Skip to main content


Volume 546: debated on Wednesday 13 June 2012


Wednesday 13 June 2012



DVLA Office Network

The Petition of DVLA staff and service users in numerous constituencies,

Declares that the Petitioners believe that the DVLA Office Network is a service which is needed throughout the UK; declares that the Petitioners feel that the decision to close the DVLA Office Network and centralise services is a devastating blow to local communities who rely on the services provided, as well as to the 1,200 staff who will lose their jobs; and declares that the Petitioners believe that decision to close the service needs to be addressed so that staff and the public can get some reassurances of job and service security.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to consult with staff, users and trade unions further, and to take all possible action to save the DVLA Office Network.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by John McDonnell, Official Report, 20 March 2012; Vol. 542, c. 764 .]


Observations from the Secretary of State for Transport:

The Government have a duty to deliver efficient, effective public services and my Department is committed to improving the service it provides to motorists. The “Transforming DVLA Services” consultation sought views on potential changes including whether the services currently provided through the network of local offices should be available through a wider range of intermediaries and through increased electronic delivery. My Department will only take a decision to close the network of local offices if this will result in a more efficient service that continues to meet customer needs.

The consultation closed on 20 March 2012. Around 1,000 responses have been received from a diverse range of stakeholders including the public, motor trade, specialist industry groups, unions and law enforcement organisations. My Department has also held a series of stakeholder meetings with interested parties which has provided valuable information. The responses are now being analysed and will feed into the decision making process. Once the evaluation is complete, an announcement will be made.

Saltford Station

The Humble Petition of users of Saltford Station and others,


That the Petitioners believe that re-opening Saltford station alongside the electrification and re-signalling programme that is due to take place on the mainline would be cost effective for the Department for Transport and would be beneficial for train users, and further that the re-opening of the station would enhance the case for the Greater Bristol Metro.

Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House shall urge the Government to take all possible steps to ensure that Saltford station is re-opened when reviewing the First Great Western rail franchise.

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.—[Presented by Jacob Rees-Mogg, Official Report, 19 April 2012; Vol. 543, c. 630 .]


Observations from the Secretary of State for Transport:

The Government are supporting significant improvements on the Great Western network including electrification, faster journey times and provision of new trains through the Intercity Express Programme. As part of our preparation for the next High Level Output Statement and Statement of Funds Available we are considering which further rail improvements can be funded between 2014 and 2019.

If Saltford station were to be re-opened, the benefits generated would be felt locally rather than nationally. For local schemes of this type, it would be for the local authority, in this case, Bath and North East Somerset Council, together with the West of England Partnership to determine whether the provision of a new station at Saltford is the best way to meet local transport needs. In doing so, the local authority should liaise with the train operator, currently First Great Western, and Network Rail to determine whether the station is deliverable in planning, engineering and operational terms.

If a station is deliverable, it is for the local authority to secure funding from locally determined funding sources to meet the capital costs of the station, and demonstrate that the income from fares that the station generates from new users of the railway is sufficient to cover the costs of operating the station and requiring trains to call there.

The new franchise for Great Western will enable changes to be made to that franchise during its life which could include a requirement for trains to call at a new station.