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The contract payment arrangement is for a flat rate monthly fee. Total payments over the last five years, including payments to Strategy in Scotland who were taken over by Grayling Political Strategy, were as follows:













Rob Marris: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether (a) her Department and (b) her Department’s non-departmental public bodies provide (i) tax-free benefits and (ii) other allowances for their staff to purchase bicycles under the Cycle to Work scheme; and if she will make a statement. [197626]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department for Transport does offer a cycle to work scheme to its employees.

This scheme also enables other employers to purchase cycles and loan them to employees to support them in taking greener journeys to work.

The Department also offers interest free loans up to £1,000 for the purchase of bikes to cycle to work, which is akin to the interest free loans for train season tickets. In addition, a commuter centre is available to staff to encourage greener commuting. The same tax rules apply to benefits in kind provided to employees of Government Departments as to any other employee.

The Civil Aviation Authority, which is a public corporation sponsored by the Department also offers the scheme to its employees. However, none of the Department’s non-departmental public bodies offer a cycle to work scheme to its employees. It is for each organisation to determine its own policy with regard to offering the scheme and encouraging greener travel.

Departmental Energy

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps her Department has taken to reduce its energy consumption in the last 12 months; and what her Department’s expenditure on energy was in (a) the most recent 12 month period for which figures are available and (b) the immediately preceding 12 months. [201749]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department for Transport engaged the Carbon Trust to conduct a Carbon Management Programme on the high impact areas of our estate. This was published in December 2007 and identifies a wide
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range of measures that can be undertaken to reduce energy consumption. The department is currently developing programmes to implement these recommendations in addition to a number of local initiatives that are already in place.

The most recent period for which we have energy costs is 2006-07. Expenditure on energy was £4,866,886 during this period and for the preceding 12 months was £5,321,606.

Departmental Written Questions

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many days it took on average to answer written parliamentary questions tabled by each hon. Member for answer by her in the last six months. [201763]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The figures requested are set out in the table as follows.

Ordinary Written Named-day
Total questions due for answer Percentage answered within agreed deadlines Total questions due for answer Percentage answered on due date































A breakdown of these figures by each hon. Member is not available.

Driving Tests

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many candidates were examined at each test centre in England in the latest year for which figures are available. [202362]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 29 April 2008]: The table has been placed in the Libraries of the House which shows the number of practical tests of all types taken at each DSA test centre in England from 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008. These figures identify the number of tests taken, not the number of candidates. This will include individuals who have taken the test on multiple occasions at the same or different test centres.

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the likely number of candidates presenting at each test centre in England in each year to 2012. [202363]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 29 April 2008]: The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) forecasts demand for tests nationally for three years ahead. These figures are published in the agency’s business plan for 2008-09. DSA does not make forecasts of test demand for each driving test centre. Candidates are free to choose at which centre they prefer to take their test.

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Driving: Standards

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what her definition is of most customers as used in the Driving Standards Agency Code of Practice on Driving Consultations, Annex B, paragraph 3. [202360]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 29 April 2008]: Most customers is defined as more than 50 per cent. of candidates wanting access to a test centre in order to take their driving test.

Driving: Working Hours

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what exemptions from the road transport working time directive are to be allowed. [201387]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The European Regulation on drivers’ hours (Regulation (EC) No 561/2006) provides a number of automatic exemptions and national derogations. The national derogations granted in Great Britain (GB) are set out in the Community Drivers’ Hours and Recording Equipment Regulations 2007 (SI 2007/1819).

European Directive 2002/15/EC on the working time of mobile workers (drivers, crew and other travelling staff) operating on vehicles subject to the European Regulation on drivers’ hours was implemented in GB by the Road Transport (Working Time) Regulations 2005 (SI 2005/639). The Regulations do not apply to mobile workers who only occasionally work in-scope of the rules and self-employed drivers (as defined in the Regulations).

Copies of the legislation are available in the Libraries of the House.

