PQs 26th – 28th April

Aviation: Health Hazards
Mr Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many reports the Civil Aviation Authority has received of airline pilots or other air crew using oxygen masks in circumstances where poisonous fumes were released into passenger aircraft in the last five years for which figures are available. [51337]
Mrs Villiers: Incidents where aircrew have required the use of oxygen masks are reported to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the UK’s independent aviation regulator, through the Mandatory Occurrence Reporting Scheme (MORS). The following table gives details of the number of reports for the last five years..
It is not possible to determine from those reports whether the use of oxygen was related to poisonous fumes or non-poisonous fumes or smoke, and aircrew are trained to don their oxygen masks as a precaution. The Committee on Toxicity concluded in 2007 that the evidence available did not establish a link between cabin air and pilot ill health, but nor did it rule one out. In-flight research by Cranfield university to fill that evidence gap by assembling data on substances in cabin air and in what concentrations will be published soon.

Reports of use of oxygen masks (UK passenger flights) Number of UK passenger flights Number of passengers carried on UK aircraft

2006

17

1,188,846

124,900,379

2007

40

1,202,000

128,750,734

2008

45

1,193,583

128,958,731

2009

33

1,125,344

123,891,567

2010

28

1,101,193

(1)121,232,731

Total

163

5,810,966

627,734,142

(1) Estimate
Mr Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will consider the merits of introducing regulations to require the operation of air quality detection systems on commercial aircraft carrying fee-paying passengers. [51338]
Mrs Villiers: The introduction of such regulations on board a commercial aircraft is the responsibility of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), rather than the UK GAA.
Cranfield university are completing research into real time sampling of cabin air to determine what chemicals occur in cabin air and in what concentrations. This research will be published soon. We expect this research to inform future decisions on the matters raised by my hon. Friend and will ensure that EASA are made aware of its conclusions.
Mr Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the incidences of exposure of aircraft passengers to the organophosphate TCP in the last three years; and if he will make a statement. [51339]
Mrs Villiers: Cranfield university are completing research into real time sampling of cabin air to determine what chemicals occur in cabin air and in what concentrations. This includes sampling for the presence of organophosphates, including TCP. This research will be published soon.
Departmental Public Bodies
Tessa Jowell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate his Department has made of the level of savings which will accrue from the change in function of Passenger Focus/Passengers’ Council. [48764]
Mrs Villiers: The Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, the right hon. Member for Horsham (Mr Maude), issued a written ministerial statement on 16 March 2011, Official Report, columns 9-10WS, updating Parliament on progress on public bodies reform. That statement also announced that Departments estimate cumulative administrative savings of at least £2.6 billion will flow from public bodies over the spending review period.
The budget of Passenger Focus for 2011-12 is £4.7 million which compares to a budget in 2010-11 of £8.2 million. We estimate that the budget for the remainder of the spending review period to 2014-15, will remain at similar levels to that set for 2011-12.
Driving Tests
Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has made an assessment of the feasibility of replacing the Pass Plus advanced driving course with other means of proving competence to insurers. [51098]
Mike Penning: The Driving Standards Agency has been reviewing both the purpose and content of the Pass Plus scheme. The agency is also continuing to explore with the insurance industry other options for improving market confidence so that we can maximise both the incentives and take up of post-test training initiatives.
Driving: Young People
Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has made an assessment of the merits of deploying and publicising new technology to assess how cars are driven by young drivers for the purposes of reducing casualty rates. [51097]
Mike Penning: The Department for Transport has been in regular contact with vehicle manufacturers and suppliers on developments in new vehicle technology, including driver information systems and parental controls. I recognise that technology which helps to demonstrate how young drivers are driving provides important information on behaviour and their insurance and casualty risks. The insurance industry is already starting to make use of technologies and new products, where young drivers are willing to accept restrictions or training. The Government are keen to work with the insurance industry and others to look at new approaches and are planning several seminars on ways of reducing the risks of young drivers with key stakeholders.
Level Crossings
Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department provides guidance on the maximum acceptable time for a level crossing to be closed to road traffic in any one hour. [52543]
Mrs Villiers: The Department for Transport does not provide guidance on the maximum acceptable time for a level crossing to be down in any hour. Management of level crossings is an operational matter for Network Rail as the owner and operator of the national rail network. Additionally the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) publishes guidance for level crossings on its website. The hon. Member may wish to contact Network Rail’s chief executive at the following address for a response to his question:
David Higgins
Chief Executive
Network Rail
Kings Place
90 York Way
London, N1 9AG
Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on how many occasions the Ely level crossing has been closed to trains in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and on how many occasions damage occurred to the crossing barrier as a result of road vehicles. [52542]
Mrs Villiers: This is an operational matter for Network Rail as the owner and operator of the national rail network. Network Rail can be contacted at the following address:
David Higgins
Chief Executive
Network Rail
Kings Place
90 York Way
London, N1 9AG
Motorcycles
John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many submissions he has received since June 2010 from (a) motorcycle trainers and (b) provisional motorcycle licence holders on (i) the national network of multi-purpose test centres and (ii) a single motorcycle test event; and what arrangements he has made for representation of the views of motorcycle trainers and provisional motorcycle licence holders on the Motorcycle Test Review Working Group; [51575]
