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Departmental Paternity Leave

Justine Greening: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many staff took paternity leave from his Department in each of the last five years; and what the average duration of such leave has been. [290592]

Chris Mole: The following table provides details of the number of staff who took paternity leave in the last five years:












The information in the above table does not include the Driving Standards Agency and Vehicle Certification Agency. Their information can be provided only by incurring disproportionate costs.

The average length of paternity leave is 8.4 days across Department for Transport Central and its Agencies.

Motorways: Speed Limits

Mr. Drew: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what powers traffic officers have to (a) stop and (b) report speeding vehicles on motorways. [292430]

Chris Mole: Under the provisions of Part 1 of the Traffic Management Act (2004), Highways Agency Traffic Officers have the power to stop and direct traffic and pedestrians. This is the same power as a police constable has under sections 35, 37 and 163(1) and (2) of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

Traffic Officers do not have an enforcement role and therefore do not stop vehicles for speeding. This responsibility remains with the police. Traffic Officers have a general instruction to report acts of a criminal nature to their control office for reporting to the police for possible prosecution. This is in line with their procedures for identifying when an incident should be police led.

Public Service Vehicles: Fuels

Derek Wyatt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what progress his Department has made in supporting the development of oxyhydrogen as an alternative fuel for public transport vehicles. [292905]

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Mr. Khan: The Department for Transport is committed to reducing emissions of both air quality pollutants and greenhouse gases from road transport, for example through setting of performance requirements for new vehicles. We welcome developments which assist in the meeting of those commitments, but do not generally provide support for development of specific technologies. Rather we leave industry free to develop the most effective technologies to meet the performance requirements we set.

We are not aware of anyone currently proposing the use of a mixture of oxygen and hydrogen gases as a fuel for road vehicles. We are, however, frequently approached by companies marketing "hydrogen on-demand" systems which produce small quantities of this gas mixture on-board the vehicle, to feed into the inlet air. This is claimed to reduce fuel consumption and emissions of pollutants.

As with other proprietary products claimed to deliver fuel consumption benefits we recommend that companies commission objective testing to support the benefits claimed in the marketing of their products. The Department has not, to date, seen any objective evidence that hydrogen on-demand systems for retrofitting to engines actually produce such benefits.

Railway Stations: Crimes of Violence

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many crimes of each type were recorded as having taken place (a) on trains and (b) at railway stations in each London borough in each of the last four years. [293052]

Chris Mole: This information is not held by the Department for Transport, but by the British Transport Police who can be contacted at:

Rolling Stock

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many of the 1,300 additional rail carriages announced in the 2007 Rail White Paper will be allocated to each rail operator. [289496]

Chris Mole: So far there have been 543 new rail carriages ordered by the following Train Operators.

TOC Type Class No of Vehicles





London Midland




London Midland












Virgin West Coast








On 23 July, the Government announced a major new electrification programme which radically affects the requirements for train rolling stock over the next decade.
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In particular, there will be far less need for diesel trains and a greater requirement for electric trains. The Department will publish a new rolling stock plan in the autumn, setting out a revised strategy.



Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many UK (a) companies and (b) individuals filed for bankruptcy in the financial year 2008-09. [289484]

Bridget Prentice: The following table shows the number of insolvency and bankruptcy petitions issued in the High Court and county courts of England and Wales during 2008-09. The Ministry of Justice does not hold corresponding statistics for Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Insolvency and bankruptcy petitions filed in England and Wales, 2008-09


Company winding up


Creditors bankruptcy


Debtors bankruptcy


Statistics on insolvency and bankruptcy petitions are published in a quarterly National Statistics bulletin "Company winding up and bankruptcy petition statistics" which can also be found on the Ministry of Justice website at:

The Ministry of Justice statistics do not indicate the actual number of company winding-up orders and bankruptcy orders during a particular period. These statistics are published by the Insolvency Service and can be found on their website at:

Data Protection

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what guidance the Court Service has issued on the practice of file-sealing in cases involving alleged breaches of (a) privacy and (b) duty of confidentiality. [292089]

Bridget Prentice: I am told there has been no guidance issued by Her Majesty's Courts Service (HMCS) nor any process that would involve the courts in file-sealing. I have also been informed that HMCS does not hold any information about Privacy or duty of confidentiality cases.


Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what estimate his Department has made of the number of decrees absolute granted in (a) 2005, (b) 2006, (c) 2007 and (d) 2008; [292372]

(2) how many divorces his Department recorded centrally in (a) 2005, (b) 2006, (c) 2007 and (d) 2008. [292373]

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Bridget Prentice: The estimated number of decrees absolute granted is shown in Table 5.5 of Judicial and Court Statistics 2008. A copy of this Command Paper (CM7697) was laid before Parliament on 24 September 2009 and is also available in the Libraries of the House. This is also available online at:

A central record of decrees absolute is kept by the Principal Registry of the Family Division. The information on the central record is compiled by Office of National Statistics (ONS) upon receiving notification of decrees absolute from the courts, and is then sent to the Principal Registry of the Family Division.

The provisional figures for the number of decrees absolute granted each year are shown in the following table.

HMCS/MOJ figures ONS/Central index figures













(1 )Up to 3rd quarter 2008
These figures include both decrees absolute and decrees of nullity. The ONS figures for 2007 and are provisional. The ONS figures for 2008 are provisional, rounded to three significant figures and cover the first three quarters of 2008 only.

ONS figures can be found at:

Table 1: Divorces: Petitions filed and decree granted, available at:

Annual Reference Volume: Marriage, divorce and adoption statistics (series FM2 no. 34), available at:

Population Trends 137, Table 2.1: Vital statistics summary.

Legal Aid

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many legal aid lawyers dealing with immigration and asylum cases there were in (a) England, (b) Devon and (c) East Devon constituency in each of the last 10 years; [292335]

(2) how many legal aid lawyers dealing with (a) housing cases, (b) employment cases and (c) family cases there were in (i) England, (ii) Devon and (iii) East Devon in each of the last 10 years. [292439]

Bridget Prentice: The information requested is currently being collated. Some information that addresses these questions is held by the Legal Services Commission, but not in a form which can immediately be used to answer the questions. I will write to the hon. Member once we have the information requested.

Legal Aid: Rural Areas

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what schemes his Department has in place to ensure that those living in rural or isolated areas have access to legal aid lawyers. [292438]

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Bridget Prentice: The Legal Service Commission (LSC) regularly monitors access to specialist legal advice. Where particular geographical access issues have been identified, the LSC aims to fill gaps through interim bid rounds. In addition, as part of the impact assessment of all policy changes the LSC carries out rural proofing.

The LSC is also establishing a number of Community Legal Advice Networks in rural locations which will offer integrated advice services, including specialist legal advice in debt, employment, welfare, community care and housing. Clients will be able to obtain face to face advice on tackling their civil legal problems in one or more easily accessible sources.

In addition, the LSC runs the Community Legal Advice helpline (0845 345 4 345) in England and Wales, which provides specialist advice to people who live on a low income or benefits by the telephone on debt, housing, employment, welfare benefits and tax credits, education and family matters. Last year the Community Legal Advice helpline dealt with over 335,000 cases.

Vexatious Litigants

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what consideration he has given to additional restrictions on the ability of people who have been declared vexatious litigants to pursue court proceedings. [291766]

Bridget Prentice: Vexatious litigants may not instigate, continue or make any application in any court proceedings without first seeking leave from the High Court. To give leave the court has to be satisfied that there is no abuse of process and that there are reasonable grounds for the proceedings or application. We have no current plans to impose additional restrictions on vexatious litigants.

Young Offenders: Magistrates Courts

Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) magistrates who sit in adult magistrates' courts and (b) other magistrates had received training on dealing with juvenile offenders on the latest date for which figures are available. [289378]

Bridget Prentice: No figures are kept centrally in this format. Having been selected to sit in first the adult court, and perhaps later specialising in the youth court, magistrates and district judges (magistrates court) receive training from both the Judicial Studies Board and local Magistrates Area Training Committees to fulfil their judicial roles and functions. This is a combination of courses on induction, continuation and bench chairmanship training by which includes information and practising practical examples of court scenarios such as bail decisions, trials, youths appearing in the adult court, youth remands, and by specific issue training when new legislation is commenced. This is supplemented by both the Adult Court and Youth Court Bench Books which are available to courts in both hard copy and via the JSB website.

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