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Driver Competence

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the development of a national framework of assessment of continuing medical competence to drive of those who have experienced trauma, illness or infirmity. [67111]

Mr. Jamieson: In common with all drivers who may have a medical condition affecting their safety to drive, those who have experienced trauma, illness or infirmity are assessed against the standards of medical fitness contained in Directive 91/439/EEC, and against the requirements of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and its associated Regulations. A practical assessment of a driver's competence following head injury or other conditions, such as a stroke, is available at 15 mobility centres around the UK. This facility is used at the request of the medical advisers at DVLA, doctors and the drivers themselves. The Department is in the process of commissioning a research programme to assess the most appropriate means of evaluating drivers with residual deficit following trauma, illness or infirmity.

Tankers

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) United Kingdom registered bulk tankers and (b) tankers registered elsewhere have been lost in each of the past five years. [68327]

Mr. Jamieson: Lloyd's Register—Fairplay Ltd. World Casualty Statistics indicate the following number of losses in the world fleet for Tankers and Bulk Carriers. There have been no UK registered losses for these types of vessels in the past five years.

TankersBulk carriers
19972416
19981529
19991519
20001421
2001129

Highway Construction Workers

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many statutory notifications there have been of injuries among highway construction workers in each of the last 10 years. [68224]

Mr. Jamieson: The following is the available information.

Injuries to workers occurring in the processes of road repairs and surfacing, and in street cleaning and verge maintenance, 1996–97 to 2000–01

Fatal injuries Major injuries Over three day injuries
Road repairs/ surfacing/ maintenanceRoad verge maintenanceRoad repairs/ surfacing/ maintenanceRoad verge maintenanceRoad repairs/ surfacing/ maintenanceRoad verge maintenance
1996–9751071661479
1997–984951855795
1998–9939117526109
1999–20002751144480
2000–0191591337768

Notes:

1. Figures relate to employees and the self-employed.

2. Injuries reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995.

3. The table sets out data from 1996–97 onwards. Access to earlier data is available only at disproportionate cost

4. Statistics relate to the planning year from 1 April to 31 March.


9 Jul 2002 : Column 805W

Vehicle Emissions

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his timetable is for the introduction of car emission labelling on new cars; and if he will make a statement. [67655]

Mr. Jamieson: Labelling for new cars showing fuel consumption information has been a legal requirement in the UK since 1983. Since 1999 the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has had a voluntary system of labelling based on the requirements of the EU directive for labels to show CO 2 emissions as well as fuel consumption information. The EU directive was formally implemented in the UK in November 2001. The Government have recently consulted on proposals to pilot a possible new form of label to ensure that it is as meaningful and informative as possible. Responses to the consultation are now being considered.

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the contribution the vehicle labelling scheme on car emissions can make to the United Kingdom Kyoto targets. [67658]

Mr. Jamieson: The EU vehicle labelling scheme is part of the Community's wider strategy to reduce CO 2 emissions from new passenger cars. It is designed to support and complement other strands of this strategy including voluntary agreements with car manufacturers to reduce average CO 2 emissions, and fiscal measures. Provision of information on fuel consumption and CO 2 emissions under the labelling scheme is a tool with which to influence consumer demand towards more fuel- efficient vehicles. It could also provide an added incentive to manufacturers to produce vehicles with lower fuel consumption. As an integral part of the strategy to reduce CO 2 emissions it is difficult to isolate the contribution made by the labelling scheme from wider changes going on in the new car market. Nevertheless, fuel consumption and CO 2 emissions labelling is expected to have a smaller impact than for example voluntary agreements with manufacturers.

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the contributions made by other EU countries on the subject of the emission ratings on new cars in order to meet Kyoto targets. [67656]

Mr. Jamieson: The EU is keeping its requirements on labelling under review in the light of member state's experience with their different labelling systems

9 Jul 2002 : Column 806W

introduced under the EU labelling directive. The directive requires member states to provide a report by the end of 2003, discussing the lessons learned from implementing the labelling scheme. That report may better enable an assessment to be made of the contributions made by other EU countries on emissions ratings for new cars and the contribution to meeting CO 2 emissions reduction targets.

Motoring Statistics

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average expenditure on motoring per car per week was in the last 12 months for people living in (a) Wiltshire, (b) Dorset, (c) Hampshire and (d) Somerset. [67834]

Mr. Jamieson: Information on motoring expenditure is not available at county level.

Car Use

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to reduce air pollution caused by car use in London. [67578]

Mr. Jamieson: Central and local government both have a role to play in reducing air pollution caused by car use in London.

The Government has introduced a range of measures to encourage environmentally friendly transport. These include lower fuel duties for cleaner fuels and grants under the PowerShift and CleanUp programmes to help car owners, hauliers and transport operators to buy or convert vehicles to run on cleaner fuels such as LPG natural gas and electricity.

The Mayor of London has produced a Transport Strategy for London and is due to produce an Air Quality very shortly which will contain policies to reduce air pollution from vehicles.

London boroughs have a key role to play through the Local Air Quality Management regime. Most boroughs have drawn up, or are in the process of drawing up, air quality action plans under section 84 of the Environment Act 1995, setting out what they are doing to improve air quality in their areas. These action plans are likely to include measures targeted at reducing emissions from road transport.

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Road Traffic Forecasts

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the next national road traffic forecasts are due to be published; and if he will make a statement. [66675]

Mr. Jamieson: No decision has been made on when new national road traffic forecasts will be published.

New Cars

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what prediction he has made of the numbers of new cars on the road in the United Kingdom in (a) 2002–03, (b) 2003–04, (c) 2004–05 and (d) 2005–06. [67657]

Mr. Jamieson: The Department does not forecast either the total stock of cars or the number of new cars purchased each year. Instead, forecasting work projects forward Census figures for car ownership by households. Current published figures show an increase from a projected 25.6 million cars in households in Great Britain in 2001 to 27.7 million in 2006, an increase of approximately 420,000 cars each year, equal to a growth rate of around 1.6 per cent. per annum. This increase is driven by population growth, income growth, and a trend towards higher rates of licence-holding, particularly among females. The figures will be reviewed when 2001 Census data becomes available.

Vehicle Excise Duty

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost in 2002–03 is of administering vehicle excise duty; how many officials are involved; where they are located; and what the annual salary bill has been in each of the last three years. [66701]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 8 July 2002]: The costs and staff involved in the collection and enforcement of vehicle excise duty (VED) in Great Britain are shown in the table.

1999–20002000–012001–02
Cost of administering VED (£ million)100.2103.3110.5
Number of officials (estimated)2,1002,2002,300
Salary costs (£ million)34.636.439.3

The number of officials shown (full-time equivalents) is an estimate, based on the apportionment of the total Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) staff. The collection of VED is integrated with the registration of vehicles and the ongoing maintenance of the vehicle register. Staff involved are not dedicated wholly to registration or licensing activities. The number of officials figures do not include non-DVLA staff working at post offices involved in VED collection and vehicle registration.

The DVLA staff are located at the headquarters in Swansea and at 40 local offices spread throughout Great Britain.


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