Department for Transport

We work with our agencies and partners to support the transport network that helps the UK’s businesses and gets people and goods travelling around the country. We plan and invest in transport infrastructure to keep the UK on the move.



Secretary of State

 Portrait

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
Scottish National Party
Gavin Newlands (SNP - Paisley and Renfrewshire North)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Transport)

Labour
Lord Rosser (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Transport)

Liberal Democrat
Sarah Olney (LDEM - Richmond Park)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Transport)

Labour
Jim McMahon (LAB - Oldham West and Royton)
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport

Democratic Unionist Party
Paul Girvan (DUP - South Antrim)
Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport)

Plaid Cymru
Liz Saville Roberts (PC - Dwyfor Meirionnydd)
Shadow PC Spokesperson (Transport)

Liberal Democrat
Baroness Randerson (LDEM - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Transport)
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Labour
Sam Tarry (LAB - Ilford South)
Shadow Minister (Transport)
Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi (LAB - Slough)
Shadow Minister (Transport)
Mike Kane (LAB - Wythenshawe and Sale East)
Shadow Minister (Transport)
Kerry McCarthy (LAB - Bristol East)
Shadow Minister (Transport)
Lord Tunnicliffe (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Minister (Transport)
Ministers of State
Andrew Stephenson (CON - Pendle)
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
Chris Heaton-Harris (CON - Daventry)
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Robert Courts (CON - Witney)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
Rachel Maclean (CON - Redditch)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
Baroness Vere of Norbiton (CON - Life peer)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
Scheduled Event
Thursday 9th September 2021
09:30
Department for Transport
Oral questions - Main Chamber
9 Sep 2021, 9:30 a.m.
Transport (including Topical Questions)
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Debates
Thursday 22nd July 2021
Select Committee Docs
Wednesday 28th July 2021
00:00
Select Committee Inquiry
Friday 26th February 2021
The roll-out and safety of smart motorways

This inquiry will look at the safety of smart motorways and public confidence in their use as well as their …

Written Answers
Wednesday 28th July 2021
Driving Licences
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to stop the most common driving licence …
Secondary Legislation
Monday 19th July 2021
Airports Slot Allocation (Alleviation of Usage Requirements) (No. 2) Regulations 2021
These Regulations make amendments to retained EU law in the field of aviation, relating to the allocation of slots at …
Bills
Thursday 9th January 2020
Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Act 2021
A Bill to make provision about airspace change proposals and about the licensing regime for air traffic services under Part …
Dept. Publications
Friday 30th July 2021
00:15

Department for Transport Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Jun. 24
Oral Questions
Jun. 29
Urgent Questions
Jul. 07
Westminster Hall
Jul. 07
Adjournment Debate
View All Department for Transport Commons Contibutions

Bills currently before Parliament

Department for Transport does not have Bills currently before Parliament


Acts of Parliament created in the 2019 Parliament

Introduced: 9th January 2020

A Bill to make provision about airspace change proposals and about the licensing regime for air traffic services under Part 1 of the Transport Act 2000, to confer police powers relating to unmanned aircraft and requirements in Air Navigation Orders and to provide for fixed penalties for certain offences relating to unmanned aircraft

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 29th April 2021 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 17th July 2017

A Bill to make provision for a railway between a junction with Phase One of High Speed 2, near Fradley Wood in Staffordshire, and a junction with the West Coast Main Line near Crewe in Cheshire; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 11th February 2021 and was enacted into law.

Department for Transport - Secondary Legislation

These Regulations make amendments to retained EU law in the field of aviation, relating to the allocation of slots at congested airports. They amend Council Regulation (EEC) No 95/93 of 18 January 1993 on common rules for the allocation of slots at United Kingdom airports (“the Regulation”), to make provision about the allocation of airport slots to air carriers in respect of specified periods, as a result of a reduction in the level of air traffic as a result of COVID-19.
This instrument amends the Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001 (S.I. 2001/561) (“the 2001 Regulations”). The amendment is made in response to the JCSI’s thirty-seventh report of Session 2019-2021 suggesting that regulation 10(2) of the 2001 Regulations should explicitly be made subject to paragraph (4A).
View All Department for Transport Secondary Legislation

Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

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Petition Debates Contributed

The Government should class in-person interaction with family members and unmarried partners abroad as an essential reason to travel.

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak there are travel bans imposed by many countries, there is a disastrous potential impact on our Aviation Industry. Without the Government’s help there could be an unprecedented crisis, with thousands of jobs under threat.

View All Department for Transport Petitions

Departmental Select Committee

Transport Committee

Commons Select Committees are a formally established cross-party group of backbench MPs tasked with holding a Government department to account.

At any time there will be number of ongoing investigations into the work of the Department, or issues which fall within the oversight of the Department. Witnesses can be summoned from within the Government and outside to assist in these inquiries.

Select Committee findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.


