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Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the operating costs of the Export Credits Guarantee Department were in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Ian Taylor: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform when he plans to publish a list of items embargoed for export and black-listed end users. 
Ian Pearson [holding answer 14 October 2008]: The FCO publish on their website, on a country by country basis, details of sanctions regimes, arms embargoes and restrictions on the export of strategic goods currently implemented by the UK
Ian Pearson: While there is no internationally agreed definition of a thermobaric weapon, weapons of this nature would be controlled under UK Military List (entry ML4) and exports from the UK would require an export licence. All export licence applications are carefully considered on a case by case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent steps the Government has taken to assist the UK manufacturing sector to compete internationally. 
Ian Pearson [holding answer 8 October 2008]: UK manufacturing is already very successful in global terms. The UK remains the worlds sixth largest manufacturer. The Government launched its new strategy Manufacturing: New Challenges, New Opportunities last month. It brings together almost £150 million of support for UK manufacturing. Its overarching aim is to ensure that UK manufacturing continues to have the right long-term framework of support to ensure it emerges from the global slowdown stronger and fitter than ever, and better placed to exploit the new opportunities of an increasingly interconnected economy.
The new package of support accompanying this strategy will help UK companies exploit the considerable opportunities in high growth new emerging markets. For example, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) will provide new support for 600 companies of all sizes to identify manufacturing opportunities in India and China and will also promote UK manufacturing excellence internationally through UKTI led marketing campaigns.
Mr. Goodwill: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the average time taken to process export licences granted under the SPIRE system involving countries of proliferation concern was in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and what the longest time taken for process approval of a licence has been since the systems inception. 
Ian Pearson [holding answer 13 October 2008]: The average time taken to process all Standard Individual Export Licence applications in the last 12 months was 20 working days. The longest time taken to process a case since the SPIRE systems inception is 198 days, in a case which required careful assessment of reported links between the end user and WMD programmes.
There is no published list of countries of proliferation concern. However, the Export Control Organisation publishes quarterly figures on refusal percentages and processing times by destination for Standard Individual Export Licences on its website at:
Mr. Doran: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what progress has been made with preparations for the planned works to replace the mechanical and electrical systems in the Palace of Westminster. 
Nick Harvey: Much of the mechanical and electrical system within the Palace of Westminster has now exceeded its economic service life and major modernisation work is urgently required. It is becoming increasingly difficult to manage the existing services and to replace, repair or extend them as required in an efficient and effective manner and there is a growing risk that breakdown in these essential services could not be quickly repaired. The complete project will take many years and involve considerable cost.
The Commission is concerned to ensure that the mechanical and electrical modernisation is carried out in the most economical way consistent with enabling the House to operate properly. Normal practice is that major works are only undertaken in the Palace of Westminster during the summer recess but the extensive scale of the work planned requires that the full range of options should be carefully considered. The Commission (working with the responsible bodies in the Lords) is
therefore ordering a detailed feasibility study to examine whether substantial savings in cost, time and risk could be made by moving some operations of both Houses out of the Palace for a period to enable modernisation to be carried out continuously until its completion. All contingencies need to be looked at carefully. The feasibility study is expected to report in the middle of 2009. No decisions will be taken until all these options have been assessed.
Paul Clark: The south east Manchester relief road scheme raises substantial funding and affordability issues. The Department for Transport continues to work on the options with relevant stakeholders on this scheme promoted by Stockport metropolitan borough council.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 17 September 2008, Official Report, columns 2242-3W, on aviation, what estimate he has made of the number of small claims actions pursued by plaintiffs and pursuers against airlines alleging non-compliance with EU Regulation 261/2004; what percentage of such actions have resulted in an award of damages to the consumer; and what the total sum paid by airlines in satisfaction of such claims is. 
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is however aware of eight cases of court action, seven of which were successful in obtaining compensation. In the remaining case, the CAA intervened and successfully persuaded the airline concerned to pay, on a without prejudice basis. From its monitoring of the media and discussions with complainants, the CAA is aware anecdotally of other cases where passengers have successfully taken court action.
Paul Clark: The Department for Transport does not hold data centrally on the cost of vandalism to buses. This is partly due to the difficulties in collecting national statistics across the varied reporting systems of the numerous bus companies currently in operation.
Paul Clark: Over the next five years, the Department for Transport and Transport for London (as joint sponsors of the Crossrail Project) will make total funding contributions of £5.7 billion for Crossrail. Further detail is provided in the following table.
|Year commencing 1 April||DfT committed funding||TfL committed funding|
Mr. Hoon: The Department for Transport has spent £895.6 million on consultancy fees since it was established in May 2002. I would refer the hon. Member to the Official Report dated 29 September 2008, column 2425W which gave details on a year by year basis. Figures for 2008-09 are not yet available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) electronic and (b) manual requests using reasonable cause provisions were received by the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency in each of the last 12 months for which figures are available; how many manual requests were refused in each month and for what reasons; and what reasons for refusal were in each case. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent consideration he has given to changing maximum levels of alcohol for drivers; and what factors were taken into account as part of such consideration. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: We explained in the report of the second review of the Road Safety Strategy (February 2007) that we intend to keep the case for a reduction in the drink drive legal limit under review. We also made clear that the limit cannot be considered in isolation, and that our first priority is to improve enforcement, building on the recent achievements of the police. The Government are committed to public consultation on further measures to reduce alcohol-related road casualties and will publish a consultation document as soon as possible.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his Department's high level output specification plan update for July 2008, what steps he is taking to ensure that carriages designed for use on services to airports are refurbished and made fit for purpose when cascaded to train operating companies running other services; and what the estimated completion dates for phases one, two and three of the plan are. 
Paul Clark: The Department for Transport does not specify rolling stock types or interior layouts and design. It is for the train operator to ensure rolling stock deployed is appropriate for the market it serves. The timing of phases one, two and three of the plan is not fixed as it is dependent on the progress of the commercial negotiations between the Department and the train operating companies.
Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to her statement on 22 April 2008, Official Report, column 1184, that a high-speed rail service emits approximately double the carbon dioxide of a lower-speed rail service, (1) if she will place in the Library her Department's analysis of the carbon dioxide emissions from high-speed rail and lower-speed rail; 
(2) how much her Department spent on analysing the carbon dioxide emissions from high-speed and lower-speed rail in the latest period for which figures are available; and how many staff worked on that analysis; 
Paul Clark: The 2007 Rail White Paper estimated that carbon emissions per passenger for a journey between London and Edinburgh would be approximately 7 kg for conventional speed rail, 14 kg for high speed rail and 26 kg for aviation.
This analysis was informed by Professor Roger Kemp's work on the environmental impact of high speed rail and his report for the Rail Safety and Standards Board on traction energy metrics. Further information on the assumptions underpinning these estimates can be found on the Department for Transport's website at:
Departmental staff have analysed the carbon impacts of high speed rail but within the context of their wider environmental and rail responsibilities. Consequently, the Department is unable to provide the information on staff and resources as requested.
In March this year, the Secretary of State invited Network Rail to examine options for supporting further growth in the longer term, which might include new conventional and high speed lines. As part of this work, further consideration will be given to the relative carbon performance of higher and lower speed rail options.
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