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Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 26 February 2009

Transport

Aviation: Carbon Emissions

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what estimate he has made of the effect of the Government's limit on carbon dioxide emissions from aviation on lifeline flights in (a) Scotland and (b) the UK; [258559]

(2) what assessment he has made of the effect of any future breach of the Government's target for airline emissions on the future of (a) lifeline flights and (b) airports serving lifeline flights. [258768]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 25 February 2009]: In January this year, the Government announced a new target to get UK aviation carbon dioxide emissions in 2050 below 2005 levels and asked the Committee on Climate Change to advise on the best basis for its development. The Committee is due to report by December 2009. The Committee's advice will inform the Government's approach in ensuring achievement of the target. In developing this approach, the Government will take into account a range of different factors.

The Government recognise the important economic and social benefits that lifeline air services can bring to remote areas of the UK and continue to support the measures consistent with EU law that help sustain such services in Scotland and Wales.

Bus Services: Concessions

David Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many local authorities have withdrawn (a) companion bus passes for those accompanying (i) deafblind and (ii) other disabled people and (b) peak bus travel entitlement since the introduction of the national concessionary bus fares scheme. [258264]

Paul Clark: These concessions may be offered to eligible concessionaires at the discretion of individual local authorities based on their judgment of local needs and circumstances and their overall financial priorities; accordingly the Government do not hold these figures. The introduction of the national concessionary travel scheme has not affected the flexibility of local authorities to offer such discretionary concessions.

David Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether a disability equality impact assessment was conducted prior to the introduction of the new national concessionary bus fares scheme; and if he will make a statement. [258308]

Paul Clark: The Department for Transport published a Regulatory Impact Assessment for the Concessionary Bus Travel Act 2007 in July 2007. This included an
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assessment of the sectors and groups that would be affected by the new national concessionary travel scheme, including disabled people.

In addition, in March 2008 the Department published an Impact Assessment of Concessionary Bus Travel Passes, which included a disability equality impact assessment.

The Government also consulted widely with stakeholders, including the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC), prior to the introduction of the national concessionary travel scheme.

Driving Standards Agency: Alcoholic Drinks

Mr. Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 5 February 2009, Official Report, column 1385W, on the Driving Standards Agency: Alcoholic Drinks, on how many other occasions in 2008 the Driving Standards Agency purchased alcohol for other conferences and management meetings. [258171]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Driving Standards Agency has paid for wine served before and during dinner at three other conferences for different grades of managers held in May and June 2008 on a similar basis to the September event. The conferences involved people staying away from their homes overnight and working in their own time.

Lorries: Working Hours

Jessica Morden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department takes to monitor the compliance of haulage firms with the EU Working Time Directive; and what guidance his Department issues on the definition of a driver's (a) working time and (b) period of availability for the purposes of the Directive. [258827]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) monitors compliance with European Directive 2002/15/EC on the working time of mobile workers, by examining working time records when undertaking visits to operator bases, and by responding to any complaints made by employees about working time.

The Department has published guidance on the implementing GB regulations. This guidance defines working time as the time from the beginning of work, during which the mobile worker is at the workstation at the disposal of the employer and exercising his or her functions or activities.

The guidance defines a period of availability (PoA) as waiting time, the duration of which is known about in advance by the mobile worker.

A full description of what functions/activities are included in the definition of working time, along with examples of what does and does not constitute a PoA, can be found at:

M25: Hertfordshire

Mr. Gauke: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received on the General Permitted Development Order in respect of the proposed compound to be developed near Junction 17 of the M25. [258734]


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Paul Clark [holding answer 25 February 2009]: Representations regarding the General Permitted Development Order concerning the proposed site compound at M25 Junction 17 have been received from the hon. Member, Three Rivers district council and from local residents. All have been opposed to the location.

The concerns of the representations have been considered by the Highways Agency and a decision has been made not to site the compound at Junction 17 as originally proposed.

Public Transport: Expenditure

Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent per capita on public transport in (a) Greater Manchester and (b) Greater London in each year since 1997. [258565]

Paul Clark [holding answer 25 February 2009]: Public spending to support non-commercial public transport services in Greater Manchester and Greater London is largely the responsibility of the relevant local authorities. Figures for local authority expenditure on transport are available in published Local Government Finance Statistics at:

The Department for Transport also allocates funding which supports rail services in Greater Manchester and Greater London. Funding to support rail services in England is not however available on the basis of local authority boundaries.

Public Transport: Greater Manchester

Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans his Department has for its future spending levels for provision of public transport in Greater Manchester. [258566]

Paul Clark [holding answer 25 February 2009]: Local Transport Plan funding for Greater Manchester will increase from £73.753 million in 2008-09 to £79.317 million in 2009-10 and £84.642 million in 2010-11. In addition, Greater Manchester has been awarded £978,356 (between 2008-09 and 2009-10) from the Congestion Performance Fund.

Funding for major schemes (those over £5 million) is determined through the regional funding allocation (RFA) process. The north-west region is currently considering how to prioritise the £1,314 million available through to 2018-19.

Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the funds available from the Transport Innovation Fund for public transport improvement in Manchester will be held in reserve until new proposals are put forward by the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities. [258567]

Paul Clark [holding answer 25 February 2009]: The funding previously available from the Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) for Greater Manchester is now available to other high quality TIF proposals. Were the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities to put forward another TIF proposal, it would be assessed against the published criteria just as with any other proposal.


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Culture, Media and Sport

Departmental Foreign Workers

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Upper Bann of 11 February 2009, Official Report, column 1972W, how many (a) EU foreign nationals and (b) non-EU foreign nationals work as agency or temporary staff in his Department. [258008]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The information requested relating to the nationality of agency or temporary staff is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. In my reply to the hon. Member for Upper Bann (David Simpson) of 11 February 2009, Official Report, column 1972W, I stated that my Department employed no EU foreign nationals and no non-EU foreign nationals whereas the answer should have been that the information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Translation Services

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many language translators are employed in his Department's executive agency; and what the cost of translating services provided by such people was in the latest period for which information is available. [257151]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The Department's executive agency, the Royal Parks, has not incurred any translating services costs in the latest period for which information is available.

World Heritage Sites

Richard Younger-Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what further reports he intends to submit to the World Heritage Committee on UK World Heritage sites in advance of its 2009 session; and what the timetable for submission is. [259116]

Barbara Follett: My Department submitted to UNESCO's World Heritage Centre a State of Conservation report for Gough and Inaccessible Islands World Heritage Site on 6 February 2009. A report for the Palace of Westminster, St. Margaret's Church and Westminster Abbey World Heritage Site will be submitted by 28 February 2009.

Richard Younger-Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which UK World Heritage sites he is evaluating in advance of the World Heritage Committee's 2009 session. [259117]

Barbara Follett: My Department does not carry out evaluations of UK World Heritage Sites on behalf of the World Heritage Committee, but has provided information on the state of conservation of a number of UK World Heritage Sites as requested by the World Heritage Centre.


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Northern Ireland

Billy Wright Inquiry

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many security officials the Wright Inquiry employs. [257111]

Mr. Woodward: The Billy Wright Inquiry does not directly employ security guards and holds a contract with a private company for the provision of security services.

Inquiry staff also deal with security issues as part of their duties.

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much the Wright Inquiry has spent on (a) information technology and (b) information technology consultants. [257114]

Mr. Woodward: I am advised by the Billy Wright Inquiry that the Inquiry has spent £5.50 million on information technology and £611,000 on IT consultants to the end of January 2009.

Bloody Sunday Tribunal of Inquiry

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many security officials the Saville Inquiry employs. [257120]

Mr. Woodward: The Bloody Sunday Inquiry does not directly employ security guards and holds a contract with a private firm for the provision of security guards. Inquiry staff also deal with security issues as part of their duties.

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much the Saville Inquiry has spent on (a) information technology and (b) information technology consultants. [257122]

Mr. Woodward: I am advised by the Bloody Sunday Inquiry that the Inquiry has spent approximately £31.7 million on information technology and approximately £2 million on information technology consultants to the end of January 2009.

Crime Rate

Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what the property crime rate in Northern Ireland was in (a) 2006, (b) 2007, (c) 2008 and (d) the last four months of 2008; [259412]

(2) what the violent crime rate in Northern Ireland was in (a) 2006, (b) 2007, (c) 2008 and (d) the last four months of 2008; [259413]

(3) what the property crime rate in South Antrim constituency was in (a) 2006, (b) 2007, (c) 2008 and (d) the last four months of 2008; [259414]

(4) what the violent crime rate in the South Area of Northern Ireland was in (a) 2006, (b) 2007, (c) 2008 and (d) the last four months of 2008. [259415]

Paul Goggins: These data are collated by the Police Service of Northern Ireland. I have asked the Chief Constable to reply directly to the hon. Gentleman, and a copy of his letter will be placed in the Library of the House.


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Departmental Foreign Workers

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) EU foreign nationals and (b) non-EU foreign nationals are employed by his Department. [256203]

Mr. Woodward: The Northern Ireland Office has no central record of EU and non-EU foreign nationals in our employment. Since November 2007, the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS), which also carries out recruitment on behalf of the NIO, has collected the nationality details of applicants for vacancies. This information is retained for those who are successful and are appointed to posts in the NICS and NIO. Nationality details are not yet held for the vast majority of staff recruited before November 2007.

Departmental ICT

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 17 January 2009, Official Report, column 773W, on departmental ICT, for what reasons the budget of the Causeway Programme has increased by £18.3 million. [257266]

Paul Goggins: The Causeway Programme is a key element in the continuing modernisation and reform of the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland. At its inception, total costs were estimated at £42.7 million but a later review of the business case estimated that these would increase to £61 million. The most recent estimate, after reviewing the Programme content, is that total costs will be £58 million. This represents an increase of some £15 million against the original projections. The increased costs have arisen in three main areas:

Following the end of the Programme, additional enhancements to the system—originally intended to be part of the Programme—may be taken forward through one-off projects, subject to stringent cost and benefit analysis.


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