Dartford-Thurrock Crossing: Tolls

Mr Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the cost of installing automatic number plate recognition technology at the Dartford Crossing. [67010]

Mike Penning [holding answer 18 July 2011]:Cost estimates for the free-flow charging scheme at Dartford Crossing are in the process of being developed. The cost of automatic number plate recognition technology is a small part of the overall infrastructure and technology requirements needed to support a free-flow charging operation.

Stephen Metcalfe: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information his Department holds on the number of (a) cars, (b) vans and (c) multi-axle heavy goods vehicles that paid a toll at the Dartford Crossing in each financial year since 2001-02. [66938]

Mike Penning: The number of cars, vans and multi-axle heavy goods vehicles that have used the crossing since 2001-02 is as follows:

Dartford crossing: Breakdown of vehicles by type

Cars Vans HGVS Total

2001-02

38,372,279

7,337,210

5,483,519

51,193,008

2002-03

38,598,968

7,651,471

5,753,094

52,003,533

2003-04

39,684,414

7,909,991

5,928,606

53,523,011

2004-05

39,739,070

8,132,895

6,124,459

53,996,424

2005-06

39,580,801

8,328,855

6,206,956

54,116,612

2006-07

38,890,946

8,281,527

6,062,856

53,235,329

2007-08

38,263,879

8,297,892

6,285,962

52,847,733

2008-09

33,885,615

7,106,653

4,873,771

45,866,039

2009-10

33,644,109

6,702,135

4,721,919

45,068,163

2010-11

32,593,347

6,733,069

4,825,743

44,152,159

These figures include exempt and free passage vehicles. Prior to 13 September 2009 it was not possible to exclude vehicles exempt from the charge from the figures.

From 2008-09 the figures are reduced because vehicles are no longer charged to use the crossing between 10 pm and 6 am.

19 July 2011 : Column 947W

Jackie Doyle-Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consideration was given to suspending Dartford Crossing tolls on (a) 8 and (b) 9 July 2011 under the protocol in force from 1 July 2011. [67313]

Mike Penning: On 8 July the Blackwall Tunnel was closed due to an incident and the diversion route via the Dartford Crossing led to high levels of additional traffic both north and southbound at the Crossing. On 9 July no significant incidents were recorded in the proximity of the Dartford Crossing, although traffic levels were high.

On both days traffic levels were monitored by the Highways Agency but did not meet the specified criteria for severe congestion set out in the operational protocol being trialled. The crossing charge was therefore not suspended.

Departmental Air Travel

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what occasions he has flown on official business (a) by budget airline and (b) in economy class in the last 12 months. [67912]

Mr Philip Hammond: In the last 12 months I have taken one economy class flight to Luxembourg on official business. I have made no other flights on official business in this period.

Apprentices

Mr Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department has a policy on requirements for the provision of (a) apprenticeships and (b) other training by (i) his Department's prime contractors and (ii) suppliers in the supply chain of such contractors. [66588]

Norman Baker: The Department does not have such a policy.

However in response to two Procurement Policy Notes on “Promoting skills through procurement” and “Embedding skills, training and apprenticeships through public procurement”, the Highways Agency (HA) Board offered a target to deliver up to 100 new apprenticeships through its new procurement activity by December 2012.

The target of 100 new apprenticeships by December 2012 will be delivered through a combination of shaping supply chain direction via its Strategic Alignment Tool (StART); strengthening contract requirements for Major Improvement and Maintenance Contracts to increase focus on skills planning and opportunity, and by encouraging HA Suppliers to sign up to a Skills Pledge to invest in the skills and training of their workforce.

Departmental Carbon Emissions

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the carbon dioxide emissions from his Department in (a) June 2010 and (b) June 2011. [66748]

19 July 2011 : Column 948W

Norman Baker: Between 14 May 2010 and 13 May 2011 the Department for Transport delivered a non-weather corrected reduction of 11.2% in carbon dioxide emissions from its office estate. Under the Green Government commitments, it is now committed to deliver a 25% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2014-15.

It is estimated that from the office estate for June 2010 the Department for Transport non-weather corrected emissions amounted to some 1,545 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

The Department for Transport is still collating and validating its emission data for June 2011.

Freedom of Information Requests

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many requests under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 his Department received from (a) hon. Members from each political party and (b) members of the public in each year since the Act's entry into force. [63579]

Norman Baker: The Department does not assemble statistics about the background of individual requesters. This is because the Freedom of Information Act is applicant and motive blind.

The Ministry of Justice publishes quarterly and annual statistics on the volume, timeliness and outcome of information requests received by over 40 central Government bodies.

Departmental Lost Property

Mr MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what property has been (a) lost and (b) stolen from his Department in the last 12 months; and what the cost of replacement was. [66573]

Norman Baker: The figures provided here are for items recorded centrally as lost or stolen in the last 12 months, for the entire Department, including its agencies and shared service centre.

The central Department requires monthly reports from agency security teams of all items that are reported as either lost or stolen. All staff are required to report any loss involving departmental property to their local security teams.

However, the figures in the table do not include thefts or losses where records are not available centrally or where such incidents were not reported. While some of this information may exist in records held locally within the central Department and the agencies, I regret that it can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

The Department takes seriously any loss or theft of its property and takes appropriate action on a case-by-case basis.

The property recorded as lost and stolen in the last 12 months is as follows, and where we have the estimated replacement costs, this is shown alongside.

Item (a) Lost (b) Stolen Total estimate cost of replacement (£)

BlackBerrys

19

10

6,815

Laptops

6

14

20,800

USB flash drives

7

2

495

19 July 2011 : Column 949W

Encryption tokens

46

2

1,440

BlackBerry chargers

2

0

24

PC

0

1

800

Mobile phones

12

2

(1)

Other IT equipment

5

5

(1)

Personal items (such as jewellery and cash)

13

3

(1)

Non personal items

8

1

(1)

Total

118

40

30,379

(1) Unavailable.

Departmental Procurement

Mr Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many apprenticeships have been created directly by contracts with his Department in each of the last three years. [66590]

Norman Baker: From January 2010 to April 2011, 76 new apprenticeships have been let directly by Highways Agency (HA) contracts. Prior to January 2010 this information was not collected.

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of procurement contracts offered by his Department have been advertised on the Contracts Finder website since the website's inception. [67230]

Norman Baker: My Department has published 56% of its contracts on the Contracts Finder website since its inception. The remaining 44% were below the threshold requiring publication.

Redundancy

Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much (a) his Department and (b) each non-departmental body for which he is responsible has spent on redundancies since May 2010. [66344]

Norman Baker: The following table shows the amount the Department for Transport and each non-departmental body has spent on redundancies since May 2010.


Redundancy costs (£)

Department for Transport

0

19 July 2011 : Column 950W

Non-departmental bodies

1,922,211

These figures are for compulsory redundancies only and do not include exits under voluntary schemes.

Business Regulation

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many regulations his Department has introduced (a) in the six months prior to 1 September 2010 and (b) in the six months after 1 September 2010 which it has determined do not impose costs on businesses. [65306]

Mike Penning: There were 32 statutory instruments made in the six months prior to 1 September 2010 that imposed no costs on business (21 of these were made by the previous Administration).

There were 29 statutory instruments made in the six months after 1 September 2010 that imposed no costs on business.

The Government's policy is to consider alternatives to regulation. A list of regulatory measures introduced in the first half of 2011 can be found in the Statement of New Regulation in the Libraries of the House.