11 Members of the Transport Committee
Huw Merriman Portrait
Huw Merriman (Conservative - Bexhill and Battle)
Transport Committee Chair since 29th January 2020
Greg Smith Portrait
Greg Smith (Conservative - Buckingham)
Transport Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Gavin Newlands Portrait
Gavin Newlands (Scottish National Party - Paisley and Renfrewshire North)
Transport Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Grahame Morris Portrait
Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)
Transport Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Karl McCartney Portrait
Karl McCartney (Conservative - Lincoln)
Transport Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Chris Loder Portrait
Chris Loder (Conservative - West Dorset)
Transport Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Robert Largan Portrait
Robert Largan (Conservative - High Peak)
Transport Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Simon Jupp Portrait
Simon Jupp (Conservative - East Devon)
Transport Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Lilian Greenwood Portrait
Lilian Greenwood (Labour - Nottingham South)
Transport Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Ruth Cadbury Portrait
Ruth Cadbury (Labour - Brentford and Isleworth)
Transport Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Ben Bradshaw Portrait
Ben Bradshaw (Labour - Exeter)
Transport Committee Member since 22nd February 2021

50 most recent Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to stop the most common driving licence renewal internet searches returning advertisements for third-party scam websites charging £50 to £100 to check and renew licences.

The paid placement of third party sites in search engine listings continues to be an issue which Government is trying to address with the search engine providers. Currently third party sites are legitimately allowed to provide an alternative service for customers. Some of these sites charge additional fees for checking and forwarding the applications.

The services that are paid for via these sites can be obtained cheaper and, in many cases, free of charge on GOV.UK. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) frequently reminds the public through awareness articles, postings on social media sites and a variety of media outlets to use the official channel for all DVLA services. Both digital and paper reminders and renewal forms are annotated with reminders to use GOV.UK as the only official place to find DVLA services and information.

Where a third party site is identified as operating outside of the guidelines the DVLA will work with the relevant authorities to seek compliance. Failure to comply may lead to the site being removed.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress he has made on negotiations to extend the quarantine-free covid-19 travel rules for double-vaccinated travellers from Amber list countries to include people who have received their full WHO-recognised vaccinations in a country other than the UK.

We are working closely with international partners on reopening travel and will provide an update in due course on how to safely reopen travel for fully vaccinated people from overseas.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the guidance issued by the DVLA on the process for issuing and reissuing driving licences.

Guidance on how to apply for a driving licence is published on GOV.UK and can be found here.

The volume of driving licences issued in each of the last five years is shown in the table below:

Year

Number of Driving Licences Issued

2016 – 2017

10.4 million

2017 – 2018

11.2 million

2018 – 2019

10.6 million

2019 – 2020

11.2 million

2020 – 2021

8.8 million

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many driving licences the DVLA has issued in each of the last five years.

Guidance on how to apply for a driving licence is published on GOV.UK and can be found here.

The volume of driving licences issued in each of the last five years is shown in the table below:

Year

Number of Driving Licences Issued

2016 – 2017

10.4 million

2017 – 2018

11.2 million

2018 – 2019

10.6 million

2019 – 2020

11.2 million

2020 – 2021

8.8 million

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the average amount of time the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency retains original identity documents for driving licence applications from applicants whose identity cannot be verified with the UK Passport Agency, from receipt of that document until it is returned, in (a) 2019 and (b) 2021.

Currently, paper driving licence applications are likely to take between six and ten weeks to process. However, on selected transactions, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency returns original documents as soon as the application is opened to reduce the impact of processing delays and is working to expand this further.

Driving licence applications where the applicant is required to submit a biometric residency permit (BRP), are also likely to take between six and ten weeks to process. The BRP will be returned to the applicant as soon as the application has been processed. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here.

If a driving licence applicant’s identity cannot be verified by HM Passport Office or via another secure service, the requirement for original identity documents remains a critical part of protecting the driving licence application process from potential fraud. There are no plans to remove these requirements.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make it his policy to tackle DVLA delays in processing applications by changing the requirements for original identity documents to be sent for applicants whose identity cannot be verified with the UK Passport Agency.

Currently, paper driving licence applications are likely to take between six and ten weeks to process. However, on selected transactions, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency returns original documents as soon as the application is opened to reduce the impact of processing delays and is working to expand this further.

Driving licence applications where the applicant is required to submit a biometric residency permit (BRP), are also likely to take between six and ten weeks to process. The BRP will be returned to the applicant as soon as the application has been processed. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here.

If a driving licence applicant’s identity cannot be verified by HM Passport Office or via another secure service, the requirement for original identity documents remains a critical part of protecting the driving licence application process from potential fraud. There are no plans to remove these requirements.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council and (b) the Mayor of London on securing a viable long term funding arrangement to repair Hammersmith Bridge.

Following the Government’s investment of £4m toward emergency mitigation works, the Board responsible for the Case for Continued Safe Operation made the decision to reopen Hammersmith Bridge to pedestrians, cyclists and river traffic on 17 July. This is a very welcome development, especially for the people and businesses that use the Bridge.

The next step to permanent reopening lies with the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF), as asset owner, who must submit a satisfactory business case to the Department for Transport. The submission of such a case is a condition for the release of any Government contribution to the cost of repairing the Bridge.

The Government has set out a clear commitment to support LBHF in finding a long-term solution for the Bridge. As agreed in the Transport for London extraordinary funding and finance agreement of 1 June 2021 the Government will contribute up to 1/3 of the total costs, but no more.

The Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce, chaired by Baroness Vere of Norbiton, met on 20 July. The Leader of LBHF and London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport were present.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, (a) what steps he plans to take to monitor the levels of transmission of covid-19 on public transport and (b) if he will make (i) mask wearing and (ii) social distancing mandatory on all public transport in the event that covid-19 infection levels rise.

