PACTS Comments on Parliamentary Questions: 14th – 17th Feb

 

 

UN Decade of Road Safety

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to mark the launch of the UN Decade of Road Safety on 11 May 2011. [37838]

Mike Penning: Ministers are planning to participate in events organised by road safety groups to mark the launch of the UN Decade of Road Safety on 11 May.

PACTS comments: The launch of the UN Decade of Road Safety on May 11th is an excellent opportunity for ministers to demonstrate their commitment to road safety. It is good to see that they plan to be involved. 

Further information on the UN Decade of Road Safety can be found on the World Health Organisation website and at decadeofaction.org.

North Review of Drink and Drug Driving Law

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he plans to respond to (a) the North Review of Drink and Drug Driving Law and (b) the Transport Committee report on Drink and Drug Driving Law, Session 2010-11, HC 460. [37835]

Mike Penning: A full, combined response to these two reports will be published shortly.

PACTS comments on the North Review 

 

Roads: Safety

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effects of his Department’s decision to reduce the area-based road safety grant. [37834]

Mike Penning: The Government have removed ring-fencing from local authority grants so that councils are able to set their own priorities. Extra funding support for road safety is now being provided in the revenue support grant. I would expect road safety to remain a priority for local communities and for local spending to reflect that.

The Government will shortly publish their draft road safety strategy for consultation. 

PACTS comments: Along with the rest of the road safety sector, we eagerly await the publication of the road safety strategy. We were not aware that a draft was to be published for consultation. 

Other transport safety Parliamentary Questions this week:

Aviation: EC Action

Julian Sturdy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has for the future of CAP 371 flight time limitations following the European Aviation Safety Agency’s publication of a Notice of Proposed Amendment. [37387]

Mrs Villiers: The European Aviation Safety Agency’s Notice of Proposed Amendment contains draft implementing rules on flight time limitations. These rules are likely to be amended in the light of responses to the consultation. Once the final rules are adopted they will become directly applicable to aircraft within EASA’s remit. At that point the Civil Aviation Authority’s guidance in CAP 371 will be applicable only to non EASA aircraft.

 

Departmental Marketing

Conor Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost to the public purse was of the manufacture and distribution of Department branded drinks coasters in the last financial year for which figures are available. [37235]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport incurred no expenditure in the 2009-10 financial year on the manufacture and distribution of drinks coasters carrying the Department’s corporate brand.

A small amount was spent on drinks coasters carrying safety campaign brands owned by the Department, namely £5,022 on “Don’t Drink and Drive” beer mats, and £2,026 on “Don’t Drink and Drown” beer mats, carrying HM Coastguard and ROSPA logos.

 

 

Travel: Costs

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate his Department has made of the percentage change in real terms of the cost of travelling by (a) private car, (b) bus, (c) train and (d) domestic aeroplane since (i) 1980 and (ii) 1997. [36672]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport has not estimated changes in the real cost of motoring or any other mode of travel.

Data from the independent ONS suggest that between 1980 and 2010 the real cost of motoring, including the purchase of a vehicle, declined by 10%, bus and coach fares increased by 54% and rail fares increased by 55% in real terms.

ONS data suggest that between 1997 and 2010 the real cost of motoring, including the purchase of a vehicle, declined by 7%, bus and coach fares increased by 24% and rail fares increased by 17% in real terms.

Figures from the Office of Rail Regulation’s National Rail Trends show that between 1985 and 2010 total government support to the rail industry has doubled in real terms, and that between 1997 and 2010 it increased by 86% in real terms. 1985 is the earliest year for which comparable data are available.

The costs of travelling by air are not available from ONS data. However, the cost of the average UK one-way air fare, including taxes and charges, covering domestic flights fell by 35% in real terms between 1997 and 2008, the latest date for which figures are available:

http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/upload/xls/nrt_ch6_miscellaneous_tables.xls

Alison McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the change in real terms of the cost of travelling by (a) private car, (b) bus, (c) train and (d) domestic air flight between (i) 1980 and 2010 and (ii) 2000 and 2010. [37928]

Norman Baker [holding answer 9 February 2011]: I have not estimated changes to the real cost of motoring or any other mode of travel.