Local and temporary regulations have not been considered for the purposes of this answer as doing so could be done only at disproportionate cost.

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many regulations that impose costs on businesses his Department has (a) introduced and (b) removed since 1 September 2010; what the net effect on the costs on businesses of such introductions and removals was; and what regulations have been excluded from the one-in one-out system because they address (i) emergencies and (ii) systemic financial risks since 1 September 2010. [65323]

Mike Penning: Four statutory instruments were made by the Department in the period September 2010 to June 2011 (inclusive) which imposed costs on business, charities or the voluntary or public sector. Of the four, three had an overall net benefit. The other imposed an overall net cost.

Although it is not possible, except at disproportionate cost, to break down the costs as between business, charities and the voluntary or public sector for each of the instruments, I set out in the following table the four instruments giving general comments on whom, on the basis of the impact assessments prepared for the instruments, the costs were expected to fall.

Title Comment No Origin Net cost (£ million) Net benefit (£ million)

Motor Fuel (Composition and Content) and Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships) (Amendment) Regulations 2010

Cost mainly on suppliers

2010 No. 3035

EU

357

Mandatory Travel Concession (England) Regulations 2011

Costs on bus operators—benefits are to Government and travel concession authorities. There is a net cost to bus operators of £0.004 million

2011 No. 1121

Domestic

0.65

Airports Slot Allocation (Amendment) Regulations 2011

Costs to airports, savings to airlines and passengers

2011 No. 1610

Domestic

11.1

19 July 2011 : Column 951W

19 July 2011 : Column 952W

Cleaner Road Transport Vehicles Regulations 2011

Net costs to business are estimated to be small. Level of both costs and benefits very uncertain

2011 No. 1631

EU

421

In total, the four instruments have a net cost of £357 million and a net benefit of £432.75 million giving an overall net benefit of £75.75 million.

Nine statutory instruments were revoked in their entirety during this period as were articles 4 to 7 of the Yarmouth (Isle of Wight) Harbour Revision (Constitution) Order 2001. The instrument making this latter change also repealed section 14 of the Pier and Harbour Orders (Cowes and Yarmouth (Isle of Wight)) Confirmation Act 1931.

Six of the measures revoked were originally made (or in the case of the 1931 Act, passed) before the system for publishing impact assessments was put in place. Providing further information in relation to the costs of these measures could only be done at disproportionate cost. The other five measures were made when the system of publishing impact assessments was in place but no impact assessment was prepared for them, so it may be assumed that these measures were thought to have no impact on business.

Local and temporary instruments have not been considered for the purposes of answering this question as to do so would incur disproportionate costs.

The one-in, one-out regulatory management system, although announced in September, did not come into force until January 2011.

A list of regulatory measures introduced or removed in the first half of 2011 can be found in the Statement of New Regulation in the Libraries of the House.

No regulations were excluded from the one-in one-out system because they addressed emergencies or systemic financial risks.

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what process his Department follows for the production of regulatory guidance; and how many officials of his Department were involved in the production of such guidance on the last date for which figures are available. [67201]

Mike Penning: The Department for Transport is committed to following the Better Regulation Executive's Code of Practice on Guidance on Regulation.

Guidance is produced by policy teams across the Department, working with stakeholders and regulators. This forms an integral part of the normal processes for developing policy and is not a separate task. It is not possible therefore to identify how many officials are involved in its production.

Departmental Responsibilities

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many meetings officials of his Department have had with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on the Government's employment law review since May 2011. [67213]

Norman Baker: In the 2010 Budget, it was announced that all Departments with responsibility for employment law would contribute to the review. Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) is responsible for coordinating this cross-Government initiative.

We do not hold central records of officials’ meetings with other Government Departments for the purposes of policy development and implementation.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on how many occasions a request for a meeting by an hon. Member of each political party was refused by (a) a Minister in his Department directly and (b) his Department on behalf of a Minister in November 2010. [67575]

Norman Baker: I regret that the information requested is not held in the format requested.

It is my general policy to accede to all requests for meetings requested by hon. Members, irrespective of party allegiance, unless there are exceptional reasons not to do so.

Departmental Training

Julie Hilling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department has spent on training for Ministers since May 2010; and what the purpose of the training was. [67626]

Norman Baker: The Department has not incurred any costs for training for Ministers since May 2010. The Under-Secretary of State for Transport, the hon. Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mike Penning), received training from the National School of Government ahead of an appearance in front of the Transport Select Committee. This was provided as part of core learning by the National School of Government and so did not incur a direct cost.

Departmental Dismissal

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many officials in his Department were dismissed for under-performance as a result of the procedures arising from his Department's staff appraisal systems in each of the last three years. [64680]

Norman Baker: This response covers the central Department for Transport and its seven executive agencies (Highways Agency, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, Driving Standards Agency, Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Vehicle Certification Agency and Government Car and Despatch Agency).

In the years 2009-11 the Department for Transport has dismissed five people for under-performance following the Department's staff appraisal procedures.

19 July 2011 : Column 953W

This response does not include people who failed their probationary period due to poor performance. These people would not have been managed through the Department's staff appraisal system.

East Coast Railway Line: Franchises

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effect on levels of employment in (a) Newcastle upon Tyne Central constituency and (b) the North East of the award of the customer contact centre contract for the east coast main line rail franchise to Intelenet and Atos Origin; and whether he has discussed this decision with (i) Directly Operated Railways Ltd and (ii) ministerial colleagues in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. [62440]

Norman Baker: DOR and its subsidiary east coast main line operate the East Coast franchise as independent limited companies. When agreement for continued efficient supply of customer contact centre services could not be reached with their previous supplier, National Express Services Ltd, East Coast took the decision to let the contract under a competitive tender process in accordance with EU legislation.

The Secretary of State for Transport, the right hon. Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), is not party to this process, but is supportive of initiatives to improve efficiency and quality while reducing the cost of the railway to the passenger and the taxpayer. The decision to award the contract to Intelenet sees the creation of jobs in Plymouth and the West Midlands.

Electric Vehicles

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate his Department has made of the number of charging points for electric-powered vehicles in (a) Glasgow, (b) Scotland and (c) the UK to be activated in the next four financial years. [64386]

Norman Baker: The Department received a bid from Transport Scotland for funding under the Plugged-In Places programme on 29 October 2010. This bid was successful with Transport Scotland awarded £1.2 million to install 375 chargepoints by March 2013. There have been a series of programme management conversations with the Transport Scotland project team on the progress of their project but we have received no further representations relating to chargepoints in Scotland.

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 7 July 2011, Official Report, columns 1316-7W, on the national planning policy framework, what assessment he has made of the level of promotion by local authorities of the building of electric car charging points. [66390]

Norman Baker: As set out in the Government's plug-in vehicle infrastructure strategy, “Making the Connection”, published on 30 June 2011, local authorities have an important role in stimulating the provision of infrastructure in their areas. This could be through encouraging infrastructure via planning policies or the provision of public infrastructure.

19 July 2011 : Column 954W

Local authorities are playing an active role in each of the Plugged-In Places pilot projects, with many others outside the Plugged-In Places areas also installing infrastructure, such as Brighton and Hove city council and Oxford city council. A number of local authorities have also implemented planning policies to encourage the provision of recharging infrastructure in advance of the National Planning Policy Framework, such as in London and Salford.

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he plans to take to support the roll-out of rapid chargers for electric vehicles. [66424]

Norman Baker: The Government's Plugged-In Places pilot projects plan to install around 50 rapid chargers in areas across the UK.

