PQs 26th June – 18 July
Mr Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what change there was in the number of miles cycled in 2012 compared with 2011; and what assessment he has made on whether any increase was the result of more people taking up cycling or extra trips by existing cyclists. [R] 
Norman Baker: A time series of distance travelled in Great Britain per person per year by bicycle for 1995-2011 from the National Travel Survey (NTS) can be found in table NTS0305 at:
NTS data for 2012 are not yet available, but are scheduled for publication on 30 July 2013.
NTS measures of cycling are known to be volatile year-to-year because of the relatively small number of regular cyclists in the NTS sample. In 2011, 2% of all trips were made by bicycle, and the volatility reflects the difficulty in measuring this relatively uncommon mode of transport. Therefore, while long-term trends are likely to be informative, year-to-year movements in NTS estimates of cycling trips or cycling distance should be interpreted with caution.
Q13. Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to protect local bus services. 
Norman Baker: I am very conscious of the vital role that buses play in supporting local communities. They are the backbone of our public transport system and crucial to a healthy, growing economy. This is recognised by the fact that we were able to protect existing levels of Government support for buses as part of the spending decisions announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer yesterday.
Tractor Driving Licences
Q14. Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the licence system for tractor driving. 
Stephen Hammond: There have been no assessments made of the licence system for tractor driving.
Public Transport: Disabled Access
Q16. Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to improve disabled access to public transport. 
Norman Baker: The Department for Transport published an Accessibility Action Plan in December 2012 which contains a number of commitments to ensure that transport is accessible and safe for everyone to use. This sets out how the Department will build on the accessibility legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
I have also recently announced that the Department intends to retain the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee.
Motorways: Driving Offences
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of accidents that will potentially be prevented as a result of the introduction of new penalty notices for misuse of the middle lane of motorways. 
Stephen Hammond: Careless driving takes a number of different forms including misuse of the middle lane of motorways. Data collected by the police on the contributory factors to road accidents show that in 2011, 272 deaths had ‘careless, reckless or in a hurry’ recorded as a contributory factor. This may be an underestimate as there are other contributory factors (e.g. failing to look properly) that could be included as careless driving.
Motorways: Speed Limits
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the environmental effect of increasing the speed limit on motorways to 80 mph. 
Stephen Hammond: Work on the environmental impact has not been completed and we would consult on the potential impacts before any decision was taken as to whether to proceed with trials.
At a time when Government has been clear about the need to manage a step change in investment for our road network, trials of 80 mph on the network are not a high priority.
Speed Limits: Driving Offences
Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many speed awareness courses were undertaken in each (a) region and (b) constituent part of the UK in each of the last three years; and what the cost of undertaking such a course was in each such area in each such year. 
Stephen Hammond: The Department does not hold this information. This information would be held by individual police forces and the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme.
Driving Under Influence
Mr Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent representations he has received on steps taken in Scotland and Northern Ireland on the drink-drive blood alcohol limit; and if he will reconsider his policy on Sir Peter North’s recommendation to lower the drink-drive limit in England and Wales. [R] 
Stephen Hammond: I liaise with my counterparts from Scotland and Northern Ireland and a wide range of issues is discussed.
The Government has no plans to lower the drink drive limit in England and Wales.
Driving: Young People
Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to publish the green paper on young driver safety; and what the reasons are for the delay in publication of this report. 
Stephen Hammond: We intend to publish the green paper later in the year.
This is an important piece of work and we need to make sure we consider the issues thoroughly before we come forward with the green paper.
Mr Burley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many fatalities there have been as a result of road traffic accidents involving (a) motorcyclists, (b) cyclists and (c) pedestrians in Cannock Chase constituency in the last five years. 
Stephen Hammond: In the last five years in Cannock Chase constituency there have been the following numbers of fatalities in road traffic accidents:
|Number of fatalities in accidents involving|
(1) One fatality in 2011 was as a result of an accident involving both a motor cyclist and a pedestrian, hence the total does not equal 3. Note: Uses constituency boundary as at 2010.
Roads: Repairs and Maintenance
Sarah Newton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what financial help his Department is making available to local authorities to help repair potholes; 
(2) how much additional money was made available by his Department to (a) each local authority in the UK and (b) Cornwall Council for road repairs in (i) 2009-10, (ii) 2010-11, (iii) 2011-12 and (iv) 2012-13. 
Norman Baker: The Department for Transport is providing over £3 billion in capital funding to local highway authorities in England, outside London, for highways maintenance between 2010 and 2015.
