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Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills pursuant to the answer of 29 January 2009, Official Report, column 789W, on employment-related skills, how much of the funding allocated to improve the employment-related skills of people with low skills he expects to be spent in Luton. 
Mr. Simon: The recently announced funding to support employment-focused training for people facing or at risk of redundancy, as well as those who have been out of work for a longer period of time, will be spent in line with demand and skills needs. It is therefore not possible to say how much funding will be spent in a given geographical area at this point in time.
Paul Clark: Additional funding of £212 million has been provided to local authorities this year to cover the extra cost of the new concession. It is estimated that this will bring the total spending on concessionary fares to approximately £1 billion this year. The Government are confident that there is sufficient funding in total for statutory concessionary fares.
15. Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment he has made of reimbursement rates to local authorities for their expenditure under the national concessionary bus fares scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Clark: The Government provide funding to local authorities to allow them to reimburse bus operators for concessionary travel. This funding now totals around £1 billion per annum and the Government are confident that there is sufficient funding in total for statutory concessionary fares. The rates set by local authorities for reimbursing bus operators are a matter for them.
9. Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will amend his Departments criteria for the allocation of capital expenditure under local transport plans to provide for greater devolution of responsibilities to local government. 
Paul Clark: Most Department for Transport capital funding to local authorities is distributed through formulae developed with local government. It is not ring-fenced. The remaining funding is generally for specific major schemes. Regional bodies and local authorities can now advise Ministers on changing the allocation of all this funding within the region.
Jim Fitzpatrick: We plan to implement hard shoulder running on the M4 between junctions 19 and 20 and on the M5 between junctions 15 and 17. The scheme will address congestion and unreliable journey times on this important section of the motorway network near Bristol.
Paul Clark: On 15 January 2009 we announced our plans for the Highways Agencys national roads programme in Britains Transport Infrastructure Motorways and Major Trunk Roads. This included over 520 lanes miles of additional capacity, of which, over 340 lane miles would be delivered by hard shoulder running. We also set out our strategy to apply managed motorways more widely across the core national motorway network over the next 10 to 15 years.
Paul Clark: Officials in the Department for Transport have recently discussed ticket office change proposals made by South West Trains, First Capital Connect, National Express East Anglia and National Express East Coast. Some of these are small changes and some just outline proposals.
13. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with train operating companies on the commercial viability of their franchises in the current economic situation. 
Paul Clark: The Department for Transport has regular discussions with train operating companies as part of the normal monitoring arrangements under our franchise agreements. This includes monitoring of the financial and operational performance of individual franchises.
Paul Clark: The Rail White Paper, which we published in July 2007, described the forecast growth in rail usage and sets out the enhancements in capacity, reliability and safety the Government seek. At the heart of our plans is the £10 billion that we have committed to spend on enhancing rail capacity between 2009 and 2014.
Jim Fitzpatrick: We identified young drivers as a key priority in the Road Safety Strategy review, published in 2007. While 17 per cent. fewer car drivers were killed in 2007 than in 2006 we are not complacent. We want new drivers to have the right attitude and skills to be safe drivers. On 7 May 2008, the Driving Standards Agency launched Learning to Drive consultation, which set out proposals for the reform of driver education, training and testing. The reforms will better prepare newly qualified drivers modern driving conditions.
19. David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent representations he has received on the restoration of passenger services on the National Forest Line between Burton-on-Trent and Leicester; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Clark: The Department for Transport receives many representations about re-opening railway lines across the country but since 1 January 2008, only one has solely focused on the re-opening of the National Forest Line.
Jim Fitzpatrick: All approved driving instructors (ADIs) must satisfy the registrar that they are fit and proper' to have their name initially entered in the register and must continue to meet that requirement in order to remain registered. To evidence this they must provide enhanced level criminal record checks.
John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the merits of easing the restriction on the volume of liquids permissible in air passengers' hand baggage; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: We are working with international partners to develop technological solutions that enable a lifting of restrictions and current indications are that some technology could be available for deployment at EU airports in 2010. In the meantime the present restrictions must remain in place in order to address the real and serious threat from liquid explosives.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the last death occurred in a road traffic accident on the A15 between Lincoln and the M180; and how many deaths have occurred on this road in each of the last five years. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The numbers of fatalities resulting from reported personal injury road accidents on the A15 between Lincoln and the M180 for each of the last five years are given in the following table:
|Number of fatalities|
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of maximum airspace capacity over London and the South East is currently used; and what contingency plans he has to (a) ration and (b) otherwise allocate airspace if demand should exceed supply. 
Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 9 March 2009]: Although airspace has a finite volume, available airspace capacity is not a constantit varies according to the declared capacity of air traffic control units and airspace sectors as a function of time.
provides an air traffic flow and capacity management service on behalf of air traffic services and airport operators across Europe before traffic is handled operationally by air traffic control. The CFMU has access to a database containing flight plan information on every aircraft that is planning to fly in European airspace and uses this information to meet its objectives of balancing demand and capacity, keeping delays to a minimum and avoiding congestion, bottlenecks and overload.
Consequently, airspace capacity management in the UK is an operational matter for the air traffic control provider, NATS. The following link to the NATS website provides an overview on traffic volumes handled by NATS from their various centres and flights handled at major UK airports:
http://www.nats.co.uk/text/47/operational and safety.html
Paul Clark: This information is no longer collected centrally by the Department for Transport as part of our drive to reduce the burden upon local authorities in respect of the information we request annually from them.
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