PQs 20th – 25th Nov 2011

Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion, Green)
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funding his Department provided to improve road safety in each developing country in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement.
Alan Duncan (Minister of State, International Development; Rutland and Melton, Conservative)
The Department for International Development (DFID) views road safety as being the primary responsibility for country governments and the multilateral development banks as major international funders of infrastructure. However, in response to the recent International Development Committee inquiry on DFID’s role in building infrastructure in developing countries we are giving further consideration to the appropriate level of engagement by DFID on this issue.
A14: Suffolk
Dr Thérèse Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what criteria have been set in respect of the information to be displayed on electronic information signs on the A14 in Suffolk; and whether (a) anti-littering messages and (b) other non-traffic public information will be displayed. [78201]
Mike Penning: Information displayed on the electronic information signs (known as variable message signs), including those on the A14 in Suffolk, must meet the criteria detailed in section 64 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.
A trial is currently under way on other selected sections of the strategic road network to trial three anti-littering messages and test their effectiveness before they are considered for wider use within England.
The Act does not allow electronic information signs to be used for non-traffic information.
 
Aviation: Safety
 
Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps she is taking to tackle pilot fatigue. [79765]
Mrs Villiers: Under EU Regulation 3922/91 all airlines are required to have a flight and duty time limitation scheme designed to ensure that crew members remain sufficiently free from fatigue so that they can operate to a satisfactory level of safety in all circumstances.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is satisfied that the flight and duty time schemes of UK airlines protect against unsafe levels of fatigue. If concerns arise with an airline’s scheme, this will be investigated as part of the CAA’s oversight process.
Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps she is taking to investigate cases where both pilots are simultaneously asleep while piloting aircraft. [79767]
Mrs Villiers: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has not received any reports of such events. If one were reported it would be investigated as part of the CAAs oversight process.
Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions she has had with the British Airline Pilots Association on both pilots falling asleep at the same time while piloting an aircraft. [79768]
Mrs Villiers: None. The British Air Line Pilots’ Association has not raised this issue in the Civil Aviation Authority’s advisory group on flight time limitations.
Nor did BALPA raise it at a recent meeting held with the CAA to discuss the draft rules on flight time limitations proposed by the European Aviation Safety Agency.
Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost to the public purse was of the Civil Aviation Authority’s SAFE programme in the latest period for which figures are available. [80154]
Mrs Villiers [holding answer 14 November 2011]: The System for Aircrew Fatigue Evaluation was developed jointly by the Civil Aviation Authority and QinetiQ. The CAA’s costs were funded through their normal charges on the airline industry.
Aviation: Working Hours
Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations she has made to the European Commission on proposed changes to pilot flight time limitations. [79766]
Mrs Villiers: None. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has consulted on draft rules on flight time limitations. The Department and the CAA have responded to that consultation and are actively engaging with EASA in the review of the draft rules.
Cycling
 
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps her Department is taking to promote cycling proficiency in (a) children and (b) adults, [80831]
 
Norman Baker: This financial year, the Department has made £11 million funding contributions available to local highways authorities and school games organiser host schools. This will enable up to 275,000 school children to access Bikeability cycle training in England, excluding London. (Cycle training in London is matter for Transport for London and the London boroughs, although the Department does provide some funding to school games organiser host schools based in London.)
Bikeability may also be completed by adults. Further information, including links to training courses, is available on the Bikeability website at:
http://www.dft.gov.uk/bikeability/the-three-levels/cycling-skills-for-adults/
Motorways: Speed Limits
 
Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions she has had with Ministers in the devolved Administrations on proposals to increase the national speed limit to 80 mph for motorways. [81226]
Mike Penning: Officials in the Department for Transport have been in contact with officials in the Scottish Government, the Welsh Assembly and DOE (Northern Ireland).
Disability Aids: Visual Impairment
 
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the merits of introducing a minimum eyesight requirement for (a) users of powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters and (b) pedal cyclists; and if she will make a statement. [82223]
Norman Baker: As part of the Department for Transport’s review of the use of mobility vehicles, I have asked my officials to undertake further work with transport operators, the mobility vehicles industry and user groups on a range of issues, including a possible minimum eyesight requirement for mobility vehicle users and incentives for them to meet these requirements. No final decisions have been made.
Further details are in my recent announcement in response to parliamentary questions from the hon. Member for Bury South (Mr Lewis) on 26 October 2011, Official Report, column 249W, and my hon. Friend the Member for Mid Dorset and North Poole (Annette Brooke) on 27 October 2011, Official Report, column 284W.
There are no plans to require cyclists to meet a minimum eyesight requirement.
Driving: Licensing
 
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many notifications of attendance on a detoxification programme the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has received from driving licence holders in the last three years; how many licences have been revoked following such notification; and what was the length of ban for each of these. [82147]
Mike Penning: Information on how many notifications of attendance on a detoxification programme or the number of driving licences that have been revoked following a notification of attendance on a detoxification programme or the length of ban for each of these is not held.
Large Goods Vehicles
 
Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which agencies will be responsible for monitoring the trial of longer semi-trailers for heavy goods vehicles; and if regular updates will be published. [81708]
Mike Penning: The Vehicle Certification Agency will have a role in managing and granting Vehicle Special Orders for vehicles used in the trial and in verifying that the longer semi-trailers comply with the relevant technical requirements of Construction and Use and other Regulations.
The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency will have a role in plating and testing the semi-trailers, and in enforcing compliance with traffic regulations.
The main responsibility for monitoring will lie with an independent contractor. The contractor’s four-monthly monitoring reports and annual reports on the trial will be published on the Department’s website.
Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether she has made an assessment of the safety implications for cyclists of the trial of longer semi-trailers for heavy goods vehicles. [81709]
Mike Penning: The revised Impact Assessment published with the Government’s Report on the Consultation into longer semi-trailers does not disaggregate the safety risk between different categories of road user.
Motorways: Speed Limits
 
Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent analysis her Department conducted of any potential change in the level of (a) fatalities, (b) serious injuries, (c) slight injuries and (d) carbon dioxide emissions attributable to an increase in the motorway speed limit to 80 mph. [81557]
Mike Penning: The potential effects on casualties and an estimate of carbon emissions will be included in the assessment of all the principal effects of raising the national speed limit on motorways. We will include these estimates as part of the documentation for the planned consultation.
Speed Limits: Association of Chief Police Officers
 
Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the guidance issued by Association of Chief Police Officers that 20 mph limits and zones should not routinely be considered for enforcement. [81379]
Norman Baker: The Association of Chief Police Officers’ (ACPO) guidance, while indicating 20 mph limits and zones should not routinely be considered for enforcement, does indicate that some enforcement may be appropriate.
The Department for Transport is planning to revise and reissue its guidance about speed limits in urban areas with the aim of increasing flexibility for local authorities. As part of that process, planned for 2012, it is liaising with ACPO on enforcement.
Public Transport: Finance
 
Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment her Department has made of the potential effect of her Department’s spending reduction for public transport on people with a low income. [78940]
Norman Baker: Buses are most heavily used by people on the lowest incomes. No cuts were made this year to the subsidy paid to bus operators and the Government believe the 20% cut from April 2012 is manageable given the reductions to budgets elsewhere. The Government have made a commitment to providing free local bus travel for older and disabled people to ensure that no one who is older or disabled in England need be prevented from bus travel by cost alone. 40% of concessionary journeys are made by people with a household income of less than £10,000.
While there is no statutory obligation to carry out a formal assessment of the impact of spending decisions on people on low incomes, Ministers carefully considered this during the spending review process.
Railway Stations: Standards
 
Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether she has considered giving greater powers to rail companies in taking ownership of the upkeep of rail stations for the purposes of ensuring they are maintained to a high standard. [81035]
Mrs Villiers: A package of measures has been developed with the rail industry to transfer responsibility for repairs, maintenance and renewal at stations to franchised operators.
The new Greater Anglia franchise, awarded on 20 October 2011, is the first to adopt many of these new measures. We expect to implement the full package of measures in the Intercity West Coast franchise when tenders are invited in the new year.
 
Transport
 
Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when her Department plans to publish a National Policy Statement for national networks. [81218]
Justine Greening: We plan to designate the National Networks National Policy Statement by the end of 2012.
Roads: Housing
 
Mr Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress her Department has made on facilitating the adoption by local authorities of residential roads in new housing developments since June 2010. [82645]
Norman Baker: Following discussions with representatives of local authorities and the home building sector, the Department has decided at this stage to encourage local authorities to make best use of the existing powers at their disposal. In particular, we are working to finalise some model planning conditions that could assist local authorities in ensuring that new roads are built to an acceptable standard and that arrangements are put in place for their ongoing maintenance. We also believe there is a role for further guidance and dissemination of good practice on these issues, but this would be a matter for expert practitioners in local authorities to progress in partnership with the home building sector. We will keep matters under review.
Roads: Repairs and Maintenance
 
Steve Rotheram: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much her Department has spent on road repairs following the adverse weather of winter 2010-11; and how much she expects her Department to spend during the 2011-12 winter. [82598]
Norman Baker: The then Secretary of State for Transport, the right hon. Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), wrote in March to all English local highway authorities to inform them of their share of the additional £200 million announced in the March 2011 Budget. This funding was in recognition of the damage to roads caused by exceptionally severe weather, as December 2010 was the coldest for 100 years. The breakdown of funding allocation by local authority can be found at:
https://nds.coi.gov.uk/ImageLibrary/DownloadMedia.ashx?MediaDetailsID=3444
The Department is also providing £3 billion over the four years from 2011-12 to local highway authorities in England for roads for which they are responsible, as well as providing resource funding of £6 million for a programme to assist local authorities to deliver their highways maintenance more effectively and efficiently.
It should not be assumed that the Department will be in a position to provide additional funding following any future severe weather event. It remains the responsibility of local highway authorities to prioritise their overall resources and build in appropriate resilience as part of their overall maintenance programmes.
As regards roads controlled by the Highways Agency, the agency has a comprehensive road surfacing programme to assist in the reduction of damage to the strategic road network caused by adverse winter weather. However, the agency does not separately identify or estimate the maintenance costs directly associated with winter damage.
Road Traffic
 
Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which Highways Agency controlled A-roads see the biggest increase in traffic during the summer. [82342]
Mike Penning: At a national level, traffic on the strategic road network, including both motorways and A-roads, tends to follow a consistent annual pattern. Starting from the lowest levels of traffic during December, levels then rise gradually, month on month, to a summer peak during July and August, before slowly declining again through to December.
Traffic on individual routes, however, is subject to different levels of seasonal change. Comparing the combined traffic levels for the summer months of June, July and August, for ‘Highways Agency controlled A-roads’, with the preceding three months of March, April and May, the routes which experienced the greatest percentage increases in vehicle miles travelled (VMT) are shown in the following table:

 the routes which experienced the greatest percentage increases in vehicle miles travelled (VMT) are shown in the following table:

VMT
Road March to May June to August Increase Percentage increase Rank

A30

296,319,601

359,728,530

63,408,929

21

1

A303

220,000,697

251,898,755

31,898,058

14

2

A120

83,734,035

93,645,820

9,911,784

12

3

A494

10,490,386

11,614,209

1,123,823

11

4

A696

6,389,445

7,057,473

668,028

10

(1)5

A35

76,465,938

84,227,753

7,761,815

10

(1)

A31

113,486,280

124,709,656

11,223,376

10

(1)

A458

8,715,964

9,548,557

832,593

10

(1)

(1) Indicates a brace.

If, however, the ranking is based on actual vehicle miles travelled rather than percentage increases, the pattern is somewhat different:

VMT
Road March to May June to August Increase Percentage increase Rank

A30

296,319,601

359,728,530

63,408,929

21

1

A1

714,657,865

766,531,909

51,874,044

7

2

A303

220,000,697

251,898,755

31,898,058

14

3

A34

301,295,002

328,674,164

27,379,163

9

4

A14

540,486,628

565,139,730

24,653,102

5

5

Transport: Heavy Goods Vehicles
 
Question
Asked by Lord Bradshaw
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Attlee on 2 November (WA 272), why they are using a weighting factor of 100:1 for measuring the relative road damaging factor of a heavy lorry compared to a motor car, in the light of the technical evidence contained in paragraphs 376-81 of the Report of the Inquiry into Lorries, People and the Environment, published in 1980.[HL13130]
Earl Attlee: The 1980 Report of the Inquiry into Lorries, People and the Environment does suggest that the fourth power law provides the best overall indication of the relationship between the damage done to roads and the vehicles responsible for that damage.
I refer the noble Lord to my answer of 17 October 2011 (Official Report, col. WA 37-8) which explained that the weighting factor of 100:1 in formula grant is also based on the approximation that damage to the road surface is a function of the fourth power of the axle weight. My answer also noted that this formula was shared with the UK Roads Board and agreed by a number of local authority highway engineers.
Cyclists: Helmets
 
Question
Asked by Lord Laird
 
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to make the wearing of helmets by cyclists on public roads compulsory.[HL13379]
Earl Attlee: We have no plans to make the wearing of cycle helmets compulsory.
Transport: MoT Scheme
 
Question
Asked by Lord Bradshaw
 
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many cars were given an MoT test in 2008, 2009 and 2010; how many cars in each year failed their MoT; and of those cars failing, how many (a) were three years old, undergoing their first MoT, (b) were four years old, undergoing their second MoT, and (c) passed their MoT after initially failing an MoT. [HL12651]
Earl Attlee: The number of MoT tests and failures are listed below.
Year Cars tested Failures

2007-08

24.913m

7.318m

2008-09

25.538m

7.676m

2009-10

26.048m

8.070m

Listed below are MoT results for vehicles which (a) were three years old, undergoing their first MoT, (b) were four years old, undergoing their second MoT, and (c) passed their MoT after initially failing an MoT.
(a) 3 Year Old Vehicles
Tested Total Tests Initial Failure Rate (c) Passed after initial fail

2008

2,579,674

562,687

21.8%

341,325

2009

2,498,568

535,920

21.4%

323,179

2010

2,578,235

539,555

20.9%

323,804

(b) 4 Year Old Vehicles
Tested Total Tests Initial Failure Rate (c) Passed after initial fail

2008

2,711,794

696,426

25.7%

447,490

2009

2,536,621

647,502

25.5%

420,090

2010

2,462,043

586,824

23.8%

379.994

(c) Pass after rectification at station tests are classified as a failure when calculating the initial fail rate and will be rectified at the station before being passed. It has not been possible to provide a figure for vehicles which fail and are then taken away from a station then re-presented.
MoT test figures are published on the following website: http://data.gov.uk/.
Share this Post: Facebook Twitter Google Plus RSS Email

Related Posts

Comments are closed.