It is not possible to systematically identify where infection occurs in individual positive cases and it is therefore not possible to provide definitive data on the different locations where transmissions occur, for example on public transport.

On 19 July, many of the legal restrictions that the Government has imposed through the pandemic were lifted. This included the requirement to wear face coverings on public transport and the social distancing rules (2m or “1m+”). Instead of legal mandate, the Government expects and recommends that people continue to wear face coverings in crowded areas, which includes public transport.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that overnight parking facilities for large vehicle drivers are reopened following the easing of covid-19 restrictions.

Motorway Service Areas in England, which are privately owned and operated, remained open during COVID restrictions, and overnight parking therefore remained available at these sites. In addition, other lorry parks are also privately owned and operated businesses, and decisions on opening are a matter for them.

Although most legal restrictions have been lifted, the Government continues to provide guidance for businesses in managing the continuing risk of the pandemic.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what risk assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of removing the legal requirement to wear face coverings on public transport during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

Since 19 July, whilst many of the legal restrictions that the Government has imposed through the pandemic have been lifted, guidance will remain, making it clear this is not yet a return to normal. The Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport. By practising key behaviours, people can continue to protect themselves and others. Employees and customers who wish to wear a face covering should be supported to do so. If transport operators wish to set their own policy on face coverings, that is a matter for them to consider, as long as they meet existing legal obligations including under equalities law.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of when the backlog of large good vehicles licence testing will be cleared.

DVSA meet regularly with the vocational training industry to understand the current and future demand for vocational driving tests so that the Agency can better plan the additional capacity that is needed. DVSA are currently making available an average of 3,000 vocational tests per week compared to 2,000 pre-pandemic.

Operational steps to further increase capacity have been recently announced and, subject to a forthcoming consultation, additional regulatory measures will significant add further to test capacity. Regular progress updates will be made available.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of reducing the number of steps in the process for a driver to become licensed to operate a large goods vehicle.

The government has just announced there is to be a consultation on a series of measures designed to help increase the number of HGV drivers, this includes the potential removal of the requirement to hold a full rigid lorry licence before taking a test in an articulated vehicle. The forthcoming consultation will help to inform the merits of the proposals.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of providing grants to people wishing to undertake large goods vehicle driving qualifications.

We know that the costs of training can be a barrier both to new entrants and business. We are already supporting the industry train new drivers, including through apprenticeships and support for jobseekers.

The new apprenticeship which includes training for a Category C+E licence, which is available from 2 August, will attract £7,000 in funding. There is also an incentive payment of £3,000 available for new apprentices who have an employment start date of 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021.

A number of proposals to further support the training of heavy goods vehicle drivers have been put forward by industry sources and we are reviewing these proposals. We wish to support the sector in overcoming these barriers to joining this vital industry.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect on learner drivers of the Driver and Vehicle Safety Agency's decision to discontinue driving theory tests in Scunthorpe.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has launched a new driving theory test booking service for England, Scotland, and Wales for theory tests taken from 6 September 2021. The DVSA’s priority remains to deliver a theory test that ensures candidates have the correct knowledge and understanding to be able to drive safely on our busy, modern roads.

The structure and content of the theory test will not change, but new software will mean it has a different look and feel. These changes will give the DVSA greater control of managing test content and enable it to update and improve questions and clips more quickly.

Third party suppliers will deliver the actual test to the public, and so from September there will be changes to the theory test centre estate. As the contract has been awarded to more than one company, the number of theory test centres will increase from 180 to 202 across Great Britain. The increased number of theory test centres will result in a more even distribution of test centre locations and will make theory tests more accessible, especially to those in remote areas of the country.

In creating a more even distribution, the location of many theory test centres will change and some places that currently have a theory test centre will no longer do so from 6 September.

The theory test centre in Scunthorpe, Unit 2A, Haldenby House, 1 Berkeley Roundabout, will be one of the affected locations. There are no current plans for a theory test centre in Scunthorpe, but the DVSA thanks the North Lincolnshire Council for its offer of help should that change. The nearest theory test centre for candidates will be in Doncaster and Grimsby.

The DVSA’s key performance measure is that a candidate should not have travel more than 40 miles (rural) or 40 minutes (urban) to get to a test centre unless they choose to travel further.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what impact assessment his Department or the Driver and Vehicle Safety Agency conducted on the decision to discontinue driving theory tests in Scunthorpe.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has launched a new driving theory test booking service for England, Scotland, and Wales for theory tests taken from 6 September 2021. The DVSA’s priority remains to deliver a theory test that ensures candidates have the correct knowledge and understanding to be able to drive safely on our busy, modern roads.

The structure and content of the theory test will not change, but new software will mean it has a different look and feel. These changes will give the DVSA greater control of managing test content and enable it to update and improve questions and clips more quickly.

Third party suppliers will deliver the actual test to the public, and so from September there will be changes to the theory test centre estate. As the contract has been awarded to more than one company, the number of theory test centres will increase from 180 to 202 across Great Britain. The increased number of theory test centres will result in a more even distribution of test centre locations and will make theory tests more accessible, especially to those in remote areas of the country.

In creating a more even distribution, the location of many theory test centres will change and some places that currently have a theory test centre will no longer do so from 6 September.

