International Passenger Survey

House of Lords written question – answered on 3rd July 2012.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Laird Lord Laird UUP

To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the cost of the Office for National Statistics' International Passenger Survey in each of the past five years; what was the rate of refusal to answer; how those individuals questioned when landing in the United Kingdom were chosen; whether bus passengers were questioned; how long the interviews took; and in what languages interviews were conducted.

Photo of Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, Director General for ONS, to Lord Laird, dated June 2012.

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to respond to your Parliamentary Question to Her Majesty's Government. asking what was the cost of the Office for National Statistics' International Passenger Survey in each of the last five years: what was the rate of refusal to answer; how those individuals questioned when landing in the United Kingdom were chosen; whether bus passengers were questioned; how long the interviews took; and in what languages interviews were conducted. [HL1123]

I am able to report the following details.

1. The cost of the International Passenger Survey in each of the last five years has been:

Financial year Cost (£)
2007-08 3,169,706
2008-09 5,137,036
2009-10 6,099,479
2010-11 6,046,282
2011-12 5,403,395

Up to 2007-08. the survey's indirect costs were not recorded against the survey. From 2008-09. both direct and indirect costs are recorded. Indirect costs are therefore not reflected in the 2007-08 figure.

2. The rate of refusal to answer in each year was as follows:

Calendar year % Refusals
2007 1.7
2008 1.9
2009 2.2
2010 1.9
2011 1.7

3. At airports IPS interviewers conduct their work airside in a location where all arriving international passengers can be counted. The interviewers count individuals arriving in the United Kingdom as they cross a predetermined line and select every nth passenger crossing that line for interview. The sampling interval, n. is predetermined. A similar approach is adopted for passengers arriving by Eurostar. On sea and tunnel routes passengers are counted in car lanes. foot arrival halls, or onboard and are then selected to a pre-determined sampling interval.

4. Bus passengers were questioned. Anyone entering the UK by bus will travel via sea or tunnel routes, both of which are sampled.

5. The average length of an IPS interview is approximately four minutes. For foreign residents arriving in the UK the average length is approximately two minutes.

6. The IPS is conducted in English. However, self completion questionnaires are made available in Italian, Japanese, Spanish, German, French, Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian, Portuguese, Greek, Polish, Bulgarian and Romanian in case any selected passenger is unable to answer in English.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.