Written Answers 22 to 26 February 2010
Monday 22 February 2010
Angus Robertson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many driving instructors qualified in each of the last three years. 
Paul Clark: The number of newly qualified approved driving instructors entering the Register of Approved Driving Instructors, in each of the last three years, is shown in the following table.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the average age of driving instructors is. 
Paul Clark: The average age of the 48,885 Approved Driving Instructors currently registered is 47 years and six months.
Driving Tests: Orkney and Shetland
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the average waiting time was between applying for and taking a driving test in (a) Orkney and (b) Shetland (i) in each of the last five years and (ii) in the most recent period for which information is available. 
Paul Clark: The following table shows the average number of weeks between a candidate applying for different sorts of practical driving test and the test date at the Orkney and Shetland test centres in each of the last five years and for the period from 1 April 2009 to 9 February 2010
Ian Stewart: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what information his Department (a) holds and (b) has access to on (i) the number of heavy trucks and lorry drivers (A) employed and (B) self-employed in each EU and EFTA member state, (ii) the average hours worked by each category of driver in each such state in the latest period for which figures are available and (iii) the average (1) hourly and (2) weekly earnings of heavy truck and lorry drivers in each such state in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Paul Clark: The Department for Transport does not collect or hold the requested information.
Mr. Swire: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many dedicated cameras there are for surveillance of the bus and taxi lane on the M4. 
Chris Mole: There are no dedicated cameras for surveillance of the M4 bus and taxi lane. However, there are six CCTV cameras between junctions 3 and 2 of the M4, which can be used to monitor the carriageway.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent research his Department and its agencies have undertaken on the number of traffic officers required to attend incidents on motorways. 
Chris Mole: The number of officers and vehicles required to attend an incident varies greatly dependent on the nature, severity and location of the incident.
Neither the Department for Transport nor the Highways Agency has undertaken any recent research on the number of traffic officers required to attend incidents on the motorways.
A controlled trial is currently under way to fully explore the possibilities of variable crewing of patrol vehicles.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many (a) serious road injuries and (b) fatalities resulted from accidents related to drink driving in each of the last four years. 
Paul Clark: The information requested can be found in table 3a on page 30 in article 3 in the Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: 2008 Annual Report, copies of which have been deposited in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. MacShane: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many (a) fatal and (b) other road accidents took place in the Yorkshire and Humber region in each year since 2001. 
Paul Clark: The number of (a) fatal and (b) other reported personal injury road accidents in the Yorkshire and Humber region in each year since 2001 is shown in the following table.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will take steps to ensure that local authorities prevent vehicles subject to a safety recall by Toyota from being used by licensed taxi companies; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Khan: The Department for Transport has been advised that the recall has not been instigated on grounds of safety and so does not consider it appropriate to prevent these vehicles being used. The manufacturer has advised that at no time will drivers be without brakes and the vehicles remain safe in service.
The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, the Department for Transport agency which deals with day-to-day vehicle safety recall issues, is in regular contact with Toyota and we are doing everything we can to help them recall vehicles in the shortest possible timescale. Ministers are monitoring the situation closely.
Driving Offences: Suffolk
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) convictions, (b) cautions and (c) fixed penalty notices have been given to people arrested for speeding offences in Suffolk in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: I have been asked to reply.
Data from 1997 to 2007 (latest available) on fixed penalty notices issued for speeding offences in Suffolk police force area are provided in table A.
Data provided by the Ministry of Justice, showing the number of convictions for speeding offences and vehicle registration and excise licence offences in Suffolk from 1997 to 2008 (latest available) can be viewed in Table B.
Cautions are not issued by the police for speeding offences.
Court proceedings data for 2009 are expected to be published in the autumn 2010.
Question asked by Lord Tebbit
To ask Her Majesty’s Government further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 2 February (WA 16-17), whether the Fixed Penalty Procedures Working Group collects data on the percentage of penalty notices issued for cycling offences which are paid. [HL1869]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Fixed Penalty Procedures Working Group does not collect the data in that form. Its role is to provide advice.
Vehicles: Snow Chains
Question asked by Lord Rogan
To ask Her Majesty’s Government under what road conditions snow chains are permitted to be used by (a) cars, and (b) heavy goods vehicles. [HL2016]
The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): Snow chains are permitted to be used by cars and heavy commercial vehicles when there is sufficient snow or ice on the roads to prevent such chains damaging the road surface.
Tuesday 23 February 2010
Mr. Todd: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what plans he has to maintain the quality of pilot licensing within a single European qualification. 
Paul Clark: The European Aviation Safety Agency is now responsible for establishing the standards for pilot licensing in the EU. EASA consulted on draft implementing rules on pilot licensing in 2008. The Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority have responded to this consultation. The draft implementing rules were largely based on existing standards and are not intended to alter the quality of pilot licensing. The United Kingdom is represented on the EU committee which will agree the final rules.
