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Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will set a date for ending the use of fluoride-based greenhouse gases in refrigeration units; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The UK is working closely with its EU partners to achieve an international HFC emissions reduction arrangement as one of the outcomes of the Copenhagen climate conference next month. Such an arrangement would include the fluorinated greenhouse gases used in refrigeration units. Under this arrangement, the parties to the Montreal protocol would undertake the detailed negotiation of dates by when phase-down must be achieved during their meetings next year.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of (a) cleaning up the recent discharge of cyanide and raw sewage into the river Trent and (b) restoring habitats affected by the discharge. 
The Environment Agency is still assessing the environmental impact of the recent discharge into the river Trent and identifying any further clean-up or restoration work required. The cost of this work is not yet known but will be calculated in due course. If a successful prosecution results from the Environment Agency's investigation into the cause of the discharge, it
will be seeking to recover some if not all of its costs from those responsible in order to minimise the cost to the public purse.
Huw Irranca-Davies: Seedlings and transplants of the genus Fraxinus L (Ash) may be imported into the UK from any country provided that they meet the requirements of the EC Plant Health Directive (2000/29/EC). The directive requires that ash seedlings and transplants imported from a third country must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate, to confirm that specific conditions have been met, such as freedom from certain pests and diseases, soil, plant debris, leaves, flowers and fruit. Plants are also checked at import by inspectors from the Food and Environment Research Agency (in England and Wales). When ash seedlings and transplants are introduced from another EU member state they must be from a place of production known to be free from certain pests and diseases.
If the ash seedlings and transplants are intended for forestry purposes, then the requirements of the Forest Reproductive Materials Directive 1999/105/EC would also apply. These are the responsibility of the Forestry Commission in Great Britain.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures are in place to prevent the importation of tree diseases via ash (a) seedlings and (b) transplants. 
Dan Norris: Seedlings and transplants of the genus Fraxinus L (Ash) may be imported into the UK only if they meet the requirements of the EC Plant Health Directive (2000/29/EC). The directive requires that ash seedlings and transplants imported from a third country must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate, to confirm that specific conditions have been met, such as freedom from certain pests and diseases, soil, plant debris, leaves, flowers and fruit. Plants are also checked at import by inspectors from the Food and Environment Research Agency (in England and Wales). When ash seedlings and transplants are introduced from another EU member state they must be from a place of production known to be free from certain pests and diseases.
Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport when he expects the concrete surface of the A50 Doveridge bypass to (a) reach end-of-life and (b) be resurfaced; and what estimate has been made of the cost of resurfacing. 
Chris Mole: The concrete surface that is in place for the A50 Doveridge bypass was designed to last a minimum of 40 years. The bypass was constructed between 1996 and 1998 and is expected to last until at least 2036-38.
Paul Clark: The Air Transport Users' Council is not funded by the Government. It receives its funding from the Civil Aviation Authority via a specific charge which the authority makes on airlines. Its budget for 2009-10 is £750,000.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what arrangements he has put in place to enable airlines to reduce carbon dioxide and other emissions; and what arrangements he has put in place to (a) monitor and (b) report on those airlines' performance in reducing emissions. 
Paul Clark: The inclusion of aviation in the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) enables the aviation sector to take responsibility for its carbon dioxide emissions in the most cost-effective way. All flights departing from and arriving at EU airports will be included in the EU ETS from 2012. The EU ETS caps total emissions to a fixed limit, with operators required to surrender allowances for each reporting year to cover their total emissions. Any increase in emissions above these levels must be matched by emissions reductions elsewhere within the aviation sector or in another sector within the wider ETS. Aircraft operators will be encouraged to reduce their CO2 emissions through investment in greener aircraft technology and by developing the use of alternative fuels. In the UK, the Environment Agency will regulate the aviation EU ETS in England and Wales, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency regulating operators in Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively. Aircraft operators covered by the EU ETS must monitor their CO2 emissions from 1 January 2010 and each year have this information independently verified, then report data to their regulator.
In January of this year, the Government announced a target to bring UK aviation CO2 emissions in 2050 to below 2005 levels and has asked the Committee on Climate Change to advise on this. The committee is due to report by December 2009. Once the Government have received the committee's advice, they will determine the best basis for taking the target forward.
The European Commission is considering the utility of different options for EU-wide measures that address aviation emissions of NOx (oxides of nitrogen). Certification standards for NOx emissions are set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The UK takes a leading role in this forum and expects a tightening of these standards to be agreed next year. ICAO has published guidance on emission charges related to local air quality. The Civil Aviation Act 2006 permitted such charges to be levied and the operators of Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton now impose a charge related to the certification performance of landing aircraft to incentivise the use of cleaner aircraft.
Anne Main: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the percentage change in levels of bus usage in (a) England, (b) Hertfordshire and (c) the St Albans parliamentary constituency was in each year since 1996. 
Mr. Khan: Between 1996-97 and 2008-09 the number of local bus passenger journeys in England increased by 20 per cent. Over the same time period the number of local bus passenger journeys in Hertfordshire increased by 15 per cent. (these should be treated with caution as data quality varies between local authorities). Figures for the St. Albans parliamentary constituency are not compiled. Year by year figures are available in the table.
The aggregation and estimation techniques used in compiling these statistics are currently under review. Figures until 2006-07 are based on an old calculation method, whereas those for 2007-08 and 2008-09 use a newer method. This is still being tested and therefore the data are provisional. Upon completion of this review data for earlier years may be revised.
|Total passenger journeys in England and Hertfordshire, 1996-97 to 2008-09|
|(a) England||(b) Hertfordshire|
|Journeys (million)||Year on year change (percentage)||Journeys (million)||Year on year change (percentage)|
|(1) 2007-08 figures for both the old and new method of calculating passenger journeys are shown, in order to show how the growth rate between 1996-97 and 2008-09 is calculated.|
Blank row indicates break in series.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate he has made of the number and proportion of pensioners who are entitled to a concessionary bus pass in (a) Peterborough constituency and (b) Peterborough city council area. 
Mr. Khan: The Department for Transport does not maintain records of how many people in local authorities are eligible for concessionary bus passes as concessionary travel is administered locally by Travel Concession Authorities (TCAs).
All older people aged 60 and over are entitled to receive a concessionary bus pass. The Department does not hold figures specifically for Peterborough constituency but work that was conducted by the Department prior to the implementation of the national bus concession suggested that as of August 2007, there were 29,894 older people eligible for a concessionary bus pass in Peterborough city council.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what criteria are used to determine the eligibility to register for the local residents scheme for the Dartford crossing; what recent representations he has received supporting a change in such criteria; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Khan: The eligibility criteria for the local discount scheme are that applicants should be residents of the local authorities of Dartford or Thurrock. It was decided that the Dartford and Thurrock local authorities should be eligible as these areas are most affected by the Dartford crossing. Our decision also reflected the factors which underpinned the reasons behind the previous regime, whereby a proportion of revenues from the crossing was made available to deliver integrated transport policies in the Dartford and Thurrock areas.
David Simpson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much his Department spent on overnight accommodation for (a) Ministers and (b) officials while overseas in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what factors the Government considered when opting out of the provisions of European Directive 92/97/EEC on type approved exhausts; and what assessment was made of the effect on (a) the economy and (b) the environment of securing such an opt-out. 
Mr. Khan: The United Kingdom does not have an opt-out from directive 92/97/EEC. The directive sets voluntary standards for the type approval of replacement silencers. These standards are designed to ensure access to market in EU member states where specific approval requirements for replacement silencers are imposed. The UK does not impose such approval requirements.
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