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21 July 2008 : Column 880W—continued


Departmental Sick Leave

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many working days have been lost due to sickness among employees for which her Department and its predecessor were responsible for each year since 1997. [218035]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department was first established in May 2002. The number of working days lost due to sickness are:


21 July 2008 : Column 881W

Days

2003

164,237.5

2004

175,860

2005

184,101

2006

188,666

2007

206,608


Departmental Travel

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 12 June 2008 to the hon. Member for Chipping Barnet, Official Report, columns 399-400W, on departmental travel, if she will break down the spend on travel by body. [217521]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The breakdown for the central Department and its agencies for the last three financial years are contained in the following table:

£

2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

DFT Rail

89,531

153,944

151,152

DFT(c)

4,740,256

5,508,671

DSA

4,581,027

DVLA

626,723

679,155

685,369

GCDA

198,082

161,394

1.92,285

HA

4,549,000

4,737,000

4,697,000

MCA

1,985,177

1,955,431

2,124,759

VCA

461,979

378,745

432,074

VOSA

Total

12,650,748

13,574,340

12,863,666


Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much her Department spent on taxi travel for staff in each of the last three years. [217610]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Five of the Department’s seven agencies (DVLA, GCDA, HA, VOSA and MCA) do not record taxi spend separately from other travel costs, and the information could be only provided at disproportionate cost. Figures for the remaining two agencies, DFT(c) and for DFT (Rail) are included in the following table:

£

2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

VCA

2,581.85

2,416.75

2,061.86

DSA

11,256

20,556

DFT Rail

15,272.56

10,615.94

14,457.63

DFT(c)

123,128.94


DSA did not record taxi costs separately before 2006, and the information could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Figures for DFT(c) for 2006-07, and 2007-08 are not currently available, but we expect that they will be by the end of July.


21 July 2008 : Column 882W

Driving Offences

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions she has had with her European colleagues on the possibility of penalty points given to foreign drivers by UK authorities being recognised in other European countries. [220544]

Jim Fitzpatrick: I have had discussions with my Irish and Northern Ireland colleagues. We announced on 26 June the decision of the UK and Ireland to work together towards the mutual recognition of one another's penalty points for motoring offences, including the mutual recognition of penalty points between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

We intend that the lessons learnt from co-operating with Ireland in this way will advise any further discussions we may have with other European colleagues going forward.

Exhaust Emissions: Pollution Control

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps have been taken to make low carbon travel a priority in (a) local transport plans, ( b) local area agreements and (c) local development frameworks. [216325]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Developing low carbon travel is becoming increasingly important at the local level. Guidance published in 2004 on the second round of Local Transport Plans (LTPs1) encouraged local transport authorities to consider measures to tackle climate change. The Local Transport Bill currently before the House includes a new duty on local authorities to have regard to the protection or improvement of the environment in developing and implementing policies to be included in local transport plans. We expect to publish draft guidance on future plans towards the end of the year.

In recently agreed local area agreements 100 local authorities have adopted a target relating to indicator NI186—“Per capita reduction in CO2 emissions in the LA area”. The Department will work closely with authorities and other Departments concerned to help meet the agreed targets.

The Department has also supported the development of PPS1—Planning and Climate Change (which supplements the main Planning Policy Statement). This was published in December 2007 and provides guidance to authorities preparing local development frameworks.

Freight

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what volume of goods was transported within the UK by (a) road, (b) rail, (c) aeroplane and (d) waterway in each of the last five years. [220633]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The following table provides figures for the years 2002 to 2006, the latest years for which information is available for all modes.


21 July 2008 : Column 883W

21 July 2008 : Column 884W
Table 1: Domestic freight transport: by mode: 2002 to 2006
Goods lifted (million tonnes)
Water( 3)

Road (GB) Rail( 1) (GB) Aviation( 2 ) (UK) Total (UK) O f which : I nland waters (UK)

2002

1,734

87

0.055

139

49

2003

1,753

89

0.059

133

47

2004

1,863

100(4)

0.062

127

45

2005

1,868

105(5)

0.068

133

49

2006

1,936

108

0.068

126

51

(1 )Figures for rail are for financial years.
(2 )Domestic cargo handled at UK airports adjusted to eliminate double counting and excluding mail and passengers’ luggage.
(3 )Includes coastwise traffic and one port traffic (sea dredged aggregates and traffic with offshore installations) as well as inland waterway traffic. The component of this traffic using inland waterways is shown separately.
(4 )Break in the series, increase largely due to changes in coverage
(5 )Figures from 2005 onwards include some of the tonnes lifted by GB railfreight.
Sources:
Department for Transport, Office of Rail Regulation, Civil Aviation Authority

Fuels: Prices

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of taxes on fuel in decreasing car usage. [218415]

Angela Eagle: I have been asked to reply.

HM Revenue and Customs estimates the impact of a change in fuel duty on the distance travelled by vehicles using historic data. Other things being equal, an increase in fuel duty leads to a reduction in distance travelled, although the effect is not one-for-one because many road transport journeys are non-discretionary.

Helicopters: Sea Rescue

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many search and rescue helicopters the Maritime Coastguard Agency plans to order in the next 10 years. [220252]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Maritime and Coastguard Agency Search and Rescue helicopter provision is managed through a commercial contract. They expect that to be the case over the next 10 years. The contract specifies the service provision required. The physical number of helicopters to meet that service provision is a matter for the contractor.

High Speed Trains

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) when she informed Network Rail that they had to consider the possibility of introducing new high speed lines in the United Kingdom; [217576]

(2) if she will place in the Library the specification she has given Network Rail for their new lines study; [217577]

(3) whether she has asked Network Rail to look into any specific proposals as part of the new lines study; [217578]

(4) what the commissioned price of the Network Rail new lines study is. [217626]

Mr. Tom Harris: In the “Towards a Sustainable Transport System” document of October 2007 we proposed the generation of a broad range of options, which is why the Secretary of State invited Network Rail to begin work to develop longer-term options for the railway network in March 2008. In response to this on 23 June 2008 Network Rail announced, a strategic review of the case for new rail lines. Network Rail has developed its own remit for this work. The costs of the study will be borne by Network Rail reflecting their network planning function.

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the capacity which could be created on the (a) West Coast Main Line and (b) East Coast Main Line by the formation of a new high-speed rail line in addition to the current tracks along those routes. [217607]

Mr. Tom Harris: Any new rail line would create significant additional capacity on both new and existing lines. On 23 June 2008 Network Rail announced a strategic review of the case for new rail lines, including the additional capacity that would be created. It will consider five of Network Rail’s strategic routes, north and west of London: Chiltern, East Coast West Coast, Great Western and Midland Main Lines.

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what meetings she has had with Network Rail to discuss high-speed rail in the last 12 months. [218794]

Mr. Tom Harris: The Secretary of State regularly meets Network Rail to discuss a range of issues of common interest.

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the study being conducted by Network Rail into high-speed rail lines was commissioned by her Department. [219415]

Mr. Tom Harris: The Secretary of State invited Network Rail to begin work to develop longer-term options for the railway network in March 2008. In response to this, on 23 June 2008 Network Rail announced a strategic review of the case for new rail lines.

Highways Agency: Telephone Services

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what income her Department received from the Highways Agency 0845 number in (a) 2007-08, (b) 2006-07 and (c) 2005-06. [217544]


21 July 2008 : Column 885W

Mr. Tom Harris: The Highways Agency Information Line (08457 504030) enables the public to call to receive information on the motorways and trunk road network.

Calls to this number cost no more than 4p a minute. It does not generate any revenue for the Highways Agency.


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