The theory test centre in Scunthorpe, Unit 2A, Haldenby House, 1 Berkeley Roundabout, will be one of the affected locations. There are no current plans for a theory test centre in Scunthorpe, but the DVSA thanks the North Lincolnshire Council for its offer of help should that change. The nearest theory test centre for candidates will be in Doncaster and Grimsby.

The DVSA’s key performance measure is that a candidate should not have travel more than 40 miles (rural) or 40 minutes (urban) to get to a test centre unless they choose to travel further.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential implications for learner drivers of the Driver and Vehicle Safety Agency's decision not to take-up the offer made by North Lincolnshire Council's offer to provide an alternative location for driving theory tests in Scunthorpe.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has launched a new driving theory test booking service for England, Scotland, and Wales for theory tests taken from 6 September 2021. The DVSA’s priority remains to deliver a theory test that ensures candidates have the correct knowledge and understanding to be able to drive safely on our busy, modern roads.

The structure and content of the theory test will not change, but new software will mean it has a different look and feel. These changes will give the DVSA greater control of managing test content and enable it to update and improve questions and clips more quickly.

Third party suppliers will deliver the actual test to the public, and so from September there will be changes to the theory test centre estate. As the contract has been awarded to more than one company, the number of theory test centres will increase from 180 to 202 across Great Britain. The increased number of theory test centres will result in a more even distribution of test centre locations and will make theory tests more accessible, especially to those in remote areas of the country.

In creating a more even distribution, the location of many theory test centres will change and some places that currently have a theory test centre will no longer do so from 6 September.

The theory test centre in Scunthorpe, Unit 2A, Haldenby House, 1 Berkeley Roundabout, will be one of the affected locations. There are no current plans for a theory test centre in Scunthorpe, but the DVSA thanks the North Lincolnshire Council for its offer of help should that change. The nearest theory test centre for candidates will be in Doncaster and Grimsby.

The DVSA’s key performance measure is that a candidate should not have travel more than 40 miles (rural) or 40 minutes (urban) to get to a test centre unless they choose to travel further.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps (a) his Department and (b) the Driver and Vehicle Safety Agency plans to take to ensure that people with low incomes will not be negatively affected by the decision to discontinue driving theory tests in Scunthorpe.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has launched a new driving theory test booking service for England, Scotland, and Wales for theory tests taken from 6 September 2021. The DVSA’s priority remains to deliver a theory test that ensures candidates have the correct knowledge and understanding to be able to drive safely on our busy, modern roads.

The structure and content of the theory test will not change, but new software will mean it has a different look and feel. These changes will give the DVSA greater control of managing test content and enable it to update and improve questions and clips more quickly.

Third party suppliers will deliver the actual test to the public, and so from September there will be changes to the theory test centre estate. As the contract has been awarded to more than one company, the number of theory test centres will increase from 180 to 202 across Great Britain. The increased number of theory test centres will result in a more even distribution of test centre locations and will make theory tests more accessible, especially to those in remote areas of the country.

In creating a more even distribution, the location of many theory test centres will change and some places that currently have a theory test centre will no longer do so from 6 September.

The theory test centre in Scunthorpe, Unit 2A, Haldenby House, 1 Berkeley Roundabout, will be one of the affected locations. There are no current plans for a theory test centre in Scunthorpe, but the DVSA thanks the North Lincolnshire Council for its offer of help should that change. The nearest theory test centre for candidates will be in Doncaster and Grimsby.

The DVSA’s key performance measure is that a candidate should not have travel more than 40 miles (rural) or 40 minutes (urban) to get to a test centre unless they choose to travel further.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps (a) his Department and (b) the Driver and Vehicle Safety Agency plans to take to ensure that people with disabilities will not be negatively affected by the decision to discontinue driving theory tests in Scunthorpe.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has launched a new driving theory test booking service for England, Scotland, and Wales for theory tests taken from 6 September 2021. The DVSA’s priority remains to deliver a theory test that ensures candidates have the correct knowledge and understanding to be able to drive safely on our busy, modern roads.

The structure and content of the theory test will not change, but new software will mean it has a different look and feel. These changes will give the DVSA greater control of managing test content and enable it to update and improve questions and clips more quickly.

Third party suppliers will deliver the actual test to the public, and so from September there will be changes to the theory test centre estate. As the contract has been awarded to more than one company, the number of theory test centres will increase from 180 to 202 across Great Britain. The increased number of theory test centres will result in a more even distribution of test centre locations and will make theory tests more accessible, especially to those in remote areas of the country.

In creating a more even distribution, the location of many theory test centres will change and some places that currently have a theory test centre will no longer do so from 6 September.

The theory test centre in Scunthorpe, Unit 2A, Haldenby House, 1 Berkeley Roundabout, will be one of the affected locations. There are no current plans for a theory test centre in Scunthorpe, but the DVSA thanks the North Lincolnshire Council for its offer of help should that change. The nearest theory test centre for candidates will be in Doncaster and Grimsby.

The DVSA’s key performance measure is that a candidate should not have travel more than 40 miles (rural) or 40 minutes (urban) to get to a test centre unless they choose to travel further.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps (a) his Department and (b) the Driver and Vehicle Safety Agency plans to take to ensure that young people in North Lincolnshire will not be negatively affected by the decision to discontinue driving theory tests in Scunthorpe.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has launched a new driving theory test booking service for England, Scotland, and Wales for theory tests taken from 6 September 2021. The DVSA’s priority remains to deliver a theory test that ensures candidates have the correct knowledge and understanding to be able to drive safely on our busy, modern roads.

