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Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment has been made of the relative merits of using a weight-based system or a footprint-based system to assess a cars carbon dioxide emissions. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: We have looked at the weight versus footprint issue from various perspectives: total costs and how they would be distributed among different types of vehicles; how well the criterion relates to desirable features in a vehicle (utility); to what extent the criterion may encourage perverse incentives; and availability of data.
In the light of examination of this question by officials in my Department, we support a weight-based utility parameter, but with provision for data collection and review of the regulation so that a footprint-based system could be considered for the future.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many Christmas functions (a) he, (b) officials from his Department and (c) officials from its executive agencies (i) hosted and (ii) attended in 2007-08; what the cost to the public purse was; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: The information requested is not held centrally, therefore could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, the Department for Transports expenditure on and acceptance of any hospitality is conducted in accordance with the principles of Government Accounting and the Treasury handbook on regularity and propriety.
Mr. Hoon: The Department for Transport comprises a central department plus seven executive agencies each with its own pay and reward system. Information regarding bonus payments has been collected from the central department and five agencies and collated in to one set of figures for the 2007-08 financial year:
|Number of staff receiving bonus||Total amount of bonuses paid (£)|
The Department is committed to rewarding good performance. Bonuses are paid in respect of overall performance or exceptional performance on a specific task or at a specific time. They encourage high attainment because they have to be earned each year, motivating staff and supporting better public service delivery.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of invoices for goods and services procured from small- and medium-sized businesses were paid within 30 days of receipt by (a) his Department and (b) the agencies for which his Department is responsible in 2007-08; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hoon: The payment performance in respect of invoices for goods and services procured from small and medium sized businesses is not separated from the Departments overall payment performance and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress he has made on his plans to revise the New Approach to Appraisal; and within what (a) parameters and (b) timescale the review is operating. 
Mr. Hoon: In July 2008, we published a document that summarised responses received to the NATA Refresh consultation, and set out our plans for developing the New Approach to Appraisal (NATA) framework. The document announced a number of changes to better capture the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions, travel time variability, the health benefits of active transport, and initiatives to better represent cycling and walking in transport modelling.
reflect continuing developments in analysing climate change;
improve the presentation of evidence in the appraisal summary table;
better capture transports contribution to economic growth;
ensure appropriate weight is given to assessments of transports impact on the natural environment;
capture the costs and benefits associated with new housing;
develop our approach to appraising social and distributional impacts of transport schemes; and
improve the dissemination of appraisal guidance.
Work is also in hand to consider the treatment of indirect taxation when prioritising transport schemes, and separately to consider whether it would be appropriate to adopt a lighter-touch appraisal approach for smaller schemes.
The scope of the NATA Refresh is limited to the New Approach to Appraisal. Improvements resulting from the NATA Refresh have already been made and we have plans for the next 12 months about how improvements will become part of the definitive set of guidance no later than April 2010. These are presented in the final pages of the summary of responses to the NATA consultation at:
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many individuals have their details protected by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency such that requests for release of information in relation to such individuals which would otherwise be granted are not granted; and what criteria the Agency applies in determining to whom this practice should apply. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: All vehicles held on DVLAs vehicle register are subject to the same provisions with regards to disclosure to third parties. No vehicles are protected from disclosure where the requester can demonstrate a lawful right to receive that data.
Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will ask (a) the Health and Safety Executive and (b) the Equality and Human Rights Commission to inspect Euston station to ensure it complies with the relevant legislation in respect of access for the (i) disabled and (ii) parents with pushchairs from (A) car parks, (B) taxi ranks and (C) London Underground to the station and train platforms. 
Paul Clark: I am aware that the Association of Train Operating Companies is currently carrying out a programme of access audits of all stations on the network, the results of which will be made available in due course.
Inspection and enforcement of safety legislation on the operational railway is the on-going responsibility of HM Railway Inspectorate, which is overseen by the Office of the Rail Regulator, as set out in the Railways Act 2005. HMRI determine when visits to assess compliance are necessary.
Any works at stations must also comply with the standards in the DfT publication: Accessible Train and Station Design for Disabled People: A Code of Practice. Assessing compliance with these standards for new or existing station infrastructure is not a role of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when Euston station was last inspected to ensure it meets disability discrimination legislation in respect of access from (a) car parks and (b) taxi ranks to (i) the station concourse and (ii) train platforms; and if he will make a statement about the adequacy of the station's compliance with such legislation. 
Paul Clark: All train and station operators self-certify to ensure that they meet the provisions of disability-related legislation and appropriate infrastructure requirements for accessibility. They must additionally produce a Disabled People's Protection Policy, agreed by the Secretary of State, which sets out the level of service and facilities at all stations that they operate, and which is updated regularly.
Network Rail's Disabled People's Protection Policy was last updated in June 2008 and is reviewed regularly. The current Disabled People's Protection Policy sets
out arrangements for assisting passengers with reduced mobility to access the station from the car park and taxi rank.
Inside the station building, level access is possible to all platforms, and staff assistance is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Modern facilities include an accessible toilet, induction loops and mobility vehicles which are available on request. As such, people with reduced mobility should be able to obtain any assistance that they require in order to use the station.
Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to ensure that access to all parts of Euston station is improved for (a) the elderly and disabled, (b) parents with pushchairs and (c) travellers with large amounts of luggage. 
Paul Clark: This is an operational matter for Network Rail who own and operate the station. Station operators are required by part 3 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 to make reasonable physical adjustments so that disabled people can access their services.
Network Rail are responding to this duty and are currently developing plans to install a lift link between the station concourse, taxi rank, car park and Underground ticket hall to improve access for passengers with reduced mobility. This facility is planned for completion in October 2009. In addition, Network Rail have confirmed that a comprehensive programme of refurbishments is being considered for 2015-16.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many road collisions involved side impact crashes into heavy goods vehicles in each region of England and Wales in (a) each of the last 10 years and (b) 2008; 
(2) how many people were (a) killed, (b) seriously injured and (c) injured in road collisions involving side impact crashes into heavy goods vehicles in each region of England and Wales in (i) each of the last 10 years and (ii) 2008 to date. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The numbers of reported personal injury road accidents involving at least one heavy goods vehicle where the first point of impact was the side, and the number of people (a) killed, (b) seriously injured and (c) slightly injured resulting from these accidents, in each Government office region in 1998 to 2007 are given in the tables.
|Number of accidents|
|Government office region||1998||1999||2000||2001||2002||2003||2004||2005||2006||2007|
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