organisations and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Figures for NDPBs and quarter year figures could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

(1) The cost of DFT Central’s press office (including pay and non-pay costs) for the years 2002-03 to 2006-07 and forecast for 2007-08 is as follows:

£ million
DFT(C) pay DFT(C) non-pay

2002-03

0.85

0.81

2003-04

0.70

0.80

2004-05

0.70

0.83

2005-06

0.77

0.76

2006-07

0.88

0.67

2007-08

0.84

0.67


24 Apr 2008 : Column 2214W

The non-pay costs include media monitoring, use of Central Office of Information’s Government News Network and all other direct external costs attributed to press office operations.

Press office activities in most agencies are not carried out by staff or units solely dedicated to this purpose. Full records of costs are therefore not readily available for press office functions alone. However, agency press office function pay costs have been estimated for the years 2002-03 to 2006-07 and forecast for 2007-08 as follows:

Staff £ million
2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

DSA

0.04

0.06

0.06

0.06

0.06

0.06

DVLA

0.14

0.15

0.18

0.19

0.19

0.14

GCDA

0

0

0

0

0

0

HA

0.21

0.22

0.23

0.27

0.30

0.36

MCA

0.08

0.09

0.11

0.15

0.15

0.15

VCA

0

0

0

0

0

0

VOSA

0.02

0.02

0.04

0.04

0.04

0.04


(2) The full-time equivalent number of staff employed on press officer activities from 2002-03 to 2007-08 is as follows:

Staff FTE
2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

DFT Central

12.7

13.8

13.8

13

14.6

13.8

DSA

2

2

2

2

2

2

DVLA

7

7

7.5

7

7

5

GCDA

n/a

n/a

n/a

0

0

0

HA

6

6

6

6.8

11.1

12.2

MCA

2

2

2

2

2

2

VCA

0

0

0

0

0

0

VOSA

1

1

2

2

2

2

DFT agencies

18

18

19.5

19.8

24.1

23.2

DFT total

30.7

31.8

33.3

32.8

38.7

37.0


The Highways Agency recruited regional press officers in 2006 and 2007 to support its new role as a network operator and in particular the introduction of the traffic officer service which took over many police functions in managing motorway incidents.


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