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15 Dec 2008 : Column 378Wcontinued
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
District of Easington Council
The Department is also currently considering applications for selective licensing from Leeds City Council, Hartlepool Borough Council and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council (second proposed designation).
Anne Moffat: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he plans to consider the merits of dualling of the A1 from Newcastle to East Lothian. 
Paul Clark: There are currently no plans to consider full dualling between Newcastle and the Scottish border. Two discrete dualling schemes, from Morpeth to Felton and Adderstone to Belford, were considered by the North East Interim Transport Board in 2006 for funding through the central Government Regional Funding Allocation. However in its 2006 advice to Ministers the region concluded that within the resources available these improvements could not be prioritised.
All Regional Transport Boards have been asked to review their Regional Funding Allocation priorities this year. These schemes will be considered by the Region along with others, and this represents an opportunity for supporters of improvements on the A1 North of Newcastle to make their views heard. The Region will submit its advice to Ministers on its priorities early in 2009 for consideration.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the potential economic benefits to the East Sussex area of planned improvements to the A21. 
Paul Clark: No assessment has been made of the potential economic benefits at this stage. Consideration will be given to preparation of an economic impact report examining the economic effect of the A21 schemes on the Hastings regeneration area and will be published at the same time as draft Highways Act orders.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the timescale is for the Bexhill Link Road Project; when he expects the link road to be completed; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Clark: The proposed Bexhill to Hastings link road, a local major road scheme being promoted by East Sussex county council, was granted initial Government funding approval in December 2004 with an agreed funding contribution from the Department for Transport of £47.12 million towards the cost of the scheme.
The council has subsequently reported that the estimated total cost of the scheme has increased to £96 million. The council will now need to submit an updated business case to the Department in order that a re-appraisal can be undertaken in accordance with the Departments guidance. This is needed to ensure that the scheme remains value for money at the higher cost before a final decision is taken on whether to provide additional funding.
The council are currently reporting that main construction works could commence in June 2010 with completion in December 2012. However this is subject to the scheme also completing necessary statutory and procurement procedures and also obtaining the relevant funding approvals from the Department before construction could commence.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate his Department has made of the quantity of biofuel to be provided in 2008-09 under the original 2.5 per cent. target under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligations Order 2007; and what estimate has been made of the quantity to be provided in 2008-09 following the amendment to the definition of relevant hydrocarbon oil from April 2009. 
Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 10 December 2008]: In the first year of the obligation it was expected that approximately 1.25 billion litres of biofuel would be supplied. As a result of the discrepancy in the RTFO order the Renewable Fuels Agency estimate that around half of the fossil fuel supplied to date may not be obligated. However, the extent of any shortfall in biofuel supplied will not be known until the end of the obligation year.
Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with the Mayor of London on traffic congestion on the Blackwall Tunnel approach roads; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: None. Congestion on these roads is an operational matter for the Mayor, Transport for London and the relevant borough councils.
Mrs. Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people in (a) Gateshead and (b) Sunderland have a concessionary bus pass for over 60 year olds. 
Paul Clark: The Department for Transport is not responsible for issuing passes and so does not maintain records of how many applications individual authorities have received.
Gateshead and Sunderland are part of the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive (Nexus). The last information held by the Department was that as of 7 April this year Nexus had submitted approximately 222,702 applications for the new smartcard concessionary passes for older and disabled people to their pass supplier.
Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with the Mayor of London on the cost of (a) replacing bendy buses in London and (b) the reintroduction of Routemaster buses; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: None. The composition, contractual arrangements and costs of the London bus fleet are a matter for the Mayor of London and Transport for London. Government have agreed a generous, long term funding settlement with Transport for London. It is now for them to manage their bus contracts within that funding envelope.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to the answer of 26 November 2008, Official Report, column 1568W, on departmental senior civil servants, who is responsible for determining the overall monetary value of bonuses paid to members of the Senior Civil Service in his Department. 
Mr. Hoon [holding answer 10 December 2008]: The total value of bonuses that the Department for Transport may pay to senior civil servants is set by the Government. Individual bonuses within that value, and in accordance with other centrally determined criteria, are determined by the Department's senior civil service remuneration committee.
Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to upgrade Dartford rail station; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Clark: Dartford station has been identified by the industry as a candidate station for funding from the National Stations Improvement Programme. The final selection of stations will be influenced, among other things, by the extent to which third party fundingfrom local authorities and the private sectoris secured to supplement the industry's own proposals.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Rochford and Southend East of 6 October 2008, Official Report, column 196W, on departmental air travel, whether figures for 2007-08 have now been calculated. 
Mr. Hoon: The figures for air mileage for 2007-08 have now been calculated. The domestic flight mileage was 693,997, short-haul mileage was 821,311, and long-haul mileage 1,939,471.
All official travel is carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Civil Service Management Code.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 17 November 2008, Official Report, column 32W, by what means consultants and contractors in the Department for Transport Human Resources are hired other than through competitive tender using pre-negotiated frameworks. 
Mr. Hoon [holding answer 9 December 2008]: Consultants and contractors are generally secured through a competitive procurement process. However, a procurement exercise without a competition may be justified where, for example, compatibility of expertise with existing or previous work is required or where it is known that only one supplier can meet the need.
Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much (a) his Department and (b) each of its non-departmental public bodies spent on external consultancy on (i) the rail network, (ii) the bus network, (iii) the road network, (iv) air transport, (v) water transport and (vi) other transport in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Hoon [holding answer 11 December 2008]: Expenditure by the Department on external consultancy is not held centrally in the format requested and can be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Expenditure by non-departmental public bodies on external consultancy can be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Total expenditure by the central Department and its agencies on consultants in each financial year since it was formed in May 2002 is shown in the following table:
Government Car and Despatch Agency (joined DFT from 2005-06)
The business units within the Department currently use separate accounting systems which record expenditure differently. The totals include a mixture of committed spend (ie orders raised) and actual spend incurred. The Professional Services Forum definition of consultancy has been applied since 2005-06 resulting in more accurate coding of expenditure.
Expenditure figures from 2005-06 exclude central Department and Highways Agency spend on technical transport related consultancy. Expenditure by the Highways Agency on engineering consultancy is scored as outsourced procurement of specialist services.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to the answer of 4 November 2008, Official Report, columns 336-7W, on Government departments: information and communications technology, which IP addresses are used by (a) his Department and (b) computers in the offices of its (i) Ministers, (ii) communications officials and (iii) special advisers. 
Mr. Hoon: To help defend against electronic attack, it is standard good information security practice for corporate IT systems, not to publish internal IP addresses. When accessing internet websites, the IP addresses of all of the computers on my Department's internal office IT system are hidden behind the following IP addresses which are publicly available188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206. These IP addresses are shared with other Government Departments that use the Government secure intranet.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to the answer of 26 November 2008, Official Report, column 1567W, on departmental senior civil servants, how many of the 192 members of the senior civil service in his Department are employed in (a) the central Department and (b) each of his Department's agencies. 
Mr. Hoon [holding answer 10 December 2008]: The number of senior civil servants employed in (a) the central Department and (b) each of the Department's agencies is set out in the following table:
|Organisation||Number of senior civil servants|
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