PQs 16th – 19th April 2012

Mr John Leech (Manchester, Withington) (LD): Has the Secretary of State now calculated the cost associated with increasing the motorway speed limit to 80 mph and the increased number of casualties expected as a result of such a measure?
Justine Greening: We would quantify the pros and cons of any move to 80 mph as part of the consultation we would publish, and obviously an impact statement would also be needed. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that we want to reach an informed conclusion on this policy area and will announce our next steps shortly.
Air Force: Working Hours
 
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the average flight duty period for RAF personnel is; and what assessment he has made of how this compares to other NATO countries; [102212]
(2) how many times the flight duty period was extended in the last 12 months. [102216]
Mr Robathan [holding answer 27 March 2012]: No assessment has been made of the average flight crew duty hours across all RAF aircraft fleets or how the set maximum periods compare with those set in other NATO countries. The maximum permissible duty periods vary depending on the type of aircraft and role undertaken.
Individual crew member records are supervised to ensure they do not exceed approved limits unless an extension is authorised.
The authorisation to extend flight crew duty periods is delegated to squadron, station, group or air officer commanding level dependent on the length of extension required and the operational circumstances for the extension. Consequently, the information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of the European Aviation Safety Agency evaluation of flight time limitations. [102213]
Nick Harvey [holding answer 27 March 2012]: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has made no independent assessment of the European Aviation Safety Agency regulations on flight time limitations. However, NATO Standardisation Agreement 3527—Aircrew Fatigue Management, under which military flights operate, is reviewed annually and takes account of relevant civil regulations.
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether RAF personnel are subject to European flight time limitations. [102214]
Mr Robathan [holding answer 27 March 2012]: No.
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average flying hours for RAF personnel are. [102215]
Mr Robathan [holding answer 27 March 2012]: The information is not held in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost, as it would require manual searches of individual crew member records.
Roads: Repairs and Maintenance
 
Sir Alan Meale: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what estimate she has made of the cost of maintaining the UK’s road infrastructure in each year from 2009 to 2011 inclusive; [102749]
(2) how much central Government spent on improving the road network in each year from 2009 to 2011 inclusive. [102750]
Norman Baker: The Department for Transport is responsible for the strategic road network which is managed by the Highways Agency on the Secretary of State for Transport’s behalf. The remaining roads are the responsibility of local highway authorities under the Highways Act 1980. For roads in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland these are the responsibility of the respective devolved Administrations. We have therefore made no estimate of the cost of maintaining the UK’s road infrastructure.
Highways Agency spending on improving the strategic road network in each year from 2009 to 2011 (including smaller schemes and technology improvements) was as follows:
Spend on improving road network (£ million)

2008-09

1,022

2009-10

1,109

2010-11

1,204

For roads in London capital funding is a matter for the Mayor and Transport for London.
The Department for Transport has published information on its website regarding how much local transport capital funding has been allocated for Integrated Transport and Highways Maintenance Block grants for the financial years, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11:
http://www.dft.gov.uk/publications/integrated-transport-block-and-highways-maintenance/
These tables provide information on what each local authority (including integrated transport authorities, shire counties and unitary authorities) has been allocated. This funding can be used to improve local roads that they manage if they so wish.
In addition, the Department also provided capital funding for a series of local major schemes, costing over £5 million, in 2008-09 to 2010-11. The following table details the funding allocated to local authorities in England for local major schemes which are either categorised as a road scheme, or have an element that includes a road or improvement to the road:
Capital funding for road schemes (£ million)

2008-09

278

2009-10

287

2010-11

265

Revenue funding for highway maintenance is provided through the Communities and Local Government Revenue Support Grant (RSG). RSG is an unhypothecated grant provided to local authorities to enable them to carry out their functions, and local authorities can choose to spend this on any services for which they have responsibility, as per local spending priorities.
Transport: Finance
Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much (a) capital and (b) revenue funding will be put towards transport schemes from the (i) Local Sustainable Transport Fund, (ii) Regional Growth Fund and (iii) Major Local Transport scheme to each scheme in each year of the current spending review period. [102677]
Norman Baker [holding answer 16 April 2012]: Responsibility for the Regional Growth Fund was transferred to the Department for Communities and Local Government in the Supplementary Estimates for 2011-12.
The following figures show the capital and revenue funding approved in each of the current spending review years for the Local Sustainable Transport Fund and for Major Local Transport schemes.
Local Sustainable Transport Fund
£000
Plans 2011-12 Plans 2012-13 Plans 2013-14 Plans 2014-15

Capital

30,000

64,000

60,000

80,000

Revenue

29,351

95,358

100,000

100,000

Major Local Transport Schemes
£000
Plans 2011-12 Plans 2012-13 Plans 2013-14 Plans 2014-15

Capital

456,806

367,750

459,900

541,000

Revenue

180

186

192

198

With regard to Major Local Transport schemes, forecast outturns for spend in 2011-12 by individual authorities are set out in the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Penistone and Stocksbridge (Angela Smith) on 20 February 2012, Official Report, column 575W.
We expect final outturns for individual schemes for 2011-12 to be available by the end of April.
I have placed in the House Library a table setting out forecast outturns for Local Sustainable Transport Fund spend in 2011-12 on individual schemes. Expenditure is a mixture of capital and revenue.
For both funding streams, individual scheme allocations for 2012-13 to 2014-15 will be finalised at the start of each financial year. These allocations will be informed by previous expenditure and forecasts of annual expenditure in future years.
Aviation: Working Hours
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Richmond Park of 15 March 2012, Official Report, column 388W, on Aviation: Working Hours, if she will make it her policy to oppose the European Aviation Safety Agency’s proposals (NPA 2010 to 2014) in their current form and call for EU flight safety regulations to be harmonised with the UK’s pilot flight time limitations; and if she will make a statement. [102446]
Mrs Villiers: The Civil Aviation Authority has reviewed the latest draft of the proposals published by EASA on 18 January and has advised me that they would provide a level of safety that is broadly equivalent to that provided by the current UK rules. I am satisfied with the CAA’s advice.
Cycling
 
Stephen Pound: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps she is taking to ensure that information is provided to the public on the law prohibiting cycling on pavements. [103299]
Norman Baker: Rule 64 of the Highway Code clearly states that
“you MUST NOT cycle on a pavement”
and provides a reference to the relevant legislation. The Highway Code is essential reading for road users and available from bookshops, on the Directgov website, and the DFT website also allows the public to access reminders via Twitter, Facebook, RSS, e-mail, and website widget.
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