The Department has also provided additional highways maintenance funding to local highway authorities in 2009 and in 2011. I have placed a table in the House Library on how much additional money was made available to (a) each local authority in the UK and (b) Cornwall Council for road repairs in 2009 and in 2011. The Government also announced a further £215 million for highways maintenance to be allocated over the next two financial years (2013-14 and 2014-15) in December 2012. Further information, including the share of the funding Cornwall County Council is being allocated can be found at the following weblink:
Local authorities are also able to use revenue funding, allocated by the Department of Communities and Local Government through the Revenue Support Grant for maintaining their local highways. Neither revenue or capital highways maintenance block funding is ring-fenced and it is for local highway authorities to decide upon their spending priorities across the whole range of services that they provide.
The Department for Transport is also supporting the highways maintenance sector including local highway authorities by providing £6 million for the Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme. Further information including the work that the Programme is delivering is available at the following weblink:
Speed Limits: Cameras
Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether guidance given to chief constables by his Department on the use of speed cameras has changed in the last three years. 
Stephen Hammond: The Department does not give guidance to chief constables about the use of speed cameras. It is for local authorities and the police to decide whether or not to use speed cameras and how they wish to operate them.
Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what guidelines his Department gives to local authorities on ensuring that speed cameras are visible to motorists; and whether these guidelines have changed since May 2010. 
Stephen Hammond: It is for local authorities and police to decide whether or not to use speed cameras and how they wish to operate them. No guidance has been issued since May 2010.
Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many speed cameras are currently operational in the UK; and how many speed cameras were operational in each of the last four years. 
Stephen Hammond: The Department for Transport does not hold the requested information. Local authorities have statutory duties related to road safety and the decisions about whether they operate speed cameras is a matter for them.
Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many cyclists have been (a) killed and (b) seriously injured on the UK’s roads for each of the last 3 years; and what steps the Government has taken to improve cycling safety. 
Stephen Hammond: The number of reported pedal cyclists that have been (a) killed and (b) seriously injured in Great Britain in each of last three years are given in the following table.
|Number of reported pedal cycle casualties in Great Britain: 2010-12|
|Number of casualties|
Together with local contributions, earlier this year we announced £40 million of funding for cycle safety schemes in England outside London. The funding will improve the design and layout of roads at 78 locations across the country, with all schemes due for completion within the next 12 months. Also, 94 out of the 96 schemes in the £600 million Local Sustainable Transport Fund include a cycling element.
We have given local authorities flexibility to introduce 20 mph speed limits in residential areas and a process for applications for further rural 40 mph zones. We have also made it easier for authorities to install Trixi mirrors to improve the visibility of cyclists at junctions. Furthermore, our THINK! campaign, ‘THINK CYCLIST’, highlights the importance of drivers and cyclists looking out for each other.
Speed Limits: Cameras
Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department’s latest guidelines for the placement of speed cameras specifies that speed camera housings must be coloured yellow. 
Stephen Hammond: It is for local authorities and police to decide whether or not to use speed cameras and how they wish to operate them.
The Department’s latest guidance on the placement, visibility and signing of speed cameras was contained in DFT Circular 01/2007.
Pedestrian Crossings: Accidents
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many pedestrians were killed or injured while using pedestrian crossings in each of the last three years for which data are available; and how many such deaths and injuries occurred at (a) pelican and (b) puffin crossings. 
Stephen Hammond: The following table gives the total number of pedestrians who were killed or injured on pedestrian crossings in road traffic accidents reported to the police in Great Britain for 2010, 2011 and 2012.
|Human controlled crossing(1)||Zebra crossing(2)||Light controlled pedestrian crossing(3)||Total|
(1) Includes school crossings and police officer or traffic warden controlled crossings (2) Pedestrian crossings that are not controlled by traffic lights (3) Including pelican, puffin, toucan or similar crossing
The accident report form does not distinguish between the different types of light-controlled pedestrian crossings so it is not possible to report how many of the casualties were on specifically (a) pelican or (b) puffin crossings. These are grouped together in the fourth column of the table.
Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make an estimate of the total number of road traffic casualties in 2012, including those not reported to the police. 
Stephen Hammond: The Department’s latest estimate of the total number of road traffic casualties, including those not reported to the police, is that there was a total of 730 thousand casualties in 2011. The information required to update this estimate is not yet fully available. However, the Department plans to update this estimate for the year 2012 in its annual road safety publication, ‘Reported Road Casualties Great Britain’, scheduled for release in September 2013.
Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what funding has been allocated to Bikeability cycle training as a result of decisions announced in spending round 2013, Cm 8639. 
