7 Apr 2010 : Column 1361W

Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 7 April 2010

Transport

Croydon

Mr. Pelling: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will set out with statistical evidence relating as closely as possible to the Croydon Central constituency, the effects of his Department's policies on that constituency since 2005. [325822]

Mr. Khan: The Department for Transport does not routinely hold transport statistics on a parliamentary constituency basis. However, the Department provides Transport for London (TfL) with a block grant to fund transport delivery in London. This grant has more than doubled in the last nine years, rising to some £3.3 billion in 2010-11. Drawing on these and other resources, the Mayor is responsible for publishing and, through TfL, implementing a Transport Strategy for London, while the boroughs are required to publish local implementation plans which set out how they will contribute to the Mayor's strategy.

Bus services in London have improved. 2,247 million passenger journeys were made in 2008-09 and patronage grew by grew by 40 per cent. between 2000-09.

Concessionary travel continues to benefit elderly and disabled Londoners, and more than a million older people currently hold a Freedom Pass.

South London rail routes serving Croydon have also improved. Southern have delivered a new fleet of trains, some of which operate on South London services, and the remaining rolling stock has been refurbished.

TfL took over operational control of Croydon Tramlink in June 2008. Approximately 27.2 million passenger journeys were made on Croydon Tramlink in 2008-09.

On the roads, national targets to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured by 40 per cent. and reduce the number of "slight" casualties by 10 per cent. (compared to the period 1994-98) by 2010 were largely exceeded by TfL by 2004, leading to TfL setting themselves new targets of 50 per cent and 25 per cent. respectively.

Various improvements in relation to cycling have also been realised across London. TfL report that cycling now accounts for 2 per cent. of trips in London compared to 1.2 per cent in 2000, and London is the only major city in the world to have achieved a modal shift away from the car. From 2000-2009 the mode share of private motorised transport has fallen by around 6 per cent, levels of cycling have almost doubled and public transport use has risen dramatically. On an average weekday over one million people enter Central London on public transport during the morning peak.

Driving: Disqualification

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what progress has been made on the adoption of the 1998 European Convention on Driving
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Disqualifications; and what steps he has taken to promote mutual recognition of driving disqualifications in EU member states. [325677]

Paul Clark: On 28 January 2010 mutual recognition of driving disqualifications between the UK and Ireland entered into force.

We wish to gain practical experience with our arrangements with Ireland before considering mutual recognition with other member states.

Heathrow Airport

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will make it his policy not to proceed with his Department's proposals for a third runway at Heathrow Airport. [325676]

Paul Clark: The High Court ruling on 26 March 2010 does not require us to change our policy, which remains to support a third runway at Heathrow subject to conditions, including compliance with limits in respect of noise and local air quality. The ruling acknowledges that the Heathrow decisions announced in January 2009 are part of a continuing process which, under the Planning Act 2008, will involve further steps including the preparation of a national policy statement for airports and further consultation, and that this process provides a complete legal framework for considering all the issues raised in the court case.

Railway Stations

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the effect on (i) rail services and (ii) the energy consumption of trains of station stops aligned (A) horizontally and (B) vertically. [325698]

Chris Mole: HS2 Ltd. commissioned Imperial College to undertake traction energy modelling, which included the impact of station stops. This report was published earlier this month and is available on HS2 Ltd.'s website

Railways: Construction

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how long on average it takes to travel from each of (a) Glasgow, (b) Aberdeen, (c) Norwich, (d) Exeter, (e) Middlesbrough, (f) Liverpool and (g) Milton Keynes to each of (i) Brussels, (ii) Madrid, (iii) Chicago and (iv) Tokyo; and what the equivalent average travel times are expected to be following completion of the HS2 core network. [325700]

Chris Mole: The Department for Transport does not hold this information in the form requested.

The completion of the potential HS2 core network would accelerate surface access to certain UK airports, but actual time savings would depend on rail and airline service patterns and timetabling at that time.


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Sea Rescue: Emergency Exits

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport for what reason the fire escape at Flamborough Head coastguard station is considered inadequate for its purpose. [325742]

Paul Clark: Flamborough Head coastguard rescue team base is located in an old three-storey building. Each storey is a single, small room and the room on the ground-floor is used to house unmanned radio equipment. A single narrow staircase is the only means of access and escape. This arrangement does not meet modern fire safety standards.

Sea Rescue: Fire Services

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many fires requiring evacuation there have been at Flamborough Head coastguard station in the last 30 years. [325744]

Paul Clark: There have been no fires requiring evacuation at the volunteer Flamborough Head Coastguard Rescue Team base in the last 30 years.

Sea Rescue: Standards

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what studies his Department has conducted on the likely effect on incident response times of the closure of Flamborough Head coastguard station. [325743]

Paul Clark: The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has considered the effect of closing its Flamborough Head volunteer coastguard rescue team base and has concluded that incident response times will be unaffected.

Thameslink Railway Line: Rolling Stock

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport whether the bringing into service of new Thameslink rolling stock is dependent on the provision of additional train maintenance depots. [325801]

Patrick Hall: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport whether the introduction of new Thameslink rolling stock is dependent upon the establishment of new train maintenance depots. [325832]

Chris Mole: I can confirm that the bringing into service of new Thameslink rolling stock is dependent on the provision of additional train maintenance depots.

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport (1) when he expects to announce his decision on the location of additional train maintenance depots for new Thameslink trains; [R] [325802]

(2) what plans he has to (a) establish new and (b) develop existing train maintenance depots to support the new fleet of Thameslink trains. [R] [325804]

Chris Mole: The Department for Transport is planning to establish new depots to support the new fleet of Thameslink trains at Hornsey in the London borough of Haringey and at Three Bridges in the borough of Crawley.


