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20 Jul 2005 : Column 1800W—continued

Moving Vehicles (Music Volume)

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will introduce legislation to control the playing of loud music from a moving vehicle; and if he will make a statement. [13618]

Dr. Ladyman: Legislation already exists to deal with this problem. Under regulation 97 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, it is an offence to use a motor vehicle on the road in such a manner as to cause any excessive noise which could have been avoided by the exercise of reasonable care on the part of the driver. Enforcement of these powers is a matter for the police.

Passenger Transport (Fuel Consumption)

Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average fuel consumption in miles per gallon per passenger was for (a) commercial buses, (b) trains and (c) UK airlines for typical load factors and for typical journey distances for the most recent year for which information on each mode is available. [12964]

Ms Buck: It is only possible to give broad estimates of fuel consumption per passenger mile since the estimates depend on assumed passenger loading factors and average fuel consumption of each mode of transport.
Transport modeLoad factor (passengers per vehicle)Fuel consumption (miles per gallon per passenger)
Buses (national)998
Passenger rail (diesel)90182
Air long haul(39)30066
Air short haul(39)10040


(39) Approximately.


Fuel consumption estimates for buses are based on National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI) estimates combined with road passenger kilometres taken from the 2002 Transport Statistics for Great Britain. Rail factors are also based on NAEI factors for diesel trains and the Department for Transport's statistics on rail passenger kilometres. Air factors are taken from DETR's Company GHG Reporting
 
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Manual 1999. Long haul journeys refer to average journeys of 6,500 km and short haul refers to journeys of around 500 km.

All data has been converted into miles per gallon using information on the carbon content and density of the different fuel types.

Public Transport

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many extra (a) bus routes, (b) train services, (c) community bus services and (d) other forms of public transport provision have been provided in (i) St. Albans and (ii) Hertfordshire since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [13402]

Ms Buck: We do not have information on the number of new bus routes in Hertfordshire provided by bus operators on a commercial basis or by the local authority using Revenue Support Grant or other funding.

Hertfordshire has however been able to use the Department's Rural Bus Subsidy Grant, first introduced in 1998, to provide rural bus services. The county's allocation for 2005–06 is £709,000, which is currently supporting 14 bus services, three of which serve the St. Albans district council area.

In addition between 1998 and 2003 the Department's Rural Bus Challenge scheme awarded funding for nine projects in Hertfordshire, totalling over £1.6 million. Three of these were for community transport schemes and one provided services in the St. Albans area. Neither of the above bus grants scheme were available in 1997.

Hertfordshire has also benefited from the continuing implementation of the West Coast Project with improved intercity journey times from Watford Junction, new rolling stock on West Coast trains and Silverlink, and longer platforms capable of taking 12 car trains.

The Thameslink service from St. Albans to central London, the Monday-Friday morning peak service has since 1997 been enhanced from nine to 11 trains per hour, and the Sunday service from four to six trains per hour.

Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether any feasibility study has been done (a) by his Department and (b) bodies working in conjunction with the Department on the practicality of installing devices capable of detecting the presence of explosives at underground or railway stations. [12495]

Ms Buck: The Department keeps developments on current and possible future protective security regimes including screening technologies under constant review. It is not our policy to comment on such detail.

Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions his Department has had with the Israeli government concerning security on public transport systems. [12497]

Ms Buck: The Department has discussed a wide range of transport security issues with Israel and other governments over the years. It is not our policy to comment on such detail.
 
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Railways

Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to award freight grants to encourage hauliers to place more freight on rail. [12743]

Derek Twigg: The Department for Transport currently operates three schemes to encourage modal shift from road to rail. These are as follows:

Track Access Grant:

Company Neutral Revenue Support:

The Department has made available funding of approximately £25 million per annum for 2005–06 and 2006–07 to support both of the above schemes. Both of the schemes remain open for new applications.

The third scheme is the Freight Facilities Grant, which is available for the construction of rail facilities to enable the movement of primary aggregates by rail instead of road. This scheme is currently funded through DEFRA's Aggregate's Levy Sustainability Fund and we expect up to £2 million to be available for rail over the next two years.

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to increase investment to the Coventry and Nuneaton Rail Line. [13207]

Derek Twigg: I understand that three separate studies are currently considering transport provision along this corridor. These are: the Light Rapid Transit study being led by Centra; the Coventry, Solihull, Warwickshire Transport and Regeneration Study; and a Heavy Rail study commissioned by Warwickshire county council. Each of these pieces of work is nearing completion. It would be premature for me to form a view on the necessary investment or otherwise in advance any consideration of these studies.

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many miles of railway in England will be closed in the next (a) three and (b) five years; and if he will make a statement. [8688]

Derek Twigg: It is not possible to provide the figures in the format requested, as there are currently no new proposals to close any railway lines.

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received from the Association of Train Operating Companies on congestion charging for rail travel. [9279]

Derek Twigg: No representations on congestion charging for rail travel have been received from the Association of Train Operating Companies.

Regulation

Mr. Geoffrey Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average time taken by his Department to draft regulations following primary legislation was in 2004–05. [13772]

Ms Buck: The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
 
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Renewables Transport Fuel Obligation

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to apply the Renewables Transport Fuel Obligation; and if he will make a statement. [13162]

Dr. Ladyman: The Government are currently considering whether an obligation might be an appropriate mechanism to support the introduction of renewable road transport fuels, but no decision has yet been taken.


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