In addition, the Government's plug-in vehicle infrastructure strategy “Making the Connection”, published on 30 June 2011, set out a range of measures that will support the roll-out of rapid chargers, including Ofgem planning to consult on an exemption for public recharging infrastructure from the Maximum Resale Price rules to help enable a commercial market in the sale of electricity for plug-in vehicles to develop. Should the roll-out of plug-in vehicle infrastructure be constrained by the ability to raise finance, there is the potential for the Green Investment Bank to provide targeted financial solutions for appropriate plug-in vehicle infrastructure projects.

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he plans to take to support the roll-out of charging points for electric vehicles at (a) airports, (b) train stations, (c) supermarkets, (d) retail centres and (e) car parks. [66425]

Norman Baker: The Government's Plugged-In Places pilot projects are planning to install infrastructure in a range of locations, including airports, railway stations, supermarkets, retail centres and car parks, to provide infrastructure for the early plug-in vehicle market in these areas and to provide information on what is required for a national roll-out of infrastructure.

In addition, as set out in ‘Making the Connection: the plug-in vehicle infrastructure strategy’, published on 30 June 2011, the Government are taking a range of steps to support the plug-in vehicle infrastructure market in public places.

This includes establishing a Permitted Development Right that will remove the requirement from owners of publicly accessible car parks to apply for planning permission to install charge points. We are also proposing the inclusion of policy on plug-in vehicle infrastructure in the National Planning Policy Framework, due for consultation soon, which will encourage local authorities to consider adopting policies to include plug-in vehicle recharging infrastructure in all new developments. Ofgem are consulting on an exemption for public recharging infrastructure from the Maximum Resale Price rules to help enable a commercial market in the sale of electricity for plug-in vehicles to develop.

Employment: Disability

Mrs McGuire: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many disabled people are being supported in employment in his Department under its Access to Work programme. [65047]

19 July 2011 : Column 955W

Norman Baker: The Department provides reasonable adjustments to employees according to need. There are currently 1621 employees who have declared themselves to be disabled working in the DFT centrally and in its Agencies. The DFT and most other civil service Departments do not use the Access to Work programme to provide assistance to disabled employees.

Exhaust Emissions

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the proportion of car exhaust pollution due to (a) faulty and (b) broken catalytic converters. [66639]

Norman Baker: Excess emissions due to failed and low quality replacement catalytic converters were assessed in the impact assessment for The Motor Vehicles (Replacement of Catalytic Converters and Pollution Control Devices) Regulations 2009, SI 2009 No. 1899.

This is available in the impact assessment library on the BIS website:

http://www.ialibrary.bis.gov.uk/uploaded/Catalytic%20converters_20091899_en.pdf

The IA includes estimates of the percentage failure rate of catalysts and the resulting increase in emissions. It also estimates the reduction in emissions brought about by the regulations which require replacement catalysts to meet the same performance standards as those fitted to new vehicles.

Rolling Stock: Procurement

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many full length equivalent train diagrams of the Siemens Desiro EMU order will be used by (a) TransPennine Express and (b) London Midland. [67749]

Mr Philip Hammond: The currently assumed full length equivalent train diagrams are as follows:


Number

(a) TransPennine Express

8

(b) London Midland

8

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the reason is for the time taken to approve the order of Siemens Desiro EMU trains for London Midland and TransPennine Express; and when he expects to announce the approval of the order. [67750]

Mr Philip Hammond: The procurement of new electric multiple unit trains for these franchises is being led by London Midland, supported by TransPennine Express. As these trains are intended to deliver additional capacity to help fulfil the high level output statement (HLOS), the procurement process was paused by London Midland during the comprehensive spending review while the Department confirmed that the HLOS programme was affordable.

The Department is currently negotiating with the two train operating companies on the commercial terms for introducing such trains into service. Assuming that commercial agreement can be reached between all the parties, there should be an announcement later this year.

19 July 2011 : Column 956W

Fuels: Economic Growth

Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with (a) motorists and (b) motoring organisations on the effect of motoring fuel costs on economic growth. [66779]

Mike Penning: Department for Transport Ministers and officials meet representatives from a wide range of organisations and individuals in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and implementation. It is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such discussions. A list of Ministers' meetings with outside interest groups is published quarterly on the Department for Transport website:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/publications/ministerial-transparency/#meetings

Ports (Refusal of Entry)

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will bring forward proposals to amend the Harbours, Docks and Piers Clauses Act 1847 to allow owners of ports to refuse entry to vessels on ethical grounds; and if he will make a statement. [67043]

Mike Penning: No. Regulation of trade on ethical or other such grounds is more appropriately overseen at national level, subject to democratic scrutiny and in accordance with the United Kingdom's treaty obligations and with international law.

Specifically, attempting to ban the commercial export of live animals for slaughter to other member states would be illegal under EU trade rules. This has been demonstrated in the outcome from two European Court of Justice cases.

High Speed 2 Railway Line

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had on the planned changes to (a) Euston, (b) Birmingham Interchange and (c) Birmingham Curzon Street station as a result of High Speed 2; and which companies have indicated an interest in bidding for each project. [64776]

Mr Philip Hammond [holding answer 11 July 2011]: No such discussions on commercial matters have taken place. As the Department is currently consulting the public on the principle of High Speed 2 (HS2) and is yet to seek powers from Parliament, it would be inappropriate at this stage to conduct discussions of a commercial nature about the four stations proposed for a London to the west midlands high speed link. Similarly, no inquiries or expressions of interest have been received in relation to submitting bids for construction work at HS2 stations.

Operational discussions have taken place with Network Rail about various aspects of the proposed high speed rail network.

It should be noted that there are currently no stations at the sites of the proposed Birmingham Interchange and Birmingham Curzon Street stations.

19 July 2011 : Column 957W

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much of the estimated cost of the High Speed 2 line he estimates will be funded by the private sector; and what steps his Department plans to take to facilitate private sector involvement in the project. [67460]

Mr Philip Hammond: No such estimate has been made. The Government's views on the funding of High Speed 2 are set out in chapter 3 of the consultation document, ‘High Speed Rail: Investing in Britain's Future’, and this includes the consideration of opportunities for private sector involvement. However, as the document notes, at this early stage in the process, it is not appropriate to specify precise funding arrangements.

As set out in HS2 Ltd's original March 2010 report to Government, it would also be possible to generate a return to Government through granting a concession of the High Speed 2 line to a private sector concessionaire. Subject to the outcome of the current consultation, the Government would give this further consideration as part of the ongoing development of their high speed rail strategy.

A 30-year operating concession for the HS1 line was let earlier this year for £2.1 billion—more than a third of the total construction cost of the project.

Humber Bridge: Tolls

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether (a) a cost-benefit analysis and (b) an impact assessment was undertaken on the proposed increase to the Humber Bridge toll. [64113]

Norman Baker: Following the Humber Bridge Board's toll application to the Department to increase toll charges on the Humber bridge, a public inquiry was convened to consider the board's proposals and representations against an increase, in accordance with the statutory process under the Humber Bridge Act 1971. The independent inspector's report from that inquiry recommended an increase in toll charges in line with the board's proposals. I agreed with the inspector's recommendations. No cost benefit analysis or impact assessment was undertaken by the Department into the Humber Bridge Board's proposals.

