|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Chris Mole: The Department for Transport has laid a combined annual report and accounts for 2008-09 in Parliament today. The resource accounts were certified by the Comptroller and Auditor General on 13 July.
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what his Department's equality impact assessment is of its new probation
policy in relation to disability; and if he will make a statement. 
Chris Mole: The Central Department completed an equality impact assessment of its new probation policy and assessed it as having low negative impact. We are under a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure disabled persons are not placed at a substantial disadvantage in comparison to those persons who are not disabled. This applies to our new probation policy and HR will monitor and review the process to ensure this is given full effect.
John McDonnell: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport for what reasons his Department's new probation policy does not give probationers the right to bring a grievance concerning the extension of probation. 
Chris Mole: The Department's new probation policy complies with the ACAS Code of Practice on discipline and grievance. Moreover, it is essential for ensuring good administration that the Department manages performance effectively and requires that all new employees demonstrate their suitability for the role for which they have been employed. While a specific grievance procedure is not available in respect of decisions to extend, a probationary employee has a right to appeal against a decision to terminate their employment.
John McDonnell: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what proportion of (a) male and (b) female staff of his central Department have received the highest appraisal marking in each reporting year since the formation of the central Department. 
Chris Mole: The proportions and numbers of staff, by gender, who have been appraised as "exceeded" (the highest appraisal mark) since the formation of the central Department for Transport in 2002 are set out in the following table.
Bob Spink: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much was paid in bonuses to (a) directors, (b) senior managers, (c) specialist and delivery managers and (d) executive support and administration staff in the Driving Standards Agency in each of the last five years. 
Paul Clark: Bonus payments to (a) directors are managed by the Department for Transport (Central Department). I refer the hon. Member to our answer of 26 November 2008, Official Report, columns 1567-68W.
A comprehensive breakdown of (b) senior managers, (c) specialist and delivery managers and (d) executive support and administration staff in the Driving Standards Agency can be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, total figures for each of the last five financial years are as following:
|Financial year||Pay bands 1-7 (£)|
Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what assessment he has made of the merits of seeking an exemption from the EU drivers' hours directive for those who drive horseboxes over 7.5 tonnes for recreational purposes; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Clark: Given the flexibilities which already exist within the EU drivers' hours rules (Regulation (EC) No. 561/2006), we see little prospect of the European Commission agreeing to a UK request to exempt recreational drivers of horseboxes over 7.5 tonnes.
It should still be possible for those in full-time employment who drive large horseboxes recreationally to schedule a reduced weekly rest period of 24 hours immediately before the equestrian event in question, or in between driving to and from the event (i.e. at the event itself) without the need for a derogation.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the administrative and legal costs to the public purse of the franchising process were on each occasion when the East Coast Main Line franchise was let. 
Chris Mole [holding answer 14 July 2009]: The costs to the Department for Transport for undertaking the re-franchising of the Inter City East Coast (ICEC) franchise in 2007 were £1,260,000 of which legal costs were £168,000. These costs were recovered from Sea Containers, Great North Eastern Railway's (GNER) parent company, under an agreement made between the Department and Sea Containers prior to GNER handing back the East Coast franchise.
The previous re-franchising in 2005 was undertaken by the Strategic Rail Authority, in the normal course of business, at the end of GNER's franchise term at an additional cost of £2,362,000 of which legal costs were £408,000.
The costs incurred by the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising in the original letting of the franchise in 1996 and the extension of the franchise in 2003 by the Strategic Rail Authority could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Bob Spink: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport (1) what estimate he has made of the proportion of statutory obligations provided for by legislation on matters for which his Department is responsible which were introduced as a consequence of obligations arising from EU legislation in the latest period for which figures are available; 
(2) what estimate he has made of the cost to his Department of the statutory obligations upon it provided for in legislation on matters for which it is responsible which were introduced as a consequence of obligations arising from EU legislation in the most recent 12 months for which figures are available. 
Mr. Khan: The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost. It is very difficult to provide precise figures for the proportion of UK legislation that stems from the European Union (EU).
The administrative burdens measurement exercise carried out by the Government in 2006 put the proportion of administrative burdens stemming from the EU at approximately one third of the total administrative burden.
The important thing is not the origins of a legislation, which could of course be a devolved Administration or a local authority, as well as the Government or the EU, but the quality of the regulation. All regulations, irrespective of their origins, should comply with the principles of better regulation. Regulations should be risk based, proportionate and well designed, so as to achieve their objectives while also keeping costs to a minimum. The Government continue to work with European partners to ensure that EU regulations meet these standards.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will publish the findings of the research commissioned by his Department, entitled In Depth Study of Motorcycle Training, due to have been completed in October 2007. 
Paul Clark: We plan to publish the findings of the in depth study of motorcycle training by October 2009. The study was largely complete by early 2008 and provisional results were taken into account by the Driving Standards Agency in the design of the new motorcycle test that was introduced in April 2009. The report is currently being finalised by the research contractor, mainly to ensure it reflects changes to the testing regime.
Chris Mole: The case for electrifying more of the rail network depends heavily on having suitable new or cascaded rolling stock to run on newly electrified lines. Consequently, the Department for Transport is incorporating rolling stock procurement and cascade issues into its analysis of electrification proposals.
Chris Mole: It is not the policy of the Government to operate rail franchises permanently in the public sector. In situations where the Government is obliged to do so on a temporary basis in order to fulfil its Operator of Last Resort duties under section 30 of the Railways Act 1993 the costs are usually met from the franchise's performance bond.
John McDonnell: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much revenue support (a) First Great Western, (b) First Capital Connect, (c) National Express East Anglia, (d) Northern Rail and (e) Virgin West Coast have received from his Department under the terms in their respective franchise agreements to date. 
Chris Mole [holding answer 14 July 2009]: Details of the money received and paid out under the revenue support and share arrangements between 2006-07 and 2008-09 are set out in the following table. No revenue support payments were made to these franchises under their franchise agreements prior to this:
|Train operating company (TOC)||2008-09||2007-08||2006-07|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|