Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent assessment he has made of the appropriateness of charges made by the Civil Aviation Authority to re-license planes which have had silencers fitted; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Clark: The approval of silencers for civil aircraft is in most cases the responsibility of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). For aircraft not covered by EASA, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) would only become involved where they have not previously approved the modification to the aircraft type. In those cases the CAA will need to investigate the proposed modification as part of the approval process. The applicant will be charged for modification investigation in accordance with the CAAs published Airworthiness Scheme of Charges. The CAA charging schemes are reviewed annually in consultation with the Secretary of State for Transport.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate he has made of the cost to the economy of time spent by vehicles waiting to cross the Dartford Crossing; and if he will make a statement. 
Chris Mole: A study commissioned by the Department for Transport in 2008 aggregated the delays for 2007 and converted them into a monetary sum using published values of time. This calculated the cost of delay at the Dartford Crossing at around £40 million per annum. The initial results of the study can be found at:
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent estimate he has made of the average time taken by a vehicle to cross the Dartford Crossing; and if he will make a statement. 
Chris Mole: Between M25 junction 2 and M25 junction 30, which includes the Dartford Crossing the average journey northbound is 10 minutes 11 seconds and 11 minutes 40 seconds southbound. The data used is from August 1 to August 24 2009.
Chris Mole: In the six months from 1 April to 30 September 2009, the Department for Transport has received 69 items of ministerial correspondence specifically categorised as being about congestion and delays at the Dartford Crossing.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what his most recent estimate is of the number of unsafe heavy goods vehicles on UK roads which are registered overseas; and what steps his Department is taking to reduce this number. 
Paul Clark [holding answer 16 October 2009]: Foreign-registered vehicles represent around 3.5 per cent. of all heavy goods vehicle (HGV) traffic on Britains roads. In 2008-09, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) checked 61,000 foreign-registered HGVs and found roadworthiness related concerns with 40 per cent. of them. This compares with 64,800 spot checks on UK registered HGVs where 32.6 per cent. were found to have roadworthiness related concerns.
The Government have introduced a number of measures to tackle non-compliance with the regulations. We have made an additional £24 million available to VOSA over a three-year period from 2008 to enable them to carry out more enforcement checks on HGVs on international journeys.
We have also introduced a new scheme to allow the police and VOSA to take on the spot financial deposits from offending drivers with no satisfactory address in the United Kingdom. In the first three months of operation, almost £700,000 has been collected from such drivers.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what progress has been made in reinstating the Todmorden Curve; and what estimate he has made of the cost of that work. 
Chris Mole: Burnley borough council has commissioned Network Rail to carry out a study for the chord (and any other infrastructure changes required) which is due for completion by the end of the year. The study will confirm the expected capital cost, which is currently estimated at £5 million.
Dr. Iddon: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport (1) when his Department plans to publish its response to the consultation on proposed amendments to the vehicle lighting and construction regulations, which closed on 9 October 2008; 
(2) what estimate he has made of the cost of making retro-reflective markings mandatory on all newly-registered heavy goods vehicles over 7.5 tonnes; and what methodology was used to make that estimate; 
(4) what estimate he has made of the economic effects on manufacturers and fitters of retro-reflective markings of his Departments decision to postpone making such markings mandatory for all newly-registered heavy goods vehicles. 
Paul Clark: A summary of the responses to the consultation will be published at the same time as the statutory instrument amending the lighting regulations so as to provide (among other things) for the new retro-reflective marking requirements. This is expected to be before the end of the year.
The cost to fit tape to a new vehicle was estimated at between £186 and £388 per vehicle depending on whether simple line marking or full contour marking is used. A seven year life span was assumed, after which the markings would need to be replaced. The total number of new vehicles to be fitted with markings was estimated at 35,821 per year. Using these figures the average cost to fit markings on new vehicles was estimated at approximately £8.8 million per year. Taking into account the additional replacement costs after seven years the estimated annual cost over twelve years was between £16 and £17 million per year depending on the implementation strategy.
