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16 Oct 2008 : Column 1369Wcontinued
|Number of fatal accidents|
|Number of serious accidents|
There were no fatal or serious accidents involving fire service on pedestrian crossings recorded in 2002 to 2007. Where no Government office region or years are shown, there were no fatal or serious accidents recorded for that Government office region or year.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many vehicles are taxed to drive on UK roads. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: As of the 31 December 2007 there were 33,956,832 vehicles taxed to drive on the roads of Great Britain.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will issue guidance to local authorities on regulating the parking of motorcycles in residents parking bays; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) if he will encourage local authorities to allow motorcycles to park free of charge in (a) residents parking bays and (b) parking bays; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Clark: The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 gave local authorities flexible powers to provide, charge for, regulate and restrict on-street and off-street parking facilities, in a way that reflects the needs of their local communities. These are matters for local authorities and the Department for Transport has no plans to issue guidance on the use of those powers.
Where local authorities provide parking bays for use by specific classes of vehicle only, they are responsible for ensuring that the use of those facilities is correctly specified in Traffic Regulation Orders, where necessary, and indicated with appropriate signs and markings. The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 prescribe the traffic signs and road markings for motorcycle parking and for residents parking bays. The Department for Transports Traffic Signs Manual also provides detailed guidance on the correct design and use of signs and markings.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what average time it took to reopen a motorway to the full flow of traffic after a collision had occurred in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Paul Clark: Nationally during September 2008 the average time to reopen a motorway to full flow following a collision was 51 minutes and nine seconds. However, this mean figure is skewed by a small number of more severe incidents. The median time taken to restore full capacity was 24 minutes.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has better to publicise knowledge of the knurled knob on pelican crossings for those with disabilities and children. 
Paul Clark: The Government have no wide reaching plans to publicise the provision of rotating cones (knurled knobs) at some controlled pedestrian crossings, but are aware of such knowledge being part of mobility training by organisations such as RNIB and Guide Dogs for the Blind UK.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he plans to respond to the Office of the Rail Regulators review of the rail network draft determination. 
Paul Clark: My officials submitted the Department for Transports response to the Office of Rail Regulations (ORR) 5 June publication, Periodic Review 2008: Draft Determinations, on 4 September. The response has been published on the ORR website at:
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effect of the recent 10 per cent. increases in off-peak fares between Milton Keynes and London Euston on London Midlands franchise commitment to increase passenger numbers. 
Paul Clark: No assessment has been made of the fares changes brought into effect in September. These are unregulated fares, the levels of which are managed by London Midland.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many submissions the Office of the Rail Regulator received as part of its review of the rail network draft determinations; how many of these related to the redoubling of the Kemble to Swindon track; and if he will publish the responses received. 
Paul Clark: The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) had a total of 114 responses to the draft determinations. Of these there were 40 that related to the Swindon-Kemble scheme. All 114 responses have been published on the ORR website with the Swindon-Kemble responses being available at:
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many of his Departments staff are working on (a) high speed rail development and (b) the reopening of former railway lines and stations as part of their official duties. 
Paul Clark: The Department for Transports approach to developing transport strategy, set out in the October 2007 White Paper Towards a Sustainable Transport System, proceeds from the identification of transport challenges and specific problems to be resolved, rather than by developing specific potential investment options.
The Departments rail network strategy division is working on this basis, and Network Rail has been invited to examine options for supporting further growth in the longer term, which might include new lines. Network Rails new lines study is due to be completed in summer 2009.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many streets he estimates have remained unadopted for over (a) 75 years and (b) 100 years. 
Paul Clark: We have no record of how many streets have remained unadopted for 75 or 100 years after they were built. This information is not held centrally, and there is no legal requirement for local authorities to maintain such a list in their areas.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many enquiries the Energy Saving Trust's Act on carbon dioxide advice line has dealt with in each month since April 2008. 
Joan Ruddock: The Act on CO2 advice line, launched in April 2008, provides consumers with comprehensive advice on how to reduce their carbon footprint.
The Act on CO2 advice line run on behalf of the government by the Energy Savings Trust has dealt with the following inbound telephone inquiries each month since April:
|Month||Number of successful inbound calls excluding Scotland|
The Energy Saving Trust's total customer contacts will increase through outreach events and other initiatives, customers will also receive advice via feedback on completed home energy checks and through electronic media.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was claimed in reimbursable expenses by press officers in his Department in each of the last three financial years. 
Jonathan Shaw: The information on reimbursable expenses is available only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what restrictions there are on the use by students of disability living allowance to purchase equipment related to their disability. 
Jonathan Shaw: There are no restrictions on what customers of disability living allowance can spend their benefit on. Customers are free to spend the benefit according to their own priorities.
Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he plans to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire of 19 August, transferred from HM Treasury (PO reference: 1/60002/2008), on the poverty line for couples. 
Mr. McNulty: A reply was sent to the hon. Member on 13 October 2008.
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average occupational pension payable in the UK was in 2007-08. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 14 October 2008]: The information requested is not available.
Information on the amount of occupational pension received by people of pension age can be found in table 3.7 of the publication The Pensioners' Incomes Series 2006/07 which may be found in the Library.
John Mason: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what states are designated as non-qualifying destinations for the annual state pension uprating payable to UK pensioners overseas; 
(2) what reason the annual pension uprating is withheld from state pensioners who have relocated to certain overseas countries on retirement; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 15 October 2008]: The UK state pension is payable world-wide but is only uprated abroad where there is a legal requirement to do so.
Annual upratings of the UK state pension are paid abroad under the EC's Social Security Regulations to pensioners who have a UK state pension and are living in the European economic area and Switzerland.
Upratings are also payable in countries and territories with which the UK has a reciprocal social security agreement that requires increases to be paid. The UK has such agreements covering: Barbados; Bermuda; Bosnia-Herzegovina; Croatia; Guernsey; Isle of Man; Israel; Jamaica; Jersey; Mauritius; Montenegro; the Philippines; Serbia; Turkey; the United States of America; and, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
The UK state pension is not annually uprated in any other country.
1. The agreement with Guernsey covers also Alderney, Herm and Jethou.
2. UK state pension recipients on other Channel Islands receive upratings under Regulation 12 of the Social Security (Persons Abroad) Regulations 1975 (SI 1975/563).
3. The agreement with United States of America covers also American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands).
John Mason: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the cost of extending the benefit of the annual state pension uprating to UK citizens in receipt of state pensions who are resident in Australia, Canada and South Africa; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 15 October 2008]: To uprate UK state pensions paid to persons in Australia, Canada and South Africa would cost approximately £380 million in 2008-09 and would increase year on year.
1. This figure does not include paying any arrears.
2. The estimate for the cost of unfreezing frozen-rate pensions includes estimates for the rate of increase of the caseload and the impact of turnover in the caseload between the time of the data sample and the time of the uprating.
September 2007 Retirement Pension and Widows Benefit administrative data, 5 per cent. sample.
John Mason: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many persons entitled to UK state pensions are not entitled to the annual state pension uprating by reason of their location overseas. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 15 October 2008]: The latest estimate of the number of UK state pensions paid to pensioners living in frozen rate countries is approximately 530,000.
Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study, 100 per cent. data, February 2008
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