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5 Mar 2009 : Column 1724W—continued

eCall

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment he has made of the merits of mandatory equipping of new vehicles with an eCall facility. [261099]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Reducing the numbers of people killed or seriously injured on our roads is one of the Department’s key objectives and we believe that technology has an important role to play. However, any potential measure needs to be assessed against its expected costs and benefits.

Our most recent research suggests that the costs of mandatory eCall implementation would be greater than the benefits it would bring. However, we are working closely with the European Commission to ensure we have the best available data and will review our position in the light of any new evidence. The Department is also actively supporting the recently established group that will advise on issues around the voluntary implementation of eCall across Europe.

Electric Vehicles

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress the Government is making in the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions through the development of battery-powered vehicles. [260740]

Jim Fitzpatrick: On 15 January 2009, the Secretary of State for Transport announced that £250 million would be made available to create a system of consumer incentives to build the market for ultra-low emission vehicles, including battery-powered vehicles. Final decisions on how this money will be used are yet to be taken, but we expect that the bulk of the money will be available
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between 2011 and 2014 and will mainly be used reduce the purchase price of the vehicles, with the remainder used for targeted infrastructure provision.

This money is in addition to support, worth over £100 million, provided for research, development and demonstration of battery-powered, and other low emission, vehicles through the Technology Strategy Board’s Low Carbon Vehicle Innovation Platform.

Battery-powered vehicles are also generously supported through the taxation systems, for example, exemption from paying vehicle excise duty and fuel duty. Government have also provided funding, through the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Grant Programme, to support the installation of electric vehicle charging points.

Freight: North West

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment he has made of the availability of freight facilities grants in the North West; and if he will make a statement. [261098]

Jim Fitzpatrick: On 22 January 2008 the Department announced that Freight Facilities Grants (FFG) will no longer be available for investment in intermodal terminals in the North West of England (i.e. the Manchester, Liverpool, and Widnes conurbations).

This decision reflected the increasing competitiveness of the sector with a number of terminals and freight hauliers active in the market. The Department’s decision was taken to ensure that FFGs do not distort the market and give competitive advantage to those receiving grants versus those who do not.

Heathrow Airport

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many of the responses to the Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport consultation said (a) that they were partially or totally opposed to Heathrow expansion, (b) that they did not believe Heathrow expansion could take place whilst meeting the Government's air quality limits without further measures and (c) that they did not believe Heathrow expansion could take place whilst meeting the noise contour limit of 127 square kilometres at the indicated levels of air traffic, broken down by (i) campaign postcards and petitions and (ii) postal response, (iii) free-text responses and (iv) online response form; and if he will make a statement. [261096]

Jim Fitzpatrick: A detailed analysis of the responses to the Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport consultation can be found in the Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport Report on consultation responses, which was published on 15 January. Sections 2.2 to 2.13 of the above report provides an executive summary, detailing responses to the consultation.

25,331 respondents stated that they did not want any further expansion at Heathrow. Of these, 4,945 used the postal response form, 2,500 the online response form, 4,614 were free text responses, and there were 13,272 postcards/petition responses. The responses were not coded as being either 'partially' or 'totally' opposed to expansion.


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61 respondents specifically stated that air quality limits could not be met without further measures. Of these, nine used the postal response form, 51 were free text responses, and there was one postcard/petition response. In addition, of 16,049 respondents who replied to the question about air quality using the online response form, 73 per cent. disagreed with the statement that expansion was possible while meeting the air quality limits.

37 respondents stated that they did not believe that expansion could take place while meeting the noise contour limit. Of these, three used the postal response forms, 33 were free text responses and there was one postcard/petition response. In addition, of 15,999 respondents who replied to the question about the noise contour limit using the online response form, 74 per cent. disagreed with the statement that expansion was possible whilst meeting the noise contour limit.

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department spent on the Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport: Report on consultation responses publication in relation to (a) fees for analysis and preparation of the report paid to Detica, (b) fees for analysis and preparation of the report paid to Ipsos Mori and (c) production and distribution costs; and if he will make a statement. [261097]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department procured Detica to analyse consultation responses and produce the report Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport: Report on consultation responses. The total costs paid to Detica were £939,989.18 including VAT. Ipsos Mori was subcontracted by Detica for their input into this work.

The Department printed 1,500 copies of the Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport: Report on consultation responses. The cost for this was £13,947 including VAT. Copies of the report were placed in the House Libraries, and can also be obtained from the Department's distribution centre. Distribution costs have been marginal.

Heathrow Airport: Air Pollution

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer to question 259633, on what date the work carried out by the Project for Sustainable Development of Heathrow was first assessed as sufficiently robust to conclude the (a) air quality limits and (b) noise contour limit of 127 sq km had been met in relation to (i) third runway scenarios and (ii) mixed mode scenarios consulted on in the Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport public consultation; and if he will make a statement. [261275]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Further to the reply I gave on 2 March 2009, Official Report, column 1270W, on air quality, the critical point on noise was to establish the number of movements that could initially be accommodated within the noise contour limit with a third runway around 2020; that was not clear until mid-September 2007. Similarly, the results reported in the consultation document for mixed mode were not complete until mid-September 2007.