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Network Rail has commenced the process for securing planning consents for these depots with the relevant local authorities. It would be inappropriate to comment on the outcome of these discussions at this stage.

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport (1) which locations are being considered for the construction of additional train maintenance depots to service new Thameslink trains; [R] [325803]

(2) what discussions (a) he and (b) officials of his Department have had with representatives of (i) Network Rail, (ii) train operating companies and (iii) local authorities on the provision of additional train maintenance depots for the new Thameslink rolling stock. [R] [325805]

Chris Mole: Department for Transport officials have had a number of discussions with Network Rail, train operating companies and local authorities regarding the additional train maintenance depots for the new Thameslink rolling stock. We are proposing a new depot in Hornsey in the London borough of Haringey and at Three Bridges in the borough of Crawley.

Patrick Hall: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what assessment he has made of the merits of building new train maintenance depots for Thameslink stations at different locations. [325833]

Chris Mole: Department for Transport officials have worked closely with Network Rail and the train operating companies to assess the options for locating new train maintenance depots for the new Thameslink rolling stock. We are proposing a new depot in Hornsey in the London borough of Haringey and at Three Bridges in the borough of Crawley.

Patrick Hall: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what discussions his Department has had with (a) Network Rail, (b) train operating companies and (c) local authorities on new train maintenance depots for the new Thameslink rolling stock. [325834]

Chris Mole: Department for Transport officials have had a number of discussions with Network Rail, train operating companies and local authorities regarding the new train maintenance depots for the new Thameslink rolling stock. We are proposing a new depot in Hornsey in the London borough of Haringey and at Three Bridges in the borough of Crawley.

Defence

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 8 March 2010, Official Report, column 19W, on Afghanistan: peacekeeping operations, what the average cost of (a) aviation and (b) vehicle fuel was (i) per litre and (ii) per imperial gallon in each such year. [322182]

Mr. Quentin Davies: The average monthly price of fuel for operations in Afghanistan is:


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Aviation f uel per litre (£) Vehicle f uel per litre (£)

Period

April 2009 - end January 2010

1.325

1.25

May 2008 - March 2009

1.46

1.38


We purchase fuel in litres and keep records only on this basis. The costs per litre prior to May 2008 are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Armed Forces: Manpower

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 25 February 2010, Official Report, column 674W, on armed forces: manpower, what the shortfall of (a) reservists and (b) regular (i) medical, (ii) nursing and (iii) paramedic staff was on 1 October in each year since 2002; and if he will make a statement. [322550]

Mr. Kevan Jones: The information requested is shown in the following tables for regular and reserve forces. To enable comparisons with past years using the data currently available, the total 'requirement' figures include 'manning and training margins' and the 'manning' figures include personnel who were both trained and in-training. Shortfalls have been addressed by a variety of means and they have never resulted in the Defence Medical Services being unable to meet their operational commitments. The standard of medical care provided to service patients remains extremely high as has been recognised by the House of Commons Defence Committee and the National Audit Office.


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Regular forces

Requirement Manning Shortfall (percentage)

Data as of 1 October 2002

Doctors

1,060

918

13

Nurses

1,976

1,600

19

Dental Officers and Allied Dental Healthcare Professionals

817

858

-5(1)

Medical Allied Health Professionals

4,610

3,748

19

Total

8,463

7,124

16

Data as of 1 October 2003

Doctors

1,168

897

23

Nurses

2,015

1,735

14

Dental Officers and Allied Dental Healthcare Professionals

845

875

-4(1)

Medical Allied Health Professionals

4,542

4,101

10

Total

8,570

7,608

11

Data as of 1 October 2004

Doctors

1,199

998

17

Nurses

2,052

1,805

12

Dental Officers and Allied Dental Healthcare Professionals

913

829

9

Medical Allied Health Professionals

5,255

3,846

27

Total

9,419

7,478

21

Data as of 1 October 2005

Doctors

1,155

1,037

10

Nurses

2,068

1,725

17

Dental Officers and Allied Dental Healthcare Professionals

886

820

7

Medical Allied Health Professionals

5,108

4,084

20

Total

9,217

7,666

17

Data as of 1 October 2006

Doctors

-

911

-

Nurses

-

1,758

-

Dental Officers and Allied Dental Healthcare Professionals

-

790

-

Medical Allied Health Professionals

-

4,029

-

Total

-

7,488

-

Data as of 1 October 2007

Doctors

1,132

1,050

7

Nurses

1,889

1,745

8

Dental Officers and Allied Dental Healthcare Professionals

992

788

21

Medical Allied Health Professionals

4,286

4,221

2

Total

8,298

7,804

6

Data as of 1 October 2008

Doctors

1,137

1,113

2

Nurses

1,901

1,723

9

Dental Officers and Allied Dental Healthcare Professionals

984

796

19

Medical Allied Health Professionals

4,276

4,267

0

Total

8,298

7,899

5

Data as of 1 October 2009

Doctors

1,137

1,076

5

Nurses

1,901

1,677

12

Dental Officers and Allied Dental Healthcare Professionals

984

774

21

Medical Allied Health Professionals

4,276

4,063

5

Total

8,298

7,590

9

(1 )Surplus
Notes:
1. Requirement figures include 'manning and training margins'.
2. Manning data include personnel who are both trained and in-training.
3. Requirement data not available for October 2006 as these were being recast in a DMS-wide study at that date.
4. 'Medical Allied Health professionals' include the paramedics cadre.

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