Written Answers 7 to 11 June 2010

Monday 7 June 2010

Driving Offences: Insurance
Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department plans to take to reduce the number of people who drive without insurance; and how many vehicles were seized for being driven without insurance in the most recent year for which figures are available. [702]

Mike Penning: We are working in collaboration with the insurance industry to implement continuous insurance enforcement early in 2011. This will involve regularly comparing the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s vehicle database with the Motor Insurance Database to identify uninsured vehicles and to follow up with enforcement action against their keepers. In 2009, 178,000 uninsured vehicles were seized by the police.

Public Expenditure
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the breakdown is of the planned £683 million reduction in his Department’s expenditure. [359]

Mr Philip Hammond [holding answer 2 June 2010]: I have agreed to contribute £683 million to the £6 billion of in-year budget reductions sought in the emergency budget. The breakdown of these reductions is as follows:

Local authority grants -A £309 million reduction in the Department’s specific grants to local authorities.

Transport for London -I am consulting with the Mayor on a proposed £108 million reduction in the Department’s grant to Transport for London.

Network Rail will reduce spend by £100 million.

The Department is also making £112 million savings in its direct expenditure through a range of measures including a recruitment freeze, reduction in discretionary spend, and re-negotiation of contracts with major suppliers to reduce their cost.

It has also been necessary to defer £54 million that would have been spent on a small number of lower priority rolling stock and highway improvement schemes.

Railways: Electrification
Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what railway lines the Government proposes to introduce railway electrification. [910]

Mrs Villiers: We are in the early stages of the new Government and Ministers are considering the full range of transport policy. The Government support rail electrification as it helps to reduce carbon emissions and cut running costs.

Tuesday 8 June 2010

Safety Belts
George Hollingbery: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he plans to extend the requirement for the wearing of seat belts in coaches beyond the current age limit of 13 years; and if he will make a statement. [1373]

Mike Penning: Current regulations require all bus and coach passengers aged 14 years and above to use a seatbelt if available. Younger children must do so in a front seat. EC Directive 2003/20/EC requires us to consider how to extend these requirements in relation to all children aged three to 14 riding as passengers in buses and coaches.

Aviation: Volcanic Ash
Question asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what risk assessments have been undertaken in the past three years by the Civil Aviation Authority; and whether they considered one on volcanic ash.[HL7]

Earl Attlee: The Civil Aviation Authority’s Safety Regulation Group has a safety risk management process (SRMP) for UK air operations that monitors safety performance and establishes safety strategies and takes any necessary actions accordingly. The risk analysis process looks at the overall system as opposed to specific areas and is used to identify the most significant safety risks for UK aviation.

The most recent analysis was conducted in 2009, volcanic ash was not identified as an area requiring additional work as the existing international guidance was considered sufficient to ensure the safety of air operations.

This process is described in paragraph 1.9 of the CAA Safety Plan 2009-11: www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP786.pdf.

Cyclists: Deaths
Question asked by Lord Bradshaw

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to reduce cycling-related deaths, particularly among women.[HL87]

Earl Attlee: There are a number of initiatives under way at present, aimed at improving cycle safety. These include promoting bikeability cycle training; promoting the Highway Code and safe road use, including use of protective equipment such as high visibility clothing and cycle helmets; providing more safe cycle routes; guidance to local authorities on the design of safer road infrastructure, including effective cycle-specific measures as well as more general measures that benefit all road users such as 20 mph zones and better traffic management; improvements to motor vehicle driver testing and training; and new measures on lorry mirrors to improve the visibility of cyclists and pedestrians. The measures on lorry mirrors should be of particular benefit to women who are over-represented in fatal cycle incidents involving lorries in London. All this is against a background of encouraging more people to cycle while minimising the risks of cycling.

Wednesday 9 JUne 2010

Transport: Roads
Question asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what guidance they give on whether the same organisation can carry out the environmental impact assessment and the route design for a road project.[HL147]

Earl Attlee: There are no restrictions on the same organisation carrying out the environmental impact assessment and the road design for a road project. The Design Manual for Roads and Bridges published by The Stationery Office and produced by the Highways Agency for the Department of Transport provides the guidance for the environmental impact assessment of trunk road projects. The guidance is based on the principle that assessment and design are very closely linked and are part of an iterative process. It has been industry best practice for many years that the designers of projects also carry out the environmental impact assessment as they are often best placed to undertake that assessment.

 

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