Data from the independent ONS suggests that between 1980 and 2010 the real cost of motoring, including the purchase of a vehicle, declined by 10%, bus and coach fares increased by 54% and rail fares increased by 55% in real terms.

ONS data suggests that between 2000 and 2010 the real cost of motoring, including the purchase of a vehicle, declined by 8%, bus and coach fares increased by 15% and rail fares increased by 20% in real terms.

Figures from the Office of Rail Regulation’s National Rail Trends; see:

http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/upload/xls/nrt_ch6_miscellaneous_tables.xls

show that between 1985 and 2010 total Government support to the rail industry has doubled in real terms, and that between 2000 and 2010 it has more than doubled in real terms. 1985 is the earliest year for which comparable data are available.

The costs of travelling by air are not available from ONS data. However, the average cost of a one-way air fare, including taxes and charges, covering domestic flights fell by 34% in real terms between 2000 and 2008, the latest date for which figures are available.

Aviation: Pilots

Sir Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) with reference to the European Aviation Safety Agency’s publication OPS 1, Subpart Q, on flight time limitations for air pilots, what questions were asked to Moebus Aviation; [38893]

(2) with reference to the European Aviation Safety Agency’s publication OPS 1, Subpart Q, on flight time limitations for air pilots, what scientists were involved in the Moebus project; and what the (a) professional experience and (b) fields of research were of each of those scientists; [38894]

(3) with reference to the European Aviation Safety Agency’s publication OPS 1, Subpart Q, on flight time limitations for air pilots, what were the main conclusions of the consensus report by Moebus in 2008. [38895]

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Mrs Villiers: Moebus Aviation carried out a study on behalf of the European Aviation Safety Agency. Their report, “Scientific and Medical Evaluation of Flight Time Limitations”, is available from the EASA website:

www.easa.europa.eu

Sir Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to the European Aviation Safety Agency’s publication OPS 1, Subpart Q, on flight time limitations for air pilots, which staff of the Agency were involved in producing Subpart Q; and what the (a) experience and (b) expertise in the regulation, oversight and implementation of a flight time limitation scheme was of each staff member. [38897]

Mrs Villiers: The Department for Transport does not hold this information.

Bicycles: Hire Services

Karl McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to encourage areas outside central London to set up schemes similar to the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme. [38296]

Norman Baker [holding answer 4 February 2011]: The recently published Local Transport White Paper “Creating Growth, Cutting Carbon” outlines the Government’s strategy to encourage more sustainable transport choices and includes measures to encourage active travel such as cycling.

Additionally, the Government have announced a £560,000,000 local sustainable transport fund which we anticipate will support a wide range of measures including packages that promote cycling.

I welcome the positive impact that the cycle hire scheme has had on journey patterns in central London and I would encourage local authorities to consider whether such a scheme might be appropriate for their local area.

Electric Vehicles: Northern Ireland

Naomi Long: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he is taking steps to encourage the take-up of low emission vehicles in Northern Ireland. [38595]

Norman Baker: The nationwide Plug-In Car Grant was launched successfully on 1 January 2011 and will help both private consumers and businesses across the UK (including Northern Ireland) purchase ultra-low emission vehicles. Buyers receive a grant of 25% of the vehicle price, up to a value of £5,000.

In addition, the Secretary of State for Transport announced the outcome of the second round of Plugged-In Places funding on 14 December 2010. Five projects were successful-including Northern Ireland. £84,900 of funding, out of a total project cost of £2.4 million, has been allocated to this project which is expected to install almost 850 charging points.