Large Goods Vehicles

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations his Department has received from the European Commission on the legality of introducing longer lorries. [65963]

Mike Penning: Officials received on 7 July a letter dated 30 June from the Commission. The letter confirmed that Directive 96/53/EC only permits longer semi-trailers if the criteria for one of the exemptions set out in Article 4.4 are fulfilled. The Government's view, previously communicated to the Commission, is that our proposals for longer semi-trailers fulfil the criteria for exemption in Article 4.4 (b), because their loading length (15.65 metres) can also be achieved by existing rigid/drawbar combinations. The Commission's letter did not address this point.

19 July 2011 : Column 958W

Southeastern Railway: Franchises

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reason Go Ahead Group plc received revenue support from his Department at the maximum level for the operation of the Southeastern rail franchise. [67419]

Mrs Villiers: The Department for Transport makes no payments of revenue support directly to Go Ahead Group plc. Revenue support is paid to Southeastern as the company operating the franchise.

When revenue falls below 98% of forecast revenue, revenue support is paid to the value of 50% of the shortfall; below 94%, payments equivalent to 80% of shortfall are paid.

Southeastern's revenue has been below 94% of the level forecast during their bid since 1 April 2010. Based on these criteria, Southeastern's revenue has been at a level below that contractualised such that they have received revenue support payments from the Department at the 80% level since this date.

London Midland

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what dates he has had meetings with representatives of London Midland train operating company since his appointment; and what proposals he has received from London Midland on changes to its diesel multiple unit fleet. [67554]

Mrs Villiers: My most recent formal meeting with London Midland was on 14 February 2011. In addition, Ministers regularly meet with the Association of Train Operating Companies, who represent all UK rail operators.

London Midland has submitted HLOS proposals regarding its diesel multiple unit operation, which are currently being evaluated. Any announcement will be made in due course.

Motor Vehicles: Insurance

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of uninsured drivers in each of the last three years. [66640]

Mike Penning: We estimate that from a comparison of the Motor Insurance Database operated by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) and the DVLA's vehicle's database that around 1.4 million vehicles are uninsured. This figure has remained constant for the past three years but is a reduction from an estimated 2 million in 2005.

Motor Vehicles: Testing

Caroline Nokes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the effects on the safety of motorists of changes in the periodicity of MOT tests; [66992]

(2) what estimate he has made of the effects on levels of private sector employment of changes to the periodicity of MOT tests; [66993]

19 July 2011 : Column 959W

(3) what estimate he has made of the effects on levels of fatalities on roads of changes to the periodicity of MOT tests; [66994]

(4) what estimate he has made of the effects on Exchequer revenues of changes to the periodicity of MOT tests. [66995]

Mike Penning: I intend to review the MOT test scheme. I want to make sure that a review takes account of all the latest information available to us. To that end, we have recently published the results of independent research the Department commissioned to examine how vehicle defects affect accident rates, and to consider the potential road safety impact of changing the frequency of the MOT. The ‘Effect of Vehicle Defects in Road Accidents’ report can be found at:

http://www.trl.co.uk/library/reports_publications/latest_publications/

This research will be a useful addition to other information we intend to gather through the review process, including the impacts on garages and private sector employment, and the effect on Exchequer revenues.

Motorway: Speed Limits

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the oral answer to the hon. Member for City of Chester of 23 June 2011, Official Report, column 455, on motorway speed limits, when he plans to publish his consultation on motorway speed limits; if, as part of the consultation, he will ask what the motorway speed limit should be as an open question; if he will consult on what the default speed limits should be on other types of road; and if he will make a statement. [66502]

Mike Penning: Preliminary work reviewing the motorway speed limit is in progress. The primary focus of the current work is reviewing the effects of increasing the 70 mph national speed limit on motorways to 80 mph. If the Government were to propose a change to the motorway speed limit there would be a consultation.

National Security Council

Steve Rotheram: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what role and responsibilities he has in relation to the National Security Council; and what recent contribution he has made to its work. [67414]

Mr Philip Hammond: I am not a member of the National Security Council (NSC) but attend as necessary to discuss Transport Security related issues.

The work of the National Security Council is not made public for security reasons.

Further information on NSC is available at:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/content/national-security-council/

Network Rail

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will review the structure of Network Rail in order to ensure greater transparency in its operations. [66517]

19 July 2011 : Column 960W

Mrs Villiers [holding answer 18 July 2011]: The Government are committed to making Network Rail more accountable to its customers. Following the publication of Sir Roy McNulty's Rail Value for Money Study, the Government are developing plans for the future of the railway. We intend to publish these in November.

Newton Station: Disabled Access

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the disabled access to Newton rail station. [66653]

Norman Baker [holding answer 18 July 2011]:In 2009 the Department provided financial support to the Association of Train Operating Companies to carry out full access audits of every station in Great Britain, including Newton. This was for use with the “Stations Made Easy” application on the National Rail website which now has full details of all access features at stations, including a map and photographs, allowing disabled passengers to better plan their journey.

Northern Rail: Rolling Stock

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which companies have been shortlisted to provide additional rolling stock for the Northern Rail passenger rail franchise; and when he expects to announce the award of the contract. [65239]

Mrs Villiers: The Department is not aware of companies bidding to provide additional rolling stock for the Northern Rail passenger rail franchise.

Northern Rail are in discussion with one of the Rolling Stock Leasing Companies about leasing some existing rolling stock that is expected to become available in due course from another franchise. They are also negotiating with the Department about the commercial terms for operating such trains.

Should commercial agreement be reached between the parties then an announcement will be made later this year.

Piracy

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what guidance his Department offers to (a) UK-registered vessels and (b) British seafarers operating in areas where a security threat from piracy has been identified. [64052]

Mike Penning: Piracy is a particular problem off the coast of Somalia, in the Gulf of Aden, and in the wider Indian Ocean. My Department strongly encourages all UK flagged ships transiting this area to follow Best Management Practices. BMP is industry developed guidance on the steps that can be taken to reduce the chances of ships being pirated.

Ships are reminded of the importance of registering with Maritime Security Centre—Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) prior to entering the area; and reporting to UKMTO on entering the voluntary reporting area, and on a daily basis thereafter.

Shipping companies should also follow the advice included in Marine Guidance Note 420 (MGN420) which complements that in BMP:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/mcga-notice.htm?textobjid=F7FC6BD38765050D

19 July 2011 : Column 961W

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has also published advice to British seafarers about the threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/staying-safe/river-safety/indian-ocean-piracy

Ports: Finance

Martin Vickers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much funding his Department has provided for port infrastructure in each region in each of the last 10 years. [66986]

Mike Penning [holding answer 18 July 2011]: No general funding has been provided by the Department for Transport to the ports industry in the past 10 years.

The following freight facilities grants (FFG) have been provided, by region and nation:

Yorkshire and the Humber:

DFDS Tor Line Ltd was awarded a FFG in November 2002 for £382,480, to support the cost of facilities at the DFDS Nordic terminal at the Port of Immigham.

Associated British Ports was awarded a FFG of £725,139 in February 2003 for improved rail facilities at the Port of Goole.

South East:

Associated British Ports was awarded £615,881 in October 2001 for a loading shovel and conveyor at the Port of Southampton.

South West:

Associated British Ports was awarded a FFG of £131,892 for a storage shed in March 2005 at Teignmouth.

Scotland:

Forth Ports was awarded £10,968,529 in January 2002 for a freight handling facility in Rosyth.

