Written Question
Biofuels
25 Nov 2020, 5:24 p.m.

Questioner: Drew Hendry

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether liquid biofuels are included in his Department's climate change policies; and what steps he plans to take to support the liquid biofuels industry.

Answer (Rachel Maclean)

Liquid biofuels play an important role in our policies to reduce carbon emissions from conventional road vehicles in use today, and potentially from those transport modes harder to reach through electrification.

The government has successfully supported the UK biofuel market since 2008 through the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO). Targets for the supply of low carbon fuels set through the RTFO have increased over time and are set to do so until at least 2032. In addition, an advanced biofuels market is being promoted by making available £20 million of capital funding through the Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition.

The Department will continue to monitor and review the support schemes it has in place for liquid biofuels and other low carbon fuels. In so doing we will consider how liquid biofuels are best deployed across sectors and in the delivery of cost-effective savings against future carbon budgets.


Written Question
Electric Vehicles
25 Nov 2020, 5:18 p.m.

Questioner: Jim Shannon

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to increase the supply of electric cars in the UK.

Answer (Rachel Maclean)

The government is going further and faster than ever to decarbonise transport by phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, and, from 2035, all new cars and vans must be zero emissions at the tailpipe. These ambitions will be supported by an accompanying package of £2.8 billion.

The government has committed up to £1 billion to support the electrification of UK vehicles and their supply chains, including developing gigafactories in the UK to produce the batteries needed at scale. The government has committed the first £500m of this investment through the Automotive Transformation Fund to put the UK at the forefront of the design, development, and manufacturing of zero emission vehicles.

The government will invest £1.3 billion to accelerate the roll out of charging infrastructure, targeting support on rapid charge points on motorways and major roads to dash any anxiety around long journeys, and installing more on-street charge points near homes and workplaces to make charging as easy as refuelling a petrol or diesel car.

While we expect the cost of electric vehicles to come down, the government will provide £582 million to extend the plug-in car, van, taxi and motorcycle grants to 2022–23 to reduce their up-front cost. The government has also put in place a favourable tax regime that rewards the cleanest vehicles on our roads.


Written Question
Electric Vehicles: Greater Manchester
25 Nov 2020, 5:12 p.m.

Questioner: Jeff Smith

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to support investment in electric vehicle charging points in Greater Manchester.

Answer (Rachel Maclean)

Within the Greater Manchester area the government has provided funding of £14,390,042 to deliver electric buses and the associated charging infrastructure under the Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme, alongside £1,800,000 to Transport for Greater Manchester to deliver 30 rapid chargepoints dedicated for Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles.

Last week, the government announced we are going further and faster to decarbonise transport by phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, and, from 2035, all new cars and vans must be zero emissions at the tailpipe. This ambitious transition will be supported by an accompanying package of £2.8 billion, which includes £1.3 billion to accelerate the roll out of charging infrastructure. Local authorities, businesses and motorists purchasing an eligible plug-in vehicle can apply for a grant to contribute towards the costs of the electric vehicle charging points. This is in addition to the £400 million Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund, which leverages private sector funding to increase the number of chargepoints installed across the UK.


Written Question
Electric Vehicles
25 Nov 2020, 5:09 p.m.

Questioner: Jeff Smith

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to (a) encourage people to switch to electric cars, (b) make those cars more affordable and (c) increase their rate of sale.

Answer (Rachel Maclean)

The government is going further and faster to decarbonise transport by phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, and, from 2035, all new cars and vans must be zero emissions at the tailpipe. This ambitious transition will be supported by an accompanying package of £2.8 billion. The government has committed up to £1 billion to support the electrification of UK vehicles and their supply chains, including developing gigafactories in the UK to produce the batteries needed at scale. The government will invest £1.3 billion to accelerate the roll out of charging infrastructure, targeting support on rapid charge points on motorways and major roads to dash any anxiety around long journeys, and installing more on-street charge points near homes and workplaces to make charging as easy as refuelling a petrol or diesel car. While we expect the cost of electric vehicles to come down, the government will provide £582 million to extend the plug-in car, van, taxi and motorcycle grants to 2022–23 to reduce their up-front cost. The government has also ensured that a favourable tax regime has been put in place that rewards the cleanest vehicles on our roads.


Tweet
Department for Transport
25 Nov 2020, 4:38 p.m.