Norman Baker: The Department needs time to determine the implications of the recent Spending Round and will set out more details in due course. However we are working to ensure the best result possible.
Driving Offences: Speed Limits
Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many speeding offences have been committed in (a) Barnsley Central constituency and (b) South Yorkshire in each year since 2010. 
Stephen Hammond: The Department does not hold this information. South Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership, which includes the police, are responsible for the collection of this data.
Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to publish the Green Paper on graduated licensing for young drivers as announced in March 2013. 
Stephen Hammond: We intend to publish the Green Paper later in the year.
Yvonne Fovargue: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many officials in his Department (a) are working on cycling and active travel issues and (b) are projected to be so working in (i) 2014-15 and (ii) 2015-16. 
Norman Baker: Currently, 9.9 full-time equivalent officials are allocated to roles directly related to cycling and active travel. However, many other officials are involved in cycling and active travel in the Department in related policy areas and in specialist disciplines.
No changes in staff levels are currently planned in 2014-15 and 2015-16. However, the Department regularly reviews its resource allocation through corporate planning to align resources with our business plan objectives.
Aircraft: Air Conditioning
Nadine Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if his Department plans to conduct any studies on aircraft cabin air contamination. 
Mr Simon Burns: The Department’s research programme into aircraft cabin air has been concluded and four published reports commissioned by the Department have been sent to the Committee on Toxicity (COT) for their consideration.
Nadine Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the Independent Committee on Toxicity has reached any formal conclusions on the reports submitted by his Department about aircraft cabin air contamination. 
Mr Simon Burns: The Committee on Toxicity (COT) have yet to consider the reports. The Department of Health has consulted with the COT secretariat and determined that COT is intending to review the Aircraft Cabin Air Sampling Studies at the COT meeting on 17 September 2013.
Nadine Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations his Department has received from scientific journals about (a) its report in collaboration with Cranfield University entitled Aircraft Cabin Air Sampling Study: Part 1 of the Final Report, published in March 2011 and (b) other reports by his Department on the subject of aircraft cabin air contamination. 
Mr Simon Burns: The Department has received criticisms from a small number of individuals and organisations. The Committee on Toxicity are in possession of independent peer reviews of all the draft reports commissioned, to inform their considerations.
Motor Vehicles: Noise
Wayne David: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what timescale his Department is working to regarding the implementation of the proposal for a European regulation on the sound level of motor vehicles into UK law; 
(2) what consultation his Department plans to undertake regarding the proposal for a European regulation on the sound level of motor vehicles. 
Norman Baker: Negotiations on the proposed European regulation on vehicle noise are ongoing but there are currently no firm dates for its entry into force or application. Once negotiations are complete and dates agreed the Department will draw up plans to ensure the UK meets its obligations under EU law.
The Department has consulted with interested parties throughout the negotiations and will follow the Government’s principles on consultation before any changes are made to national legislation.
Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many new drivers in (a) Barnsley Central constituency, (b) South Yorkshire and (c) England took the Pass Plus training course in each of the last five years; what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Pass Plus in preventing accidents among new drivers; and what steps his Department is taking to encourage drivers to take Pass Plus after their driving tests. 
Stephen Hammond: The following table shows the total volume of Pass Plus certificates issued by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) in the last five years; we do not hold data on Pass Plus certificates issued specifically in Barnsley central constituency, South Yorkshire or England.
|Number of certificates issued|
|(1 )Year to date|
A report by the Association of British Insurers, published in 2006, showed that drivers who participated in the Pass Plus scheme had a marginally lower accident rate than drivers who did not. We continue to explore with the insurance industry options for improving market confidence so that we can maximise the incentives and take-up of post-test training initiatives. The Department will publish a Green Paper later this year looking at a range of options for ensuring young drivers stay safe on the roads.
Air Traffic Control
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will meet representatives from National Air Traffic Services to discuss the technical fault that occurred at the Swanwick air traffic control centre on 9 July 2013; 
(2) if he will investigate the causes of the technical fault that occurred at the Swanwick air traffic control centre on 9 July 2013; 
(3) what discussions he has had with representatives of the (a) National Air Traffic Services and (b) Civil Aviation Authority on the reliability of the computer system at Swanwick air traffic control centre; 
(4) what recent representations he has received expressing concern about the computer system at Swanwick air traffic control centre. 
Mr Simon Burns: The Government places the highest priority on aviation safety, and I am satisfied that NATS has an excellent safety and performance record achieved through a highly proactive approach to risk management and mitigation in all processes and systems. I am also satisfied that the current legislative and regulatory framework offers robust assurance that those high standards will be maintained. Under this framework, the independent Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) monitors and regulates aviation safety. There is therefore no specific need to meet with NATS at this time.
