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Written Ministerial Statements

Thursday 26 March 2009


Her Majesty's Land Registry

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Mr. Michael Wills): The following list sets out the key performance indicators and targets that have been set for Her Majesty’s Land Registry for 2009-10.

Customer Service



Overall Satisfaction



Strategic Development Area Targets

Customer Service

Land Registration

Electronic Service Delivery

Business Development


Binyam Mohamed

The Solicitor-General (Vera Baird): My right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General has made the following written ministerial statement:


Driving Tests and Instructors

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Jim Fitzpatrick): The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has today published a report on the results of its consultation on fees for theory and practical driving tests and for tests and trainee licences required as part of the approved driving instructor qualification process.

Copies of the report have been placed in the Libraries of the House and are also available from the DSA website: www.dsa.gov.uk.

The changes will be introduced for driving tests booked on or after 30 March 2009 and for approved driving instructor related services from 24 April.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has today published a report on the responses to its consultation on driving licensing fees on the DVLA website: www.dvla.gov.uk. Copies of the report have also been placed in the Libraries of the House. The changes will be introduced from 6 April.

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) has today published a report on the results of its consultation on fees for services covering the testing, specialist inspections and operator licensing of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and public service vehicles (PSVs—buses and coaches); local bus service registration; issue of authorisations for some international journeys of HGVs and PSVs; single vehicle approval of cars, light goods vehicles and motorcycles; and tachograph centre approval. Copies of the report have been placed in the Libraries of the House and are also available from the Department for Transport website at: www.dft.gov.uk/consultations. The fees for HGV and PSV annual testing and operator licence will be introduced on 20 April; those for most other services are expected to be introduced on 27 April.

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Road and Rail Capacity: East of England

The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. Geoffrey Hoon): I am today informing the House of the results of the further work that the Department for Transport has carried out since March 2008 on the long-term capacity of the M11 motorway and the West Anglia main line. This work has considered the likely long-term growth in the regional economy as well as the potential expansion of Stansted airport, and the need to support both with effective and sustainable transport links. It has also taken account of the Government’s latest air passenger demand forecasts, which were published on 15 January 2009.

The regional spatial strategy for the East of England was published on 12 May 2008. This plan provides for a 15 to 20-year vision for the sustainable development of the east of England, a region with particularly strong growth pressures. Despite the current economic downturn, the Government believe that, over the next 15 to 20 years, the East of England region will continue to witness a growth in its economy, the generation of new employment opportunities and continuing demand for the development of new housing.

Further work carried out by the Department has confirmed that, on the rail side, there remains a business case for a significant package of enhancements to the West Anglia main line, to deal with the long-term increase in passenger demand on the route. These enhancements could lead to significant improvements in journey times and frequencies for all users of the route. The Department will now specify the outputs it
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requires from the work to be undertaken by Network Rail in the forthcoming control period 2009-14. Network Rail will lead the detailed development work to determine the precise scope of improvements needed to deliver these important outputs, and progress the necessary planning consents. This work will inform the assessment of funding for the railway control period 2014-19, subject to affordability, value for money and business case approval.

On the roads side, the Department has, with the Highways Agency, considered a number of options which could deliver capacity enhancements to the M11 motorway between junctions 6 and 8. The options considered included dynamic use of the hard shoulder and widening the motorway to four lanes in each direction. The study work has concluded that no enhancements to this section of the motorway are needed until at least 2021. Thereafter, a number of enhancements may be needed. Decisions on these will be taken in the context of the delivering a sustainable transport system (DaSTS) framework, published in November 2008, which sets out a timetable for future investment decisions.

Copies of the reports underpinning this announcement have been made available in the Libraries of both Houses, as well as on the Department for Transport’s website. The two reports are:

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