Electronic Government

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether mechanisms are in place to monitor the extent to which her Department's (a) internal and (b) external (i) correspondence and (ii) distribution of publications is carried out electronically. [199194]

Jim Fitzpatrick: We monitor items such as Freedom of Information requests; parliamentary questions; letters from MPs and the public addressed to Ministers; and emails received in email addresses on the Department's website. We do not however carry out systematic quantitative monitoring of general electronic communication from individual email addresses in the department.

Our general aim in correspondence and publishing, both internally and externally, is to reduce paper consumption and to communicate electronically whenever it is both possible and appropriate. The volume of items we publish electronically on the Department's website has grown significantly in recent years.

Motorcycles: Training

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps she is taking to ensure that riders of motorcycles with an engine capacity of under 50cc have undertaken compulsory basic training. [200915]

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Jim Fitzpatrick: A motorcycle with an engine capacity of under 50cc is classed as a moped. Learner moped riders must undertake a compulsory basic training course before they can ride on the road. This is a legal requirement specified in the Road Traffic Acts. Once a course has been successfully completed, a rider is issued with a certificate. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency will update the rear of the persons photocard licence on successful completion of the course to show code 122. Any persons riding on the road who ignore this training requirement are committing an offence and are liable to prosecution.

Public Transport: Concessions

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the effect of the introduction of the nationwide concessionary fare scheme on (a) the level of eligibility set by local authorities and (b) the level of access by disabled people. [202493]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The criteria for eligibility for the statutory minimum concession are set out in statute supported by revised guidance recently issued by the Department.

The Transport Act 2000 (or for those resident in London, the Greater London Authority Act 1999) makes provision for concessionary travel to a wide range of disabled people. Categories of disability were drawn up following representation from local government and support from the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee. The people eligible are as follows:

Travel concession authorities (TCAs) continue to be responsible for administering concessionary travel schemes for their residents, assessing eligibility and issuing passes. They remain able to offer travel concessions on a more generous basis than that specified as the statutory minimum.

As the England-wide statutory minimum was introduced on 1 April it is too soon to assess the effect of its introduction, but as part of our monitoring of concessionary travel the Department intends to carry out a survey of TCAs during summer 2008. This may include details of which authorities choose to offer more generous concessions and is due to report in the autumn.

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Roads: Cameras

Jeff Ennis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the maximum penalty which can be imposed for vandalism of a road safety camera is. [201554]

Mr. Hanson: I have been asked to reply.

Vandalism to safety cameras constitutes criminal damage, the maximum penalty for which is 10 years' imprisonment.

Roads: Satellite Navigation Systems

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will consult the producers of satellite navigation systems to discuss the display of routes unsuitable for motorised vehicles. [202568]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Responsibility for recommending routes via satellite navigation systems lies with system providers. However, the Department for Transport is supporting a Network Management Board sub-group that aims to bring together a wide range of stakeholders to consider how best to address the issue of inappropriate routeing. The Department has also conducted initial public consultation as part of a review of route guidance system issues.

Rolling Stock: Thameslink

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the new carriages for Thameslink announced on 9th April 2008 are in addition to the new carriages announced in July in the White Paper, Delivering a Sustainable Railway. [202209]

Mr. Tom Harris [holding answer 28 April 2008]: Some of the new vehicles for Thameslink are a component of the 1,300 new vehicles announced in July 2007 in the White Paper ‘Delivering a Sustainable Railway’ which committed a high level output statement (HLOS) for the railways. However, Thameslink and the HLOS have overlapping timescales. The HLOS vehicles are required to be delivered by March 2014. The final complete fleet of new Thameslink vehicles are required to be in service by December 2015.

By December 2015, the full 1,100 vehicles will be in use on Thameslink routes. This represents a net increase in the number of vehicles on the network, over and above HLOS commitments. The precise number of net, additional vehicles resulting from the Thameslink programme will depend on the contracted delivery profile of the new Thameslink vehicles.

Taylor Nelson Sofres

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the value of contracts awarded to Taylor Nelson Sofres by her Department was in each year since 1997. [201661]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department for Transport was formed in May 2002. Since this date the Department has not awarded any contracts to Taylor Nelson Sofres.
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