On 9 July we understand that a small number of workstations at NATS Swanwick air traffic control centre were affected by a rare and complicated software sequencing error. I have been informed that this did not affect air safety as NATS’ operating procedure in such circumstances is to reduce traffic movements so that air traffic controllers are not faced with more flights than they can safely handle. The incident did result in some minor but unavoidable air traffic delays, but in just over two hours the workstations affected were back to full capacity allowing the disruption to passengers and airlines to be kept to a minimum.
NATS is required to provide a safe and efficient airspace that meets the requirements set by its air traffic licence and by the CAA. The CAA is aware of the incident at Swanwick on 9 July and is already in discussions with NATS regarding NATS’ ongoing investigations. In light of NATS’ internal investigation, and any further investigation the CAA might require, the CAA will take any appropriate action it deems necessary. The CAA will also advise me if there was any risk to either aviation safety or to the continuity of UK air traffic services arising from the incident.
I have had no recent discussions with NATS or the CAA, or received any representations, concerning the reliability of the computer systems at Swanwick. I am aware that the safety and efficiency of those systems are constantly monitored and I am confident that any serious problem would be brought to my attention.
Mr McKenzie: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what steps he is taking to protect blind and partially sighted pedestrians from quiet and hybrid vehicles; 
(2) if he will bring forward legislative proposals to ensure a minimum noise level for all vehicles; 
(3) if he will take steps so that it is mandatory for car manufacturers to install an alert system in all hybrid and electric vehicles; 
Norman Baker: Negotiations are ongoing at EU level on a new regulation for road vehicle noise, and this includes proposals for noise generators to be fitted to all new electric and hybrid-electric vehicles. Once the negotiations are concluded I will consider how to implement the requirements in the UK.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information his Department holds on how many pelican crossings and puffin crossings there are on roads in England and Wales. 
Norman Baker: This information is not held centrally. Installation of traffic lights, including pelican and puffin crossings, is the responsibility of local traffic authorities.
Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to ensure that the Government and local authorities work together to ensure the Cycle to Work scheme helps to implement sustainable transport objectives. 
Norman Baker: The Department for Transport actively encourages sustainable travel including cycling to work, and works closely with Local Authorities and other stakeholders to ensure that the Government’s sustainable transport objectives are met. We have made funding available to Local Authorities through the £600m Local Sustainable Transport Fund, which with local contributions has released over £1bn to deliver a range of sustainable travel projects, and 94 of the 96 projects include cycling elements, including cycling to work.
The Department also works in partnership with Business in the Community—whose members include Local Authorities, Transport for London, British Cycling and the Cycle to Work Alliance to increase cycling for work and commuting purposes, and to ensure that this supports the Department’s wider aims to cut carbon and create growth.
Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to promote the Cycle to Work scheme. 
Norman Baker: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I provided her on 21 May 2013, Official Report, column 702W.
Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) whether his Department’s transport strategy due by December 2013 will set out how cycling will be increased to 10 per cent of travel in accordance with the ambition set by the Get Britain Cycling report; 
(2) when the new cycling delivery plan will be published; 
(3) if he will introduce a separate indicator for increased levels of cycling; 
(4) for what reasons no target for increasing cycling in rural areas has been set within his Department’s transport indicators. 
Norman Baker: This Government is committed to getting more people to cycle, more safely, more often. Our commitment to cycling was expressly included in the Coalition Agreement.
In the last 12 months we have allocated £107m of new money to support safety and community links that encourage more cycling. This is over and above the £600m Local Sustainable Transport Fund where 94 out of the 96 projects contain a cycling element. We have also introduced measures to make cycling safer, including flexibility for Local Authorities to introduce 20mph speed limits in residential areas and a process for applications for further rural 40mph zones. Furthermore, we have made it easier to install Trixi mirrors to improve the visibility of cyclists at junctions.
We are supporting the increase of cycling in both rural and urban areas. In February 2013, applications were invited from National Parks and cities for the £42m Cycling Ambition Grants. Successful bids will receive a cycling budget equivalent to £10 per head, which is the level of support the Get Britain Cycling report recommends. An announcement of successful bids will be happening over the summer.
We welcome the Get Britain Cycling inquiry and report and will be responding to the recommendations in full shortly.
Driving Under Influence: Drugs
Mrs Riordan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effect of the new drug driving offence on the role of health professionals; and if he will make a statement. 
Stephen Hammond: Health care professionals will need to understand the potential effect the new drug driving offence will have when prescribing and supplying medicines that have been proposed for inclusion in the new drug driving offence.
