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17 Sep 2008 : Column 2242Wcontinued
The AUC manages individual passenger complaints and seeks to secure a satisfactory resolution in cases where the regulation is not being appropriately applied.
If the AUC identifies a trend of apparent non-compliance, then it may refer the matter to the CAA for enforcement action.
Upon referral the CAA will undertake a comprehensive investigation and, where there is evidence that the regulation has been breached, initiate enforcement action. The CAA seeks to enforce the regulation in a proportionate and balanced manner. The nature of the action taken will depend on individual circumstances, but will seek to prevent a recurrence of the breach and that an individual passengers rights under the legislation are upheld. In parallel passengers also have the right to take their case to the Small Claims Court, which has proven to be an effective method of enabling passengers to obtain redress.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what procedures are in place to ensure that airlines operating out of each airport within the UK comply with European rules on compensation for the cancellation of flights. 
Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 15 September 2008]: The, arrangements in the UK for promoting compliance with and enforcing regulation EC 261/2004 on compensation and assistance to air passengers in the event of denied boarding, cancellation or long delays are set out in the answer to the hon. Members questions today (UIN 223134 and 223135).
Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what her most recent estimate is of growth per annum in footfall at Birmingham New Street Station. 
Mr. Tom Harris: Birmingham New Street handles 1,350 trains and over 120,000 passengers daily; twice what it was originally designed for. Passenger growth of 30 per cent. has been experienced over the past 10 years, with similar levels forecast over the same period in future.
Longer trains and important improvements to the station's passenger handling capacity are set to deal with this growth.
Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she plans to answer the letter of 4 August 2008 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton, with regard to Ms J. Reed. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport replied on 11 September.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many late licence penalty notices were issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in each year since 1997; 
(2) how many late licence penalty notices were paid (a) within 28 days and (b) after 28 days in each year since 1997; 
(3) how many convictions the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has obtained for failing to pay a late licence penalty notice in each year since 1997; 
(4) many late licence penalty notices were appealed against in each year since 1997; and how many appeals were successful. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Agency began issuing late licensing penalty letter (LLP) with the introduction of Continuous Registration (CR) in 2004. The volumes of LLPs issued each financial year since the commencement of CR are as follows:
Over this period the volumes of penalty notices paid within 28 days are:
The volumes of penalty notices paid after 28 days are:
The number of county court judgements (CCJ's) issued since CR are:
Many offenders do not pay first time on receipt of the LLP or the reminder letter. Initially, the Agency used the Civil Court procedure to deal with non payment but this process gave poor results and costs were high.
The Agency had to have an effective and efficient mechanism for pursuing the offenders who did not pay their LLP's. Therefore, in June 2006 to August 2007, the Agency carried out a trial using debt collection agents to pursue the payment. The use of debt collectors was found to be far more efficient and effective and in February 2008, the Agency commenced external debt collection activity by passing CR cases for the period of June 2007 to its three appointed debt collection agencies.
The Agency does not hold statistics to readily identify the number of appeals received in cases for which an
LLP has been issued. These details could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, the number of cases closed due to dispute and/or mitigating circumstances is:
These figures do not include other areas of closure e.g. the Agency was unable to trace the registered keeper.
During the above periods, in addition to CR, the Agency carried out other pro-active enforcement activities to tackle evaders. These included on road enforcement, wheelclamping and the use of Automated Number Plate Reader Systems (ANPR). The Agency also worked closely with other enforcement bodies such as the Police and VOSA.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 23 May 2007, Official Report, column 1355W, on motor vehicles: testing, what consultations were conducted on options for the future conduct of the MOT scheme; what the findings of such consultations were; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: There has been no formal public consultation on changes to the MOT scheme. Officials have had informal discussions on various occasions with representatives from a number of sectors including vehicle manufacturers, testers and insurers.
Discussions with colleagues in other Government Departments have continued while we evaluate the very detailed evidence that has been gathered and we expect to make an announcement on this subject shortly.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent estimate she has made of the impact of trends in fuel costs on the cost of providing (a) bus and (b) rail transport. 
Mr. Tom Harris: No estimate of the impact of trends in fuel costs on the cost of providing rail transport has been made by the Department for Transport. The impact on public finances is uncertain as a change in fuel cost increases both the cost of operating the railway and rail patronage through modal shift. The increase in rail patronage leads to higher rail revenue, which is partially captured by the Department through lower subsidies.
The Department has not made direct estimates of the impact of fuel price trends on the cost of bus service provision. The impact on bus industry costs will depend on the rise in fuel costs and the extent to which the industry has fixed its fuel prices in advance. We have limited data on what proportion of fuel prices have been fixed in advance. However, on average around 9 per cent. of the bus operators costs are fuel costs, so a 10 per cent. rise in fuel costs will only increase total
costs by 1 per cent. The rises in labour costs are likely to have had a more significant impact on bus industry costs in recent years.
Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 21 July 2008, Official Report, column 889, on railways, and with reference to the answers of 21 June 2006, Official Report, column 1865W, on train usage, and 29 March 2007, Official Report, column 1694W, on railways, whether equivalent data were gathered for (a) 2006 and (b) 2007; and for what reasons such data are not being gathered in respect of 2008. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Department for Transport has never collected such information about the rolling stock fleet in the format requested in order to conduct departmental business. On request, the Department has collated and presented such information about rolling stock in the past. However, this exercise has been judged to be a poor use of departmental resources given that this information is freely available from other sources. This exercise was last carried out in reply to the hon. Member for Epsom and Ewells (Chris Grayling) written question, answered on 29 March 2007, Official Report , column 1694W.
Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 21 July 2008, Official Report, column 891W, on railways: standards and with reference to the answers of 20 December 2005, Official Report, column 2914W, on C2C Line: Rail One, and 1 February 2006, Official Report , column 562W on train operating companies, whether equivalent data relating to (a) 2005 and (b) 2006 were gathered; and what the figures were in the most recent year in which the data were gathered. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The most recent financial year for which the Department holds complete data is 2007-08. For this data I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 21 July 2008, Official Report, column 891W.
The information requested was gathered in relation to financial years 2005-06 and 2006-07. This information is shown in the following table.
|Train operating company||Number of cancellations|
|(1 )These train operating companies were established in their present form in 2007. Numbers shown relate to the services currently operated by these companies.|
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