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Driving Under Influence

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Government have taken to reduce the levels of drink-driving. [209947]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 12 June 2008]: The Government aim to reduce drinking and driving through a combination of effective law enforcement, maintaining a tough penalties regime and continuing to invest in high-profile national publicity campaigns.

Police enforcement has been enhanced in recent years by enabling blood specimens to be taken from unconscious, hospitalised drink-drive suspects. The police have also been given powers to carry out evidential roadside breathtesting, subject to type approval of appropriate devices.

The Road Safety Act 2006 contains a number of other measures designed to deter drink-driving and reduce reoffending. These include enabling powers to require serious, including repeat, offenders to retake the driving test at the end of their disqualification; to improve the operation of the drink-drive rehabilitation scheme; to close loopholes in the law relating to high risk offenders; and to create a statutory alcohol ignition interlock programme.

We have recently launched the THINK! Summer 2008 drink-drive publicity campaign, which is running in parallel with the police's enforcement campaign throughout June. This is a multi-media campaign which builds on the Moment of Doubt commercial launched last year emphasising the serious personal consequences of a drink-drive conviction. The new campaign focuses on the 11-year driving licence endorsement for most drink-drive offences.

We remain committed to public consultation on further measures for tackling drink-driving, including ways of making police enforcement easier, and are aiming to publish a consultation document within the next few months.


Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many Eurostar tickets were paid for by her Department in each of the last three years; and what her Department's expenditure on such tickets was in each year. [209258]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The information requested can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

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Heathrow Airport: Security

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the division of responsibilities is between her Department and BAA on security at Heathrow Terminal 5. [209054]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department is responsible for the National Aviation Security Programme which sets out mandatory measures and associated guidance for the UK aviation industry. Implementation of the relevant measures is the responsibility of airport operators and airlines. We work closely with industry to ensure that these measures are delivered, and have worked particularly intensively with BAA at Heathrow both prior to and since the opening of T5.

Railways: Standards

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what guidance her Department issues to rail franchise holders on their duty to co-operate with other franchise holders seeking to fulfil the terms of their franchise. [210925]

Mr. Tom Harris: In principle, franchisees are solely responsible for the delivery of contracted rail services, as these do not depend on co-operation with other franchisees. However, train operators have reliability and punctuality targets in their franchise contracts and are required to work with other operators and Network Rail to drive up performance on shared routes. There are also contractual requirements to work with other operators where necessary, for instance on timetable development, in the event of disruption, or with station improvement work.

Roads: Accidents

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 20 March 2008 to the hon. Member for City of York, Official Report, column 1391-2W, on roads: accidents, on how many occasions the information provided by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to the police and courts has subsequently been found to be incorrect. [209263]

Jim Fitzpatrick: It is not possible to provide these figures as the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency does not hold this information.

Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what mechanisms are in place to ensure road safety is upheld when road maintenance is taking place. [209946]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 12 June 2008]: The Department for Transport recognises that during road maintenance and street works it is important to protect adequately both road workers and road users. To enable highway authorities, statutory utilities and contractors to maintain safety there is comprehensive, national guidance on how to design and operate temporary traffic management in Chapter 8 of the Traffic Signs Manual. This guidance is developed by
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the Highways Agency in association with industry and other stakeholders such as the Health and Safety Executive. Additional guidance, mainly for workers undertaking urban utilities work is also included in "Safety at Street Works and Road Works: a Code of Practice". Both documents are published on the Department's website at

These documents recognise that the principle of maintaining adequate safety requires workers to be protected with cones, barriers and safety zones. However, as cones and barriers can pose a risk to road users speed limits are often imposed to reduce that risk, with enforcement measures where practicable.

Schools: Cycling

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the Answer of 31 March 2008, Official Report, column 700W, on schools: cycling, which 36 local authorities have received funding from her Department under the Bikeability programme. [209273]

Ms Rosie Winterton: 35 local authorities were offered cycle training grants in 2007-08, plus a grant to Transport for London. 34 authorities outside London took up the grant, with one later deciding they were unable to deliver the additional training. The 34 authorities outside London were:

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In March this year we announced that 69 local authorities would receive cycle training grant in 2008-09. These are:

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Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether her Department plans to re-evaluate its transport appraisals using the current guide price for oil of $120 per barrel. [208923]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department does not plan to re-evaluate appraisals on the basis of the current guide price for oil. Transport improvements have long-term impacts many years into the future and current oil prices will necessarily only provide some of the evidence. The Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) analyses both current oil prices and factors determining long-term trends in the price of oil. The Department for Transport provides promoters with fuel price forecasts based on BERR forecasts.

Transport: Disabled

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the baseline number of (a) trains and (b) buses accessible to people with disabilities is against which the 2008 to 2011 public service agreement 15 will be monitored; and if she will make a statement. [208361]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 4 June 2008]: At 1 January 2008, the number of rail vehicles compliant with the Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations was 4,700 (which is 31 per cent. of all rail vehicles) including approx 4,600 heavy rail trains (42 per cent. of that group). The Department for Transport records the number of accessible rail vehicles as they enter service.

Data on the number of accessible buses are collected for the annual Public Transport Statistics Bulletin for Great Britain. There was an increase in the percentage of low floor buses up from 50 per cent. in 2005-06 to 58 per cent. in 2006-07. We have met the voluntary target agreed with the bus industry which is that 50 per cent. of buses should be low floor by 2010. All full size buses must comply with the Public Vehicle Accessibility Regulations, which include a requirement for low floor, wheelchair accessible buses, by 2017.

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