(2) what the name is of each current and former member of the Motorcycle Test Review Working Group. [51576]
Mike Penning: A public consultation was held on the scope of the motorcycle test review in June-July 2010. There were 489 responses, of which 105 were from motorcycle trainers and 30 from learner motorcyclists. 49 of the submissions from motorcycle trainers and 11 from learner motorcyclists mentioned the national network of multi-purpose test centres. 19 of the submissions from the motorcycle trainers mentioned a single motorcycle test event, but none of the submissions from learners.
The motorcycle test review working group and technical sub group include a number of representatives of motorcycle trainers and motorcycle user groups.
Individual names of people who have served on Working Groups are private data, but we will seek the agreement of all members to their disclosure and expect to provide all names in the main review report. The organisations represented on the motorcycle test review working group and technical sub-group are as follows:
Members of the working group:
Department for Transport
Driving Standards Agency
Motorcycle Industry Association
Motorcycle Industry Trainers Association
Motorcycle Action Group
British Motorcyclists Federation
Public and Commercial Services Union
Road Safety Great Britain
Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents
The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety was also involved in the initial stages of the review.
Members of the technical sub group:
Department for Transport
Driving Standards Agency
Motorcycle Industry Association
Motorcycle Industry Trainers Association
Motorcycle Action Group
Public and Commercial Services Union
Biketrain Wales
CamRider
Streetwise Training
Fast-trak Training was also involved in the initial stages of the review.
John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member of Ceredigion of 23 June 2010, Official Report, columns 245-46W, on motorcycles: driving tests, what the location is of each multi-purpose test centre; how many are (a) leased and (b) publicly-owned; what the length of each lease agreement is; what the break options in each case are; and what estimate he has made of the likely cost to the public purse of termination in each such case. [51600]
Mike Penning: The Driving Standards Agency has 52 Multi Purpose Test Centres (MPTC). Of these:
45 are leasehold properties of which five are ground leases
Six are freehold properties
One property is subject to a Civil Estate Occupation Agreement (CEOA)
The location and lease information of each MPTC has been placed in the Libraries of the House. QSA has not estimated the cost of terminating each lease agreement. To end any lease agreement DSA would have to activate break clauses under the terms of the lease, and to do this successfully the Agency must comply with all the lease covenants. Actioning a break clause does not depend on negotiating a financial settlement.
Parking: Disabled
Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will bring forward proposals to provide for enforcement of disabled parking bays. [51252]
Norman Baker: A parking bay for the use of Blue Badge holders only, when put in place with a Traffic Regulation Order made under the relevant provisions of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, is fully enforceable. Where the local authority has Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) power under the Traffic Management Act 2004, the local authority may serve a higher level Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) if a vehicle is parked without clearly displaying a valid Blue Badge. Where the local authority does not have CPE power, it would be for the police to take enforcement action. In addition to any PCN or Fixed Penalty Notice issued, if the motorist is misusing someone else’s Blue Badge to park in the bay, they could be prosecuted and fined up to £1,000.
Parking enforcement in private car parks is a matter for car park operators and their customers. However, I wrote to the main supermarkets on 22 March 2011, to further encourage them to actively monitor and enforce their disabled parking bays. I wait to hear their plans.
Railways: Cost-effectiveness
Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what meetings he has had with members of the McNulty Review on value for money in the rail industry in 2011; and on what dates such meetings took place. [49885]
Mrs Villiers [holding answer 29 March 2011]: The Secretary of State for Transport, the right hon. Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), met with Sir Roy McNulty and Ian Dobbs on the following dates:
17 January
21 February
8 March
21 March
In addition, the Secretary of State for Transport attended an industry seminar organised by Sir Roy McNulty on 9 March 2011.
Aviation: Stress
Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has made an assessment of levels of (a) stress and (b) fatigue experienced by airline pilots on standby duty. [51692]
Mrs Villiers: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 7 February 2011, Official Report, column 51W, given to the hon. Member for Coventry South (Mr Cunningham).
Blue Badge Scheme: Logos
Yasmin Qureshi: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will assess the merits of changing the design of the blue disability badge so that all required information is displayed on one side of the badge. [52315]
Norman Baker: The design of the blue badge follows the European parking model which is set out in EC Council Recommendation (98/376/EC). This details the information that should be placed on the front and the back of a badge. The information that is included on the back is personal and many blue badge users do not want this on display, including overnight in some parking bays, for personal security reasons. The badge clearly indicates the side that should be displayed in the vehicle.
I plan shortly to bring forward legislative amendments to the badge design to make it harder to copy and to forge. One of these amendments will require the badge number and the expiry date to be included on both sides of the badge. This will enable enforcement officers to check the validity of badges no matter which side of the badge is on display.
Brighton and Hove City Council: Grants
Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many ring-fenced grants provided by his Department were available for Brighton and Hove city council to claim in (a) 2007-08, (b) 2008-09, (c) 2009-10 and (d) 2010-11; how much was available in such grants; how many such grants were made; and how much was awarded in such grants. [51846]
Norman Baker: Between 2007-08 and 2010-11, the Department for Transport had a number of grant streams available to local government. Some of these were allocated by formula and were not ring-fenced. Others were granted on the basis of bids from local government. Details of the grants which Brighton and Hove city council could bid for are outlined as follows:
Table 1: 2007-08 Local transport bid-based f unding (£ million)
Grant Brighton and Hove allocation Total funding