The transport network makes thousands of life-saving interventions every year. Find out how we’re working with the rail industry and experts to tackle suicide on our railways👉https://t.co/11rWJZKMhd If you need to talk, the @Samaritans are here to listen 24/7 on 116 123. https://t.co/zG9aLuoncy


Departmental Publication
Department for Transport

Nov. 25 2020

Main Page: Rail Minister joins with rail industry to tackle suicide prevention
Relevant Document: Rail Minister joins with rail industry to tackle suicide prevention (webpage) News and Communications
Written Question
Aviation: Repayments
25 Nov 2020, 4:28 p.m.

Questioner: Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has received reports of airline companies refunding vouchers given as a result of flight cancellations due to the covid-19 pandemic.

Answer (Robert Courts)

The Department for Transport has not received reports of airline companies refunding vouchers given as a result of for cancelled flights. The Government has been clear with industry that it is acceptable for airlines to offer a voucher as an option to a cash refund to the consumer, but that the risks need to be clearly communicated to consumers. Where a passenger believes they are entitled to receive a refund and did not accept a voucher, they are able to make a complaint to the airline.

The Department has also been clear that airlines and travel agents should not deny consumers their legal right to a refund if it is requested, and this should be done in a timely manner. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is routinely reviewing the refund policies and practices of all UK airlines, as well as a number of international airlines that operate flights to and from the UK. The CAA continues to work with carriers to drive down waiting times, while recognising the challenges businesses are facing.


Written Question
Electric Vehicles: Batteries
25 Nov 2020, 4:19 p.m.

Questioner: Jonathan Edwards

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the need to invest in research into universal interchangeable batteries as part of the transition to electric vehicles.

Answer (Rachel Maclean)

The government is supporting a wide range of research, development and scale-up of world-leading battery technology in the UK through the £318m Faraday Battery Challenge. The Faraday Battery Challenge aims to ensure the UK builds on its strengths and leads the world in the design and manufacture of electric vehicles. Challenges with interchangeable battery technologies include need to standardise battery size and location in a vehicle, requirement for more batteries than vehicles and concerns around safety. Trial programmes in other countries have failed in recent years and improving battery range and fast charging technology is reducing the commercial case for a battery swapping system. The technology could work well in countries with relatively low vehicle numbers and smaller vehicle types. We will keep this under review.


Written Question
Railways: North of England
25 Nov 2020, 4:14 p.m.

Questioner: Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with Transport for the North on the Northern Powerhouse Rail project.

Answer (Andrew Stephenson)

The Secretary of State has had regular discussions with the Chair of Transport for the North, and TfN Board members about Northern Powerhouse Rail, most recently in September. The Secretary of State has regular conversations with Northern Leaders in his role as the Northern Powerhouse Minister. I have also held two roundtables with leaders from each area of the North and Midlands to discuss the Integrated Rail Plan. In the Integrated Rail Plan, the Department will set out how projects, including HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, can be connected strategically to deliver the train services that people need and deserve, as effectively as possible.


Written Question
Electric Vehicles: Batteries
25 Nov 2020, 3:58 p.m.

Questioner: Jonathan Edwards

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the need to invest in research into flow batteries as a part of the transition to electric vehicles.

Answer (Rachel Maclean)

The government has committed £318m into the Faraday Battery Challenge to support the research, development and scale-up of world-leading battery technology in the UK. The Faraday Battery Challenge is focused on developing cost-effective, high-performance, durable, safe and recyclable batteries to capture the growing electric vehicle market. We are also supporting research into flow batteries for grid applications.


Written Question
Merchant Shipping: Security
25 Nov 2020, 2:34 p.m.

Questioner: Mike Kane

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with the (a) Maritime and Coastguard Agency and (b) UK Chamber of Shipping on administrative changes to maritime security notifications on merchant shipping routes between UK and EU ports from 1 January 2021.

Answer (Robert Courts)

Vessel operators are required to provide security information via pre-arrival notifications (PANs) through the Consolidated European Reporting System (CERS), prior to arrival into a UK port. The PAN includes details of the ship, previous port history, crew and passenger lists and special or additional security measures being taken. Under EC Regulation 725/2004 the UK is able to provide exemptions for the operators of regular, scheduled voyages between an EU port and a UK port.

From the 1 January 2021, UK legislation will allow the UK to continue to provide exemptions to vessels coming into the UK from EU ports, but operators will need to begin providing information if they have previously had an exemption in place. EU member states will not be able to issue exemptions to vessels operating scheduled services from the UK, irrespective of where the ship is registered or what country’s flag it sails under.

