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11 Nov 2008 : Column WA126

Tristar
Actual Flying HoursCurrently Planned Flying Hours—Financial Years

1 Oct 2007-30 Sep 2008

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

9040

11560

11560

11560

11560

11560

11560

5000

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Taylor of Bolton: The table below provides the actual flying hours flown by the RAF VC-10 fleet for the past 12 months and the activity currently planned for the next seven years. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.

VC-10
Actual Flying HoursPlanned Flying Hours—Financial Years

01 Oct 2007-30 Sep 2008

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

9440

9260

9260

9260

8500

5500

2700

0

The aircraft is planned to go out of service in 2014.

Railways: Passenger Journeys

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): The following tables provide this information for all stations in England, showing that just over half of weekday rail travellers are most likely to walk to the station at the beginning of their journey, and from the station on arrival at their destination. This information is not available for weekend travel.

These statistics come from the National Rail travel survey (NRTS). Similar information is not available at station level, and it could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Survey information and a report of findings (published March 2008) is available on the Department for Transport website at www.dft.gov.uk.

Journey purpose by main mode used to travel to station of origin on a typical weekday1: England
Journeys (000s)%

Walked

1,292

53

Bus/coach

250

10

Car (parked at or near the station)

236

10

Car (dropped off by someone)

162

7

Motorcycle

3

0

Bicycle

38

2

Taxi/minicab

68

3

Underground/Light Rail/Metros/Trams

378

16

Other

5

0

Total

2,432

100

Journey Purpose by main mode used to egress first rail station on a typical weekday1: England
Journeys (000s)%

Walked

1,290

53

Bus/coach

250

10

Car (parked at or near the station)

232

10

Car (met by someone)

157

6

Motorcycle

3

0

Bicycle

38

2

Taxi/minicab

70

3

Underground/Light Rail/Metros/Trams

386

16

Other

5

0

Total

2,432

100

Railways: Timekeeping

Lord Bradshaw asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): Passenger Focus is responsible for managing the national passenger survey (NPS). The NPS provides a network-wide picture of customers’ satisfaction with rail travel. Passengers’ opinions of train services are collected twice a year from a representative sample of passenger journeys.

Lord Bradshaw asked Her Majesty's Government:



11 Nov 2008 : Column WA127

Lord Adonis: Where timetables are adjusted to reflect better the time required to complete any rail journey, there may be changes in the average speeds of services, and in the way that track capacity is utilised.

As such changes are made to reduce the risk of trains being delayed, passengers benefit from receiving a more reliable and consistent service.

Utilities

Lord Lipsey asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): Since 2001, local authorities in England have had the power to fine utility companies for works that overrun their agreed duration.

From April 2008 permits came into force allowing authorities, if approved by the Secretary of State for Transport, to operate a proactive regime that requires those working in the highway to have a permit. Local authorities may require a fee for that permit, to cover the cost of operating the permit scheme. No permit schemes are yet in operation, although we are currently considering applications from Transport for London and 14 London boroughs.

Vehicles: Checks

Lord Bradshaw asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) conducts inspections of vehicles at operators’ premises and at the roadside to check the roadworthiness of vehicles and that safety rules for vehicle use are complied with (including drivers’ hours and vehicle weight).

The GB operator licensing system provides a robust method of dealing with operators who systematically disregard the law. Problems that are found by VOSA at its checks are reported to the traffic commissioners, who are responsible for regulating GB operators. Traffic commissioners have the power to require certain undertakings from vehicle operators to provide confidence that they can operate safely. Where problems are reported the traffic commissioner has the power to issue warnings, suspend, curtail or revoke a licence.

Where heavy goods vehicles (HGV) operators choose to operate unlawfully outside of the GB operator licensing system, VOSA has the power to impose a range of sanctions, including:



11 Nov 2008 : Column WA128

impound vehicles which can then be sold by VOSA, the sale value being offset against the costs of the impounding and subsequent vehicle storage. It is intended that similar powers will be extended to public services vehicles (PSV) in 2009;prosecution action can be taken. In 2007-08 7,127 offences were reported for prosecution for HGVs and 747 for PSVs. Average fine levels for 2007-08 were £247.56; and from spring 2009 it is intended that VOSA will have power to issue fixed penalties to drivers for offences they have committed. This will provide further deterrent to non-compliance. Powers will also be introduced to enable “deposits” to be taken from those unable to provide a satisfactory UK address.

Visas

Viscount Waverley asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Abuja was not specified as the visa issuing post for Equatorial Guinea citizens. Yaounde in Cameroon was, and remains, the designated post for such applications, though UKBA advises that applications may be made at our posts in Nigeria, Ghana, or indeed any full service visa post if it is more convenient.

In July 2008 the visa office in Yaounde ceased to take decisions on visa applications with this work transferred to Accra. The office in Yaounde, however, remains open for the submission of visa applications. These are collected in Yaounde along with fees and biographic and biometric data, and are couriered to Accra where the application is considered. The decisions are returned to Yaounde for handing back to the applicant.

The hub and spoke method of working is well established in the overseas visa network with the majority of posts in southern Africa, for example, already working this way. The decision to move decision-making work to Accra from Yaounde was taken in order to ensure consistency in our decision-making, to provide greater management oversight, and to achieve cost savings.

No visa applicant is required to travel to Accra to lodge their application as decisions can be lodged in Yaounde or at any other convenient full service post.

During the 12-month period to date, a worldwide total of 223 UK visa applications made by Equatorial Guinea nationals were lodged in 12 different countries. Among these, the top three were Yaounde (109), Madrid (68) and Abuja (12).


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