The structure and content of the theory test will not change, but new software will mean it has a different look and feel. These changes will give the DVSA greater control of managing test content and enable it to update and improve questions and clips more quickly.

Third party suppliers will deliver the actual test to the public, and so from September there will be changes to the theory test centre estate. As the contract has been awarded to more than one company, the number of theory test centres will increase from 180 to 202 across Great Britain. The increased number of theory test centres will result in a more even distribution of test centre locations and will make theory tests more accessible, especially to those in remote areas of the country.

In creating a more even distribution, the location of many theory test centres will change and some places that currently have a theory test centre will no longer do so from 6 September.

The theory test centre in Scunthorpe, Unit 2A, Haldenby House, 1 Berkeley Roundabout, will be one of the affected locations. There are no current plans for a theory test centre in Scunthorpe, but the DVSA thanks the North Lincolnshire Council for its offer of help should that change. The nearest theory test centre for candidates will be in Doncaster and Grimsby.

The DVSA’s key performance measure is that a candidate should not have travel more than 40 miles (rural) or 40 minutes (urban) to get to a test centre unless they choose to travel further.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment officials in (a) his Department and (b) the Driver and Vehicle Safety Agency (DVSA) have made of the potential effect of the decision by the DVSA to discontinue driving tests in Scunthorpe on young people in North Lincolnshire.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has launched a new driving theory test booking service for England, Scotland, and Wales for theory tests taken from 6 September 2021. The DVSA’s priority remains to deliver a theory test that ensures candidates have the correct knowledge and understanding to be able to drive safely on our busy, modern roads.

The structure and content of the theory test will not change, but new software will mean it has a different look and feel. These changes will give the DVSA greater control of managing test content and enable it to update and improve questions and clips more quickly.

Third party suppliers will deliver the actual test to the public, and so from September there will be changes to the theory test centre estate. As the contract has been awarded to more than one company, the number of theory test centres will increase from 180 to 202 across Great Britain. The increased number of theory test centres will result in a more even distribution of test centre locations and will make theory tests more accessible, especially to those in remote areas of the country.

In creating a more even distribution, the location of many theory test centres will change and some places that currently have a theory test centre will no longer do so from 6 September.

The theory test centre in Scunthorpe, Unit 2A, Haldenby House, 1 Berkeley Roundabout, will be one of the affected locations. There are no current plans for a theory test centre in Scunthorpe, but the DVSA thanks the North Lincolnshire Council for its offer of help should that change. The nearest theory test centre for candidates will be in Doncaster and Grimsby.

The DVSA’s key performance measure is that a candidate should not have travel more than 40 miles (rural) or 40 minutes (urban) to get to a test centre unless they choose to travel further.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the average time taken by the DVLA to issue driving licences was in each of the last five years.

The information requested cannot be retrieved in the format requested in the time available. Officials from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency will write to the Honourable Member when the information is available.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the longest time is that the DVLA has taken to issue a driving licence in each of the last five years.

The information requested cannot be retrieved in the format requested in the time available. Officials from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency will write to the Honourable Member when the information is available.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many applications his Department received to the UK Levelling Up Fund by the closing date of 18 June 2021 from local authorities in Wales.

The Levelling Up Fund received significant interest from Local Authorities in Wales, across the three investment priorities of the Fund. Bids are currently being assessed in line with the published assessment process. Outcomes from the first round of bids for the Levelling Up Fund will be announced later in the year and bidding authorities will be informed in due course.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many applications his Department received to the Levelling Up Fund by the closing date of 18 June 2021 for amounts (a) up to and (b) over £20 million.

The first round of the Levelling Up Fund received significant interest from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland bidding authorities, across the three investment priorities of the Fund. Bids are currently being assessed in line with the published assessment process. Outcomes from the first round of bids for the Levelling Up Fund will be announced later in the year and bidding authorities will be informed in due course.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
15th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the vehicle emissions produced by ministers travelling short distances in Range Rovers; and what plans they have to reduce such emissions by reducing the number of (1) short car journeys taken by ministers, and (2) Range Rovers used by ministers.

The Range Rover Cars on the Government Car Service (GCS) fleet are plug in hybrid electric vehicles.

(1) Short car journeys taken by ministers will be on electric power only with zero emissions.

(2) These same Range Rover Cars were classified as Ultra Low Emission Vehicles at time of procurement in 2018.

The GCS is continually reviewing fit for purpose vehicles for Ministerial use, and with support from the Department for Transport to meet emission targets for government fleets, the GCS will be replacing cars as they become due for renewal with a continuing focus on replacement vehicles being more environmentally friendly and where possible, using fully electric alternatives.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
16th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many vessels by (1) size, and (2) type, are operated by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

The Maritime and Coastguard operates one tug, the IVEOLI BLACK, which is 70 metres in length at 2,283 gross tonnage. In addition, they have two training vessels, the MCA HUNTER at 14 metres and the MCA HAWK at 9.75 metres.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will commit to commencing bilateral international negotiations on the creation of new high-speed rail routes between the UK and Europe.

The Government already engages with international partners, as well as private operators, to encourage the future growth and expansion of international rail passenger services from the UK. It also stands ready to engage with other partners and private operators to facilitate potential new routes where there is a commercial proposition to do so.

