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22 July 2008 : Column 1039W—continued

Aviation: Carbon Emissions

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the likely effect of including aviation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme on carbon dioxide emissions from UK aviation. [218790]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The European Parliament has just voted in favour of including aviation into the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in January 2012.

This means that CO2 emissions from EU aviation covering all departing and arriving flights will be capped at 97 per cent. of average 2004-06 emissions in 2012 and tightening to 95 per cent. in 2013, and that any emissions above these levels will have to be matched through abatement by aviation or reductions made elsewhere.

Biofuels

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions she (a) has had and (b) plans to have with the British biofuels industry on the implications of the Gallagher review. [220060]

Jim Fitzpatrick: A number of stakeholders from the British biofuels industry made detailed submissions to Professor Gallagher's team during the course of the review, and these were taken carefully into account. Industry representatives also participated in the stakeholder workshop at which the initial findings from the background studies were discussed, and at the 9 July seminar at which Professor Gallagher presented his findings.

The Department has had and will continue to have regular discussions with representatives from the British biofuel industry, both at official and ministerial level. The Gallagher review's findings and the Government's response to them will feature prominently in these discussions over the months ahead.

The Government have stated that they intend to consult formally on slowing down the rate of increase in the renewable transport fuel obligation, taking the level to 5 per cent. (by volume) by 2013-14, in line with Professor Gallagher's recommendation. This consultation is likely to commence later in the year, and the responses from the British biofuel industry will be taken carefully into account.

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what account the Gallagher Review of biofuels took of (a) the sources of biofuels used in the UK and EU, (b) the size and status of the biofuels industry in the UK and EU, (c) the size and impact of US, UK and EU subsidies for biofuel production in relation to imports of US biofuels to the UK and EU and (d) current and projected levels of UK and EU subsidies for biofuel production in the UK and EU. [221441]


22 July 2008 : Column 1040W

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Gallagher review focused on the potential impacts of likely global demand for biofuels in 2020, rather than on the dynamics of specific regional biofuel markets. As part of this, it took account of matters such as the different types of biofuel feedstocks likely by 2020 to be used in different regions (including the EU, USA and China), and the different land requirements and impacts of these feedstocks. Matters such as current and projected levels of subsidies for biofuels and the impact these might have on different markets were outside the scope of the review. The Gallagher review and the studies underpinning it are available via the Renewable Fuels Agency's website at:

Departmental Alcoholic Drinks

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what measures are in place in her Department to monitor expenditure on alcohol for hospitality purposes. [219588]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department’s guidance on hospitality does not encourage expenditure on or consumption of alcohol. Where it is demonstrated that alcohol is to be consumed in context of a particular event and in conjunction with food, express permission from a senior manager is required.

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what purchasing process is used by her Department for the procurement of alcohol for hospitality purposes. [219938]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department does not encourage expenditure on or consumption of alcohol in relation to hospitality. Therefore there are no specific processes for the purchase of alcohol, other than those provided in Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety.

Departmental Telephone Services

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much revenue her Department received from the 0870 driver inquiry line in the last financial year; and how much it cost her Department to administer the service in that period. [221681]

Jim Fitzpatrick: For the financial year 2007-08 the rebate (revenue) received from the DVLA 0870 driver inquiry line was £687,638.18. The full staff cost (to cover the 177 staff members involved) of administering this particular 0870 service during 2007-08 was £3,389,288.00.

Departmental Written Questions

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the average time her Department has taken to respond to parliamentary questions for written answer in each of the last eight quarters. [219525]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The information requested is contained in the following table:


22 July 2008 : Column 1041W

Average number of working days to respond

2006

Quarter 3

1 July-30 September

4.27

Quarter 4

1 October-31 December

3.77

2007

Quarter 1

1 January-31 March

4.26

Quarter 2

1 April-30 June

2.99

Quarter 3

1 July-30 September

2.77

Quarter 4

1 October-31 December

4.41

2008

Quarter 1

1 January-31 March

6.22

Quarter 2

1 April-30 June

5.19


Driving Under the Influence

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent steps the Government have taken to reduce levels of drink-driving. [221334]

Jim Fitzpatrick: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave him on 13 June 2008, Official Report, column 541W.

