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17 Nov 2008 : Column 36W—continued


M40: Noise

John Howell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what consultation arrangements will be made with regard to the Highways Agency's report into its estimates of the cost of noise barrier improvements on the M40 at Milton Common; and whether the data used in the production of the report will be published; [235369]

(2) when the Highways Agency will publish the report requested in March 2008 by the Department of Transport on the Agency's estimates for noise barrier improvements on the M40 at Milton Common. [235370]

Paul Clark [holding answer 13 November 2008]: The findings of the Highways Agency's study into noise barrier improvements on the M40 at Milton Common should be available by the end of December and we aim to publish them early in 2009.

Consideration of any mitigation measures is still at an early stage and decisions on consultation arrangements will be made alongside any decisions on an eventual scheme.

Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what projects the Maritime and Coastguard Agency is conducting; and from what budgets project expenditure is met in each case. [234902]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s (MCA) current plans, activities and priorities are set out in the Agency’s Annual Report and Accounts 2007-08, including its plans for 2008-09 and beyond. Current projects with defined start and end dates using project management methodology are:

The costs of these will be split between the Agency’s published resource and capital budgets as appropriate.

Members: Correspondence

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the Chief Executive of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency plans to provide a substantive response to the letters from the hon. Member for West Chelmsford of 30 June and 20 August 2008 on his constituent, Ms J. Wood of Great Leighs, Chelmsford. [235251]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 12 November 2008]: The Chief Executive of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has not received any correspondence dated 30 June or 20 August from the hon. Member on behalf of his constituent, Ms Joanne Wood. He did receive a letter dated 23 June and a reply was sent on 8 July. If the hon. Member would care to re-submit his letter of 20 August to DVLA, its content will be given full consideration and a reply provided.


17 Nov 2008 : Column 37W

Performance Appraisal

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many staff in his Department did not achieve an acceptable assessment grade in their annual report in the latest reporting year for which figures are available. [235211]

Mr. Hoon: The central Department and its agencies recorded the following numbers of staff who were bottom ranked in their annual report for the period ending 31 March 2008.

2007-08 Total number bottom ranked in annual report.

DFTC

24

DSA

8

DVLA

24

HA

11

VCA

0

MCA

0

GCDA

1

VOSA

(1)7

Total

75

(1) The Vehicle and Operator Service (VOSA) do not have box markings within their performance management arrangements and could not provide information.

Piracy

Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many incidents of piracy affecting UK-flagged merchant vessels his Department has been made aware of in each of the last five years. [235843]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The number of British-flagged or British-managed ships that have reported piracy incidents to the International Maritime Bureau in each of the last five years are as follows:

Ships flagged in UK

2004

7

2005

4

2006

3

2007

3

2008

5


Railway Network: Greater London

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much capital has been spent on each central London overground passenger rail terminal in each year since 1997; and what the projected capital spend for each terminal is for the next five years. [235675]


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Paul Clark: I am advised that this information does not exist in the format requested. However, Network Rail has indicated that it should be able to work out the figures for the period from 2004 to 2014. The hon. Member should therefore contact Network Rail’s chief executive at the following address for a response to his questions.

Rescue Services: Telecommunications

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received on charges to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution for the use of very high frequency communications; and if he will make a statement. [235940]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The issues that have been raised about the charges for the use of the very high frequency communications by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution have been brought to the attention of the appropriate authority, the Office of Communications (Ofcom). Ofcom’s consultation, “Applying spectrum pricing to the Maritime and Aeronautical sectors”, finished at the end of last month and they will now evaluate these responses.

Roads: Accidents

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many accidents involved cars without a valid MOT certificate in the last 12 months; [234641]

(2) how many road traffic accidents involving uninsured drivers have been reported to his Department in the last 12 months. [234648]

Jim Fitzpatrick: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 5 February 2008, Official Report, column 1010W.

Mrs. Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) men and (b) women aged between 17 and 21 were killed in road traffic accidents in (i) Gateshead and (ii) Sunderland in each of the last three years. [235965]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The information requested is given in the table:

Number of fatalities
2005 2006 2007

Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Total

Gateshead

0

1

1

3

1

4

0

1

1

Sunderland

2

0

2

1

0

1

0

0

0


Schools: Transport

Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent estimate his Department has made of the cost per seat of retrospective fitting of seat belts to school buses. [233355]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 5 November 2008]: National legislation, brought in during 1998, requires
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that all coaches and minibuses irrespective of their age, that carry groups of children aged three to 15 years on organised school trips, including dedicated home-to-school transport, are equipped with seat belts.

Since 1 October 2001, seat belts have been required to be installed in each forward and rearward facing seat in all new buses. There is derogation from these requirements for buses specifically designed for urban use with standing passengers, when used for scheduled commercial services, whether or not school children are being carried.

The Department for Transport has made no recent estimate of the cost of retrospectively fitting seat belts to all vehicles used for school transport.

The decision not to require the retrospective fitting of seat belts to urban buses was taken primarily on technical grounds. A review of the design of buses and of the materials used in their construction concluded that seat belts could not be easily installed in such a way as to be effective without very significant changes being made to the vehicle’s construction.

While modern coaches are designed to accommodate seat belts, the strength of the important structural points in buses has generally remained unaltered.

Somerset Trust: Finance

Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what payments have been made from his Department to the Somerset Trust for access easements for infrastructure projects. [228880]

Paul Clark: The Highways Agency has interrogated its Highways Agency Lands IT system (HAL), which is the tool for recording and managing all land compensation business, including financial management.

It has been unable to identify record of payment made directly to the Somerset Trust.

Speed Limits: Rural Areas

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will review the speed limits on rural roads; and if he will make a statement. [235848]

Jim Fitzpatrick: National speed limits are kept under review to ensure they remain appropriate, and will be considered in developing the new Road Safety Strategy for the years beyond 2010.

In the meantime, local authorities have powers to introduce local speed limits on their roads, and the Department for Transport issued guidance on this in August 2006, asking local authorities to review the speed limits on all of their A and B roads, and implement any necessary changes, by 2011.

Transport: Advisory Bodies

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which Government Office regions have established regional transport boards. [236097]

Paul Clark: All Government office regions have established committees or boards responsible for considering regional transport strategy. However not all of the regions use the term “regional transport boards”, and the particular arrangements vary, for example on
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membership, to fit with other regional structures. There is no statutory requirement to establish a regional transport board.

Leader of the House

Members: Pay

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Leader of the House how many hon. Members are not eligible for any additional salary granted for a Ministerial or other position in the House above the basic hon. Member's salary. [236052]

Chris Bryant: A total of 158 Members currently receive an addition to the basic Member's salary, listed as follows:

There are currently 97 Ministers who are MPs, tabled as follows:

Number

Cabinet

21

Minister

27

PUSS

30

Whip

18

Law officers

1


Of these, eight are unpaid, making a total of 89 paid Ministers.

483 Members will therefore receive the basic salary only. (The figures exclude the five Sinn Fein Members who do not receive a salary).


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