Bikeability

0.0

1.2

Bus Challenge and Kickstart

0.0

12.0

Cycle Towns

0.6

3.2

Exceptional Maintenance

0.0

8.0

Major Schemes(1)

0.0

257.0

Road Safety Partnership(2)

0.8

5.6

Total

1.4

287.0

Table 2: 2008-09 Local transport bid-based funding (£ million)
Grant Brighton and Hove allocation Total funding

Bikeability

0.1

3.1

Bus Challenge and Kickstart

0.0

5.7

Cycle Towns

0.4

9.6

Exceptional Maintenance

0.0

13.0

Major Schemes(1)

0.0

409.0

Road Safety Partnership(2)

0.0

2.2

TIF Pump Priming

0.0

16.1

Total

0.5

458.7

27 Apr 2011 : Column 421W

Table 3: 2009-10 Local transport bid-based funding (£ million)
Grant Brighton and Hove allocation Total funding

Bikeability(3)

0.1

5.0

Bus Challenge and Kickstart

0.0

5.9

Cycle Towns

0.9

26.8

Exceptional Maintenance

0.0

5.0

Green Bus Fund

0.0

5.3

Major Schemes(1)

0.0

601.0

Road Safety Partnership(2)

0.0

4.1

TIF Pump Priming

0.0

2.7

Total

1.0

655.8

Table 4: 2010-11 Local transport bid-based funding (£ million)
Grant Brighton and Hove a llocation Total funding

Bikeability(3)