Invalid Vehicles

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 10 May 2011, Official Report, column 1062W, on invalid vehicles, whether his discussions with representatives of transport operators, manufacturers and user groups are complete; and when he will publish guidance on scooters on public transport. [65589]

Norman Baker: The discussions with transport operators are currently ongoing and guidance will be published when discussions have reached a conclusion.

Department for Transport officials have been working with the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) on the production of CPT's Code for the use of Mobility Scooters on low floor Buses. This code of practice is due to be published shortly.

Rail Value for Money Review

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was paid to (a) Sir Roy McNulty and (b) senior members of staff for their work on the Independent Report of the Rail Value for Money Study. [58591]

Mrs Villiers [holding answer 13 June 2011]: From the point at which the study was commissioned in December 2009 up until 27 May 2011, Sir Roy McNulty received £218,215 for his work on the Independent Rail Value for Money Study, including remuneration for expenses.

19 July 2011 : Column 962W

The core team of seven who worked on the study received in total £968,638. These figures include the forecast expenditure for the final month of the study.

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effects of the recommendations of the McNulty review on (a) peak and (b) off-peak fares for passenger rail services between London and Brighton. [65718]

Mrs Villiers: The Department will be working closely with the Office of Rail Regulation and the rail industry over the next few months to analyse Sir Roy's recommendations.

In particular the Government will undertake a review of fares policy. We are currently still giving considering to the scope of the review, including the timetable and process for engagement.

Ministerial Meetings

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what dates he has had meetings with (a) British and (b) other train manufacturers since his appointment. [62607]

Mrs Villiers: The Secretary of State for Transport and his ministerial team regularly meet with British and other train manufacturers. Details of formal meetings can be found at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/publications/ministerial-transparency/#meetings

This list does not include additional informal contacts with British and other train manufacturers, for example at conferences, stakeholder events etc.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department paid to Atkins consultancy in respect of the review of rail whole-system programme management as part of the final independent report of the Rail Value for Money Study. [67763]

Mrs Villiers: The cost of the work in question was £50,000 excluding VAT.

Railways: Fares

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will estimate the cost to his Department of setting the cap on increases in rail fares at the level of the (a) retail prices index plus two per cent., (b) retail prices index plus one per cent., (c) retail prices index and (d) retail prices index minus one per cent. from 2012. [62136]

Mrs Villiers [holding answer 27 June 2011]: The Government are about to engage with the industry in negotiations on the effect on subsidy/premia of the change in the cap on regulated fares from RPI+1 to RPI+3 for the three years from January 2012 to January 2014. It would prejudice these discussions to make further details public at this time, including assessments made of the impact of alternative options for fare levels.

19 July 2011 : Column 963W

Railways: Finance

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what guidance he has issued to train operating companies and Network Rail on bidding for funding from the Station Commercial Project Facility. [61259]

Mrs Villiers: The Department for Transport has approved Network Rail to use £100 million of its Regulatory Asset Base funding facility for station improvement projects.

Network Rail is programme managing and administrating the Station Commercial Project Facility. Therefore, the Department has not issued any guidance to train operating companies or Network Rail on bidding for funding from the Station Commercial Project Facility.

However, Network Rail has issued detailed guidance to potential bidders, including operators, through a set of documents. These include guidance notes, an investment proposal application form, business case summary and a commercial, funding and delivery principles document.

These documents are available through the Network Rail Website at:

www.networkrail.co.uk/SCPF

Network Rail also issued press releases to both the rail industry and local authority press in mid-April to announce this fund formally.

Railways: Hornsey

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will assess the merits of the construction of a new rail depot at Hornsey. [65268]

Mrs Villiers: The introduction of the new Thameslink rolling stock requires two new depots. The proposed locations are at Hornsey in the London borough of Haringey and at Three Bridges near Crawley. Planning applications for these depots are currently being considered by London borough of Haringey and Crawley borough council.

Railways: Theft

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the cost of theft of cables from the rail network in the last 12 months; and what steps he plans to take to reduce the level of such theft. [67425]

Norman Baker: I refer the hon. Member to my answer to the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish (Andrew Gwynne) on 18 July 2011, Official Report, columns 713-14W.

Rail Value for Money Review

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to the recommendations of the final independent report of the Rail Value for Money Study, whether his Department plans to prioritise the development of smart cards for use on the national rail system. [67757]

19 July 2011 : Column 964W

Mrs Villiers: The Department for Transport's business plan published in November 2011 sets out the commitment to continue to specify smart ticketing requirements, compliant with the national ITSO specification, as rail franchises are renewed over the life of this Parliament.

Railways: Wales

Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with (a) First Great Western Trains and (b) Virgin Trains on the use of Welsh language in respect of (i) rail services provided in Wales and (ii) cross-border rail services. [67779]

Norman Baker: The Secretary of State has had no discussions with First Great Western or Virgin Trains on the use of Welsh language in respect of rail services provided in Wales or cross-border rail services.

Road Signs and Markings

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made on his Department's review of traffic signs policy. [56025]

Norman Baker: The traffic signs policy review was completed and reported to Ministers in May.

Road Traffic Offences

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps local authorities are required to take to notify road users of the use of traffic regulation enforcement vehicles; and if he will make a statement. [65789]

Norman Baker: There are no statutory requirements imposed on local authorities regarding the notification to road users of the use of vehicles to which an approved enforcement device has been attached (enforcement vehicles). However, guidance has been issued to local authorities.

The guidance on parking enforcement can be found on the DFT website at:

http://www2.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/tpm/tmaportal/tmafeatures/tmapart6/betterprkstatutoryguid.pdf

The provisional guidance for bus lane enforcement can be found on the DFT website at:

http://www2.dft.gov.uk/pgr/regional/buses/gen/coll_provisionalguidanceonbuslan/isionalguidanceonbuslane3570.pdf

Rolling Stock

Nigel Mills: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the contribution of the Minister of State for Transport on 12 July 2011, Official Report, column 23WH, on the train building industry, how many miles of testing the Siemens bogie had undergone by (a) 22 October 2009 and (b) 16 June 2011; and how many such bogies have been manufactured to date. [67338]

Mrs Villiers: Testing of individual bogie components for the new Thameslink trains is under way and the complete bogie will commence factory testing at the end

19 July 2011 : Column 965W

of 2011. Siemens are intending to commence testing of the complete bogies on their test track in 2012 and will have accumulated over 1,000,000 miles of running experience before the new trains enter passenger service in 2015.

The Siemens bogie for the new Thameslink trains uses experience and components from existing designs which have been further developed to deliver the wheel rail interface interaction, weight and energy consumption challenges in the Department's technical specification.

Rolling Stock: Manufacturing Industries

Mr Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what support his Department is providing to the train manufacturing sector. [63727]

Mrs Villiers: Further to the ongoing commercial negotiations on the Intercity Express Programme, Hitachi has indicated a preference to locate their European train manufacturing and assembly centre at Newton Aycliffe in County Durham. This facility is expected to create at least 500 direct permanent jobs as well as thousands more job opportunities in the UK manufacturing and service supply chains. With regard to the Thameslink rolling stock contract, Siemens’ stated expectations for job creation in the train manufacturing sector are detailed in my response to the right hon. Member for Southampton, Itchen (Mr Denham) on 11 July 2011, Official Report, columns 205-06W.

The Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), is in regular contact with the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the right hon. Member for Twickenham (Vince Cable), about how we can best support the train manufacturing sector’s engagement with these projects, as well as how we can work with the industry to ensure it is well positioned to exploit other supply chain, construction and tendering opportunities, as they become available within the UK’s rail industry.