Both the Road Haulage Association and Freight Transport Association (FTA) responded to the original consultation. There has also been regular contact between Department of Transport officials and the FTA to discuss how the regulations would be implemented and to answer technical queries.
No detailed analysis of the effect on tape manufacturers and fitters of postponing conspicuity marking tape requirements has been carried out. They will, as now, be free to market their products in the period leading up to the mandatory requirement for marking tape in 2011.
Anne Main: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the Strategic Rail Authoritys Strategic Rail Freight Interchange Policy; and if he will make a statement. 
Chris Mole: Pending the publication of the National Networks National Policy Statement draft for consultation, the Strategic Rail Authoritys Strategic Rail Freight Interchange Policy remains Department for Transport policy guidance.
Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many incidences of (a) marine, (b) oil and (c) other pollution have been recorded in UK waters in each year since 1990 from shipping registered in (i) the UK, (ii) the EU and (iii) other countries; what steps were taken to clean up in each case; what costs were incurred and what fines were levied in each case; by whom these were paid; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Clark: Details of incidences of marine pollution being released from ships in the UK pollution control zone are given in annual reports produced by the Advisory Committee on Protection of the Sea. Reports for the years 2001 through to 2007 are available on the Maritime and Coastguard Agencys website at:
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the implications for the NATO mission in Afghanistan of the government of Canadas decision to withdraw combat forces in 2011; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: The Iraq inquiry will make announcements in due course about the hearings it will conduct and which witnesses will appear. In the event serving Ministers or Government officials are called, the Government reiterate their commitment to co-operate fully with the inquiry.
The Prime Minister: Since 1999 the Government have published an annual list of all visits overseas undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing £500 or more during each financial year. Copies of these lists are available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Hurd: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission whether the Commission has made representations to Nominet on the registration of the Red Rag website domain name using a House of Commons address. 
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many claims were made by hon. Members under the European travel scheme in each of the last five years. 
|Financial year||Number of claims|
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what percentage of procurement contracts his Department awarded to small businesses in (a) 2006-07, (b) 2007-08, (c) 2008-09 and (d) 2009-10; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much his Department spent on first class rail travel for civil servants in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Ann McKechin: The Scotland Office does not separately record expenditure on first class rail travel. All rail travel is undertaken by the most efficient and cost-effective way, in accordance with the Civil Service Management Code, a copy of which is available in the Libraries of the House.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) mobile telephones, (b) Blackberrys and (c) laptop computers were issued to staff of his Department in each of the last five years; and how many of these were issued to (i) new staff and (ii) existing staff following the (A) loss or (B) theft of a previous device. 
|2005-06||2006-07||2007-08||2008-09||2009- 10 to date|
1. Figures for mobile handsets and BlackBerry devices issued are taken from purchase records and will not include devices issued that have been reused.
2. Figures for lost/stolen Blackberry handsets also include PDAs.
3. DEFRA reporting standards do not record losses and thefts separately nor is information available on whether losses were definitely replaced.
4. Figures for lost and stolen devices reported between 2005-06 and 2007-08 represent core-DEFRA, Animal Health, Natural England and Veterinary Laboratories Agency. From 2008-09 onwards the figure above represents core-DEFRA only.
5. Computers/laptops are paid for via a managed service which is charged for on a usage basis. DEFRA monitors the total volume of kit on the estate (which consists of a user base made up of the core-Department and several agencies/NDPBs) on a monthly basis to calculate charges, rather than how many devices are issued or replaced over time.
6. DEFRA has invested in encryption technology in the laptop and BlackBerry services for all new issues. Over 95 per cent. of the current devices are encrypted.
7. The total PC/laptop kit has reduced overall within DEFRA. The increase in laptop volumes above is due to single device policy that has removed a significant number of desktop PCs in exchange for one corporate laptop per user in order to drive out environmental and mobile working benefits.
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