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18 Nov 2008 : Column 261W—continued

Aviation

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what the average number of passengers on internal flights within Great Britain in the last period for which figures are available is, expressed (a) in passenger numbers and (b) as a percentage of passenger-carrying capacity; [234340]

(2) how many internal flights within Great Britain there were in 2007; and what estimate he has made of the overall number of passengers who travelled on such flights. [234341]

Jim Fitzpatrick: In 2007, there were 293,000 passenger flights departing airports in Great Britain to fly to another airport in Great Britain. These flights carried 17.2 million passengers. This equates to an average of 59 passengers per flight, equivalent to 64 per cent. of estimated seat capacity.


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Aviation: Certification

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many type approval certificates for aircraft were issued by the Civil Aviation Authority in each of the last three years; [236845]

(2) what the average time taken for the Civil Aviation Authority to give type approval for usage to an aircraft has been in the last three years. [236846]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Under EC Regulation 216/2008 the type certification of the majority of aircraft manufactured or registered in EU member states is the responsibility of the European Aviation Safety Agency. This has been the position since 2003 when the agency came into being. However, certain aircraft types listed in Annex II to the regulation are not covered by the agency's remit. The aviation authority of the member state in which any such aircraft is registered remains responsible for its type certification or, in the case of aircraft not eligible for a type certificate, the approval of a permit to fly.

The CAA has not issued any type certificates for aircraft covered by Annex II to Regulation 216/2008 in the last three years. However, the CAA has issued seven type approvals for a permit to fly in that time. The time taken to process applications for such type approvals is very much dependent on the quality of information provided by the applicant. For CAA type approvals involving a UK manufacturer, past experience shows that the average time taken for the approval process is approximately nine months.

British Railways Board (Residuary): Finance

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what funding his Department provided to the British Railways Residuary Board in 2008-09. [234897]

Paul Clark: As at 11 November 2008, British Railways Residuary Board Ltd. has required no funding from the Department for Transport in this financial year.

Bus Services: Concessions

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which local authorities offer free bus travel before 9.30 am to pensioners. [234996]

Paul Clark: A list of the 186 authorities in England that offered free travel before 9.30 am as at 30 June 2008 has been placed in the House Library.

Concessionary travel schemes in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are the responsibility of the devolved administrations.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with local authorities on the provision of central Government funding to local authorities for free bus travel for pensioners. [236274]

Paul Clark: Written representations have been received from a number of local authorities but to date there have been no direct meetings. Officials have met with several local authorities, and representatives from local government are present at our regular stakeholder working groups, where funding is a regular subject for discussion.


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The Government remain confident that the total funding package of approximately £1 billion funding for statutory concessionary travel is sufficient, in total, to meet the cost to local authorities.

Congestion Performance Reward Fund

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the criteria are for making awards from the Congestion Performance Reward Fund. [234899]

Paul Clark: The Congestion Performance Fund was established to incentivise the 10 largest urban areas in England to outperform their local congestion targets.

Reward funding is available from the fund, up to a total of £60 million over four years. The first set of payments, totalling £5 million, were made in 2007-08, reflecting the fact that areas had produced delivery plans giving confidence that their targets would be met or exceeded.

The first set of performance-related payments was announced in 2008-09 to areas that statistically significantly exceeded their expected performance, based on 2006-07 journey time data. Areas that did not exceed their target trajectory were eligible for a reduced payment if they could demonstrate that they were actively delivering the programme of work set out in their delivery plans.

Future payments from the fund will reflect the extent to which an area's performance data show that they are on track to do better than their local target.

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority: Telephone Numbering

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority has considered changing its 084 telephone numbers for the public to 03 numbers; and if he will make a statement. [236166]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has never provided public services that are accessed by use of an 084 number.

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Centre: Databases

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many local authorities accessed records held by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency via the web enabled enquiry system in 2007-08; and for what purposes. [235014]

Jim Fitzpatrick: During the financial year 2007-08, DVLA vehicle records were accessed by 355 local authorities via the web enabled inquiry system. The purposes for the requests were for investigations into:


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Electric Vehicles

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library a list of attendees at the International Experts Meeting held (a) in London on 27 October 2008 and (b) at Millbrook, Bedfordshire on 28 October 2008. [234720]

Ian Pearson: I have been asked to reply.

A copy of the list of attendees at the International Experts Meeting on Electric Vehicles, held on the 27 and 28 of October 2008, will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Freedom of Information

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) when he expects his Department to complete the internal review regarding the freedom of information request E0004045; and if he will make a statement; [236797]

(2) when he expects his Department to complete the internal review regarding the freedom of information request (a) E0004073 and (b) E0004295; and if he will make a statement. [236798]

Mr. Hoon: These requests for an internal review of previous freedom of information decisions are being handled in accordance with departmental procedures. A decision will be reached as soon as possible, within the timescale allowed for in the Information Commissioner's guidance.