Rolling Stock: Procurement

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the cost to the public purse of the administration of rolling stock procurement in each month since 2004. [67523]

Norman Baker: The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when his Department announced the list of pre-qualified bidders for each rolling stock procurement since 2004; on what date the list was reduced to two bidders; on what date a preferred bidder was announced; and on what date a final agreement was reached with the selected bidder. [67526]

Mrs Villiers: With regard to procurements of rolling stock led by the DFT:

the list of pre-qualified bidders for the Intercity Express programme was announced on 16 August 2007; there were only ever two pre-qualified bidders; the preferred bidder was announced on 12 February 2009; no final agreement has yet been reached with the selected bidder.

19 July 2011 : Column 966W

the list of pre-qualified bidders for the Thameslink programme was announced on 10 July 2008; the list was reduced to two bidders on 23 October 2009; a preferred bidder was announced on 16 June 2011; no final agreement has yet been reached with the selected bidder.

the list of pre-qualified bidders for the Crossrail rolling stock procurement was announced on 30 March 2011.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the projected variable track access charge is for Intercity Express programme trains; and what assessment he has made of the cost-benefit ratio of Intercity Express programme train sets compared to alternative train sets examined by his Department. [67752]

Mr Philip Hammond: For details on variable track access charges I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish (Andrew Gwynne) of 20 June 2011, Official Report, column 20W.

We have reviewed Agility's Intercity Express programme proposal against the alternative of an all-electric fleet, with purpose built diesel locomotives being coupled, to trains to haul them beyond the electrified railway. The Department cannot make public its cost-benefit ratio valuations of the Intercity Express programme until the procurement has reached financial close, as to do so may worsen the Department's commercial position in the ongoing negotiations with Agility Trains, the preferred bidding consortium.

Rural Areas

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether officials of his Department have had recent discussions with the Rural Communities Policy Unit in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. [67143]

Norman Baker: Yes, my officials have had recent discussion with the Rural Communities Policy Unit at DEFRA on matters including the rural impacts of DFT's policies, community transport and the Wheels 2 Work scheme.

Shipping

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many ships have been detained by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency since May 2010; what the reason was for detaining each such ship; and what the cost to the public purse of such detentions in that period has been. [63961]

Mike Penning: 53 ships were detained by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) in the period from 1 May 2010 to 31 May 2011.

A list of these ships and the reason for their detention has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

The MCA is entitled to charge shipowners for inspection following detention. The current rate of £94 per hour of surveyor time has been established with the object of recovering the full cost.

19 July 2011 : Column 967W

Shipping: Carbon Emissions

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the carbon dioxide emissions attributable to UK-registered shipping in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and what steps his Department is taking to reduce the level of carbon dioxide emissions attributable to shipping. [64100]

Mike Penning: The Department for Transport does not estimate the carbon dioxide emissions attributable to UK-registered shipping, as there currently is no internationally agreed mechanism for assigning emissions to specific states.

The Government are playing an active role in the International Maritime Organization's work on technical, operational and market based measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from shipping on a global basis. The UK is also working with the European Commission and other member states to develop a proposal for effective regional action in the event that no international measure has been agreed by the end of 2011.

Shipping: Registration

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with the European Commission on the Commission’s proposals for a European ship register made in COM(2011) 144, Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area. [63963]

Mike Penning: The Government have had no discussions with the European Commission regarding the establishment for creating a European ship register—a concept that we do not support.

Shipping: Taxation

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effect of the EU shipping tonnage tax regime on levels of employment in the UK since its inception. [63971]

Mike Penning: None. However, around 18,600 seafarers (officers and ratings) are employed on ships in the UK tonnage tax. Approximately 27% of all of these seafarers, and 33% of the officers, are UK nationals.

Shipping is a global, competitive industry and UK seafarer employment levels are influenced by factors other than the tonnage tax. In 2010, about 27,800 UK nationals were seafarers working regularly at sea.

South West Trains: Franchises

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reason Stagecoach Group plc received revenue support from his Department for the operation of the South West Trains franchise. [67747]

Mrs Villiers: The SSWT franchise was signed on the 21 September 2006 and commenced on 4 February 2007.

19 July 2011 : Column 968W

The franchise contains a provision for the operator to receive revenue support in the event that actual revenue (as defined) falls below the level contractualised. Entitlement to this support commenced on 6 February 2011.

The process is identified in SSWT’s national rail franchise terms which are available on the DFT website.

The DFT makes no payments of revenue support directly to Stagecoach plc. Revenue support is paid to the operating company, South West Trains as and when the contractual criteria are met.

Thameslink Railway Line: Rolling Stock

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what importance was attributed to bogie design in the evaluation of bids for the Thameslink Rolling Stock Project; and what processes were employed to verify statements made by the bidders. [65186]

Mrs Villiers: Bidders were required to provide a complete technical description of the Unit concept design, giving a comprehensive description of the vehicle and subsystem design.

The vehicle and subsystem designs, including the bogie design, were evaluated against the Train Technical Specification (TTS) criteria contained in Section 3 and Appendix K of the Thameslink Rolling Stock Project Invitation to Tender (ITT) dated 27 November 2008, a copy of which is available on the DFT website.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport who undertook the evaluation of bids for the Thameslink Rolling Stock Project; and what role was played by external consultants in that evaluation. [65192]

Mrs Villiers [holding answer 11 July 2011]: The evaluation of bids for the Thameslink Rolling Stock Project was undertaken by Department for Transport staff supported by Network Rail and First Capital Connect, and a number of external consultants. The external consultants have included PricewaterhouseCoopers for financial advice, Booz & Co. for procurement advice, Interfleet Technology Ltd for technical advice, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for legal advice and ARUP for planning advice.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what importance was attributed to train weight in the evaluation of bids for the Thameslink Rolling Stock Project. [65241]

Mrs Villiers: The importance attributed to the train weight is identified in Table K3 ‘Train Technical Specification scoring matrix’, contained within Appendix K to the Thameslink Rolling Stock Project Invitation to Tender, dated 27 November 2008, a copy of which is available on the DFT website.

In addition, train weight influences the energy consumption and on-going track maintenance costs, which have been assessed as part of the evaluation process.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reasons Alstom Transport was eliminated from the competition for the Thameslink Rolling Stock Project. [65242]

19 July 2011 : Column 969W

Mrs Villiers: The procurement process has not yet concluded, consequently the details of the bid are confidential to Alstom and the Department.

Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish the weighting attached to the various criteria that the Department used to assess bids for the Thameslink Rolling Stock Project as of 31 April 2008. [65426]

Mrs Villiers [holding answer 11 July 2011]: The weightings attached to the various criteria are contained in Section 3 ‘Evaluation Process’ and the referenced appendices of the Thameslink Rolling Stock Project Invitation to Tender dated 27 November 2008, a copy of which is available on the DFT website.

Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the criteria were that his Department planned to use to assess bids for the Thameslink Rolling Stock Project as at 31 April 2008. [65427]

Mrs Villiers [holding answer 11 July 2011]: The evaluation criteria and evaluation process are contained in Section 3 ‘Evaluation Process’ and the referenced appendices of the Thameslink Rolling Stock Project Invitation to Tender dated November 27 2008, a copy of which is available on the DFT website.

Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what the (a) purpose and (b) scope was of the review of the Thameslink Rolling Stock Project since his appointment; [65471]

(2) what aspects of the Thameslink Rolling Stock Project he reviewed after his appointment in May 2010. [65472]

Mrs Villiers: The Government Major Project Review held in summer 2010 reviewed all aspects of the Thameslink programme, including the Thameslink Rolling Stock project.

Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of jobs to be created by the Thameslink Rolling Stock Project; what types of jobs they will be; how many will be permanent; and when the posts will be created. [65475]

Mrs Villiers: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 11 July 2011, Official Report, columns 205-6W, to the right hon. Member for Southampton, Itchen (Mr Denham).

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 16 June 2011, Official Report, columns 85-86WS, on Thameslink rolling stock, what assessment he has made of the effect on employment in all rail-related sectors of the domestic transport industry of the announcement of the preferred bidder for the Thameslink contract. [65776]

Mrs Villiers [holding answer 13 July 2011]: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 11 July 2011, Official Report, columns 205-6W, to the right hon. Member for Southampton, Itchen (Mr Denham).

19 July 2011 : Column 970W

Chris Williamson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 16 June 2011, Official Report, columns 85-86WS, on Thameslink rolling stock, what assessment he has made of the long-term (a) economic and (b) employment impact on the rail industry in (i) Derby, (ii) the east midlands and (iii) the UK of the appointment of Siemens as the preferred bidder. [65797]

Mrs Villiers: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the right hon. Member for Southampton, Itchen (Mr Denham) on 18 July 2011, Official Report, columns 719-20W.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the potential effect on (a) the British transport manufacturing industry, (b) the economy of the Midlands and (c) the supply chain of businesses of the award of the Thameslink contract to a non-UK based bidder; and if he will make a statement. [65817]

Mrs Villiers [holding answer 14 July 2011]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the right hon. Member for Southampton, Itchen (Mr Denham) on 18 July 2011, Official Report, columns 719-20W.

Thameslink: Conditions of Employment

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 16 June 2011, Official Report, columns 85-6WS, on Thameslink Rolling Stock, whether the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 will apply to the transfer of train maintenance staff from First Capital Connect to Siemens. [65025]

Mrs Villiers: The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 may be relevant to the transfer of train maintenance staff from First Capital Connect to Siemens.

Thameslink: Contracts

Mr Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish any economic impact assessment undertaken by his Department on the decision on the award of the Thameslink contract. [65895]

Mrs Villiers: The criteria against which bids for the Thameslink rolling stock contract were judged were those set out at the time the invitation to tender (ITT) was published in 2008 and included an evaluation of affordability, value for money and deliverability. The evaluation criteria are contained in the Thameslink Rolling Stock Project invitation to tender dated 27 November 2008, a copy of which is available on the DFT website:

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/rail/pi/thameslinkrollingstock/itt/

The Department did not carry out a specific economic impact assessment beyond the work done evaluating the bids against the published criteria.

19 July 2011 : Column 971W

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the reason is for the time taken to award the resignalling contract for London bridge under the Thameslink contract. [67421]

Mrs Villiers: Network Rail issued the tender for the resignalling contract for London bridge in late January 2011 with tenders returned in April 2011. Evaluation took place between April 2011 and July 2011, with tenderers advised of the outcome on 6 July 2011. This procurement process has been achieved in accordance with Network Rail's programme.

Sustainable Transport

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions his Department has had with the Department for Communities and Local Government on encouraging the uptake of sustainable modes of transport under draft version 4 of the national planning policy framework. [67427]

Norman Baker: My officials have worked closely with the Department for Communities and Local Government to include and promote sustainable transport measures in the national planning policy framework. These will be reflected in the consultation document to be published by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Transport: Livestock

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with his counterparts in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on live export of farm animals to continental Europe; and if he will make a statement. [67044]

Mike Penning: None.

Transport: Olympic Games 2012

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what agreements his Department has reached with the Mayor of London on traffic reduction targets for the period of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. [66313]

Mrs Villiers: The Olympic Delivery Authority has statutory responsibility for traffic reduction at Games time. My officials are working with the Mayor and the ODA on traffic reduction measures.

Transport for London (TfL), through the Travel Advice to Business Programme, is currently working with businesses across London and other affected locations to encourage them to consider the impact the Games might have on commuters and business travel, as well as business operations such as freight and deliveries.

As part of this preparation, TfL is actively encouraging businesses to check on the website:

www.london2012.com/traveladviceforbusiness

to see if they are in areas affected by the Games and start making Games time travel plans, including considering implementation of measures such as working from home, changing the time of travel or considering changing the way they travel.

19 July 2011 : Column 972W

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the change in the number of commuter trains will be during the period of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London and the South East. [66314]

Mrs Villiers: The number of commuter trains operating during the period of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games will be broadly similar to the current number with some additions to address Olympics-related travel patterns. On the high speed line from Kent to St. Pancras some reduction in commuter trains will be necessitated to enable additional services to be provided to the Olympic stadium at this time.

Transport: Planning

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on the implications for transport policy of draft version 4 of the National Planning Policy Framework. [67463]

Mr Philip Hammond: I have held regular discussions on a range of issues with my ministerial colleagues in the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Passenger Journeys

Mr Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what estimate he has made of the total number of passenger miles travelled by all modes of transport where the journey was (a) up to 10 miles, (b) 10 to 50 miles, (c) 50 to 150 miles and (d) greater than 150 miles for (i) each county in England, (ii) Scotland, (iii) Wales and (iv) Northern Ireland that were made in 2010; [66979]

(2) what information his Department holds on the number of passenger journeys made in (a) Scotland, (b) Wales, (c) Northern Ireland and (d) each county in England in 2010. [66980]

Mrs Villiers [holding answer 18 July 2011]:The National Travel Survey (NTS) covers residents of Great Britain. Data are not available by county as the sample is too small to provide reliable results at that level of geography. Regional level results are available through combining two survey years of data together. The latest results available are for 2008 and 2009 combined. They cover all domestic journeys by all modes of transport, public and private, including walking and cycling.

Table NTS9903 shows the average number of trips per person per year by region and country of residence and can be viewed at the following link:

http://www2.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statistics/datatablespublications/nts/how-mode/nts9903.xls

Table: Average distance travelled per person per year by trip length and region/country: Great Britain, 2008 and 2009 combined
Miles/Number
  Trip length (miles)
Region of residence Up to 10 miles 10 to under 50 miles 50 to under 200 miles 200 miles and over Total distance (miles) Unweighted sample (trips)

North East

2,343

2,335

1,142

521

6,341

34,001

North West

2,200

2,343

1,087

470

6,101

85,914

Yorkshire and the Humber

2,260

2,459

1,441

526

6,686

62,625

19 July 2011 : Column 973W

East Midlands

2,194

3,047

1,849

250

7,340

52,946

West Midlands

2,303

2,466

1,503

236

6,509

63,598

East of England

2,152

3,743

1,726

408

8,030

69,008

Greater London

1,973

1,690

969

422

5,054

74,166

South East

2,215

3,147

1,789

522

7,673

100,431

South West

2,300

2,828

2,023

576

7,727

64,536

England

2,197

2,665

1,497

439

6,798

607,225

Wales

2,210

2,959

1,618

251

7,038

34,756

Scotland

2,057

3,096

1,147

932

7,233

58,210

Great Britain

2,186

2,717

1,472

473

6,848

700,191

Note: The specified trip length bandings are not available, and therefore the nearest available bandings have been used instead.

