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26 Nov 2009 : Column 268W—continued

It is not possible to produce figures for average CO2 emissions for all cars in the UK or other EU member states because of the relatively few years for which average fuel efficiency data have been collected.

Motor Vehicles: Fuel Oil

Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what percentage change there has been in the average level of fuel efficiency of cars sold in the UK in each year since 1997. [301296]

Mr. Khan: The Department for Transport does not have data on the average fuel efficiency of all cars sold in the UK. However, a fully comprehensive dataset of fuel efficiency data for new cars is available for the UK from 2001 in accordance with EU Decision 1753/2000/EC. Table 1 shows average fuel efficiency of new cars sold in the UK between 2001 and 2008 measured in grams of carbon dioxide per km (gCO2/km). These figures have been used to calculate the percentage change in fuel efficiency for each year.

Table 1: Average fuel efficiency for new cars sold in the UK 2001-08

Fuel efficiency (gCO 2 /km) Annual percentage change

























Source: DVLA

Motorways: Road Signs and Markings

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what steps his Department has taken to ensure that the matrix signs over motorways are as up to date as possible; and if he will make a statement. [300470]

Chris Mole: The Highways Agency takes a number of measures to ensure sign accuracy.

The majority of signs are automatic and set by sensors or other roadside infrastructure. As a result any message displayed is real-time and takes account of changing road conditions.

Beyond the automatic signs the remaining messages are set manually by operators in either a regional or the national control centre.

To ensure signs are set in a timely manner, performance indicators have been put in place to monitor how quickly a message is placed on a sign. The indicator requires operators in the regional centres to set or remove legends within two minutes of an incident being confirmed.

Further procedures and alarms mean that checks take place while an incident is running. Procedures in the national centre require operators to review incident "Events" every 45 minutes and alarms are tripped for every three-hour period that a variable message sign is not updated.

Steps are also taken to review sign accuracy. Each month, both the regional and national centres review incidents to assess the overall accuracy of their sign settings, and to identify any opportunities to make improvements.

Pedestrian Crossings

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what guidance his Department issues to local authorities on the siting of pedestrian crossings. [300221]

Mr. Khan: Current advice from this Department is contained in Local Transport Note (LTN) 1/95, The Assessment of Pedestrian Crossings and Local Transport Note 2/95, the Design of Pedestrian Crossings.

The documents can be made available in the Library of the House and are on the internet at the following address:

Railway Stations: Finance

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport whether the funding for the station improvements referred to in his announcement on 17 November is to come from the National Stations Improvement Programme. [300541]

Chris Mole: The £50 million announced on 17 November to tackle improvements at the 10 major interchange stations identified for improvement in the Station Champions' report is in addition to the existing £150 million for station improvements under the National Stations Improvement Programme.

Railways: Accidents

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport with reference to the written ministerial statement of 19 June 2009, Official Report, columns 39-40WS, on rail accidents (Grayrigg and Potters Bar), when he expects an inquest into the Potters Bar derailment to take place. [301147]

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Chris Mole: The Lord Chief Justice continues to work to identify a suitable judge for appointment by the Hertfordshire coroner to act as his Assistant Deputy Coroner and conduct the Potters Bar inquests. The timing of the inquests is a matter for the Coroner, or the Assistant Deputy Coroner, once appointed.

Road Signs and Markings

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much his Department has spent on advertising the purpose of driver location signs; and what assessment he has made of the public awareness of such signs. [300471]

Chris Mole: The Highways Agency has spent £5,000 on advertising the purpose of driver location signs. This has included the production of leaflets and information on its website.

The Highways Agency regularly engages with its customers to determine if more can be done to improve their awareness of new projects and initiatives. A recent customer report has highlighted the lack of public awareness of the signs and the Highways Agency is currently considering a range of options to correct this.

Research carried out on trial sections of routes equipped with driver location signs showed that response times of emergency service organisations were 10 per cent. quicker than previous responses to similar incidents. Getting the emergency services to the scene of an incident more efficiently ultimately leads to incidents being cleared more quickly.

Roads: Stonehenge

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport whether he has plans to seek to mitigate the environmental impact of the use of roads passing close to Stonehenge. [300745]

Chris Mole: English Heritage has recently submitted to Wiltshire county council a planning application for its new Stonehenge Environmental Improvements Project which includes proposals to relocate the visitor centre and to close the A344 local road which currently runs immediately adjacent to the stone circle. The proposals will bring significant environmental benefits and the Highways Agency is working closely with English Heritage to secure the closure of the junction between the A344 and the A303 trunk road to the south east of the stones. Beyond the junction itself, the closure of the A344 is a matter for Wiltshire county council as the local highway authority.

Rolling Stock

Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate he has made of the additional cost per vehicle of the proposed new Intercity Express trains which is directly attributable to the inclusion of a bi-mode capacity, as compared to an electric train operating with a diesel engine coupled for non-electrified sections of track. [301146]

Chris Mole: The Department for Transport's analysis suggests that the costs of the bi-mode train, and the electric train followed by diesel loco-haulage, are around
26 Nov 2009 : Column 270W
the same. The advantages of the bi-mode option are that it will not result in delay to passengers as a locomotive is being attached, that it will provide a more reliable service and that it does not require potentially expensive and disruptive infrastructure work at stations to facilitate the attaching of a locomotive.

Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much space will be allocated per seated passenger in (a) standard and (b) first class on the new Intercity Express trains; and how it compares with space allocations on existing rolling stock operating on the East Coast Main Line. [301149]

Chris Mole: Uni-directional seats (those not located around a bay-table) on the new Super Express Trains will have approximately (a) 750mm knee-room in standard class and (b) 915mm knee-room in first class. Similar seats on current Mark 4 carriages on the East Coast Main Line have approximately (a) 700mm knee-room in standard class and (b) 1010mm knee-room in first class.

Shipping: Pollution

Mr. Swire: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport when his Department next plans to review the national contingency plan for marine pollution from shipping and offshore installations. [301636]

Paul Clark: The National Contingency Plan for Marine Pollution from Shipping and Offshore Installations (NCP) has traditionally been updated approximately every five years, to take account of lessons learned from marine pollution incidents and exercises that have arisen since the last edition.

The next revision exercise is scheduled to commence in late 2010 and will also include amendments to reflect machinery of government changes.

Shipping: Safety

Mr. Swire: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what (a) conclusions were reached and (b) recommendations were made by the International Maritime Organisation Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers in respect of the safe transit of containers by sea at its meetings on 21 to 25 September 2009; and what steps the Government plans to take in consequence. [301606]

Paul Clark: The 14th meeting of the sub-committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers (DSC) considered a range of issues relating to container safety. Of particular note were the decisions reached on harmonized interpretations of the International Convention on Safe Containers (CSC) and on a series of amendments to the guidance associated with the convention. It was also agreed to establish a correspondence group to consider further criteria to identify defects in containers before they represent a safety hazard.

The decisions taken by the DSC are subject to endorsement at the 87th Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) in May 2010. The Government plan to support the outcome of DSC at the MSC and push for their adoption internationally.

26 Nov 2009 : Column 271W

Stockport Station: Finance

Mark Hunter: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what timetable his Department plans for the distribution of new funding for station improvements to Stockport railway station. [301075]

Chris Mole: We are expecting money to be spent in Control Period 4 (up to 2014) on the 10 major interchange stations, including Stockport, which have been identified for priority improvement by the Station Champions. We anticipate a rolling programme of improvements including third party funding from industry stakeholders and local government which may be more forthcoming as we emerge from recession.

Mark Hunter: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what proportion of the new £50 million allocated for station improvements will be allocated to Stockport railway station. [301076]

Chris Mole: Network Rail will take the lead in deciding the proportion of the new £50 million fund that will be spent on Stockport station, although the Department for Transport will need to approve the plans, which will be subject to a satisfactory business case and the prospect of an adequate financial return. We will also challenge the industry and local government to raise part of the money required for each of the stations themselves.

Work and Pensions

Poverty: Children

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when she expects the childhood deprivation data which appeared in her Department's annual Opportunity for All reports to be published on her Department's website. [302011]

Helen Goodman: The vast majority of data contained in Opportunity for All is in the public domain and Secretary of State is currently considering whether there is value in publishing this report given the range of other documents covering similar issues.

Data on children in low income households and in families in low income and material deprivation are published in the Households Below Average Income report, which is available on the Department for Work and Pensions' website.


Olympic Games 2012: Contracts

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Minister for the Olympics how many Olympic contracts have been awarded to (a) UK registered and (b) other firms to date. [301961]

Tessa Jowell: To date, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has awarded contracts to 1,081 suppliers, of these all but 17 are businesses registered in the UK.

26 Nov 2009 : Column 272W

Earlier this month, the ODA published a map showing that many suppliers from across the UK were winning work both directly with the ODA and within its supply chain. Details are available in business section of the London 2012 website:

Culture, Media and Sport

Arts Council of England

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what he expects the (a) final severance and (b) pension arrangements to be for the outgoing executive director of Arts Council England in the West Midlands. [301897]

Margaret Hodge: This is a matter for Arts Council England, which operates independently of Government.

I have therefore asked Arts Council England's chief executive to consider the question raised by my hon. Friend and to write to him direct.

Copies of the reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Coastal Areas: Finance

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which parliamentary constituencies received funding through the Sea Change programme in (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2008-09; and what the monetary value was of each grant. [302006]

Margaret Hodge: The Sea Change Programme, which has allocated £38 million to 32 resorts, has only been in place since 1 April 2008. The parliamentary constituencies which received funding in 2008-09 (Wave 1 of the programme), and the value of each grant are set out in the following table:

Parliamentary constituency Value of grant (£)

Blackpool South










Bexhill and Battle




Bognor Regis and Littlehampton


Bournemouth East




Torridge and West Devon


Blackpool North and Fleetwood


North Thanet


North Devon


Beverley and Holderness






(1) Development Grant
(2) Feasibility Grant

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