The Government has sought to limit any potential impact on health care professionals and patients as much as possible by proposing limits at a road safety risk level for those controlled drugs most associated with medical uses. In most cases this will be higher than normal therapeutic levels.
However, for the much less common occasions when high doses of medicines are prescribed, which exceed the proposed specified limits, it will be important for health care professionals to communicate to their patients that if their driving is not impaired by the medicine they should recommend the patient carries evidence when driving that they are using medication. They will then be able to use this evidence for the statutory medical defence if stopped by the police.
Officials have already been considering how the necessary information will be provided to health care professionals in time for the commencement of the new offence expected in summer 2014.
Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if his Department will implement improvements to the medical information given to patients taking prescribed drugs that increase driving risk. 
Stephen Hammond: Officials have already been in discussions with the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), an agency of the Department of Health. The MHRA has a communication role through the provision of accurate, timely and authoritative information to health care professionals, patients and the public. Departmental officials are continuing to liaise with the MHRA to ensure that the necessary information is provided in time for the commencement of the new offence expected in summer 2014.
Steve Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what the effect on motorcycle testing and training will be of the merger of the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency and the Driving Standards Agency; 
(2) if he will review the governance of motorcycle testing and training following the merger of the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency and the Driving Standards Agency; and if he will make a statement. 
Stephen Hammond: There are no immediate plans to change the provision of the existing service as a result of the move to a single agency. There will be a review of how best to deliver services as a single agency which will be undertaken by the transition programme.
Steve Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of whether the implementation in the UK of the EU requiring certain higher speed exercises in the motorcycle test to be conducted on a limited range of off-road testing areas has caused practical difficulties; and if he will make a statement. 
Stephen Hammond: After introducing the new, two-part, motorcycle test the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has implemented a range of improvements to service provision in order to address the concerns of industry groups and maximise the new test’s road safety benefits. DSA has opened three additional sites for module one tests and is introducing module two tests at an additional eight driving test centres. More motorcycle examiners have been made available following a successful recruitment campaign and improvements to the booking system has resulted in more test bookings being made available at times and dates that provide better access for motorcycle trainers and candidates.
The recent motorcycle test review considered alternative ways of providing a single event practical motorcycle test that could be carried out on the road in a way that would maintain riding standards, protect safety, increase the accessibility of the test and meet the requirements of the European legislation.
Research concluded that an on-road test:
would result in a substantial increase in the number of incidents during tests;
increased the duration of the test, which would result in higher costs for both candidates and the DSA; and
resulted in significantly more faults than the off-road test.
I have decided that a single event on-road motorcycle test would not be in the interests of motorcycle test candidates or their trainers and examiners.
Steve Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to repatriate motorcycle rider licensing powers from the European Union. 
Stephen Hammond: There are no plans to repatriate motorcycle rider licensing powers from the European Union. In line with all other member states the United Kingdom’s driver licensing forms part of the European Community’s driver licensing system. These harmonised standards provide for the mutual recognition of driving licences between member states of the European Union and the European economic area.
Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment has been made of the availability of lollipop people to assist children to cross roads, by local authority area; and what change there has been in the numbers of lollipop people since 2010. 
Stephen Hammond: The Department for Transport does not publish criteria for determining when school crossing patrols should be implemented by local authorities. This is a matter for local authorities to determine.
Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of local authorities have reduced their expenditure on road safety since 2010. 
Stephen Hammond: The following link can be used to download expenditure by individual local authority on road safety since 2010:
Driving Under Influence: Drugs
Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he plans to respond to recommendations made by the expert panel on drug driving. 
Stephen Hammond: On 9 July the Department for Transport published a consultation on the Government’s proposals to specify the drugs and their limits to be included in the new drug driving offence. This consultation considers the Expert Panel’s recommendations and sets out the Government’s response.
The Government has accepted all of the controlled drugs recommended by the Panel and the limits for eight of the drugs. The Government has also set out the reasons for taking a tougher approach to illegal drugs than the Expert Panel recommended. I therefore take the view that the consultation is also a considered response to the Expert Panel’s recommendations.
Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what funding he will provide to public awareness campaigns on drug-driving to coincide with drug driving legislation coming into force in summer 2014. 
Stephen Hammond: Funding will be made available from the THINK! campaign to raise public awareness of drug driving during 2014-15. The precise amount will be determined as the campaign is developed.
Mr Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to increase the age when driving licence holders have to reapply for a licence. 
Stephen Hammond: There are no plans to increase the age when driving licence holders have to reapply for a licence.