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Transport Strategy for London

Viscount Astor asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Viscount Goschen): Copies of A Transport Strategy for London have today been placed in the Library.

Department of Transport Agency Targets

Viscount Astor asked Her Majesty's Government:

Viscount Goschen: The following key targets have been set for the Department of Transport's executive agencies. The targets are set out in the agencies' business plans, which also include management objectives, performance indicators and key tasks, where appropriate to the agencies' businesses. Copies of the business plans are placed in the Library.

The key targets for the Coastguard Agency are to:

I. discharge the Secretary of State's responsibility for maritime search and rescue, through its own or dedicated assets by:


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    undertaking six major live exercises and 35 seminars;

II. consider how the upward trend in SAR incidents might be arrested and reversed and to report to the department by December 1996, meanwhile implementing a strategy designed to promote sea and shore safety awareness.

III. implement ministerial decisions following the interdepartmental review on SAR helicopter coverage;

IV. maintain a fully operational 24 hours Channel Navigation Information Service (CNIS) covering the Dover Strait Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS), in concert with the appropriate French authorities;

V. discharge the Secretary of State's responsibility for dealing with marine pollution by the maintenance of a national contingency plan and in particular;


    (a) activate the plan within 30 minutes of notification of an incident; and


    (b) commence action at sea to deal with a spill of dispersible oil within four hours of notification of an incident;


    (c) testing the effectiveness of the plan by undertaking a major exercise and to report on the outcome by 31st March 1997;

VI. carry out a minimum of 625 hours a year aerial surveillance of the sea area for which the UK has responsibility to detect or deter incidents of marine pollution, including illegal discharges from ships;

VII. discharge the agency's functions while remaining within its 1996-97 running costs budget;

VIII. implement Phase 1 of the proposed reorganisation of the HMCG operational structure "Focus For Change" by 31st March 1997.

The Key targets for the Driving Standards Agency are to:

I. achieve unit costs not exceeding £28.30 for car practical tests, and not exceeding £15.00 for theory tests;

II. achieve a national average waiting time for car tests of nine weeks between April and September 1996 and six weeks between October 1996 and March 1997, and for appointments to be available within 10 weeks at 90 per cent. of permanent test centres between April and September 1996 and 99 per cent. of centres between October 1996 and March 1997;

III. ensure that appointments cancelled by DSA less than two days before the date of a test average 1 per cent. between April and September 1996, and average no more than 0.5 per cent. of appointments between October 1996 and March 1997;

IV. answer 90 per cent. of telephone calls to booking offices within 60 seconds between April

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and September 1996. From October 1996 to March 1997 the target will be to ensure that:


    (a) four out of five calls will be answered on their first dialling attempt,


    (b) 90 per cent. of calls which have been answered by an automatic system will then be answered by a human voice within 30 seconds, and


    (c) an average of no more than 5 per cent. of calls in the queue will be abandoned before being answered.

V. ensure that the theory test contractor has created the required density of test venues and frequency of test sessions in line with the services specification by 1 July 1996, and that theory tests are available to the public from that date.

The key targets for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency are to:

I. make an efficiency gain (on the basis of an overall efficiency index) of 2.4 per cent.;

II. complete successfully 495,000 vehicle excise duty enforcement cases by imposition of penalties and to recover, through penalties and duty from licensing, at least £2.80 for every £1.00 full cost spent by DVLA on vehicle excise duty enforcement;

III. deliver 95 per cent. of ordinary driving licences to customers within 11 working days,

95 per cent. of vocational driving licences within 10 working days, and 95 per cent. of first provisional driving licences within nine working days;

IV. deliver 95 per cent. of registration documents for new vehicles within 12 days, and 95 per cent. of changes to vehicle registration documents within 13 days;

V. deliver answers to 95 per cent. of written enquiries within eight working days, and answer 90 per cent. of telephone enquiries within 30 seconds;

VI. ensure that at least 97 per cent. of driving licences, 98 per cent. of registration documents for new vehicles, and 96 per cent. of changes to registration documents, are issued without a DVLA induced error.

