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24 Nov 2008 : Column 1092W—continued

Heathrow Airport: Railway Network

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his support for Crossrail is conditional on a third runway being constructed at Heathrow. [237766]

Paul Clark: There is no connection between the Government’s firm commitment to Crossrail—as demonstrated by the funding package announced in October 2007 and the securing of Royal Assent to the Crossrail Bill—and any decision about expansion of Heathrow.


24 Nov 2008 : Column 1093W

Hotels

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department spent on hotel bills in 2007-08. [237138]

Mr. Hoon: The figures for hotel accommodation expenditure by Department for Transport (central) and six of its agencies are contained in the following table.

Hotel accommodation expenditure (£)

DfT(c)

597,408

Highways Agency

815,045

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

1,030,000

Vehicle Certification Agency

131,960

Maritime and Coastguard Agency

716,601.54

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

468,000

Driving Standards Agency

976,000

Government Car and Despatch Agency


GCDA does not record accommodation expenses separately from other travel costs and could provide the information only at disproportionate cost.

The figures for HA comprise of the cost of accommodation booked through their central booking contract. Any additional costs of accommodation booked direct by travellers could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The DSA costs were principally for conferences and meetings. The amount spent on hotels through subsistence is estimated.

The costs for VOSA and MCA are partly recovered from fees arising from performing statutory duties.

Motor Vehicles: Accidents

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) accidents, (b) injuries and (c) deaths have been caused by foreign drivers in the UK in each of the last 10 years. [237928]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The information requested is not available.

Motor Vehicles: Licensing

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will provide incentives for people
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wishing to register their vehicle for statutory off-road notification status to do so at post offices. [239168]

Jim Fitzpatrick: There are no plans to introduce incentives for people to make a Statutory off Road Notification for their vehicle at the Post Office.

Motor Vehicles: Safety

Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many of the children killed or seriously injured in cars in (a) 2004, (b) 2005, (c) 2006 and (d) 2007 were wearing (i) no type of restraint, (ii) an adult seat belt and (iii) an appropriate restraint. [239504]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Information on whether restraints were worn or not in reported personal injury road accidents is not collected by the Department.

Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment his Department has made of levels of parental awareness of legislation on child car seats; what steps he is taking to ensure that parents are aware of the requirements of legislation on child car seats; and if he will make a statement; [239529]

(2) what research his Department has commissioned on the behaviour of parents in relation to the appropriate restraint of their children in cars. [239531]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Data from October 2006 following a departmental publicity campaign showed that awareness of the legal requirements was 92 per cent. The requirements are summarised on the THINK website at www.dft.gov.uk/think and in leaflets distributed by the Department, around 700,000 of which are ordered annually. There is no specific child car seat campaign running at the moment but the topic is covered in the current THINK parents’ campaign.

There is no research specifically on the behaviour of parents in relation to the use of the appropriate child restraint. However, the regular surveys for the Department to observe adult seat belt wearing also include the use of child restraints, as far as is possible from roadside observation points. Results are published—the latest survey in October 2007 (TRL leaflet 2102) is available on-line at:

The following table summarises the observations.

GB percentage child restraint v. seat belt wearing: observational survey
Front seat passengers Rear seat passengers
1 to 4 years 5 to 9 years 1 to 4 years 5 to 9 years

Child seat/booster Seat belt Child seat/booster Seat belt Child seat/booster Seat belt Child seat/booster Seat belt

Six month period ending :

April 2005

57

34

8

89

82

14

18

73

October 2005

73

26

5

92

85

12

13

77

April 2006

67

29

8

91

88

9

21

71

October 2006

80

17

29

68

92

5

47

46

Annually at :

October 2007

85

12

28

69

93

5

39

55


24 Nov 2008 : Column 1095W

Network Rail: Finance

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the compatibility of the proposed reduction in funding to Network Rail in respect of its engineering possessions strategy, advocated by the Office of Rail Regulation, and his policy of driving Network Rail towards a 24 hour, seven days a week service. [235573]

Paul Clark [holding answer 13 November 2008]: We have made no alterations to the levels of funding committed for the railways in the 2007 White Paper “Delivering Sustainable Railway”.

As part of the Periodic Review 2008 process, Network Rail effectively ‘bid’ for a certain amount of funding over and above that which was committed in the White Paper. On 30 October this year, the independent Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) published its “Determination of Network Rail’s outputs and funding for 2009-14”, concluding that the funding committed by the Government was sufficient to allow Network Rail to deliver the outputs we have specified.

The Office of Rail Regulation has set Network Rail targets to reduce the disruption to passengers from planned engineering works and to ensure that the level of disruption experienced by freight operators does not increase.

In addition, the Office or Rail Regulation has provided Network Rail with funding for £160 million of capital expenditure and £60 million of additional maintenance and renewal costs in Control Period 4 (2009-14) to help the company meet these targets. It has explained in its determination why it believes the amount Network Rail requested was overstated.

Newport to London Railway Line

Mr. Touhig: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the adequacy of commuter train services between Newport and London. [238708]

Paul Clark: Officials meet First Great Western at least every four weeks to review overall progress of the franchise.

Train services from Newport are included in the Department for Transport's assessment of possible additional rolling stock for First Great Western under the Department's High Level Output Specification programme.

Official Visits

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) whether he has visited (a) Sipson and (b) Harmondsworth on official business since his appointment as Secretary of State for Transport; and whether he intends to visit (i) Sipson and (ii) Harmondsworth with reference to his Department's policy on Heathrow Airport; [237958]

(2) how many visits he has made to the London Borough of (a) Hillingdon, (b) Hounslow, (c) Richmond and (d) Wandsworth on official business since his appointment. [237959]


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Jim Fitzpatrick: The Secretary of State for Transport has made one visit to the London borough of Hillingdon which included Sipson and Harmondsworth and one visit to Wandsworth.

Oil: Prices

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimates for the price of oil he has used in the past three years when considering wider policy issues. [237760]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department for Transport uses oil price projections from the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), which will in future be published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

These projections can be found at:

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library a copy of the research underpinning his assumptions on future oil prices contained in the 2003 Aviation White Paper. [237956]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The assumptions concerning future oil prices used to estimate passenger demand for the 2003 Air Transport White Paper are set out in the Air Traffic Forecasts for the United Kingdom 2000 document published by the then Department for the Environment, Transport and Regions, p. 30. This is available at:

The then DTI's Energy Projections for the UK, Working Paper, March 2000 document shows the Government's oil price assumptions at the time.

Copies of both these documents are held in the Library of the House.

Operation V79

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether there have been any national programmes aimed at checking compliance with driver and vehicle requirements since Operation V79 in 2006; and what plans he has to initiate future such programmes. [237836]

Jim Fitzpatrick: In March the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) carried out the national drivers and vehicles compliance check (Operation V79) for 2008. The report of the 2008 compliance check, which shows significantly improved levels of compliance, was published on 10 November and is available on the Department for Transport website at:

Operation V79 is normally carried out biennially.

Racial Harassment

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many complaints of racial abuse relating to staff for which his Department is responsible have been (a) investigated and (b) upheld in the last 12 months. [236906]


24 Nov 2008 : Column 1097W

Mr. Hoon: During the last 12 months (for the period August 2007 to July 2008) the Department for Transport has received fewer than five official complaints of racial abuse. Therefore the details are withheld on grounds of confidentiality.

The standard of behaviour the Department expects of its staff, and how to deal with inappropriate behaviour, are set out in the staff handbook which is available to all staff.


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