The UK is also actively participating in discussions through multilateral organisations, such as the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s (UNECE) Working Party on Rail, regarding the promotion and development of international rail.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to encourage young people to enter the transport industry.

The Department for Transport is leading efforts to promote training and career opportunities for young people in the transport sector. This will help ensure we can deliver the huge investment we are making in our transport system and help build the skilled workforce for the coming decades. Some of the steps we are taking include:

  • Continuing to work with the Department for Education to ensure that Adult Education policy and Further Education reform proposals reflect the needs of the transport industry, and will work with our stakeholders to use the Department for Work and Pensions Kickstart scheme.

  • Supporting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activity including by being a founding signatory of the Department for Educations ‘Tomorrow’s Engineers Code’, which aims to increase and support the number of young people taking up STEM subjects, making careers in engineering accessible and a reality for future generations.

In the coming months we also plan to publish a Transport Labour Market and Skills Discussion Paper. This will set out the labour market and skills challenges and opportunities for the transport sector post Covid and how we plan to build a pipeline of talent for the future. We will use this as the basis of consultation with industry and other stakeholders to find out what more we can do to make progress in this vital area.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
13th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 12 July (HL1445), what assessment they have made of the social and economic value of Hammersmith Bridge beyond the boundaries of the local authorities it connects; and what plans they have to review whether such strategic assets of wide economic value are best owned by local authorities.

As highlighted in my Written Answer on 12 July (HL1445), Hammersmith Bridge is owned by the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF) and therefore the Department for Transport has not undertaken any assessments of the social or economic value of the closure of the bridge or its impact on other local authorities. Analyses of the impact of the closure of the bridge will be required as part of the submission of a satisfactory business case by LBHF. The submission of such a case is a condition for the release of any Government contribution to the cost of repairing the bridge, as agreed in the Transport for London extraordinary funding and finance agreement of 1 June 2021.

Under the current system of local government finance, local authorities are free to determine their own capital strategies to deliver local services, on the principle that they are best placed to make the decisions needed to support their local communities and to ensure local accountability.

Following the Government’s investment of £4 million toward emergency mitigation works, the Board responsible for the Case for Continued Safe Operation made the decision to reopen Hammersmith Bridge to pedestrians, cyclists and river traffic on 17 July. This is a very welcome development, especially for the people and businesses that use the Bridge.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking, if any, to improve the single track section of railway line between Soham and Ely; and what assessment they have made of the effect on trade of that single track line.

The ‘Soham Area Capacity Enhancement’ scheme is at an early stage of development. Addressing this pinch-point will be a key enabler for growing the number of freight trains on the nationally important corridor from Felixstowe to the Midlands and North and will support the nation’s capacity for growing international trade in a sustainable way.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 6 July 2021 to Question 24147, on High Speed 2 Railway Line: Construction, what the highest salary is of a person at HS2 Ltd; and how many HS2 Ltd staff are earning over (a) £100,000 and (b) £150,000.

The highest earning individual at HS2 Ltd is the Chief Executive, Mark Thurston. We publish information regarding remuneration of those earning over £150,000 annually: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/senior-officials-high-earners-salaries

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 6 July 2021 to Question 24147 on High Speed 2 Railway Line: Construction, what estimate he has made of the pension liabilities incurred by people employed by the HS2 project.

HS2 Ltd has a Group Personal Pension plan in place for its employees so there are no future liabilities. The annual provision for employer contributions to that plan are published in the Annual Report & Accounts.

For further information please follow the below link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hs2-ltd-annual-report-and-accounts-2020-to-2021

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he has taken to reduce the cost of public transport to encourage members of the public to drive and fly less.

The National Bus Strategy, published on the 15 March, will deliver better bus services for passengers across England, through ambitious and far-reaching reform of how services are planned and delivered, to make local bus services more frequent, more reliable, easier to understand and use, better co-ordinated with simpler fares. We expect Local Transport Authorities to produce Bus Service Improvement Plans (BSIPs) by the end of October 2021, setting out an ambitious vision for travel by bus in their area, meeting the goals and expectations in the strategy.

New national rail flexible season tickets were announced as part of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, reflecting modern working patterns and saving many passengers hundreds of pounds. The tickets went on sale on 21 June and became available for passengers to use on 28 June.

Great British Railways will use its leadership to simplify the current mass of complicated fares and tickets. Passengers will have simpler digital ticketing, be able to purchase tickets through a single industry website and app. There will be greater convenience for passengers through contactless travel in urban areas using contactless bankcards and smartphones.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to expand electric car charging provision across the (a) A road and (b) motorway network in (i) Leicestershire and (ii) the UK.

In May 2020, the Government published an ambitious vision for rapid charging infrastructure along strategic roads in England over the next decade. This vision includes targets for the number of high-powered (150kW+) chargepoints that will be located across motorways and major A roads to meet the future demand from electric vehicles (EVs). In the short term, the Government expects to see six high-powered chargers at every motorway service area in England by 2023, installed by the private sector. The Government regularly engages with motorway service area operators to monitor progress against this charging provision. In the longer term, to ensure the private sector can continue to expand the charging network at pace in the 2020s, the Government will invest £950 million through the Rapid Charging Fund to future-proof grid capacity along England’s motorways and major A roads to prepare for 100% uptake of zero emission cars and vans ahead of need. Since the management of motorways and major roads is a devolved matter, equivalent funding for the Devolved Administrations will be made available through the Barnett Formula. We also recently consulted on improving the consumer experience at public chargepoints. This includes opening public chargepoint data; improving the reliability of the network; streamlining the payment methods offered to drivers; and increasing pricing transparency. We will publish an EV Infrastructure Strategy to set out the vision and action plan for charging infrastructure rollout needed to achieve the 2030/35 phase out successfully. This will set expected roles for different stakeholders and how government will intervene to address the gaps between the current market status and our vision.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether Great British Railways will undertake local public consultations on (a) changes to services, (b) infrastructure improvements and (c) building new lines and other new projects.

