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8 July 2008 : Column 1448Wcontinued
19. Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what her latest estimate is of levels of overcrowding on trains; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Tom Harris: Figures from the Office of Rail Regulation show that passenger numbers grew by 7.8 per cent. over the year to December 2007. The Rail White Paper, which we published in July 2007, described how the Government intend to work with the industry to ensure that the network can cater for that growth. At the heart of our plans is the £10 billion that we have committed ourselves to spending enhancing rail capacity between 2009 and 2014.
20. Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans she has to improve security at airports. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The measures in the National Aviation Security Programme exist to safeguard passengers from terrorism. They need to be effective and proportionate to the evolving threat, and to minimise burdens on passengers and the industry.
We keep these measures under constant review, in close co-operation with the industry. Lord West's review last year broadly supported the direction of travel and the pace of the work that we had in hand in this, as in other areas of transport security.
We have however set in train two important initiatives. One is the planned Transport Security Bill. This will allow us to place airport security planning and policing on a necessary legislative footing and further strengthen the functioning of the overall security regime at airports.
We have also commissioned an independent review into the current arrangements for personnel security in respect of applicants and existing staff in the transport industry, which includes aviation. This will report soon.
21. Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of rail services in South Yorkshire. 
Mr. Tom Harris: Network Rail is responsible for determining the level of rail services required over the forthcoming 10-year period using its route utilisation strategy (RUS) process. The Yorkshire and Humberside RUS is currently under development and will identify changes to rail services that may be required in South Yorkshire over that period. The Department has, however, already procured a new service from Leeds to Nottingham, calling at Sheffield and Barnsley, to operate from December 2008.
22. Ms Dari Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what funding her Department has provided for (a) local authorities and (b) others to support the provision of training for cyclists in the last three years. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: To date, we have made around £4.3 million available to local authorities to fund Bikeability, the new national standard for cycle training. This includes £150,000 to pilot the new standard in 2006-07, £1.2 million in 2007-08 and £3.1 million in this financial year. In addition, we have made around £1.5 million available to the School Sports Partnerships to increase Bikeability training in schools over the same period. We will also be providing funding amounting to around £400,000 to enable British cycling coaches to deliver Bikeability training this year.
We have also invested around £1 million between 2005-06 and 2007-08 via a grant to the Cycling Tourist Club to build capacity in the cycle training sector.
23. Sarah McCarthy-Fry: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent progress her Department has made on encouraging more people to cycle in towns and cities. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: We announced on 19 June a package of almost £100 million to support 12 new Cycling Demonstration Towns including the first large Demonstration City, Bristol. Half this funding is coming from the local authorities themselves, which is an encouraging demonstration of the level of support for cycling. They have joined the existing six, so there is now a demonstration place in every region, which will assist in the sharing of experience in increasing cycling levels through events such as regional workshops.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent by her Department on (a) food and (b) food of British origin in each of the last five years. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The amount spent on food, where recorded, for the last five financial years is tabled as follows:
|Total spend (£)|
|(1) Aggregate spend at: Air Accidents Investigation Branch, Driving Standards Agency and Maritime and Coastguard Agency. (2) Aggregate spend at: Department for Transport London headquarters buildings, Air Accidents Investigation Branch, Rail Accident Investigation Branch, Driving Standards Agency, Government Car and Despatch Agency and Maritime and Coastguard Agency. (3) Aggregate spend at: Department for Transport London headquarters buildings, Air Accidents Investigation Branch, Rail Accident Investigation Branch, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, Driving Standards Agency, Government Car and Despatch Agency and Maritime and Coastguard Agency.|
Changes to local recording arrangements mean that data are not consistently available for all years requested, as noted in the table.
At departmental level, 48.5 per cent. of spend on food is estimated to be of British origin while 70 per cent. of food expenditure at our main London headquarters building is estimated to be of British origin.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the value of her Departments computer systems (a) was at the time of purchase and (b) is now. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Departments and the agencies compile their accounts in line with Financial Reporting Manual (FReM).