0.1

6.1

Cycle Towns

0.5

19.2

Exceptional Maintenance

0.0

5.0

Green Bus Fund

0.0

14.4

Major Schemes(1)

0.0

531.0

Road Safety Partnership(2)

0.0

0.9

Winter Emergency Repairs

0.4

200.0

Total

1.0

776.6

(1) In the years in question eligibility to claim major scheme funding was restricted to schemes that (a) had been prioritised in their region’s regional funding allocation and (b) had achieved Full Approval status as defined by the major schemes guidance in operation at the time. The only scheme in Brighton and Hove that was prioritised in the South East Regional funding allocation was the Brighton Rapid Transit scheme, however this never reached full approval status and therefore no funds were provided.
(2) Many Road Safety Partnership projects lasted for two financial years-the figures are for the first year for which projects were approved. The figures are for the maximum approved QfT funding contribution. Some actual claims were less. Totals include some projects led by non-Government Organisations, rather than local authorities.
(3) The Bikeabilily funding provided to Brighton and Hove in 2009-10 and 2010-11 was for local authority and School Sports Partnership delivery.

Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many ring-fenced grants provided by his Department are available for Brighton and Hove city council to claim in 2011-12; how much is available in such grants; how many such grants have been made; and how much is to be awarded in such grants in the next 12 months. [51849]
Norman Baker: To support the localism agenda, the Department for Transport has radically simplified and reformed local transport funding, moving from 26 grant streams to just four from 2011-12:
capital grants for (i) highways maintenance and (ii) integrated transport, both of which are allocated by formula to all local highway authorities and are not ring-fenced;
additional funding for specific transport projects based on bids to (iii) Local Sustainable Transport Fund and (iv) local authority Major Schemes programme. Total budgets for 2011-12 for these two grants are £80 million and £418 million respectively. Decisions on award amounts, including to Brighton and Hove city council, are dependent on the on-going bidding processes.
All other specific grants have ended, with the funding transferred and included in the main Local Government Formula Grant administered by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Freedom Pass
Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) whether he plans to issue revised guidance on the Freedom Pass scheme for disabled people in respect of eligibility for those who apply who have been refused a driving licence under section 92 of the Road Traffic Act 1988; [52396]
(2) when he proposes to issue renewed guidance to local authorities on determining eligibility for the Disabled Persons Freedom Pass; [52397]
(3) whether he plans to (a) review and (b) alter the eligibility for the Disabled Persons Freedom Pass; [52398]
(4) if he will issue guidance to local authorities on eligibility on discretionary grounds for the Disabled Persons Freedom Pass. [52399]
Norman Baker: The Department for Transport issued guidance to Travel Concession Authorities in 2008 regarding the assessment of applicants for a disabled person’s England-wide travel concession pass. The guidance is due to be reviewed in the future to ensure that it continues to be useful to local authorities in assessing applicants against the disability eligibility criteria defined in legislation. However, there are no plans to revise any of the disability eligibility criteria themselves.
Disability eligibility criteria relating to the Discretionary London-only Disabled Persons Pass are a matter for the London boroughs.
Large Goods Vehicles: Licensing
Paul Blomfield: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consideration he has given to harmonisation of the requirements for the Driver’s Certificate of Professional Competence with those for a Large Goods Vehicle licence; and if he will make a statement. [51695]
Mike Penning: The Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC) was introduced in UK in September 2008 for bus and coach drivers and September 2009 for lorry drivers. Following public consultation in 2005, a modular qualification approach enabling new drivers to obtain their driving licence and DCPC as part of the same process was adopted to allow maximum flexibility for those caught by the new requirements. This effectively harmonised the requirements of licence acquisition driver testing with the requirements for DCPC.
Roads: Hertfordshire
Mrs Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (1) casualties were recorded in road traffic accidents in (a) St Albans constituency and (b) Hertfordshire in each of the last three years for which figures are available; [52116]
(2) pedestrians were (a) injured and (b) killed in St Albans constituency in each of the last three years for which figures are available. [52117]
Mike Penning: The information requested is given in the following tables:
Reported casualties from personal injury road accidents in (a) St Albans constituency and (b) Hertfordshire: 2007 to 2009

