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19 Jan 2009 : Column 1056W—continued

Aviation: Monopolies

Linda Gilroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of overall airline activity in a region would have to be provided by one operator for the position to be considered a regional monopoly; and if he will make a statement. [248093]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 15 January 2009]: The provision of air services is subject to general UK competition law. The EC treaty and the Competition Act 1998 both prohibit, in certain circumstances, conduct by one or more undertakings which amounts to an abuse of a dominant position in a relevant market.

Any assessment of whether an undertaking is dominant in a relevant market, including an airline in the provision of air services, would be a matter for the Office of Fair Trading. Whether an undertaking is dominant will be dependent on both the relevant market definition and the ability of the undertaking to act independently of its competitors, customers and consumers rather than any overall percentage share of a market.

Channel Tunnel Railway Line

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what charges are levied on freight companies for use of the high-speed Channel Tunnel Rail Link between London St. Pancras and Ebbsfleet International; and how much freight has been moved on this line since it was commissioned in 2007. [249304]

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Paul Clark: The future charges for freight companies to use the Channel Tunnel Rail Link have been subject to recent consultation and High Speed 1 is discussing these charges with freight companies and industry representatives as part of their consideration of that consultation. Further details can be found on the HS1 website at:

Freight services have yet to commence on the new line, and no significant freight has been moved on it since 2007.

Dartford-Thurrock Crossing: Tolls

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will extend the boundary for exemption from the Dartford Crossing toll to residents of Billericay, Sevenoaks, Erith and Thamesmead, Gravesham, Bexleyheath and Castle Point. [248856]

Paul Clark: The purpose of the charge at the Dartford crossing is to tackle congestion. The local discount areas of Dartford and Thurrock were established following a consultation process, and were the maximum that could be justified to enable us to maintain a kerb on increasing levels of traffic using the crossing. But we said that we would keep the local discount scheme under review. The scheme has been in operation for only two months and it is too early yet to review either its operation or eligibility.

Departmental Pay

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many bonuses were awarded to senior civil servants working at his Department and its agencies in (a) 2007 and (b) 2008; and how much was spent on such bonuses in each of those years. [249863]

Mr. Hoon: The number of bonuses awarded to senior civil servants in the Department for Transport in (a) 2007, (b) 2008 and the amount spent in each of those years is set out in the following table:

Number of bonuses Total cost of bonuses (£)







Driving Tests

Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many drivers passed their driving test on the (a) first, (b) second and (c) third or later attempt in (i) England, (ii) the North West and (iii) Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council in each year since 1997. [247155]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 14 January 2009]: The Driving Standards Agency has provided details of the number of drivers who passed their driving test by attempt at GB level, dating back to 2004. The DSA cannot provide any further information without incurring disproportionate costs.

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GB figures

Attempt 1 Attempt 2 Attempt 3 4 plus attempts































Driving Tests: Motorcycles

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many motorcycle testing sites with (a) areas capable of conducting Module 1 tests and (b) areas for whole part tests in England he plans to provide by March 2009; if he will make a statement. [248579]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The consultation exercise, on proposals to improve delivery for the new practical motorcycle test by splitting it into two modules, ended on 9 January. Module 1 would be the specified manoeuvres element and module 2 would be the road riding element. The responses are still being analysed.

If the test is split into two modules, current estimates are that the Driving Standards Agency will have in place around 61 operational sites for module 1 and around 100 locations from which module 2 tests will be delivered.

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department (a) has spent since 2000 and (b) proposes to spend in future years in (i) Poole and (ii) England on the implementation of changes to motorcycle testing required by the Second European Directive on Driving Licences. [248580]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The amount spent on the Multi-Purpose Test Centre project in England is £40,684,467.

So far £100,666 has been spent on searching for suitable sites in Poole and conducting feasibility studies. The planning application for the identified site is currently at appeal. If successful, then the development of the site will proceed as a private developer scheme with an annual rental to The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) of £170,000 exclusive of VAT.

The forecast spend in England over the next two years is £14,185,989.

