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Thameslink Railway Line: Rolling Stock

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much her Department has spent on consultants on the specification for the new Thameslink rolling stock; and for what reason this matter was not deemed to be the responsibility of the rolling stock companies. [208921]

Mr. Tom Harris: As of the 31 May 2008, the Department of Transport has spent approximately £1.1 million on the development of the procurement exercise to provide the new Thameslink rolling stock. This includes support from financial, legal and technical consultants.

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In electing to lead the procurement, the Department identified that Thameslink is a highly complex programme with a clear requirement for the rolling stock specification and delivery to be aligned with the infrastructure works and planned train service operations. Successful integration of these elements sits with the Department. The Department also identified that there is a requirement for optimising the value of the investment and a need to address the aims of the Rail Technical Strategy published in July 2007.

We considered that these issues were less likely to be fully addressed by a market led approach and there was a need for departmental leadership to ensure that the objectives of the Thameslink rolling stock programme are fully realised.


Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what account is taken of the time taken for journeys by different modes of transport when appraising transport schemes. [210055]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department for Transport appraises proposed transport schemes using the New Approach to Appraisal (NATA). Journey time impacts across all modes of transport are included in every NATA appraisal, and form an important element of the benefits of transport interventions.

For the purpose of valuing changes in the duration of journeys NATA distinguishes between working, commuting and leisure trips. This reflects a large body of evidence on the values of time spent travelling. The values used in appraisal are provided by the WebTAG resource available at:

Most journey time savings typically accrue to people who are travelling in their own time, and are valued at either £5.04 per hour or £4.46 in 2002 prices, depending on whether time is saved from a journey to work or another destination. This is irrespective of the mode used.

Transport schemes also reduce times taken for work-related journeys. These benefits are valued according to the average labour costs of individuals who travel by different modes of transport. The average value of working time across all working persons is £26.73 in 2002 prices. Further details of the values of working time applied in transport appraisals are set out in table 1 in the transport analysis guidance unit linked to above. A copy of the table follows. These do differ by mode: evidence indicates that business travellers are selective in the modes used during work, with the most productive business trips using taxi, with rail and underground also being of high value.

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Table 1: Values of working time per person
£ per hour, 2002 prices and values
Vehicle occupant Market price

Car driver


Car passenger


LGV (driver or passenger)


OGV (driver or passenger)


PSV driver


PSV passenger


Taxi driver


Taxi/Minicab passenger


Rail passenger


Underground passenger








Average of all working persons


Transport: Exhaust Emissions

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will place in the Library the databases used to calculate the average carbon dioxide emissions per person per journey within Great Britain via the Transport Direct website. [209074]

Ms Rosie Winterton: A spreadsheet showing the CO2 values used for each mode of transport as at 4 June 2008 and also the other assumptions used to calculate journey distances has been placed in the Libraries of the House. Much of this information is available to Transport Direct users in the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ section of the website.

Northern Ireland

Community Support Officers

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) if he will make a statement on the introduction of police community support officers as recommended by the Patten Report; [208970]

(2) what financial arrangements have been made for the introduction of police community support officers in Northern Ireland; [208971]

(3) what the timescale is for the introduction of police community support officers as recommended in the Patten Report. [208972]

Paul Goggins: The evidence from England and Wales is that PCSOs can play an important role, alongside police and other police support staff, in making communities safer and providing public reassurance on local issues of concern.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland has received a resource allocation in excess of £1.1 billion for each of the three years of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR07). The timing of the introduction of PCSOs is a matter for the Chief Constable to consider, in consultation with the Policing Board.

Fuels: Smuggling

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people were (a) charged with and (b) convicted of the distribution or sale of illegal fuel in Northern Ireland in the last 12 months. [210067]

Kitty Ussher: I have been asked to reply.

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In the last 12 months, eight people have been convicted of hydrocarbon oils fraud in Northern Ireland. In that period, six have been arrested in relation to suspected hydrocarbon oils fraud in cases which are being dealt with by information and summons.

In the same period, in mainland Great Britain, one case involving four defendants has reached the prosecution stage.

The number of people convicted in relation to hydrocarbon oils fraud in mainland Great Britain and Northern Ireland during the period 2007-08 will be published in the HMRC autumn performance report 2008, later this year.

Criminal investigation and prosecution for hydrocarbon oils offences form only one part of HMRC’s overall approach to tackling oils fraud, together with the investigation/prosecution of wider oils excise offences, combined with a strong regulatory control system and the civil penalties regime.

Homicide: Belfast

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress has been made in the investigation of the murder of Thomas Devlin on 10 August 2005. [208967]

Paul Goggins: The PSNI are currently awaiting directions from the Public Prosecution Service in respect of their recommendations.

Offensive Weapons: Arrests

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many persons in Northern Ireland were arrested for an offence of possession of an offensive weapon or bladed article as a result of police usage of metal detection devices in the latest period for which figures are available. [209303]

Paul Goggins: The Chief Constable has provided the following answer:

Police Service of Northern Ireland: Recruitment

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he is taking to encourage recruitment of young people from a Protestant background in inner city areas of Northern Ireland into the Police Service of Northern Ireland. [208234]

Paul Goggins: As recommended by the Report of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland, each Police Service of Northern Ireland recruitment campaign is advertised imaginatively and extensively through newspapers and the internet. This advertising is aimed at all parts of the community in Northern Ireland and covers both urban and rural areas.

