Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2015-16 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 20 February 2017
Department for Transport
Stansted Airport: Railways
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 7 February 2017 to Question 62706, if he will make it his policy to reduce the required journey time on the West Anglia Main Line to Stansted Airport during Network Rail's next Control Period; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 23 February 2017

The rail industry has recently provided its initial advice to Ministers for Control Period 6 (2019-2024), which we are carefully considering. In due course we will make announcements on the outcomes we want to see from the railway during CP6, as well as engage with stakeholders.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 23 February 2017
Department for Transport
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many people participated in a diversionary course as a result of a road traffic offence in each of the last five years; and what proportion of such people were subsequently prosecuted for a further offence.
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 07 February 2017
Department for Transport
Motor Vehicles and Aviation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to publish the Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 22 February 2017
Holding answer received on 20 February 2017

The Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill was introduced today.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 17 February 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Green Investment Bank: West Midlands
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much (a) Birmingham and (b) the West Midlands has received in financial support through local projects funded by the Green Investment Bank since that bank was established.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 22 February 2017

The Green Investment Bank (GIB) has invested £17.6m in the £47m Birmingham Bio Power project. Details of this project can be found on the Green Investment Bank website: http://www.greeninvestmentbank.com/news-and-insights/2013/gib-and-foresight-group-forge-consortium-to-construct-478m-renewable-energy-plant-in-birmingham/.

In addition, some of GIB’s UK-wide investment platforms such as its indirect investment in LED lighting upgrades to Santander branches and NCP car parks are likely to have benefitted these areas. Further information on all of GIB’s investments can be found on its website: www.greeninvestmentbank.com

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 07 February 2017
Department for Transport
Volkswagen
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what reports he has received from Volkswagen on (a) its progress on the technical update of vehicles fitted with defeat devices and (b) any change to its timetable for that update; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 20 February 2017

I meet regularly with Volkswagen executives to press them on important issues, including the progress of technical updates being applied to affected vehicles. The most recent meeting was on 6th February.

There are 1.2million affected vehicles in the UK and the technical update has been approved for approximately one million of these. Officials are tracking Volkswagen’s progress in updating the vehicles in the UK and as of 7th February 420,000 vehicles had been modified.

I have impressed upon the company the need for a speedy roll-out of the technical upgrade, and urged them to treat UK consumers fairly.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 06 February 2017
Department for Transport
Shipping: Exhaust Emissions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 3 February 2017 to Question 62467, on shipping: pollution control, whether any UK registered vessels were detained for infringement of provisions of Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships in (a) 2015 and (b) 2016.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 14 February 2017

The number of UK registered vessels that were detained for infringement of provisions of Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships was (a) one in 2015 and (b) none in 2016.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 06 February 2017
Department for Transport
Shipping: Exhaust Emissions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 3 February 2017 to Question 62467, on shipping: pollution control, how many vessels on routes in the sulphur emission control areas were inspected for compliance with Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships in (a) 2015 and (b) 2016.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 14 February 2017

The number of vessels on routes in the sulphur emission control areas that were inspected at UK ports that fall within these areas, for compliance with Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships was (a) 21 in 2015 and (b) 501 in 2016.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 02 February 2017
Department for Education
First Aid: Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make it her policy for first aid and CPR to be taught in all schools.
A
Answered by: Edward Timpson
Answered on: 10 February 2017

All schools are required to teach a balanced and broadly based curriculum that prepares pupils for adult life. The new national curriculum focuses on the essential knowledge so that teachers can design a wider school curriculum that best meets the needs of their pupils.

Many schools already choose to include CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and defibrillator awareness as part of their PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education) teaching. The non-statutory PSHE programme of study produced by the PSHE Association, teaches young people how to recognise and follow health and safety procedures, ways of reducing risk and minimising harm in risky situations, and how to use emergency and basic first aid.