Driving: Insurance

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with the organisers of the Young Marmalade scheme to encourage additional training for young, newly qualified drivers in return for lower insurance premiums. [249638]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Managing Director of Young Marmalade has had two meetings with officials, and some associated correspondence, to present the company’s products and information about their customers, who are encouraged to take Pass Plus or other post-test training.

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Freight: Birmingham

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the findings of the pilot study on freight options of British Waterways in respect of the Birmingham area; and if he will make a statement. [247519]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The pilot study undertaken by British Waterways and Brumcan in Birmingham was a local initiative designed to show other local businesses the benefits of using the canal network to move their goods.

The Department for Transport promotes the use of waterborne transport, where this is feasible and delivers clear environmental benefits, through the Sustainable Distribution Fund.

Fuels: Businesses

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much transport fuel used by businesses in the UK was purchased in each other EU member state in the most recent period for which figures are available. [247119]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Government do not have specific data on how much transport fuel used by business in the UK is purchased in other EU member states or in which states.

However, HMRC do estimate the cross-border shopping market share for diesel in Great Britain and the non-UK-duty paid market share for petrol and diesel in Northern Ireland. These are presented in the HMRC publication ‘Measuring Indirect Tax Gaps—2008’:

HMRC does not estimate how much aviation fuel used in the UK originated overseas.

HMRC provisionally estimate that in 2006, 650 million litres of diesel consumed in Great Britain was purchased abroad—equivalent to 3 per cent. of the GB diesel market. For Northern Ireland there is no split between cross-border shopping and the illicit market. HMRC estimate that the total non-UK-duty paid market share is 335 million litres for diesel and 75 million litres for petrol.


Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his estimate is of the contribution to gross domestic product the road haulage industry has made in the last 10 years. [247556]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The contribution of the road haulage industry to gross domestic product is provided in the following table.

£ million



















2007 (provisional)


Source: Annual Business Inquiry, Office for National Statistics

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The table includes only those businesses whose economic activity is classified as ‘freight transport by road’. It would exclude, therefore, companies in other economic sectors (e.g. retail) if their main business is not haulage.

Heathrow Airport: Railways

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he plans to support an application for European funding for the proposed Heathrow rail hub. [247157]

Paul Clark [holding answer 14 January 2009]: I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State’s oral statement of 15 January 2009, Official Report, columns 355-76. Subject to Government’s decisions following High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd.’s report at the end of the year, work will be taken forward on funding plans for the proposed Heathrow International interchange.

Lorries: Safety

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his assessment is of the merits of the Fresnel lens to improve vision for drivers of (a) UK and (b) foreign heavy goods vehicles; and if he will make a statement. [247089]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Fresnel Lenses provide a useful short-term solution to the problem of the blind-spot adjacent to some HGV cabs. When properly fitted a Fresnel Lens provides drivers of foreign HGVs good vision into the adjacent carriageway whilst overtaking; the lens can also offer improved vision to the nearside for UK drivers.

We are currently completing a study considering the safety aspects of a range of supplementary devices on large goods vehicles, including the Fresnel Lens. We will be using the results of this work to support our proposal to amend the relevant international vehicle construction regulations to reduce these blindspots. In the meantime the Department for Transport is continuing to hand out Fresnel Lenses free of charge to left-hand-drive vehicles arriving at UK ports.

Motor Vehicles: Insurance

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with the motor insurance industry on the costs of hire cars during periods when accident insurance disputes and repairs are taking place. [247725]

Jim Fitzpatrick: There have been no discussions. Any such costs would be a matter between insurers and their policyholders.

Motorways: Accidents

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many accidents resulting in death or serious injury have occurred on the hard shoulder of motorways in England in each of the last five years. [248851]

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Paul Clark: Hard shoulder accidents are those defined as involving a vehicle on, entering or leaving a hard shoulder or lay-by on a motorway.

There were 160 accidents resulting in death or serious injury that have occurred on the hard shoulder of motorways in England in the last five years detailed as follows.

Accident severity

Fatal Serious



















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