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Departmental Telephone Services

Volume 487: debated on Monday 26 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what use (a) his Department and (b) service providers under contract to his Department make of (i) 0844 and 0845 telephone numbers and (ii) revenue-sharing telephone numbers for calls from members of the public; for which services such numbers are used; what prefixes are used for revenue-sharing numbers; how much revenue has accrued from revenue-sharing numbers in each of the last five years; what consideration his Department has given to introducing 03-prefixed telephone numbers for calls to all such services; and if he will make a statement. [Official Report, 12 March 2009, Vol. 489, c. 11MC.] (247349)

The Department for Transport and its Executive agencies operate three 0845 numbers and one 0844 number. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency uses 0870 revenue-sharing numbers to provide access to nine public services. Information about these is set out as follows:

Number

DfT or agency

Purpose

Revenue (yes/no)

0845 877 0877

DfT

Freight Best Practice helpline providing free information to promote operational efficiency

No

0845 750 4030

HA

Motorway and trunk road information line

No

0845 600 5977

VOSA

Garages hotline for checking MOT standards

No

0844 800 0819

VCA

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment helpline

No

0870 240 0009

DVLA

Allows the public to ask general driving licence inquiries

Yes

0870 240 0010

DVLA

Allows the public to ask general vehicle inquiries

Yes

0870 600 0301

DVLA

Allows the public to ask advice about health conditions and their effect on driver licensing

Yes

0870 241 1878

DVLA

Allows vocational drivers to seek advice regarding driver licensing

Yes

0870 850 4444

DVLA

Allows the licensing of vehicles over the telephone

Yes

0870 850 0007

DVLA

Allows customers to access information on DVLA’s local office network

Yes

0870 608 0604

DVLA

‘Continuous registration’ fine payment line

Yes

0870 850 2963

DVLA

Helpline for customers using our online driving licence service

Yes

0870 850 1074

DVLA

Allows customers to seek advice on the use of Smart Tachographs

Yes

Revenue information from the DVLA services is only available since January 2005. The figures are shown by calendar year.

£

2005

2,130,881

2006

2,328,307

2007

3,329,794

2008

3,047,304

In addition, the Driving Standards Agency and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency have recently switched from 0870 to 0300 numbers for calls made to their contact centres. Revenue information about these is set out as follows:

£

DSA

VOSA

2004-05

706,399

10,386

2005-06

693,254

63,400

2006-07

623,284

72,400

2007-08

672,048

78,600

2008-09

1208,512

252,000

1 DSA switched to 0300 line on 31 October 2008.

2 VOSA switched to 0300 line on 30 September 2008.

Consideration is currently being given to switching to 0300 numbers for the Freight Best Practice helpline and for the Highways Agency Information Line. DVLA had intended moving to 0300 numbers in line with Ofcom recommendations prior to the retraction of the Ofcom paper on use of 0870 numbers. Preparations to move to 0300 are still in place, once the Ofcom paper and recommendations are republished.