Heavy Goods Vehicles

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many miles heavy goods vehicles of over 3.5 tonnes travelled in Great Britain in (a) 2006 and (b) 2007. [234339]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Goods vehicles of over 3.5 tonnes gross weight travelled 18.1 billion vehicle miles in 2006 and 18.3 billion vehicle miles in 2007.

Road traffic by vehicle type data are published in table 2.1 of “Road Statistics 2007: Traffic, Speeds and Congestion” annual bulletin. Copies of the bulletin have been deposited in the Libraries of the House. This table can also be found on the Department’s website at the following web address:

Motor Vehicles: Crime

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent steps the Government has taken to reduce the numbers of road users who drive without valid (a) driving licences and (b) MOT certificates. [236331]

Jim Fitzpatrick: It is clearly important to keep unlicensed drivers and unroadworthy cars off the road—and we do all that we can to assist the police in detecting and prosecuting offenders.


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A significant step has been in providing 24-hour roadside access for the police to driver licensing information (including access to a photograph where one is available). Another followed the introduction of central computerised records of MOT test results—which means that the police can also check MOT status at the roadside. This means the police are able to identify unlicensed drivers and vehicles without a valid MOT and take appropriate action.

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Government has taken to prosecute vehicle owners who do not have valid car tax. [236332]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) operates a comprehensive package of measures to make vehicle excise licensing easy to comply with but very hard to evade. DVLA's approach to combating vehicle excise duty (VED) evasion ranges from the issue of penalties directly from the vehicle record, out of court settlement letters and magistrates court prosecution of evaders, through to direct roadside enforcement action to wheel clamp and impound unlicensed vehicles. DVLA also works in close partnership with the police and local authorities on initiatives to tackle evaders. This approach is proving highly effective as demonstrated by the results of the most recent statistical survey showing an overall compliance rate of 98.5 per cent. by revenue collected.

Official Cars

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the annual budget of the Government Car and Despatch Agency is for providing transport for (a) Ministers, (b) senior civil servants, (c) other members of the Government and (d) the wider public sector. [234904]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA) is an executive agency of the Department for Transport and is required to recover all the cost of its activities through charges to its customers. It does not therefore have an annual budget. GCDA has to compete with others to provide services to its customers, ensuring that the Agency operates as efficiently and as cost effectively as possible.

In addition, I refer the hon. Member my answer of 6 November 2008, Official Report, columns 643-4W.

Public Transport

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what work has been conducted by his Department to encourage and facilitate the use of intelligent transport systems; and from which budgets such work has been funded in each case. [234901]

Paul Clark: The Department for Transport is one of three sponsor partners of the Future Intelligent Transport Systems (FITS) programme which is looking into innovative ways to solve transport problems.


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To facilitate the deployment of ITS applications, the Department has developed a web based ITS Toolkit which contains case studies and guidance on monitoring of ITS related schemes. Both of these initiatives are funded through the Transport Technology and Standards Division programme budget.

The Department also provides funding and support to research and development for a number of transport technologies that have the potential to help deliver its objectives. Examples include real time bus information, journey planning and better traffic management and control systems. These activities are usually funded through the budget of the sponsoring division.

Public Transport: Concessions

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will meet representatives of the Youth Parliament to discuss concessionary fares on public transport for young people aged 11 to 18 years old who are in full-time education. [235320]

Paul Clark: There are no plans at present to extend statutory concessionary travel to young people aged 11 to 18-years-old who are in full-time education. However, I value the work of the UK Youth Parliament and I will consider any requests to meet that I receive from their representatives.

Public Transport: Visually Impaired

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the Answer of 28 October 2008, Official Report, column 837W, on public transport: visually impaired, if his Department will instigate collections of data on the number of visually impaired people injured whilst using public transport; and if he will make a statement. [235654]

Jim Fitzpatrick: There are no plans to instigate collection of such data. Any such collection would place a burden on public transport providers as well as presenting practical difficulties in ensuring the collection of reliable and comparable information.

Railway Heritage Committee

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the (a) role and (b) remit is of the Railway Heritage Committee; what projects it is conducting; and from what budgets the costs of each such project are met. [234908]

Paul Clark: The Railway Heritage Committee exists to designate railway records and artefacts held by specified bodies within the rail industry which are historically significant and worthy of permanent preservation. It also agrees which institution should hold those records and artefacts when they are no longer needed by the business that owns them and the terms on which they should be offered for preservation.

The Committee meets at regular intervals to consider the case for designation of particular items but is not itself responsible for any preservation projects. Its costs are met by the Department for Transport. Its annual budget for 2008-09 is £120,000.


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Railways

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many rail passenger journeys were made in (a) 1997 and (b) 2007 (i) England and (ii) from Blundellsands and Crosby railway station. [236696]

Paul Clark: The Department for Transport does not hold information on rail passenger journeys from Blundellsands and Crosby railway station. This information may be available from Merseyrail, the Train Operating Company running services from this station, whose website address is:

In addition, statistics on rail passenger journeys are published by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) in the National Rail Trends Yearbook, which is available in the House Library, or from the ORR website:


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