The national aviation authorities of member states will continue to be responsible for issuing pilot’s licences. They will be subject to standardisation audits by EASA to ensure that implementing rules are correctly applied.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people in (a) Milton Keynes and (b) England were convicted of (i) a motoring offence that resulted in a fatality and (ii) careless driving in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: The number of defendants found guilty at all courts of offences of causing death by dangerous driving and offences of careless driving in the Thames Valley police force area and England, from 2004 to 2008 (latest available) is given in the table.
Court proceedings data are not available at town or local authority area level. Therefore data are included in the table for the Thames Valley police force area.
Data for 2009 are planned for publication in the autumn, 2010.
Driving Offences: M4
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many drivers have received a fixed penalty notice for using the bus lane on the M4 in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: The information requested is not available.
Data on fixed penalty notices for traffic offences reported to the Home Office are broken down by police force area only, and do not specify the specific location where offences took place.
Driving Under Influence
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many breathalyser tests were conducted by the police on drivers in each police force area in each year since 1998; and how many people (a) passed, (b) failed and (c) refused to take that test in each such area in each such year. 
Alan Johnson: The figures requested are shown in the following tables. The latest published year is 2007. Figures for tests failed and refusals are combined as they are not reported separately to the Home Office.
Thursday 25 February 2010
Channel Tunnel: Safety
Mr. Brazier: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what research his Department is undertaking in respect of the safety aspects of the two recent major incidents in the Channel Tunnel. 
Chris Mole: The Channel Tunnel Intergovernmental Commission acts for and on behalf of the British and French Governments to supervise all matters relating to the operation of the Channel Tunnel, including safety.
The Channel Tunnel Intergovernmental Commission is advised by the Channel Tunnel Safety Authority on all matters relating to safety.
Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what research (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have commissioned on the reliability of electronic systems fitted in vehicles in the last five years. 
Paul Clark: The Department for Transport or its agencies has not commissioned any specific research to look at the reliability of vehicles’ electronic systems. However, under harmonised European construction rules electronic vehicle systems such as braking and steering are assessed for potential failures and any effect they may have on the safe operation of the vehicle.
Motor Vehicles: Safety
Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport (1) on what date the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency was informed by Toyota of the possibility of the need to recall certain models of the Prius motor car; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what discussions he has had with representatives of the Toyota Motor Company on reported faults with the Prius model; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Clark: On 1 February 2010, the Vehicle Safety Branch (VSB) of the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) held a meeting with Toyota GB to discuss the Toyota accelerator pedal matter.
The Vehicle Standard Branch raised at the same time the issue concerning the braking system fitted to the Toyota Prius. Toyota GB advised that its parent company was conducting an investigation and agreed to keep VSB informed.
Toyota GB believed this to be a brake pedal issue during brake application and the intervention of the ABS on low friction road surfaces rather than a safety defect. The Vehicle Standard Branch engineers conducted extensive tests and concluded that there was no safety defect.
On 9 February 2010 Toyota GB informed VSB of their intention to treat this matter as a recall. Keepers of 8,500 Prius vehicles in the UK will be contacted to submit their vehicle to a dealer who will re-programme the Anti Lock Braking System software. Toyota GB informed VSB that as of 22 February 2010, 1,258 vehicles have been fixed.
Motor Vehicles: Testing
Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many vehicles failed an MOT test for incorrectly adjusted headlamps in the last five years. 
Paul Clark: The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) do not record this specific information and to find this information would result in disproportionate cost being incurred.
VOSA publishes MOT failures by categories in its Effectiveness Report. Incorrectly adjusted headlamps would be recorded within the Lighting and Signalling category along with other related failures. Figures for the last three years are listed in the table.
Friday 26 February 2010
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport when he last reviewed safety arrangements for tall ships which are used for educational purposes for young people under 21; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Clark: The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) keeps the safety requirements for tall ships registered or operating in the UK under constant review. These requirements are set out in Codes of Safety published by the MCA. Tall ships registered or operating in the UK are subject to the same inspection regimes as ships of a comparable size. The agency is working with the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO) on the development of an additional safety management system designed specifically for smaller sail training ships.
Through the International Maritime Organization, the MCA is actively promoting greater co-operation between maritime administrations to develop a more consistent application of safety requirements internationally.
Bob Spink: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport for how many non-departmental public bodies his Department is responsible. 
Chris Mole: Information on the number of non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) sponsored by my Department is published in the annual Cabinet Office report-‘Public Bodies’. ‘Public Bodies 2009’ is available online at:
Official Cars: Safety
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport whether cars operated by the Government Car and Despatch Agency have been subject to recall in the last six months. 
Paul Clark: Eleven vehicles operated by the Government Car and Despatch Agency have been subject to a recall in the last six months.