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Paul Clark: The original 2003 cost estimate submitted for Department for Transport (DFT) approval for the Cambridge Guided Busway was £73.8 million. When final approval for the scheme was provided in 2006, the revised cost was £116.2 million, which remains the current overall scheme cost estimated by Cambridgeshire county council.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what changes he expects the provisions of the Local Transport Act 2008 to make to the abilities of local authorities to subsidise local bus services for their community when brought into force; and what timetable he has set for the commencement of the Act's provisions. 
Paul Clark: The Local Transport Act 2008 (the 2008 Act) contains provisions to enhance the powers of local transport authorities in England and Wales to secure improvements to local bus services in their areas. Options for these authorities include through voluntary partnership agreements, quality partnership schemes and quality contracts (bus franchising) schemes.
Voluntary partnership agreements and quality partnership schemes offer the potential for local authorities to secure improvements to the standard of local bus services, alongside local authority investment in new or improved facilities for bus services and passengers. Quality contracts may provide for the payment of subsidy for the operation of local services under those contracts, and the 2008 Act includes provisions to make quality contracts schemes a more realistic option for local authorities.
Local transport authorities already have the power to enter into subsidised service agreements with bus operators, by virtue of section 9A of the Transport Act 1968 (for Passenger Transport Authorities) and section 63 of the Transport Act 1985 (for other local transport authorities). The 2008 Act amends these powers to allow subsidy agreements to be entered into, not only where services
would not be provided at all in the absence of subsidy (as at present), but also where they would not be provided to a particular standard. Provisions in the 2008 Act also increase the maximum permitted duration for subsidised service agreements from five to eight years.
Except where specific provision is made in section 134 of the 2008 Act, the provisions of that Act are to be brought into force by commencement order made by the Secretary of State (or in some cases by the Welsh Ministers, in so far as provisions apply in Wales). The first commencement order is expected to be made early in 2009.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what his Department's policy is on the placement of bus stops for school transport alongside dual carriageways; and if he will make a statement; 
Paul Clark: The Department for Transport provides general guidance on bus stop provision, including road safety considerations, in chapter 8 of Local Transport Note 1/97: Keeping Buses Moving. This is available on the Department for Transport website at
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department has issued guidance to those local authorities involved in the cycling demonstration towns initiative on measuring changes in the use of cycling as a means of transport. 
Paul Clark: The Department for Transport awarded a contract in February 2006 to Sustrans Research and Monitoring Unit together with the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds and the University of Bolton to undertake monitoring of cycle levels in the Cycling Demonstration Towns (CDTs). A part of that contract is to work closely with each local authority in establishing an effective monitoring regime.
The Department also contracted a specialist cycling advice team to give free advice to local authorities, including the CDTs, on a range of infrastructure issues. The advice team has provided guidance on the monitoring and evaluation of cycling activities, which is available on Cycling England, our advisory bodys website at:
The CDT programme was expanded in June 2008 to 18 cities and towns. The department awarded a further contract in November 2008 to Sustrans to monitor cycle levels in the expanded programme and expect to shortly award a contract to evaluate the impact that increased cycle levels has on a range of issues such as health, congestion and road safety in these places.
Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has assessed the effects upon traffic congestion of the increase in tolls at the Dartford River Crossing; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many journeys (a) he and his predecessors and (b) his officials made by aeroplane in the course of their duties in each of the last five years. 
(a) The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of Departments in replying to Members/Peers correspondence. Information relating to 2008 will be published as soon as it has been collated. The report for 2007 was published on 20 March 2008, Official Report, columns 71-74WS. Reports for earlier years are available in the Library of the House. When responding to all correspondence Departments should abide by the guidance as set out in Handling correspondence from MPs, Lords, MEPs and Members of Devolved Assemblies which was published by the Cabinet office in July 2005.
(b) In respect of e-mails, the Department for Transport will not be able to provide the information within the disproportionate cost limit (£750) as to do so would require gathering information from every official in the Department.
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of contractors and suppliers to (a) his Department and (b) its agencies has reported compliance with the Government's security standards following publication of the report, Data Handling Procedures in Government, and the accompanying document, Cross-departmental Actions: Mandatory Minimum Action, on 25 June 2008. 
The Department's Senior Information Risk Owner (SIRO) wrote to the Department's major IT suppliers who handle personal data on the subject of data handling on 23 June 2008. All 12 have responded, assuring the SIRO of compliance with the measures in the Data Handling Procedures in Government report.
Those suppliers and all others involved in collecting, handling or storing the Department's information assets are required to provide assurance to the DfT SIRO and board on a quarterly basis, through the Department's Information Asset Owners, that they have implemented the appropriate measures.
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when his Department appointed a senior information risk owner in accordance with the report, Data Handling Procedures in Government and the accompanying document Cross-departmental Actions: Mandatory Minimum Action; and what grade the person holds within the Department. 
Mr. Hoon: The Department for Transport appointed a Senior Information Risk Owner (SIRO) in 2004 as part of the Government's approach to dealing with risks and threats to information systems, lead by the Central Sponsor for Information Assurance (CSIA). The appointment was a board member at director general level, grade SCSPB3.
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of the IT systems in (a) his Department and (b) its agencies are fully accredited to the Government's security standards. 
Mr. Hoon: The percentage of IT systems in the central Department that are currently fully accredited to HMG standards is 67 per cent. The remainder are currently in the process of being brought into accreditation.
The percentage of IT systems in the Department's seven executive agencies and its shared service centre that are currently fully accredited to HMG standards is 71 per cent. A further 26 per cent. are in the process of being brought into accreditation. The remaining IT systems are under review for accreditation or to be decommissioned.
The accreditation of the Department's IT systems is a continuous process, as new systems are brought into service and existing systems are required to be periodically re-accredited, or in response to changes in services, technology or the security threats.
Mr. Hoon: The Government's Delivery Plan for Sustainable Procurement and Operations on the Government Estate, published in August 2008, provides a full account of the initiatives Departments are taking to reduce their energy waste. The Government have committed to updating the delivery plan on a six monthly basis, and the first of these updates was published on 18 December 2008.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information his Department holds on the (a) sex, (b) ethnicity, (c) age, (d) disability, (e) sexual orientation and (f) religion or belief of its staff; and what assessment he has made of his Department's performance against its targets relating to diversity in its workforce. 
Mr. Hoon: The Department for Transport holds information on the gender, ethnic origin, age and disability of the majority of its staff. Information is also recorded on sexual orientation and religion and belief although a significant proportion of staff have chosen to withhold this information.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent by his Department on furniture made by (a) British firms, (b) Remploy and (c) overseas firms in each year since 2000. 
Mr. Hoon: The Department for Transport was formed in May 2002. The Department has spent £45,787,332 on furniture with British based firms, £31,250 with Remploy and £257,204 with overseas firms since 2002. The breakdown is as follows:
The Department for Transport utilises the Office of Government Commerce Buying Solutions office furniture contract for the vast majority of its furniture purchases. All companies on that contract are British based or have British operating arms.
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