The value at the time of purchase for all IT systems is not easily accessible as all IT systems are not capitalised if they are below the threshold set by each entity. Collection of all these costs could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. All IT systems that are capitalised are shown as follows. These costs are as at 31 March 2008 as per the draft annual accounts of each entity.
|Entity||Cost at time of purchase||Net book value as at 31 March 2008|
|(1) Includes hardware and software.|
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps her Department takes to ensure which registered car owners pay vehicle excise duty. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) operates a comprehensive package of measures to ensure that vehicle excise duty is convenient to pay but very hard to avoid.
There are a variety of ways to license a vehicle, with online and telephone services now being used by a large and growing number of vehicle keepers. Those who fail to license their vehicles are subject to enforcement measures ranging from automated penalties from the vehicle record to direct enforcement action such as the wheel clamping, impounding and, ultimately, disposal of the unlicensed vehicle.
The most recent statistics estimate that the DVLA was successful in collecting 98.5 per cent. of all vehicle excise duty payable in 2007-08, demonstrating that this approach is proving effective.
Mr. Goodwill: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many heavy goods vehicle or public service vehicle operators (a) have and (b) do not have the necessary facilities to carry out MOT tests. 
A number of organisations have sought approval for facilities which can be used to carry out public service vehicle (PSV) and heavy goods vehicle (HGV) annual tests. The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) has authorised around 210 such facilities.
Tests at these sites are carried out by civil servants from VOSA and the network includes sites that cater for both HGV and PSV annual tests or either type individually. These authorised premises are owned by either operators or commercial organisations carrying out maintenance, and some organisations will have more than one facility that is authorised to carry out tests.
VOSA does not hold data on how many operators may have the appropriate facilities to conduct HGV and/or PSV annual tests but have not sought authorisation. However, tests can be carried out only at sites which have been authorised.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what allocation (a) her Department and (b) the Highways Agency has made for consultancy fees in relation to (i) roads, (ii) railways and (iii) other matters in its budget for 2008-09. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department for Transport, including agencies other than the Highways Agency, has made budget allocations for expenditure on consultancy and professional services in 2008-09 as follows:
Roads includes road pricing and road vehicle safety and standards. Railways includes Crossrail, LCR, Metronet and various aspects of the railways industry. Other Matters includes all the transport Executive agencies, except the Highways Agency, together with the shared services project and other organisational consultancies.
The Highways Agency has no specific allocation within its budget for consultancy fees, but anticipates spending £2,000,000 during 2008-09 on administrative consultancies.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans she has to enable community transport groups to extend the services that they offer. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Local Transport Bill, currently awaiting its Report stage, contains provisions that would create opportunities for community transport groups to extend their services by allowing greater flexibility over the size of vehicle used and removing the restriction on paying drivers on community bus services.
Lynne Jones: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, how many years' service with the House is required for officers of the House to receive 40 days' paid leave; and how many people received (a) 40 days, (b) 35 to 39 days, (c) 30 to 34 and (d) 28 days' paid leave pro rata in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Nick Harvey: Leave entitlements for staff of the House are set out in the Staff Handbook, which is available on the parliamentary intranet. In summary, most staff receive 28 days paid leave per annum on appointment, rising to 40 days after 11 years service. Staff appointed to the senior commons structure (SCS) receive 40 days annual leave on appointment. For the current leave year (1 November 2007 to 31 October 2008), the leave entitlements for individual staff in post on 1 November 2007, including part-timers, are set out in the following table.
|Leave due (pro-rata for part-time staff)||Officers of the House (staff at SCS and pay band A)||Other pay bands||Total individuals|
|(1) This figure includes all part-time and casual staffthe number of permanent full-time equivalent staff at 1 November 2007 was 1,707.|
Mr. Maude: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, how many parliamentary identity cards or passes have been reported lost or stolen in the last 24 months. 
Nick Harvey: The number of parliamentary photo-identity passes that have been reported stolen to the police over the past 24 months is 31.
Exact figures for the number lost over the same period are not available, but over the past nine years a total of 313 passes have been reported lost.
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