Great British Railways will be organised around regional divisions responsive and accountable for the whole system in their areas. Regional divisions will need to decide priorities for investment and collaborate to operate an integrated network.

Local teams will bring decision-making closer to the people and places that the railway serves. They will be responsible for the day-to-day delivery on routes of the network and will be integrated across track and train, bringing together infrastructure, customer service, station management and train operation into one team, in partnership with operators.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what support he is providing to (a) train operators and (b) local authorities in the event that they decide to continue requiring the use of face coverings after the final step of the Government's covid-19 roadmap has been implemented.

It is for train operators and local authorities, including those with devolved powers relating to public transport such as Transport for London, to decide how to manage the transport services they provide, taking account of the Government guidance on safer transport as well as local needs and situations. Government recommends and encourages the use of face coverings in crowded and enclosed spaces where people come into contact with others they don’t normally meet, including on public transport.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the Class 701 Arterio fleet will be introduced on the South Western Railway network.

South Western Railways will be introducing their new Class 701 units from late 2021.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the impact of car parking charges and fines at car parks associated with railway stations on the number of drivers completing part of their journey by rail.

The Department for Transport has not conducted a specific assessment relating to the impact of car parking charges and fines at station car parks. Station car parks are managed and run by train operating companies and Network Rail based on the needs of passengers and the local community, including the availability of other nearby car parks or limitations posed by either being in city centre or rural locations. The Department encourages a wide range of modes of travelling to and from stations, to improve active travel connections to stations.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of (a) Network Rail and (b) other rail operators on the increase in (i) suicides, (ii) attempted suicides and (iii) injuries on mainline rail from 2017 to 2020.

The Secretary of State regularly engages with Network Rail, Transport for London and train operators to discuss fatalities on the rail network. The number of suicides each year is relatively static averaging about 300 per year. We support the extensive work taking place within the rail industry to both prevent, and attempt to drive a reduction in incidents.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential link between the number of unmanned train stations in the UK and the 283 suicides that occurred on mainline rail in 2019-20.

British Transport Police regularly analyse suicide patterns. The causes of these tragic events are complex and the most significant risk factors relate to mental health. My officials and I work with industry, the British Transport Police and charities to ensure that vulnerable people can be identified and provided the support they need. Staffing and staff training plays a key role in our response, and industry colleagues make approximately 2,000 lifesaving interventions each year which means six lives are saved for everyone lost.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 23 June 2021 to Question 16196 on Railways: North Yorkshire, whether part of the 28 single track kilometres of new overhead line electrification will be installed between Colton Junction and Church Fenton.

Work is underway to install the 28 single track kilometres of new overhead line equipment between York and Church Fenton, this includes the section between Colton Junction and Church Fenton.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he has taken to assess how to achieve cost reductions in rail electrification.

We welcome the work of the Rail Industry Association and others on this. When delivering future schemes, we need to ensure that the supply chain has the capability to deliver electrification effectively, at pace, and at the reduced costs that the rail industry says it can deliver at.

For our part, as individual schemes are developed and bottom-up costs identified, we and Network Rail must learn the lessons from previous schemes and implement them to ensure that electrification is delivered more efficiently than in the past.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when a decision will be made on successful projects in the latest round of the Restore Your Railway scheme.

We have assessed the bids to round three of the Restoring Your Railway Ideas Fund and expect to announce the outcomes this summer.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 23 June 2021 to Question 16199 on Railway signals: Surbiton, what progress has been made on (a) Network Rail's review to understand the cause of the signal failure and limit the impacts of a similar future event; (b) South Western Railway's review of their communications plan to ensure that passengers are kept well informed in the event of any future disruption; and what recent assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the implementation of those reviews.

Following the recent disruption at Surbiton, Network Rail undertook a review of the causes and mitigations to avoid a similar event occurring in future. Consideration is being given to whether the signalling system needs upgrading earlier than currently planned. At the same time South Western Railway are progressing a number of projects to improve their messaging to customers.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to ban alcohol consumption on commercial flights.

The Government supports the industry’s approach to managing drunk and disruptive passenger behaviour, including the UK Aviation Industry Code of Practice on Disruptive Passengers, initiatives such as the ‘One Too Many’ awareness campaign and the introduction of tamper-proof bags for duty free alcohol sales. It is important that passengers drink responsibly and are aware of the penalties of being drunk on an aircraft. The Government continues to work in collaboration with the Civil Aviation Authority, airports and airlines to consider further measures needed to tackle this issue. At this time the Government does not plan to make an assessment of alcohol consumption bans on flights but will continue to keep this under review.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of parking charges for aviation workers at Heathrow airport.