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High Speed Trains

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to encourage the provision of a direct high-speed rail service from London to Amsterdam to coincide with the completion of the Brussels-Amsterdam high-speed line. [259392]

Paul Clark: The Government are currently undertaking the restructuring of London And Continental Railways, as enabled by the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (Supplementary Provisions) Act 2008. Among the principal aims of this restructuring is to free Eurostar from past liabilities, enabling it to further develop its service offering; and to encourage the introduction of more services from a potential range of operators onto High Speed 1.

Motor Vehicles

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his Department's most recent estimate is of the number of vehicles operating outside the law on (a) registration, (b) vehicle testing and (c) insurance on the basis used in its Roads Policing Operations V79 paper published in September 2006. [261545]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The most recent Operation V79 was carried out in March 2008. 6,689 vehicles were stopped at random by police and checked for compliance with driver and vehicle licensing regulations. The full report of the operation was published in November 2008 and is available on the Department for Transport’s website.

The 2008 results show increased compliance levels in respect of vehicle registration, vehicle testing and insurance compared with the previous survey in 2006.

The level of incorrectly registered vehicles was recorded at 3.6 per cent. of vehicles stopped, compared with 6.1 per cent. in 2006.

The recorded level of uninsured drivers fell to 1.2 per cent. from 1.9 per cent. in the previous survey.

The level of vehicles found without a valid MOT was 1.5 per cent. as opposed to 4.2 per cent. in 2006.

Public Transport: Hertfordshire

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent by his Department per capita on public transport in (a) Hemel Hempstead and (b) Hertfordshire in each year since 1997. [260080]

Paul Clark: The Department for Transport supports local authority capital expenditure on public transport mainly through the allocation of Integrated Transport block funding, which is used for capital investment in small-scale transport improvements. This funding is not ring-fenced and local authorities have discretion to spend their allocations in line with their priorities. Local authority revenue expenditure on transport, for example spend on supporting bus services or concessionary fares, is mainly supported through the Department for Communities and Local Government’s formula grant.

The Department also supports bus services through Bus Service Operators’ Grant, and provides funding for rail services, but these amounts are not available on the basis of local authority boundaries.


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Integrated Transport block allocations provided to Hertfordshire county council by the Department, together with specific funding provided for urban and rural bus projects and, in 2008-09, for concessionary travel, are shown in the following table. Comparable data are available for 2000-01 onwards.

DFT allocations to Hertfordshire county council

Allocation on public transport (£ million) Per capita (£)

2008-09

15.034

14.103

2007-08

12.369

11.602

2006-07

12.148

11.476

2005-06

13.692

13.022

2004-05

13.613

13.029

2003-04

16.292

15.623

2002-03

14.459

13.916

2001-02

13.196

12.743

2000-01

5.851

5.682

Note:
Per capita figures are based on Office for National Statistics population estimates for Hertfordshire. Estimates were not available for 2008-09—the 2007-08 estimate has been used for this year.

Rescue Services: Northern Ireland

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many emergency calls were received by each HM Coastguard office in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years. [260140]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has one Maritime and Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) in Northern Ireland at Bangor, Belfast MRCC.

The MRCC can receive multiple calls about a single incident as well as hoax calls.

The MCA does not have data on the number of individual emergencies in a readily available format. However, the MCA’s records show that from October 2004 (when the current search and rescue recording system was introduced in Belfast) to date, that Belfast MRCC allocated resources to respond to 1,756 incidents of an emergency category, a number of which would have attracted multiple calls or resulted in the calls being of a false nature.

Road Markings: Safety

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment he has made of the merits of road markings on motorways to inform drivers of safe minimum distances between vehicles. [261100]

Paul Clark: Since the Department for Transport published their guidance on road separation markings in 2005, further research work on this type of road marking and the associated signing options is being carried out by the Highways Agency on the A34 in Oxfordshire.

Roads: Hertfordshire

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of road safety partnership grants in (a) Hemel Hempstead and (b) Hertfordshire. [260776]


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Jim Fitzpatrick: No projects led by Hertfordshire county council or any other local authorities within Hertfordshire have been supported by road safety partnership grants.

Shipping

Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to publish the results of his recent consultation on proposed regulations under section 130 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 to control ship-to-ship oil transfers within UK territorial waters; and when he expects to lay regulations before Parliament. [260915]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has been considering the responses to the consultation exercise, and I anticipate that the summary of the responses will be published on the MCA website later this month.

The MCA are developing the draft regulations in the light of the consultation responses and have identified areas of the draft regulations which will need to be changed. We will also be discussing possible changes to the draft regulations with other Government Departments which have a policy involvement. In view of the developments to the draft regulations arising from the consultation responses, and the discussions with other Government Departments, it is possible that we will have to conduct a second consultation exercise. Accordingly, it is not possible to say at this stage when we will lay the regulations before Parliament.

Tour Operators: Licensing

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people flew overseas for tourism or leisure purposes in 2008; and how many of them were (a) covered and (b) not covered for consumer protection through the ATOL scheme. [260905]

Jim Fitzpatrick: According to the Office for National Statistics’ “MQ6 Transport, Travel and Tourism” reports, around 37 million visits abroad were made by UK residents for holiday purposes in the period from the final quarter of 2007 to the third quarter of 2008 at:

According to the Civil Aviation Authority, the total number of visits abroad made under the ATOL scheme in the same period was around 19 million.


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