HC Deb 30 March 2004 vol 419 c1324W
Mr. Laws

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his estimate is of total expenditure by his Department on(a) focus groups and (b) opinion polls in each year from 1995–96 to 2003–04; and if he will make a statement. [162759]

Mr. McNulty

Estimated out-turn in 2003–04, will be £493,065 on focus groups of which £296,070 relates to the consultation for the white paper on the future of air transport and £156,595 to the THINK! road safety publicity campaign. In 2002–03, the Department spent £53,439 on focus groups all of which was in support of THINK!. In addition £50,792 was spent on opinion polls over a 16 month period straddling both the financial years 2002–03 and 2003–04.

Costs for earlier years before the Department for Transport was formed could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Research is widely used to inform the development, delivery and evaluation of policy and publicity. Focus group work to inform the development of our long term £14 million a year THINK! road safety publicity campaign, which keeps road safety high in the publics consciousness, involves testing attitudes and creative ideas. The end results of any focus group research that we carry out in this context are in the public domain in the form of THINK! campaign material.

All contracts are let in accordance with agreed tendering procedures and are subject to the usual rules that spending should represent good value for money.