Staff parking charges at Heathrow Airport are set in line with the principles set out in the under the terms of Heathrow Airport Limited’s licence, granted to the airport by the CAA.

These principles include that prices should be set to enable only the recovery of costs, with no profit margin; that pricing must be supported by transparency of costs and revenues; and that any “over” or “under” recovery in one year must be accounted for setting the following year’s charges.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reason mandatory face coverings will no longer be required on the rail network after 19 July 2021.

The success of vaccine deployment has paved the way for the gradual lifting of restrictions. Whilst many of the legal restrictions that the Government has imposed during the pandemic have been lifted at Step 4 of the roadmap, cautious guidance remains. Guidance sets out that the Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.

Throughout the pandemic, the Department has continued to work with the rail industry to ensure passenger confidence remains high. The Government has published updated Safer Travel guidance which sets out steps operators can take to identify risks arising from COVID-19, which should inform decisions on controls put in place to keep passengers safe and maintain and increase passenger confidence. Such measures can include increasing the ventilation and airflow through vehicles and carriages where possible, continuing with increased cleaning regimes, in particular around high focus touch points, as well as encouraging and recommending the use of face coverings.

The safety of passengers and staff has been a priority for the Department throughout the pandemic. The Government has published updated Safer Travel guidance which sets out steps operators can take to identify risks arising from coronavirus, which should inform decisions on controls put in place to keep passengers and rail staff safe. Such measures can include increasing the ventilation and airflow through vehicles and carriages where possible, continuing with increased cleaning regimes, in particular around high focus touch points, as well as encouraging and recommending the use of face coverings. The Government has also published guidance for passengers which advises people on how to keep themselves, fellow passengers, and staff safe while travelling.

Since the start of the pandemic, travel patterns have shifted significantly. The Department is working with industry partners to develop attractive timetables that reflect changing travel habits, deliver excellent performance, and offer good value for money for the taxpayer. As we are implementing a further easing of restrictions, the industry will continue to collaborate to ensure key flows, including commuter routes, benefit from appropriate levels of service.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to increase levels of passenger confidence on the rail network as covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

The success of vaccine deployment has paved the way for the gradual lifting of restrictions. Whilst many of the legal restrictions that the Government has imposed during the pandemic have been lifted at Step 4 of the roadmap, cautious guidance remains. Guidance sets out that the Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.

Throughout the pandemic, the Department has continued to work with the rail industry to ensure passenger confidence remains high. The Government has published updated Safer Travel guidance which sets out steps operators can take to identify risks arising from COVID-19, which should inform decisions on controls put in place to keep passengers safe and maintain and increase passenger confidence. Such measures can include increasing the ventilation and airflow through vehicles and carriages where possible, continuing with increased cleaning regimes, in particular around high focus touch points, as well as encouraging and recommending the use of face coverings.

The safety of passengers and staff has been a priority for the Department throughout the pandemic. The Government has published updated Safer Travel guidance which sets out steps operators can take to identify risks arising from coronavirus, which should inform decisions on controls put in place to keep passengers and rail staff safe. Such measures can include increasing the ventilation and airflow through vehicles and carriages where possible, continuing with increased cleaning regimes, in particular around high focus touch points, as well as encouraging and recommending the use of face coverings. The Government has also published guidance for passengers which advises people on how to keep themselves, fellow passengers, and staff safe while travelling.

Since the start of the pandemic, travel patterns have shifted significantly. The Department is working with industry partners to develop attractive timetables that reflect changing travel habits, deliver excellent performance, and offer good value for money for the taxpayer. As we are implementing a further easing of restrictions, the industry will continue to collaborate to ensure key flows, including commuter routes, benefit from appropriate levels of service.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent steps he has taken to ensure passenger and staff safety on the rail network, in the context of the fourth step of the covid-19 roadmap.

The success of vaccine deployment has paved the way for the gradual lifting of restrictions. Whilst many of the legal restrictions that the Government has imposed during the pandemic have been lifted at Step 4 of the roadmap, cautious guidance remains. Guidance sets out that the Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.

Throughout the pandemic, the Department has continued to work with the rail industry to ensure passenger confidence remains high. The Government has published updated Safer Travel guidance which sets out steps operators can take to identify risks arising from COVID-19, which should inform decisions on controls put in place to keep passengers safe and maintain and increase passenger confidence. Such measures can include increasing the ventilation and airflow through vehicles and carriages where possible, continuing with increased cleaning regimes, in particular around high focus touch points, as well as encouraging and recommending the use of face coverings.

The safety of passengers and staff has been a priority for the Department throughout the pandemic. The Government has published updated Safer Travel guidance which sets out steps operators can take to identify risks arising from coronavirus, which should inform decisions on controls put in place to keep passengers and rail staff safe. Such measures can include increasing the ventilation and airflow through vehicles and carriages where possible, continuing with increased cleaning regimes, in particular around high focus touch points, as well as encouraging and recommending the use of face coverings. The Government has also published guidance for passengers which advises people on how to keep themselves, fellow passengers, and staff safe while travelling.

Since the start of the pandemic, travel patterns have shifted significantly. The Department is working with industry partners to develop attractive timetables that reflect changing travel habits, deliver excellent performance, and offer good value for money for the taxpayer. As we are implementing a further easing of restrictions, the industry will continue to collaborate to ensure key flows, including commuter routes, benefit from appropriate levels of service.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)