The key targets for the Highways Agency are to:

I. achieve 80 per cent. of the national schemes milestones and DBFO tender invitations and contract awards listed in Annex D to the Business Plan, or such other milestones as may be substituted or added by Ministers;

II. maintain the trunk road network cost effectively by undertaking a programme of capital maintenance aimed at ensuring that the percentage of the trunk road network past the critical condition remains at 7-8 per cent. by the year 2000, with the minimum disruption to traffic, and ensuring that roads are safe, reliable, and offer an acceptable quality of ride; and to ensure that from 1 January 1999 all vehicles up to and including the new 40 tonne maximum

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gross vehicle weight standard can use all structures supporting trunk roads and other important routes over trunk roads by completing in 1996-97;


    (a) the renewal of 50 nearside lane kilometres (nlks) of motorway and 80 nlks of all purpose trunk road; and


    assessments of the structural capacity of 670 structures and completing the strengthening of 17 structures (NMMD);

III. contribute to the Government's target of reducing road casualties by one third by the year 2000 (compared with the annual average for 1981-85) by limiting accident rates between 1996 and 1998 on the motorways and all-purpose trunk road network to 21 accidents involving personal injury for every 100 million vehicle kilometres of travel;

IV. develop and agree with the Central Transport Group, systems for monitoring congestion on motorways and high standard all-purpose trunk roads by 31st December 1996;

V. publish, as part of the agency's annual report, a report covering:


    (a) environmental aspects of new schemes, and network management and maintenance activities, demonstrating that the Agency has given full weight to environmental issues in carrying out its function and has struck a balance according;


    (b) the agency's contribution to the follow up to Transport: the Way Ahead and,


    (c) the measures taken by the agency to contribute to the implementation of the Government's air quality strategy;

VI. improve the effectiveness of the agency by:


    (a) developing an aggregate unit cost indicator (formula) embracing the full range of the agency's outputs, but with inputs limited initially to administration and preparation and supervision costs;


    (b) determining and agreeing with the Central Transport Group by 30th September 1996, the values of that indicator for 1995-96 (to be based on 1995-96 outturn) and for 1996-97 (to be based on 1996-97 Business Plan budgets and targets); and


    (c) to perform, in outturn, no worse than the agreed ratio;

VII. Applications to the National Roads Scheme Committee (NRSC) in 1996-97, to increase the cost of schemes are not to exceed 2 per cent. of the total programme value.

The key targets for the Marine Safety Agency are to:

I. implement the International Safety Management Code for ro-ro ferries by 1st July 1996;

II. report to Shipping Policy by 31st October 1996 with proposals to implement, for ro-ro passenger ships operating to and from UK ports, the relevant amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea

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Convention and the regional agreement on the application of higher stability standards;

III. complete all necessary work by 31st March 1997 to implement the under 12 metre fishing vessel safety code;

IV. agree with Shipping Policy, by 31st May 1996, a programme of implementation for the Government's initiative on reducing illegal discharge of wastes from ships and review the waste reception facility provision for marine pollutants from ships in UK ports by 31st December 1996;

V. make arrangements for the implementation of the revised Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Convention by 1st February 1997 taking account of deregulation and the introduction of Vocational Qualifications;

VI. complete the work on consolidation of existing secondary legislation resulting from the MSA deregulation review by 30th September 1996;

VII. inspect between 25 and 30 per cent. of foreign flagged vessels using UK ports, including ro-ro ferries and fish factory ships;

VIII. achieve an average output of survey and inspection work per Marine Office surveyor of 3 per cent. greater than the outturn for

1995-96, while delivering the planned programme of surveys and inspections;

IX. discharge the Agency's functions while remaining within its 1996-97 running costs budget.

The key targets for the Vehicle Inspectorate are to:

I. meet the requirements on level and types of activity laid down in the Memorandum of Agreement on each scheme;

II. distribute its resources between each activity so as to achieve at least the minimum number of road safety/environment values laid down for the roadworthiness and MOT schemes and to increase the number of HGV designated premises;

III. meet the quality and general effectiveness levels as specified in the Business Plan measures set for 1996-97.

IV. Implement a system of annual surveys and/or structured interviews to be carried out with all principal customers and evaluated to determine score as the basis of measuring future improvement in performance;

V. achieve an Aggregated Cost Efficiency (ACE) index outturn of + 3 per cent.;

VI. break even while achieving an average 6 per cent. real rate of return on capital over the period 1st April 1991-31st March 1998;

VII. secure the long-term development of the organisation through working for the Investors In People Award, achieving 70 per cent. of the assessment indicators set out in the standards of the Investors in People Award and through implementing the three elements of the IS

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strategy defined in the Business Plan measures for 1996-97.

The key targets for the Vehicle Certification Agency are to:

I. achieve a net unit cost target of £78.86;

II. issue at least 98 per cent. of approval certificates error free;

III. issue at least 97 per cent. of invoices error free;

IV. issue corrected documents where errors do occur within three working days in 95 per cent. of cases involving certificates and in 90 per cent. of cases involving invoices;

V. audit at least 75 per cent. of the agency's approved quality procedures;

VI. receive a satisfactory appraisal report from the department's Chief Mechanical Engineer.


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