Parliamentary Questions: 17th-23rd January

Parliamentary Questions: 17th-23rd January

17th January

Driving: Testing

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost to the public purse was of legal advice on the legal challenge by Pearson Driving Assessments to the award of the theory test contract.

Stephen Hammond: As set out in the answer from the Under-Secretary of State for Transport, my hon. Friend the Member for Scarborough and Whitby (Mr Goodwill), of 9 December 2013, Official Report, column 81W, the decision to award a framework agreement for the supply of computer based testing for government was subject to a formal challenge by Pearson Driving Assessments; the total cost of legal advice was £880,561.72, including VAT, as at 16 January 2014.

 

Driving: Licensing

 

Mr David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the prevalence of copycat websites for the application for and renewal of driving licences; and what steps he is taking to inform the public about such websites.

Stephen Hammond: The Department is aware of several websites not connected to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) or the official government website that are offering services to customers who are applying for driving licences.

The DVLA has published advice on GOV.UK to remind motorists that GOV.UK is the first stop for motoring services and that other websites may charge additional fees. The DVLA also directs motorists to GOV.UK in all its leaflets, forms and in news stories and its social media channels.

The Office of Fair Trading has ruled that websites which charge additional fees are not acting illegally. The Government, led by Cabinet Office Government Digital Service, will continue to investigate reports of organisations which may be actively misleading users about their services or acting illegally, taking swift action when necessary.

 

Roads: Safety

 

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will review his Department’s guidance to local authorities on shared space.

Mr Goodwill: The Department for Transport’s guidance on the design and provision of shared space schemes, Local Transport Note 1/11: ‘Shared Space’, was published in October 2011, and there are no current plans for it to be revised.

 

More information is available here.

 

20th January

Driving: Licensing

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he plans to introduce legislative proposals to implement EU Directive 2012/36/EU.

Stephen Hammond: We shall be introducing legislative proposals to implement EU Directive 2012/36/EU before spring 2014.

 

Driving: Young People

 

Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to reduce the cost of car insurance for young drivers.

Mr Goodwill: The setting of premiums is a commercial decision for individual insurers based on their underwriting experience. The Government is concerned about the increase in insurance costs.

The Government is considering how to improve the way people learn to drive and are tested; to improve the road safety education of young people; and to provide opportunities for additional training for newly-qualified drivers.

Young drivers continue to be some of the most ‘at risk’ road users and are seeing some of the highest premiums. However, we have noted that in recent months all insurance premiums, including those for young drivers, appear to be falling. We are looking at ways to improve safety and thus drive down the costs of their insurance.

 

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 18 December 2013, Official Report, column 629W, on driving: young people, what his timetable is for consideration of the issue of young driver safety.

Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when his Department plans to publish the Green Paper on young driver safety.

Mr Goodwill: At present, there is no timetable for issuing the Green Paper on the safety of young drivers. It is vital that the Government strikes the right balance so that young drivers remain safe on our roads but at the same time their freedom is not restricted. We feel that it is important that all views are considered and the right decision is made. We will issue a paper when we have considered this further.

 

Motor Vehicles: Registration

 

Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many prosecutions have been undertaken by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency against owners of foreign-registered vehicles that have remained in the UK beyond registration deadline in the last year.

 

Stephen Hammond: The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has not taken forward any prosecutions against owners of foreign registered vehicles that have remained in the UK beyond the six month exemption period in the last year.

 

Motorways

 

John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to implement recommendation 10 of the preliminary report of the Review of Investigation and Closure Procedures for Motorway Incidents, published in May 2011.

Mr Goodwill: In April 2013, a Performance Specification for the Highways Agency was introduced in which specific outputs for Incident Management are set out. This includes the expectation to reduce the overall mean duration of incidents on motorways compared to 2012-13. The Highways Agency produces detailed performance data by geographic region and by route to assess the performance of its incident management operations. This is then monitored regularly by officials in the Department for Transport.

 

John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of three dimensional laser scanning technology in reducing motorway closure times; and if he will provide further roll-out to police forces subsequent to the funding awards made in December 2011.