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The PSNI also attend a wide range of careers fairs and recruitment events in schools, colleges and communities across Northern Ireland.

Recruitment processes are constantly reviewed to ensure that they meet operational needs.

Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

Accident Group

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what representations he has received on (a) allegations of audit failure at The Accident Group and (b) the investigation of such allegations by the Financial Reporting Council; and if he will make a statement. [209757]

Mr. Thomas: A check of records has revealed that such representations were received by the DTI from my hon. Friend the Member for Great Grimsby and from the Association for Accountancy and Business Affairs.

Business: Females

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform when he expects to launch the women’s enterprise campaign; and what recent assessment he has made of trends in women’s enterprise activity. [204293]

Mr. Thomas: The Government are determined that we maximise the untapped economic dividend for the UK from increasing female entrepreneurship rates. The US has 20 per cent. more businesses per head than the UK. A significant proportion of this gap is explained by much lower rates of women’s entrepreneurial activity in the UK. This goes to the heart of the UK’s productivity and competitiveness.

Discussions and market research are already under way with the aim of launching a Women’s Enterprise Media Campaign “Spark an Idea” in September 2008. The campaign will be co-ordinated by Enterprise Insight, who are funded by my Department and which brings together an enterprise coalition of 25 national organisations from education, the voluntary sector, business and government. The campaign will specifically look to develop the awareness and potential of women who are under-represented in enterprise currently.

The campaign is an integral part of a strong package of measures on women’s enterprise announced recently in the Government’s Enterprise Strategy. Those measures include provision for: £12.5 million of Government capital through a women’s investment fund; women’s business centre pilots; enhanced mentoring support; a new national enterprise centre of expertise; and activity aimed at opening up procurement opportunities to women-owned businesses. More information on the strategy is available at:

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Climate Change

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps are being taken by his Department to implement the recommendations of the second limb of the Stern Report, with particular reference to (a) technological developments and (b) carbon capture storage policy. [208503]

Malcolm Wicks: BERR welcomes the release of Lord Stern’s Key Elements of a Global Deal paper. We hope it will stimulate debate, and more importantly, action. The report’s findings will continue to feed into the Government’s thinking on climate change.

BERR is working to promote technology and investment cooperation both in the UK and overseas through a range of initiatives such as the Environmental Transformation Fund (ETF) and the International Energy Agency (IEA). It also works with the Technology Strategy Board, the Energy Technologies Institute, the Carbon Trust and the Research Councils to ensure a cohesive approach to innovation.

Between 2002 and 2008 the UK spent over £500 million on research and development in low carbon technologies, with funding continuing under the ETF. The creation of the Energy Technologies Institute in late 2007, a partnership between the public and private sectors, will coordinate up to £1 billion worth of RD and D funding into low carbon energy technology over the next 10 years.

The Government recognise the global potential of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and are working in a number of ways to support its development. This includes a competition to develop the UK’s first commercial-scale demonstration of CCS and supporting smaller scale R and D and demonstration of CCS technology, developing EU and domestic regulatory regimes for the safe and reliable storage of CO2 as well as amending international treaties to enable CCS technology. We are also working through the EU, G8, IEA and bilaterally to encourage the development and deployment of CCS internationally. Working towards a global consensus on the urgency of the need to demonstrate and deploy CCS has been a particular priority and we are working with EU partners to realise the Commission’s ambition for up to 12 commercial scale CCS projects by 2015. We also strongly support the IEA’s call to the G8 for 20 demonstration projects to be launched by 2010, and on leading the campaign to have this referred to in the final text at both the Energy Ministers and the Leaders Summit.

Coal: Exports

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the impact on exports of British coal of other EU member states’ coal industry state aids; and if he will make a statement. [209144]

Malcolm Wicks: In 2007, total UK coal production was approximately 17 million tonnes, predominantly of coal-fired electricity generation quality, the bulk of which was used within the UK. UK coal exports were under 0.6 million tonnes; this is understood to have included shipments to Ireland and Norway.

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The 27 European Union states import annually in the order of 120 million tonnes of coal from third countries for generation use.

Total UK coal imports in 2007 were approximately 43 million tonnes, of which 22 million tonnes was from Russia and 12 million tonnes from South Africa. With regard to trade with other coal producing EU member states, 852,000 tonnes were imported from Poland, 46,000 tonnes from Spain and 41,000 tonnes from Germany.

The impact of coal state aids under Council Regulation 1407/2002 on the coal market was considered as part of the report COM(2007)253 which, with its annex SEC(2007) 602, was published by the European Commission on 21 May 2007. This concluded that distortion of the coal market within the EU as a result of such aids seems to be limited by the fact that most subsidized coal covered by the Regulation is consumed in national markets, and that this suggests that there is little direct competition between coal produced in different member states. A possible exception is Germany, which has replaced parts of its indigenous production with imports from Poland and the Czech Republic.

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