(a) St Albans (b) Hertfordshire

2007

512

5,128

2008

499

4,384

2009

428

3,956

Note:
Based on the 2010 parliamentary constituency boundaries.
Reported pedestrian casualties from personal injury road accidents in St Albans constituency( 1) who were (a) injured (b) killed: 2007 to 2009

(a) Injured (b) Killed

2007

38

1

2008

44

1

2009

36

1

(1 )Based on the 2010 parliamentary constituency boundaries.

 

Travel: Concessions
Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to provide more affordable access to public transport for 17 to 25-year-olds affected by rising motor insurance premiums. [51095]
Norman Baker: For rail travel, young people are already eligible for a 16-25 Railcard if aged between 16 and 25, or if aged 26 and over and in full-time education. This is a requirement of each operator’s franchise agreement.
In London, all 16 to 17-year-olds can pay child rate for Travelcards longer than seven days and pay half the adult rate when using ‘pay as you go’ on buses, trams, Tube, DLR and London overground services. Students aged 18 or over receive a 30% discount on Travelcards longer than seven days and up to an annual Travelcard.
Outside London, the majority of bus fares are set by commercial operators in a deregulated market. Many operators offer reduced fares and discounted tickets to encourage young people to use local bus services, often in partnership with local councils. Any decision on the provision of local discretionary concessions for young people in a particular area, or for the price of tickets on services they financially support, is for an individual local transport authority. Local transport authorities outside London also have powers to make ticketing schemes or set maximum fares through statutory bus Quality Partnership Schemes.
On 28 March the Secretary of State for Education announced a new £180 million 16-19 Bursary Fund that, from September 2011, will enable schools and colleges to target support to those young people facing the greatest financial barriers to participation. The new scheme will have the flexibility to allow for transport costs where schools and colleges identify this as a barrier to individual students’ participation.
I recognise that the rising cost of motor insurance is a problem to young people. We are working with the motor insurance industry to identify ways in which we can develop insurance products which offer incentives to those young drivers who may be willing accept restrictions or take additional training.
Driving Offences: Hertfordshire
Mrs Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what revenue was collected through speed camera penalty charge notices in (a) St Albans constituency and (b) Hertfordshire in each of the last three years for which figures are available. [52118]
Mike Penning: Following the ending of the National Safety Camera Funding Scheme in 2007, all fixed penalty income, whether or not the offence-was detected by camera, goes to the Consolidated Fund.
Data on the number of fixed penalties issued and paid per year for all motoring offences and separately on all speeding offences detected by camera are collected centrally and published as part of National Statistics. These are outlined in detail within Chapter 3 of the Home Office Statistical Bulletin: “Police Powers and Procedures”. Sections 3.3 and 3.4 deal respectively with fixed penalty notices generally and notices issued on the basis of speed camera evidence respectively.
The latest publication outlines data for the financial year 2009-10 as well as making reference to historical data. This was published on the 14 April.
http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/science-research-statistics/research-statistics/police-research/hosb0711/hosb0711?view=Binary
Electric Vehicles: Subsidies
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many payments his Department has made to provide a subsidy for the sale of electric-powered motor vehicles to date. [52202]
Norman Baker: Between 1 January 2011, when the Plug-In Car Grant commenced, and 20 April 2011, 534 cars have been registered to receive a grant (for which payments are being processed). 213 of these cars have been delivered to customers. Of the 534 cars, 465 cars were ordered within the first quarter of 2011. This figure will be updated and published on a quarterly basis.
In addition to the Plug-In Car Grant, the Government have supported the following:
283 ultra low emission vehicles put on the road through the Technology Strategy Board’s ultra low carbon vehicle demonstration programme;
201 low carbon and all electric vans placed in public sector fleets through the Low Carbon Vans Public Procurement Programme; and
£46.8 million to local authorities and bus operators to assist them in purchasing 526 hybrid-electric and 16 all-electric buses.
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