Many schools also make use of organisations such as the Red Cross and St John Ambulance, to provide information to young people about first aid and dealing with emergencies.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 06 February 2017
HM Treasury
Motor Vehicles: Taxation
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has received representations on his proposed change to vehicle taxation scheduled for April 2017 on (a) the potential effect on future vehicles, (b) the potential effect on air quality and (c) postponing the introduction of those changes until further consultation is carried out.
A
Answered by: Jane Ellison
Answered on: 09 February 2017

HM Treasury receives a wide range of representations on the future of vehicle taxation, including on the VED reforms that are due to come into force in April 2017. Recent representations from the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) and some of its members covered the issues set out in this question.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 06 February 2017
Department for Transport
Motor Vehicles
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of how many (a) ultra low emission, (b) hydrogen and (c) fully electric vehicles there will be on roads in each of the next five years; and whether his Department is on course to meet targets related to such vehicle numbers.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 09 February 2017

The Government wants almost every car and van in the UK to be a zero emission vehicle by 2050. In 2013 the Government’s strategy for ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) set out an expectation that ULEVs – which include hydrogen fuel cell, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles – could make up 3-7% of new car sales in 2020. Currently, there are over 85,000 electric vehicles that have benefited from the plug-in grant funding schemes. Uptake in this new market is difficult to predict, and depends largely on the speed with which car manufacturers make new models available. Latest data indicates that ULEV car uptake remains on track for the growth projections set out in 2013.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 31 January 2017
Department for Transport
Large Goods Vehicle Drivers: Facilities
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his Department's policy is on the provision of roadside toilets and other facilities for HGV drivers.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 07 February 2017

The Department is determined to improve the provision of roadside toilets and other facilities for HGV drivers, through working with stakeholders in a number of areas. It is developing with representative groups what will be official standards for facilities at Motorway Service Areas. This is part of wider work also involving improved planning, ensuring high standards more generally including at truck stops and making sure that delivery drivers have access to toilets at customer sites. This work is being informed by a systematic parking survey for completion in the Spring which will help in understanding where more facilities are most needed.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 31 January 2017
Department for Transport
Department for Transport: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many agency staff his Department has employed in each of the last 12 months.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 07 February 2017

The table below details the number of agency staff working for the department in each of the last 12 months. This response covers the central department and its four executive agencies.

2016

January

120

February

117

March

116

April

94

May

104

June

102

July

99

August

99

September

99

October

101

November

102

December

106

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 01 February 2017
Department for Transport
Stansted Airport: Railways
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress has been made in improving rail links to Stansted Airport; and what timescale he has set to ensure that those links are improved.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 07 February 2017

The new East Anglia franchise is bringing a number of improvements for passengers travelling to Stansted airport, including new trains with free Wi-Fi from February 2019 and a minimum 12.5% reduction in anytime single and return fares and anytime single fares on the Stansted Express by early 2017. By early 2018, passengers will be able to purchase tickets via a dedicated Stansted Express website, to be delivered to their mobile devices for validation. Almost all hourly services between Norwich and Cambridge are to be extended to provide a direct service to and from Stansted Airport.

In addition, CrossCountry is planning to deliver additional services between the Midlands and Stansted Airport as and when additional rolling stock and train paths become available.

The West Anglia Taskforce examined potential long term upgrades to rail infrastructure between London, Stansted and Cambridge and the benefits it might generate. The Taskforce published its recommendations and a suggested timetable for action last July. We have already actioned one of the recommendations of the West Anglia Taskforce report – to establish a rail “action group” for the West Anglia Main Line. This group comprising representatives of the Department for Transport and other key stakeholders is examining a number of issues in relation to the West Anglia Main Line, including potential improvements to services to Stansted airport.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 01 February 2017
Department for Transport
Rail Delivery Group
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he expects to receive the initial industry advice from the Rail Delivery Group; and if he will publish that advice.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 07 February 2017

Initial Industry Advice was received from the Rail Delivery Group on 31st January 2017. We are now considering this advice and intend to publish it in due course.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 01 February 2017
Department for Transport
Airports
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department's aviation strategy will set out how the Government plans to support the development of airports with spare capacity to their maximum potential up to 2030 or before Heathrow expansion is complete.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 07 February 2017

As part of the development of the Aviation Strategy, we will look at how demand for air travel is likely to evolve in the coming decades, and what that will mean for our existing infrastructure. The Strategy will seek to address how we should make the best use that we can of existing infrastructure, and what principles should govern development going forward.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 01 February 2017
Home Office
Police: Road Traffic Control
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many designated road traffic officers there have been in each police force in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 06 February 2017

The Home Office collects and publishes data annually on the primary function of police officers, as part of the ‘Police workforce, England and Wales’ statistical bulletins. These data include officers whose primary function is “Road Policing”. Officers with multiple responsibilities are recorded under their primary function.

