Department for Transport

10 most recent Written Questions

Date Title Questioner
27 Feb 2020, 5:10 p.m. Driverless Vehicles Dr Matthew Offord

Question to the Department for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to extend the scope of existing legislation on driving prohibitions to include principal occupants in autonomous vehicles.

Answer (Rachel Maclean)

The Government recognises that self-driving (sometimes referred to as autonomous) vehicles will challenge existing driving legislation, which was not designed with them in mind.

This is why the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles has asked the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission (the Law Commissions) to conduct a three-year review of driving legislation to prepare for the introduction of self-driving vehicles on UK roads, which includes extensive public consultation.

The Government is considering what legislative changes will be required to ensure the safe deployment of self-driving vehicles, informed by the Law Commissions’ project, which is due to complete in 2021.

27 Feb 2020, 5:07 p.m. Offshore Industry: Helicopters Alex Cunningham

Question to the Department for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many of the commercial helicopters currently contracted to provide passenger transport in the North Sea oil and gas sector have been upgraded to comply with the recommendations issued to that industry by the Civil Aviation Authority in 2014.

Answer (Kelly Tolhurst)

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is committed to making North Sea helicopter flying as safe as possible and the CAA’s Safety review of offshore public transport helicopter operations in support of the exploitation of oil and gas resulted in wide ranging recommendations and actions to improve offshore helicopter safety standards.

A number of these recommendations and actions related to the certification of new helicopter designs, which is the responsibility of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). None of the recommendations specifically required existing helicopters to be upgraded.

One action from the safety review tasked the CAA to promote and support the implementation of the results of research into helicopter terrain awareness warning systems. This led to some helicopters being retrofitted in 2019, so that existing equipment specifically offers warnings for the offshore operating environment. This work is ongoing.

27 Feb 2020, 5:05 p.m. Offshore Industry: Helicopters Alex Cunningham

Question to the Department for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policies of the Civil Aviation Authority’s CAP 1877 Progress Report on the recommendations in CAP 1145 Safety Review of offshore public transport helicopter operations in support of the exploitation of oil and gas.

Answer (Kelly Tolhurst)

The CAA published a comprehensive review into offshore helicopter safety in 2014, which put forward recommendations and actions to helicopter operators and the oil and gas industry. These have led to the introduction of a number of significant measures to increase the safety standards of offshore helicopter flights. The changes were welcomed by both the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers and the British Airline Pilots Association.

No recommendations were made for the Department in this report. However, the CAA and the Department will continue to monitor the safety of helicopter operations.

27 Feb 2020, 5:01 p.m. High Speed 2 Railway Line Dame Cheryl Gillan

Question to the Department for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on how many migrant workers from each of the standard occupational classifications in the shortage occupation list will be required to complete High Speed Two.

Answer (Andrew Stephenson)

As part of its comprehensive Skills, Employment and Education strategy, HS2 Ltd has undertaken detailed labour and skills demand and supply forecasting and analysis (https://assets.hs2.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/13145027/CS1006-HS2-labour-and-skills-demand-and-supply-forecasting-and-analysis.pdf ) which is designed to ensure the project’s skills needs are met and that it leaves a positive employment legacy across the whole of the UK.

This work does not include an analysis of how many migrant workers from each of the standard occupational classifications in the shortage occupation list will be required to complete High Speed Two.

27 Feb 2020, 4:59 p.m. High Speed Two: Publications Dame Cheryl Gillan

Question to the Department for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish unredacted versions of the papers of the audit and risk assurance committee of HS2 Ltd.

Answer (Andrew Stephenson)

It is important that HS2 Ltd has the space to discuss robustly and frankly the HS2 programme. HS2 Ltd publishes the minutes of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (and the minutes of the HS2 Board) to provide transparency around the decision-making process while maintaining necessary levels of confidentiality to allow frank and robust discussion. Representatives from the National Audit Office attend HS2’s Audit and Risk Assurance Committee. It is chaired by a Non-Executive Director of the HS2 Board.