Data for Northern Ireland are collected separately in the Travel Survey for Northern Ireland. Results are available at:

http://www.drdni.gov.uk/index/statistics/stats-catagories/stats-catagories-travel_survey.htm

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

Mr David: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he plans to privatise the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency during the present Parliament. [67312]

Mike Penning: The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mrs Spelman), has no plan to privatise the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency during the present Parliament.

World Maritime Day

Mr Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department plans to mark World Maritime Day. [66129]

Mike Penning: The Department for Transport will mark World Maritime Day on 29 September, the theme for which is ‘Piracy—orchestrating the response’, by sending an official communication to the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), which the UK Government are proud to host in London.

The Department for Transport will fly the Red Ensign at its London headquarters. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency, in addition to the Red Ensign, will fly the IMO flag at its Southampton headquarters.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Ministerial Meetings

Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) what (a) meetings and (b) other engagements (i) Ministers and (ii) special advisers in his Department attended which

19 July 2011 : Column 974W

were also attended by Mr Andrew Coulson (A) between 12 May 2010 and 21 January 2011 and (B) since 21 January 2011; [66055]

(2) what (a) meetings and (b) other engagements (i) Ministers and (ii) special advisers in his Department attended which were also attended by (A) representatives, (B) journalists and (C) other employees of (1) News International and its subsidiary organisations including newspapers, (2) News Corporation and its subsidiary organisations and (3) BSkyB since 12 May 2010. [66056]

Mr Davey [holding answer 14 July 2011]: As has been the practice of previous administrations information relating to internal meetings, discussions and advice is not normally disclosed. I refer the hon. Member to the Prime Minister's statement to the House of 13 July 2011.

Apprentices

Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many of the apprenticeship starts in the 2010-11 academic year to date have been delivered through apprenticeship training agencies or other third parties. [62598]

Mr Hayes: From the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) we can estimate apprenticeship starts through the Government funded Apprenticeship Training Agency (ATA) and Group Training Association (GTA) pilots. These show 2,930 recorded Apprenticeship starts between 1 August 2010 and 30 April. There will additionally be a small number of starts which we do not have records for, at ATAs who were not part of the pilot scheme.

The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) also works with GTA England, which represents a number of existing GTAs. They delivered an estimated 5,600 Apprenticeship starts between 1 August 2010 and 30 April.

These data are provisional and are subject to change as more complete data become available from providers.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many people are enrolled on an apprenticeship programme. [67075]

Mr Hayes: There were 326,700 apprenticeship programme starts in England in the first nine months of the academic year 2010/11, from August 2010 to April 2011 based on provisional data.

Information on the number of apprenticeship starts is published in a quarterly statistical first release (SFR). The latest SFR was published on 23 June 2011:

http://www.thedataservice.org.uk/statistics/statisticalfirstrelease/sfr_current

Apprentices: Degrees

Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he is taking to encourage apprentices to undertake degree courses. [63623]

Mr Hayes: Progression from apprenticeships into higher level skills and qualifications is key to our plans. I have renamed apprenticeship levels so that there is a clearer pathway from intermediate to advanced and on to higher apprenticeships. This reinforces the fact that apprentices can, and already do, progress into post-graduate level and professional qualifications.

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The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is currently reviewing the tariff system and the way that it operates. The Government will work closely with UCAS on the review to ensure that vocational qualifications and apprenticeships are properly considered, and we are working with the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) to make sure that those who graduate from an apprenticeship understand their future and career options.

Departmental Apprentices

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 13 June 2011, Official Report, column 567W, on apprentices: Government Departments, how many apprenticeships there were in each Government Department in each of the last 11 years. [67299]

Mr Hayes: Government Skills collected data on apprenticeship starts in Government Departments from April 2008 onwards. As set out in my answer of 13 June 2011, Official Report, column 567W, there were a total of 2,120 apprenticeship starts within Government Departments during the period April 2010 to March 2011. There were 1,395 starts for the period April 2008 to March 2009 and 2,992 for the period April 2009 to March 2010.

Apprentices: Kent

Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many apprenticeships have been started in (a) Dartford constituency and (b) Kent since May 2010. [63280]

Mr Hayes: Table 1 shows the number of apprenticeship starts for Dartford parliamentary constituency and Kent local authority between May 2010 and July 2010 of the 2009/10 academic year based on final year data and between August 2010 and April 2011 of the 2010/11 academic year based on provisional data, the latest date for which we have data.

Table 1: Apprenticeship starts in Dartford constituency and Kent local education authority, 1 May 2010 and 30 April 2011

2009/10: May 2010 to July 2010 (final) 2010/11: August 2010 to April 2011 (provisional) Total: May 2010 to April 2011 (provisional)

Dartford constituency

70

460

530

Kent local education authority

1,180

6,420

7,600

Notes: 1. All Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 2. Geography information is based upon the home postcode of the learner. Source: Individualised Learner Record

Information on the number of apprenticeship starts is published in a quarterly statistical first release (SFR). The latest SFR was published on 23 June 2011:

http://www.thedataservice.org.uk/statistics/statisticalfirstrelease/sfr_current

Bombardier

Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assistance his Department plans to provide to businesses in the Bombardier supply chain. [65978]

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Mr Prisk [holding answer 13 July 2011]: The Secretary of State announced on 5 July the creation of an Economic Response Task Force to fully understand and mitigate the economic impact of job losses at Bombardier, its supply chain and the local communities.

Further the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, my right hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Vince Cable), and the Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), have asked their officials to work together with the sector and key delivery partners, such as UK Trade and Investment, to support the train manufacturing sector and the wider rail supply chain in securing more sustainable UK jobs through clearly identified business opportunities such as the Intercity Express Programme, Crossrail and High Speed 2.

Additionally the Department’s Solutions for Business offers a range of publically funded products and services designed to help businesses to overcome key challenges and UK Trade and Investment explore export opportunities.

Business: Advisory Services

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment his Department has made of offering free insured advice to small businesses. [67275]

Mr Davey: From September 2009 to November 2010, two projects piloted the promotion to small and medium-sized enterprises by Government of insured advice on employment and health and safety matters. This followed on from the 2009 Anderson review which recommended that the Government should provide access for SMEs to a tailored and insured advice service. The evaluation of the pilot, published by BIS on 16 July 2011, concluded that there was not a case for the Government to proactively promote insured advice, although Government information services should provide information about their availability.

Business: Loans

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much has been lent to businesses through the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme in each month since it was introduced. [67716]

Mr Prisk: The Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) commenced in January 2009 and as at end of May 2011, 13,014 businesses had drawn down EFG loans totalling £1.3 billion.

A full breakdown by each month is shown in the following table.

EFG loans drawn, monthly analysis

Number of loans drawn Value of loans drawn (£)

2009

   

January

4

544,028

February

128

8,678,178

March

458

39,721,418

April

671

61,441,137

May

647

65,358,635

June

712

74,925,527

July

754

78,594,965

August

571

60,782,103

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September

596

63,965,868

October

615

66,065,462

November

547

58,824,838

December

465

47,659,599

     

2010

   

January

471

45,875,942

February

516

52,977,748

March

617

60,587,318

April

520

53,809,845

May

453

41,931,650

June

477

48,818,740

July

444

45,507,100

August

386

39,523,689

September

496

49,632,939

October

349

32,800,680

November

323

32,622,836

December

271

25,414,063

     

2011

   

January

305

28,172,435

February

307

28,901,815

March

351

34,187,283

April

269

23,589,805

May

291

30,286,533

Total

13,014

1,301,202,190