Mr Goodwill: Monitoring of laser scanner use by police forces show a time savings of over 40 minutes. Police forces have been challenged recently by Ministers to use scanners more and we will consider further funding awards in due course.

 

 

More information is available here

 

21st January

Aviation: Emergencies

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what occasions since May 2010 disaster planning arrangements have been initiated as a result of an aeroplane having difficulty landing at UK airports.

Mr Goodwill: The Department for Transport maintains an Aviation Emergency Plan which sets out how it will respond to a perceived or actual aviation-related emergency. When it is aware that such an incident has taken or is likely to take place, the Department deploys this plan to provide detailed factual information for Transport Ministers and the wider Government emergency response network managed by the Cabinet Office. However, the Department has no record of this plan being deployed in relation to any incidents involving aircraft experiencing landing difficulties since May 2010.

 

More information is available here.

 

Driving Tests

 

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether Learn Direct will receive compensation following the legal challenge by Pearson Driving Assessments to the awarding of the theory test contract.

Stephen Hammond: The Pearson contract and the new contract with learndirect were the subject of confidential commercial arrangements set out in the answer of the Under-Secretary of State for Transport, my hon. Friend the Member for Scarborough and Whitby (Mr Goodwill), of 26 November 2013, Official Report, column 190W, and respecting that confidentiality we cannot comment on whether or not learndirect will receive compensation.

 

22nd January

Cycling

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the most recent meeting of his Department’s Cycle Safety Stakeholder Forum was held; and when the next such meeting is scheduled.

Mr Goodwill: The most recent meeting of the safety sub-group of the Cycling Stakeholder Forum was on 16 July 2013. On 30 September 2013 a meeting of the full Cycling Stakeholder Forum was held where the Minister received an update on cycle safety from the sub-group. We are currently working on a forward plan for future meetings.

 

Tyres

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research he has recently commissioned on the safety and legality of the sale of part-worn tyres; and if he will make a statement.

Stephen Hammond: The Department for Transport has not recently commissioned analysis or research in relation to part-worn tyres. The sale of part-worn tyres are regulated by the Motor Vehicle Tyre (Safety) Regulations 1994 (SI No. 3117) and enforced by local authority trading standards officers. There are currently no plans to review these provisions although the Department for Transport will be consulting during 2014 on revisions to the tyre safety regulations in response to the red tape challenge.

 

23rd January

EU Law

Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many EU directives his Department has transposed into UK law since 2010; and how many directly acting EU regulations have come into effect in his Department’s area of responsibility in the same period.

Stephen Hammond: The Department for Transport has transposed 50 EU directives into UK law since 2010. This number only includes fully transposed directives. The Department for Transport has been tracking all EU regulations since 8 July 2010. Since that date, 145 EU regulations in the Department for Transport’s area of responsibility have come into effect. Details of all EU legislation, including full details of all EU regulations that have come into force before 8 July 2010, can be found on the Commission’s website at:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/RECH_legislation.do

Motor Vehicle: Registration

Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to record details of foreign registered vehicles as they (a) enter and (b) exit the UK.

Stephen Hammond: Details of foreign registered vehicles entering and leaving the UK are gathered by the UK Border Force. The Department for Transport has no plans to change this.

However, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency is currently working with the UK Border Force and the police to understand how the data gathered at UK ports can be used to identify vehicle keepers who do not comply with the registration and licensing rules.

 

Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many previously foreign registered vehicles were re-registered with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in each of the last five years.

Stephen Hammond: Between 2009 and 2012 the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has re-registered 243,722 previously foreign registered vehicles.

 

For more information click here.

 

Travel: Sustainable Development

 

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to support local economic partnerships in the application process for the local sustainable transport and walking schemes 2015-16.

Mr Goodwill: On 23 December we launched guidance for transport authorities to bid for £78.5 million revenue set aside for the Local Sustainable Transport Fund 2015-16. We have encouraged transport authorities to work with their Local Enterprise Partnerships to ensure ongoing support for sustainable transport schemes.

£100 million capital is available within the Local Growth Fund for local sustainable transport projects. We are supporting Local Enterprise Partnerships with the development of their Strategic Economic Plans by providing feedback on the sustainable travel elements of their plans.

For more information click here.

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