European Aviation Safety Agency

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what recent representations he has received on the European Aviation Safety Agency’s proposals to change flight time limitations; [38936]

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(2) what representations he has received from representatives of the airline industry on the European Aviation Safety Agency’s proposals to change flight time limitations for pilots. [38938]

Mrs Villiers: I have received a number of letters from MPs and pilots who are concerned about the proposals contained in the consultation document issued by the European Aviation Safety Agency. I have not yet received any representations from airlines.

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what plans he has to respond to the European Aviation Safety Agency’s notice of proposed amendment for flight time limitations; [38939]

(2) what assessment he has made of the effects on safety of the European Aviation Safety Agency’s notice of proposed amendment for flight time limitations. [38940]

Mrs Villiers: The Civil Aviation Authority is currently reviewing the European Aviation Safety Agency’s notice of proposed amendment to assess the effectiveness of the measures proposed. They will respond to the consultation once they have completed their review. We will seek to ensure that the final requirements maintain a high level of safety for UK airlines.

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what implications the implementation of the provisions of the European Union Bill will have for the transfer of authority over flight time limitations from the Civil Aviation Authority to the European Aviation Safety Agency. [38942]

Mrs Villiers: None. The EU already has competence in this area.

European Aviation Safety Authority: Passengers

Jonathan Reynolds: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with his European counterparts on potential risks to passenger safety arising from the adoption of new flight time limitations for pilots proposed by the European Aviation Safety Authority. [38772]

Mrs Villiers: None. The European Aviation Safety Agency published draft legislation for consultation on 20 December 2010. The consultation closes on 20 March. The Civil Aviation Authority is currently reviewing the proposals. We will seek to ensure that the final requirements maintain a high level of safety for UK airlines. If necessary we will discuss the legislation with our European counterparts at an appropriate stage in the legislative process.

Railways: Snow and Ice

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he made of levels of safety on rail freight services during recent severe weather conditions. [39181]

Mrs Villiers: Issues of operational rail safety are a matter for the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), as the independent health and safety regulator of Britain’s railways, and relevant rail industry duty holders. The hon. Member may wish to contact the Office of Rail Regulation for further information at the following address:

Office of Rail Regulation

One Kemble street

London

WC2B 4AN

Railways: Toilets

Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to encourage train operating companies to advertise the availability of toilet facilities on trains; and if he will make a statement. [39192]

Mrs Villiers: Train operating companies already provide this information. For example, the National Rail Enquiries website provides details for each operator. However, this is provided under the heading of information for passengers with disabilities.

I have asked Department for Transport officials to raise this issue with the Association of Train Operating Companies, to encourage the rail industry to make this information easier to find through all media.

Taxis: Licensing

Mr Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to ensure that the criterion for whether or not taxis can be licensed should be related solely to the condition of the vehicle. [40810]

Norman Baker [holding answer 14 February 2011]: Responsibility for taxi licensing outside London rests with local authorities. The Department for Transport’s Best Practice Guidance urges local authorities to consider vehicles on their merits rather than imposing an age
15 Feb 2011 : Column 676W
limit. Ultimately, though, the decision on whether to impose an age limit rests with local authorities. We have no immediate plans to change this.

Aviation: Working Hours

Sir Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to the European Aviation Safety Agency’s publication OPS 1, Subpart Q, on flight time limitations for air pilots, (1) what recommendations of the Moebus study were (a) included and (b) not included in Subpart Q; [38896]

(2) what definitions are employed of (a) the seasonal period and (b) designated reporting point. [38898]

Mrs Villiers: The current flight time limitation requirements in OPS 1 (Annex III to Council Regulation 3922/91) will be replaced by European Aviation Safety Agency implementing rules in 2012. EASA has issued a Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) consulting on their proposed implementing rules. The NPA contains details of how the Moebus report was taken into account in the production of the draft guidelines. The NPA also contains the definitions used. The NPA can be downloaded from the EASA website at:

http://easa.europa.eu/rulemaking/notices-of-proposed-amendment-NPA.php

The Civil Aviation Authority is currently reviewing the proposals and we will seek to ensure that the final requirements maintain a high level of safety for UK airlines.

