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Nuclear Weapons: Transport

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the role of the Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines is in the protection of nuclear weapons road convoys. [280422]

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Bill Rammell: The Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines element of the nuclear weapon convoy security escort provides specific capabilities to counter a no-notice terrorist attack.



Robert Key: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport when an inspection was last carried out of the condition of the carriageway on the A303 at its junction with the A345 at Countess Roundabout, Wiltshire; what reports he has received on levels of road safety at this junction; and if he will make a statement. [280725]

Chris Mole: The Highways Agency carries out safety inspections every 28 days on trunk roads and the last one at this location was on 2 June 2009. No safety critical defects were identified in this inspection.

We are aware of minor defects to the road surface that do not pose an immediate danger to the travelling public, and overnight repairs are planned for the week commencing 22 June 2009 to deal with the most significant of these.

In a five year period the Countess Roundabout has had a recorded 32 accidents across all arms of the roundabout and the circulatory carriageway. None of the accidents had a poor or defective road surface listed as a contributing factor.

Annual Safety Statements concerning road safety are compiled by the Highways Agency across the entire trunk road network including Countess Roundabout. The most recent statement for this location was issued in October 2008.


Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport which parliamentary constituencies have airports wholly or partly within their boundaries. [281656]

Paul Clark: “The Future of Air Transport” White Paper, which set out the strategic framework for the development of airport capacity in the United Kingdom to 2030, identified 30 major airports in the UK. The following table lists, in the right hand column, the major airports and in the left hand column the constituency or constituencies within which each airport is situated:

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Constituency Airport


Blackpool, South

Blackpool International


Brigg and Goole Cleethorpes

Humberside International


Bournemouth International


London Gatwick

Don Valley

Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield

East Ham

London City

Poplar and Canning Town



Southampton, Itchen

Hayes and Harlington

London Heathrow

Leeds, North-West

Leeds Bradford International


Liverpool, Garston

Liverpool John Lennon

Luton, South

London Luton


Birmingham International

Mid Norfolk

Norwich International

Norwich, North

Newcastle upon Tyne, North

Newcastle International

North Cornwall

Newquay, Cornwall

North West Leicestershire

East Midlands

Plymouth, Devonport

Plymouth City

Saffron Walden

London Stansted


Durham Tees Valley

Stockton, South



Wythenshawe and Sale, East

Tiverton and Honiton



Bristol International

Northern Ireland

Belfast, East

Belfast City

South Antrim

Belfast International


Central Ayrshire

Glasgow Prestwick

Edinburgh, West




Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey


Paisley and Renfrewshire, North



Vale of Glamorgan

Cardiff International

Aviation: Fees and Charges

Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent representations his Department has received on (a) restrictions imposed and (b) charges levied by airlines on passengers who require supplementary oxygen when travelling by air. [281822]

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Paul Clark: The Department for Transport has received some 130 letters about the carriage of oxygen. European Regulation 1107/2006 on the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air does not impose specific obligations on airlines to carry or provide oxygen in the cabin. Where air carriers do supply medical oxygen to passengers on request, it is possible to make a charge for this service. However, many airlines including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, EasyJet and Flybe allow passengers to use their own oxygen and their own Portable Oxygen Concentrator free of charge. It is important that passengers know airlines' charging policies before choosing which carrier to fly with.

Aviation: Noise

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport (1) what requirements there are on light aircraft taking off from or landing at airports located close to housing developments to have silencers fitted; and if he will make a statement; [281654]

(2) what recent discussions he has had with the Civil Aviation Authority on its policy on the fitting of silencers to light aircraft; and if he will make a statement. [281655]

Paul Clark: Aerodromes are expected to consider the environmental impact of their operations and apply measures designed to minimise the noise impact on the local population. To assist aerodromes in this task, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has published best practice guidance on noise considerations at general aviation aerodromes which is available on their website. This guidance also serves to provide members of the public with an explanation of the constraints and factors that must be considered by aerodrome operators when deciding on the noise mitigation measures that could be adopted.

In the UK, aircraft are required to comply with the Aircraft Noise standards recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and published in annex 16 to the Chicago Convention (annex 16, volume 1). The certification requirements place a maximum decibel limit on the noise level that an aircraft may produce, and are specific to the aircraft type concerned. The requirements do not specify how those noise limits should be met, e.g. through the use of silencers.

The Department for Transport has not had any recent discussions with the CAA about the fitting of silencers to light aircraft. The effective management of aircraft noise includes a number of elements, including action to address noise at source. While it is possible to fit silencers to some light aircraft, this can have an effect on engine power and consequently aircraft performance. The CAA must take these factors into account on a case by case basis when considering whether the installation of silencers on different types of light aircraft.

Birmingham Airport: Air Pollution

Lorely Burt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what research his Department has commissioned on levels of noise pollution in the area surrounding Birmingham airport in the last three years. [282046]

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Paul Clark: The Department for Transport only produces noise contours for the three London noise designated airports—Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. Elsewhere the monitoring of aircraft noise falls to the local airport operator.

However in line with the EU Environmental Noise Directive 2002/49/EU (transposed by the Environmental Noise (England) Regulations (2006)), Birmingham International Airport—in common with other airports with 50,000 movements and above—is required to commence formal consultation on a Noise Action Plan by 1 July. These draft plans, which have been prepared in response to noise mapping contours produced in 2007, are required to be developed in consultation with the local community.

Bus Services: Concessions

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many pensioners in (a) Chorley and (b) Lancashire received concessionary bus passes in the latest period for which figures are available. [282083]

Mr. Khan: The Department for Transport is not responsible for issuing passes and so do not maintain records of how many passes individual authorities have issued.

Chorley and Lancashire are part of the NoWcard scheme. The last information held by the Department is that; as of April 2008 the NoWcard scheme had received 280,200 applications from older and disabled people.

Departmental Conditions of Employment

John McDonnell: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport pursuant to the answer of 22 May 2009, Official Report, column 1489W, on departmental conditions of employment, what timetable he has set for the consideration of the standardisation of processes in areas such as travel and subsistence claims and annual performance. [281159]

Chris Mole: The Department for Transport is considering standardisation of human resource processes and detailed work on initial key areas, such as developing e-recruitment, is under way.

The specific issues identified by the National Audit Office as needing addressing in the medium-term, including the approach to travel and subsistence claims and annual performance appraisals, are not yet planned in detail. Specific timetables to address these have not yet been scheduled.

Departmental Data Protection

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many breaches of information security there have been at (a) his Department and (b) its agencies in the last five years. [281085]

Chris Mole: Data on breaches of information security for the last five years for the Department for Transport and its agencies is not held centrally.

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The Department and its agencies report all significant personal data security breaches to the Cabinet Office and the Information Commissioner’s Office. Information on personal data security breaches are published on an annual basis in the department’s annual resource accounts as was announced in the Data Handling Review published on 25 June 2008.

Additionally, all significant control weaknesses including other significant security breaches are included in the Statement of Internal Control which is published within the annual resource accounts.

Departmental Electricity

Mr. Paice: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate he has made of the percentage of electricity used by his Department which was derived from renewable sources in (a) 2006-07 and (b) 2007-08. [280965]

Chris Mole: The Department for Transport reports its electricity derived from renewable sources figures through the annual Sustainable Development in Government (SDiG) report. The figures for 2006-07 and 2007-08 are as follows:

Renewable e lectricity

Renewable Electricity kWh Percentage of total electricity







The figures have fallen due to an increased use of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and the over estimation of consumption in 2006-07, but the Department for Transport’s target to use electricity of which more than 10 per cent. has been derived from renewable sources has been exceeded.

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