The data requested on traffic officers are provided in the table attached. Data for years prior to 2015 were collected under a different framework, with different definitions, and are therefore not directly comparable with data as at 31 March 2015 or 2016.

Some forces are unable to make a clear distinction between certain functions and therefore record the majority of, or all, employees under one function. In particular, some forces have employees who work within units whose function is to provide both roads policing and armed policing. Reclassification of roles within a force can lead to fluctuations in the number of officers in a particular role between years.

Police Data Table (Excel SpreadSheet, 28.5 KB)
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 01 February 2017
Home Office
Road Traffic Offences: Fixed Penalties
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many fixed penalty notices have been issued by each police force for road traffic offences in each quarter since 2010.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 06 February 2017

The Home Office publishes data on the number of offences dealt via a fixed penalty notice (FPNs) by each police force in the ‘Police Powers and Procedures, England and Wales’ statistical publication. This covers all offences dealt with via a fixed penalty notice, but does not include those dealt with via prosecution or driver retraining courses.

These data are collected and published annually, with data not held centrally for individual quarters. The latest data, up to the calendar year 2015, can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/561976/fixed-penalty-notices-police-powers-procedures-hosb1516-tables.ods

How road traffic offences are enforced is an operational matter for the police, while decisions on the size and composition of a force’s workforce are for Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 06 February 2017
Department for Transport
Motor Vehicles: Tax Rates and Bands
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's news story of 30 January 2017, new vehicle tax rate from 1 April 2017, what steps his Department and Cabinet colleagues are taking to raise awareness of those new vehicle tax rates; and what the cost to the public purse of publicising those new rates will be.
A
Answered by: Andrew Jones
Answered on: 14 February 2017

Since the beginning of December 2016, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has launched no cost marketing activities to publicise the vehicle excise duty (VED) rates, which will apply to vehicles first registered from 1 April 2017. The campaign aimed towards the general public is being run across social media and is supported by messages on DVLA literature. The DVLA and HM Treasury are also engaging with vehicle manufacturers to encourage them to raise awareness with their retailers and customers on the impact of the changes.

This initial campaign is being supported by paid for publicity activity to target potential new car buyers in the run up to 1 April 2017. This will include messages on internet search engines and on key motor trade websites. The planned cost is up to £95,000 including VAT; £8,000 was spent on the first phase in January. All communications point to a page on GOV.UK (www.gov.uk/newvehicletaxrates) which gives further detail of the changes.

Any paid for communications activity costing over £100,000 would be subject to central government spend controls.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 31 January 2017
Department for Transport
Aviation: Unmanned Air Vehicles
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress his Department is making through the European Aviation Safety Agency to update common drone regulations; and in what ways he intends his Department's consultation on the safe use of drones in the UK to support that process.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 03 February 2017

The Department for Transport has been actively participating in negotiations on the revision of the European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) Basic Regulation, which will include EU-wide safety rules for all unmanned aircraft.

EASA is currently in the process of drafting its proposed harmonised European rules for the ‘Open’ and ‘Specific’ categories of drones. This proposal is planned to go out to consultation at the end of March 2017. The Civil Aviation Authority participates in the EASA Expert Group of subject matter experts, and is assisting with the development of the proposal.

The Government’s consultation on the safe use of drones in the UK closes on 15 March 2017. There are several proposals contained within which may require updated regulation. We will continue to feed relevant UK experience into the EASA process; in particular, to ensure continued support for the development of a proportionate regulatory framework.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 31 January 2017
Department for Transport
Shipping: Exhaust Emissions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which internationally registered vessels were detained by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency for infringement of the provisions of Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships in (a) 2015 and (b) 2016.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 03 February 2017

No internationally registered vessels were detained by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency for infringement of the provisions of Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships in either 2015 or 2016.

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