27 Feb 2020, 4:57 p.m. Biofuels Jonathan Edwards

Question to the Department for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to encourage the domestic production of biofuels.

Answer (Rachel Maclean)

The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) has been successful in promoting a market for sustainable renewable fuels. Long term targets set in legislation have given companies the confidence to invest in Wales and across the UK.

Companies that supply at least 450,000 litres of fossil fuels are obligated to supply a certain amount of renewable fuel under the RTFO. Companies can also register voluntarily to be able to receive RTFO certificates. Currently, there are 50 UK registered suppliers, with one supplier having a registered address in Wales.

The Department is encouraging further investment in renewable fuels in the UK through its multimillion pound innovation competitions. Competitively awarded grants have been provided to support the construction of several commercial-scale plants in the UK. This includes the Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition (F4C) which was launched in 2017 and makes up to £20 million in capital funding available. Among the shortlisted projects of the competition, one of the companies is looking to locate in Wales.

27 Feb 2020, 4:57 p.m. Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation: Wales Jonathan Edwards

Question to the Department for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 11 February 2020 to Question 13504 on Agricultural Machinery: Exhaust Emissions, what steps his Department is taking to extend the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation scheme in Wales.

Answer (Rachel Maclean)

The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) has been successful in promoting a market for sustainable renewable fuels. Long term targets set in legislation have given companies the confidence to invest in Wales and across the UK.

Companies that supply at least 450,000 litres of fossil fuels are obligated to supply a certain amount of renewable fuel under the RTFO. Companies can also register voluntarily to be able to receive RTFO certificates. Currently, there are 50 UK registered suppliers, with one supplier having a registered address in Wales.

The Department is encouraging further investment in renewable fuels in the UK through its multimillion pound innovation competitions. Competitively awarded grants have been provided to support the construction of several commercial-scale plants in the UK. This includes the Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition (F4C) which was launched in 2017 and makes up to £20 million in capital funding available. Among the shortlisted projects of the competition, one of the companies is looking to locate in Wales.

27 Feb 2020, 4:57 p.m. Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation: Wales Jonathan Edwards

Question to the Department for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 11 February 2020 to Question 13504 on Agricultural Machinery: Exhaust Emissions, how many companies registered in Wales have registered for the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation scheme.

Answer (Rachel Maclean)

The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) has been successful in promoting a market for sustainable renewable fuels. Long term targets set in legislation have given companies the confidence to invest in Wales and across the UK.

Companies that supply at least 450,000 litres of fossil fuels are obligated to supply a certain amount of renewable fuel under the RTFO. Companies can also register voluntarily to be able to receive RTFO certificates. Currently, there are 50 UK registered suppliers, with one supplier having a registered address in Wales.

The Department is encouraging further investment in renewable fuels in the UK through its multimillion pound innovation competitions. Competitively awarded grants have been provided to support the construction of several commercial-scale plants in the UK. This includes the Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition (F4C) which was launched in 2017 and makes up to £20 million in capital funding available. Among the shortlisted projects of the competition, one of the companies is looking to locate in Wales.

27 Feb 2020, 4:29 p.m. Merchant Shipping: Recruitment Cat Smith

Question to the Department for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether Wallem Ship Management has been listed by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency as an approved recruitment and placement agency, in line with the requirements of the Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour Convention) (Recruitment and Placement) Regulations 2014.

Answer (Kelly Tolhurst)

Approval of recruitment & placement agencies is the responsibility of the State in whose territory the agency is located. Wallem Ship Management is not located in the UK; hence they are not approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

27 Feb 2020, 4:16 p.m. Shipping: Energy Supply Dr Alan Whitehead

Question to the Department for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of the provision of shore-side power for sea-going ships in the UK.

Answer (Kelly Tolhurst)

The Department undertook an assessment in early 2019 of the options to reduce emissions from shipping, including the use of shore-side power during the development of the Clean Maritime Plan.

This assessment considered both opportunities for shore-side power and the implications for the UK Energy System. This research has been published on Gov.UK.