Written Answers: 1st – 4th November 2010
Transport: Greater London
The Secretary of State has determined the level of GLA transport grant for Transport for London for the year at £2,766,694,000.00. In addition the Department for Transport will pay Transport for London grant of £392,500,000.00 by way of support for its obligations in relation to the former Metronet PPPs, and £24,932,347.14 for the purposes of London Overground. Other smaller amounts of funding for specific projects have been allocated to Transport for London, and to London boroughs, during the year, for example in relation to potholes.
The Secretary of State expects to determine the level of GLA transport grant for 2011-12 shortly before the start of that financial year. He set out his intentions regarding future funding for Transport for London at the recent Spending Review; details of Transport for London’s new funding agreement from the Government are available on the Department’s website in the letter dated 20 October from the Secretary of State to the Mayor of London.
The independent Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) has published several pieces of research, including TRL Report 215: Review of traffic calming schemes in 20mph zones and TRL Report 363 Urban speed management methods.
Norman Baker: Bikeability cycle training is based on the National Standard for cycling training. The National Standard was developed by cycling organisations, safety bodies (including the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and Road Safety UK), and the Administrations of the United Kingdom. It represents years of combined experience in providing high-quality, safe, cycle training. Formal cycle training with an on-road element, like Bikeability, has been shown to improve the safety awareness of children.
Recent research conducted by MORI asked parents and children about their experiences of Bikeability. Children who have taken part in the scheme feel safer and more confident when riding on the road (86%) and their parents feel more confident in allowing them to do so (87%). Children who have participated also feel more confident about riding their bike more often (87%). Bikeability training is rated very highly by both parents (97% say that they are very/quite satisfied with the training) and children (95% describe it as fairly/very good). I intend to publish this research in full in the near future.
The Department is currently evaluating cycling measures undertaken in the designated cycling demonstration towns, including cycle training and other activities aimed at schools. This work will be published once complete.
Driving Offences: Fraud
Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of driving offences which have not resulted in a prosecution due to the provision by the offender of fraudulent identity documents in each of the last five years; and how many such offences involved one or more deaths. 
Highways Agency: Finance
John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the likely effects on maintenance standards on the strategic road network of reductions in funding for the Highways Agency. 
Mike Penning [holding answer 28 October 2010]: The Highways Agency is responsible for the maintenance, repair and renewal of the Strategic Road Network (SRN) in England on behalf of the Secretary of State. The agency is undertaking a review of its routine and winter maintenance standards to ensure that it maintains the SRN in a safe and serviceable condition, while seeking to reduce costs and drive value for money from its supply chain.
The review is expected to be completed by April 2011.The revised standards will be introduced into new and existing maintenance contracts as appropriate. Maintaining the SRN in a safe condition will remain a priority for the agency.
Mike Penning: I direct the hon. Member to the Secretary of State’s announcement of 26 October 2010, Official Report, columns 177-79, on future transport investment. A full outline of forthcoming road schemes can be found in the Library of the House.
Motorways: Speed Limits
Mark Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent representations he has received from motoring organisations in support of increasing the speed limit to 80 miles per hour on controlled stretches of motorway. 
|Reported personal injury road accidents in Sandwell authority, 2005-09|
|Number of accidents|
Roads: West Midlands
|Reported fatal road accidents: West Bromwich East constituency( 1) , 2007-09|
|(1) Based on 2010 constituency boundary|
Local Government Finance
Norman Baker: On 10 June 2010 the Department for Transport issued a statement suspending the previous guidance for local authority major schemes and associated processes until the conclusion of the spending review. In the statement we strongly discouraged local authorities from progressing work on schemes until the funding position was clear. Therefore meetings with local authority representatives has been limited.
Having now published plans for the investment and prioritisation of major schemes on 26 October 2010, Official Report, columns 177-179, the Department will now work closely with local authorities as part of this process and Ministers will be happy to consider requests for meetings as appropriate.
Mrs Villiers: A new cycle hub facility officially opened at Leeds station on 27 September. This ‘CyclePoint’ is based on a Dutch design and incorporates cycle storage, hire, retail and repair facilities under one roof.
The Government recognise the importance of cycle and rail integration and is committed to promoting cycling and walking and encouraging greener travel. We propose to grant longer rail franchises in order to give train operators the incentive to invest in the improvements passengers want, including better cycle facilities at stations. We acknowledge the importance of investing in station improvements and are committed to facilitating this investment through reforms to the way the railways are run.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what criteria were used to determine which civil servants or groups of civil servants should be granted voluntary exit from his Department in 2010; who took the decisions based on those criteria; and whether he approved those decisions. 
Does the post require a formal qualification?
Could the post be backfilled from within DfT?
Does the exit provide value for money?
Rebecca Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the likely effect on the number of road accidents of the introduction of daylight saving time throughout the year. 
Mike Penning: An update of the 1998 TRL research, published 21 April 2009, suggests that an estimated net 80 deaths and 200 serious casualties per year would be avoided if single/double summer time was adopted (based on 2003-07 casualty levels). This takes into account the possible increase in casualties in darker winter mornings as well as the greater reductions expected in the lighter evenings, when more casualties occur. More recent estimates suggest the savings may currently be slightly lower-around 70 deaths and 190 serious casualties. This is due to the recent reductions in overall casualties.
Roads: Snow and Ice
Should severe weather lead to a potential shortage in salt supplies, the Salt Cell(1) would be initiated to provide guidance to suppliers. It would also co-ordinate the allocation and distribution of salt from the 250,000 tonnes of salt which is being held as a strategic reserve, as recommended by independent review of the resilience of England’s transport systems (the Quarmby review). Such allocations will be based on information which the Department (again in response to the Quarmby review) has begun to collate from highway authorities on their own salt stock levels, both before and during the winter season, and anticipated usage. This information, together with intelligence on the ability of domestic salt suppliers to meet national demand and detailed weather forecasts, will allow the need for an advisory prioritisation process through the Salt Cell to be constantly monitored.
(1) The Salt Cell was established during the last two winter seasons to collate salt stock and usage information from highway authorities and subsequently to provide detailed advice and guidance to UK salt suppliers as to how they may direct their limited supplies to prevent authorities running out of salt.