Henry Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on pilot fatigue in the last 10 years. [39681]

Mrs Villiers: In the last 10 years the Civil Aviation Authority has commissioned and evaluated:

A study to investigate the fatigue implications of 12 hour shift patterns operated by police helicopter crews;

A study into in-flight napping strategies; and

Continuing studies into sleep patterns which have lead to revisions of CAP 371, “The Avoidance of Fatigue in Aircrews” and the development of the System for Aircrew Fatigue Evaluation (SAFE) computer model. SAFE is used by the CAA to evaluate Flight Time Limitation scheme submissions by operators.

In addition, the CAA reviews research reports published by other organisations.

Henry Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the effects on safety of replacing the Civil Aviation Authority’s current CAP 371 flight time limitations with the European Aviation Safety Agency’s proposals for such limitations; [39684]

17 Feb 2011 : Column 966W

(2) what assessment his Department has made of the effects of implementing the European Aviation Safety Agency’s Notice of Proposed Amendment to flight time limitations. [39685]

Mrs Villiers: The European Aviation Safety Agency published draft legislation for consultation on 20 December 2010. The consultation closes on 20 March. The Civil Aviation Authority is currently reviewing the proposals. It will respond to the consultation once it has completed its review. Our aim is to ensure that the final requirements maintain a high level of safety for UK airlines.

Mr Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what factors he will use in determining whether changes to pilots’ flight time limitations being proposed by the European Aviation Safety Agency provide an appropriate level of safety. [40852]

Mrs Villiers: The objective of flight time limitations is to ensure that crew members are adequately rested at the beginning of each flying duty period so that they can perform at a satisfactory level of efficiency and safety in all normal and abnormal circumstances arising during flying.

The Civil Aviation Authority will review the European Aviation Safety Agency’s proposals to determine whether they meet that objective.

Mr Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effects on safety of the European Aviation Safety Agency’s Notice of Proposed Amendment for flight time limitations. [40857]

Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the potential effect on airline safety of the European Aviation Safety Agency’s notice of proposed amendment for flight time limitations; [40965]

(2) what assessment he has made of the European Aviation Safety Agency’s proposals on changes to flight time limitations for pilots. [41006]

Mrs Villiers: I refer the hon. Members to my answer of 7 February 2011, Official Report, column 51W, given to the hon. Member for Coventry South (Mr Cunningham).

 

Departmental NDPBs

John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what targets have been set for the work of the Highways Agency. [39337]

Mike Penning: The Highways Agency’s business plan for the 2010-11 financial year was published on 25 March 2010. Copies were placed in the Libraries of both Houses at the time of publication, and can also be found on the agency’s website at

http://www.highways.gov.uk/aboutus/26993.aspx

The Highways Agency’s business plan for 2011-12 will contain measures that will allow the public to judge how well the Highways Agency is managing the strategic road network, but will not set targets as this Government have ended the reliance on top-down performance management to determine the effectiveness of public services.

 

Highways Agency

John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to ensure that all major schemes being undertaken by the Highways Agency are the subject of an up-to-date business case. [39364]

Mike Penning [holding answer 9 February 2011]: Appraisal is an ongoing process, and decisions in the 2010 spending review used the most up-to-date information available. An explanation of the analytical methods used at the spending review can be found on the Department’s website, with further supporting information on the Highways Agency website.

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/network/strategic/highwaystransportschemesdata

www.highways.gov.uk

Lorries: Sleep Apnoea

Meg Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will estimate the proportion of drivers of large goods vehicles of each age group who suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea. [41968]

Mike Penning: The information requested is not held.

Roads: Accidents

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many wheelchair users were (a) killed and (b)injured in accidents when travelling in a taxi or minibus in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [41491]

Norman Baker: I regret that the information collected on death and injuries to the occupants of taxis and minibuses does not contain any information on the disability status of casualties.

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