Industry stakeholders have been made aware of the change through stakeholder meetings, such as the National Maritime Security Committee for Industry, and officials wrote to industry stakeholders on a number of occasions to inform them of the change. The change was also published on GOV.UK on the 19 December 2018 and is available at the link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/getting-an-exemption-from-maritime-security-notifications-from-1-january-2021#what-shipping-companies-must-do


Written Question
Travel: Costs
25 Nov 2020, 2:01 p.m.

Questioner: Caroline Lucas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the percentage change in real terms of the average cost to the individual of travelling by (a) private car, (b) bus, (c) train and (d) domestic aeroplane since (i) 1980, (ii) 1997, (iii) 2010, (iv) 2015 and (v) 2017.

Answer (Rachel Maclean)

(a-c) The Department for Transport publishes statistics on travel costs, based on data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in the Transport Statistics Great Britain compendium. This is available from Table 1308 at the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/transport-expenditure-tsgb13

Please note this table gives absolute changes in the indices and covers 1987 to 2018.

(d) The costs of travelling by air are not available from ONS data. However, DfT estimates are available based on fare data collected from the Civil Aviation Authority passenger survey from 2000. The real cost of the average UK one-way air fare, including taxes and charges, covering domestic flights from 2010 to 2018 decreased by 15%. From 2015 to 2018 the real cost increased by 2%, and from 2017 to 2018 the real cost increased by 10%.


Written Question
Shipping
25 Nov 2020, 1:52 p.m.

Questioner: Mike Kane

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to publish end of transition period guidance to (a) employers, (b) crew and (c) international flag states in the shipping industry.

Answer (Rachel Maclean)

The Department for Transport, together with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, has published specific guidance on the recognition of seafarer certificates of competency from 1 January 2021 (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/recognition-of-seafarer-certificates-of-competency-from-1-january-2021), as well as guidance for shipping companies on exemptions from maritime security notifications (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/getting-an-exemption-from-maritime-security-notifications-from-1-january-2021).

Government has published extensive transition guidance, of relevance to employers and employees across the whole economy, which is available at https://www.gov.uk/transition. The need for further specific guidance for the shipping industry is being kept under review.


Tweet
Department for Transport
24 Nov 2020, 6:57 p.m.

Student Travel Update🧑‍🎓 Students who have a ticket booked before the 'Student Travel Window' (3-9 December) was announced can now rebook their tickets without paying additional fees. Find out more about rebooking your travel👉 https://t.co/h4zW10SNaU #TravelSafely https://t.co/QabXoFRuOi


Written Question
Channel Tunnel Railway Line: Coronavirus
24 Nov 2020, 3:42 p.m.

Questioner: Lilian Greenwood

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on introducing a bespoke financial support package for (a) Eurostar and (b) High Speed One.

Answer (Chris Heaton-Harris)

The Government recognises the significant financial challenges facing Eurostar and HS1 as a result of Covid-19 and the unprecedented circumstances currently faced by the international travel industry.

The Government has been engaging extensively with Eurostar and HS1 since the outbreak of Covid-19 earlier this year, closely monitoring the ongoing impact on demand for international rail services. Department for Transport officials have also worked with Eurostar to access the various Government support schemes where appropriate, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

As Rail Minister I have also recently met with both Eurostar and HS1 to discuss these challenges. The Government will continue to engage closely with Eurostar and HS1 as we move towards the next phase of our Covid-19 response, and in particular as we look to restart our travel sectors when it is safe to do so.


Written Question
Channel Tunnel Railway Line: Coronavirus
24 Nov 2020, 3:42 p.m.

Questioner: Lilian Greenwood

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on (a) Eurostar’s and High Speed One’s financial sustainability and (b) the long-term consequences for UK connectivity with mainland Europe.

Answer (Chris Heaton-Harris)

The Government recognises the significant financial challenges facing Eurostar and HS1 as a result of Covid-19 and the unprecedented circumstances currently faced by the international travel industry.

The Government has been engaging extensively with Eurostar and HS1 since the outbreak of Covid-19 earlier this year, closely monitoring the ongoing impact on demand for international rail services. Department for Transport officials have also worked with Eurostar to access the various Government support schemes where appropriate, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

As Rail Minister I have also recently met with both Eurostar and HS1 to discuss these challenges. The Government will continue to engage closely with Eurostar and HS1 as we move towards the next phase of our Covid-19 response, and in particular as we look to restart our travel sectors when it is safe to do so.


Written Question
Channel Tunnel Railway Line: Coronavirus
24 Nov 2020, 3:42 p.m.

Questioner: Lilian Greenwood

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with (a) Eurostar and (b) HS1 on international travel (i) during and (ii) after the covid-19 pandemic.