Heathrow Airport

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions she had with BAA on landing charges at an expanded Heathrow in the six months before the publication of the “Adding Capacity at Heathrow” consultation document. [218795]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Secretary of State for Transport has held regular meetings with BAA, including during the six months before the publication of the “Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport” consultation document. These have covered a range of issues pertinent to BAA airports including Heathrow. Landing charges at an expanded Heathrow airport would be a matter for BAA and CAA, and were not discussed at these meetings.

Lorries

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the number of lorries regularly travelling on road in England which were registered (a) to British companies and (b) foreign companies in each of the last three years. [221197]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department does not hold statistics on the number of lorries regularly travelling on roads in England.


22 July 2008 : Column 1042W

However, the numbers of vehicles licensed within the heavy goods vehicle tax class and registered to keepers in England in each of the last three years were as follows:

Year end Number of licensed heavy goods vehicles registered in England (Thousand)

2005

374

2006

382

2007

383


The Department does not hold statistics on the number of foreign registered lorries being used on England’s roads but will publish estimates of the proportion of traffic accounted for by foreign registered vehicles on 24 July 2008.

Lorries: Driving Offences

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many drivers' hours offences were detected in (a) 2005, (b) 2006 and (c) 2007; and what proportion of these were committed by drivers of left-hand drive heavy goods vehicles. [220545]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) does not record whether an HGV is left or right-hand drive.

It would seem reasonable that the majority of Foreign Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) are left-hand drive, except for those from the Republic of Ireland.

Financial Year Prohibited for drivers' hours, tachograph and records O f which : Eire vehicles

2007-08

UK

7,339

Foreign

7,329

2,310

Total

14,668

2006-07

UK

4,901

Foreign

6,376

1,040

Total

11,277

2005-06

UK

6,182

Foreign

4,403

1,578

Total

10,585


Lorries: Exhaust Emissions

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the effects of a (a) particulate and (b) carbon dioxide emissions limit on the fuel efficiency of lorries. [221196]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Where the particulate emissions limit is sufficiently strict as to oblige manufacturers to use a diesel particulate filter, as the future Euro VI standard proposed by the European Commission may be, the associated fuel consumption penalty would be likely to be between 2 and 3 per cent. if no offsetting improvements to engine or vehicle technology were made.


22 July 2008 : Column 1043W

In principle, because carbon dioxide is a direct consequence of the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels, the imposition of a carbon dioxide emissions limit for lorries would, if it were lower than the current average emissions rate, reduce fuel consumption proportionately. The imposition of a carbon dioxide emission limit for lorries would be technically very difficult and deliver limited environmental benefits.

M3

Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the maximum traffic capacity of the M3 motorway between (a) junctions 4-4A and (b) junctions 4A-5. [221656]

Mr. Tom Harris: As a rural dual three-lane motorway, the estimated maximum sustainable traffic capacity of the M3 motorway between (a) junctions 4-4A and (b) junctions 4A-5 is 67,000 vehicles per carriageway per day.

The recently published Highways Agency Regional Network Report for the south-east includes observed stress maps which compare traffic capacity with daily traffic flow. A copy of this report will be placed in the House of Commons Library.

For this section of the M3, the observed stress map shows that using 2006 information, the daily stress value is 100 to 110 per cent. A value of over 100 per cent. means that the road is busy during more than just the morning and evening peak hours.

M6: Accidents

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what steps the Government have taken to reduce the number of serious car accidents on the M6; [219980]

(2) what steps the Government have taken to improve the safety of junctions on the M6. [219981]

Mr. Tom Harris: The Highways Agency continually monitors and studies safety on the M6 and all other routes for which it is responsible.

Over the last five years, it has completed over 25 improvements to the M6 motorway at various locations along its approximately 230-mile length to enhance safety both on the motorway and at junctions.

These improvements include: junction widening, signalisation of junctions, the use of high-friction surfacing, better road markings and an innovative technique developed to manage traffic on slip-roads, known as Ramp Metering.

Further safety improvements continue to be identified and will be implemented as part of the steps to address the 2010 casualty reduction targets.


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