Answer (Chris Heaton-Harris)

The Government recognises the significant financial challenges facing Eurostar and HS1 as a result of Covid-19 and the unprecedented circumstances currently faced by the international travel industry.

The Government has been engaging extensively with Eurostar and HS1 since the outbreak of Covid-19 earlier this year, closely monitoring the ongoing impact on demand for international rail services. Department for Transport officials have also worked with Eurostar to access the various Government support schemes where appropriate, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

As Rail Minister I have also recently met with both Eurostar and HS1 to discuss these challenges. The Government will continue to engage closely with Eurostar and HS1 as we move towards the next phase of our Covid-19 response, and in particular as we look to restart our travel sectors when it is safe to do so.


Written Question
Railways: Season Tickets
24 Nov 2020, 3:30 p.m.

Questioner: Caroline Lucas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to require rail franchisees to provide part-time season tickets; when he will conclude his assessment of proposals received from train operators on ensuring increased value and convenience for part-time and flexible commuters; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Chris Heaton-Harris)

The Government recognises the impact of Covid-19 on people’s travel patterns and therefore the need to accommodate a more flexible style of working and commuting.

The Department has proactively approached the rail industry and is currently considering proposals received from train operators that try to ensure better value and convenience for travellers, but these are unprecedented times and our immediate focus must be on ensuring that we keep the railway available and safe for those who need to rely upon it.


Written Question
Railways
24 Nov 2020, 3:28 p.m.

Questioner: Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions has he had with rail industry stakeholders on the effect of ending the transition period without a deal with EU.

Answer (Chris Heaton-Harris)

Department for Transport officials have worked closely and constructively with the rail industry since the EU Referendum and with a particular focus, over the last 12 months, in ensuring they are preparing effectively and appropriately for 1 January 2021. Officials hold regular senior roundtable meetings with rail trade bodies, weekly and have fortnightly individual engagement with key parties. Rachel Maclean MP, Minister responsible for EU Transition and Future Relationship, has also met with members of the “Rail EU Stakeholder Roundtable” as recently as 17 November 2020.

We are also engaging with government departments on cross-cutting areas important to the rail industry, providing written comprehensive guidance regularly and meetings, reaching out to as many businesses within the rail sector as possible, to ensure that they can operate smoothly following the end of the transition period.

In addition to this, we have published formal guidance on running domestic and cross-border rail operations from 1 January.


Departmental Publication
Department for Transport

Nov. 24 2020

Main Page: Change of journey fees waived for students travelling home for Christmas
Relevant Document: Change of journey fees waived for students travelling home for Christmas (webpage) News and Communications
Written Question
Channel Tunnel Railway Line
24 Nov 2020, 3:26 p.m.

Questioner: Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on rail crossings between the UK and France of ending the transition period without a deal with the EU.

Answer (Chris Heaton-Harris)

The continuation of cross-border services between the UK and France is not contingent upon the outcome of negotiations with the EU. The Government has been working closely with the international rail industry to prepare for the end of the Transition Period, including preparing for changes to licensing and certification requirements, as well as changes to border procedures. The Government has also been supporting the relevant stakeholders to put in place robust contingency arrangements to secure the continuation of cross-border services in all scenarios.


Written Question
Shipping: Employment
24 Nov 2020, 12:41 p.m.

Questioner: Ian Mearns

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will review his policies on increasing the (a) employment and (b) training of UK (i) Ratings and (ii) Officers in the shipping industry after the EU transition period ends on 31 December 2020.

Answer (Robert Courts)

The people chapter of Maritime 2020 made recommendations to government and industry regarding employment and training of the UK maritime workforce. These recommendations were made with full consideration for the UK’s departure from the EU. Policies are kept under review and may be amended to account for new evidence or thinking or where there have been significant changes in the domestic and/or international landscape. For example, a Cadet Review is currently underway looking at the number of officer cadets the sector needs in the future.


Departmental Publication
Department for Transport

Nov. 24 2020

Main Page: Recommendations from the Global Travel Taskforce
Relevant Document: Recommendations from the Global Travel Taskforce (webpage) News and Communications
Departmental Publication
Department for Transport

Nov. 24 2020

Main Page: Global Travel Taskforce recommendations
Relevant Document: Global Travel Taskforce recommendations (PDF) Research and Statistics
Departmental Publication
Department for Transport

Nov. 24 2020

Main Page: Global Travel Taskforce recommendations
Relevant Document: Global Travel Taskforce recommendations (webpage) Research and Statistics