Parliamentary Questions: 7th July-10th July

Parliamentary Questions: 7th July-10th July

10th July

Road Traffic Control

Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to relieve congestion on roads.

Mr Goodwill: Road investment is central to our long-term economic plan. We are spending more than £24 billion on strategic roads between 2010 and 2021. A further £7.4 billion will be spent on local roads in the next Parliament, together with £1.5 billion funding from the Local Growth Fund announced on Monday. This will bring forward much needed schemes, like the Stafford Western Access route, which are designed to relieve congestion and open up growth across the country.

 

Road Traffic Control: Hampshire

Caroline Dinenage: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to relieve congestion on roads in Hampshire.

Mr Goodwill: On Monday of this week we published the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deals, including both deals which cover Hampshire; Solent LEP and EM3 LEP.

Working with the Solent LEP, Government has agreed to fund two schemes to relieve congestion on the Gosport peninsula.

The Gosport Road and A27 improvement scheme and The Peel Common Roundabout Improvement scheme, a pinch point on the local road network near the Enterprise Zone, Daedalus.

While Stubbington Bypass and the Newgate Lane South schemes were not allocated funding in the deal directly, there is a commitment for the Government and the LEP to negotiate in 2014 a further phase of co-investment to deliver strategic infrastructure to support the development of network capacity to and from the Gosport peninsula—including Stubbington Bypass.

Working with the EM3 LEP, Government has agreed to fund three schemes to relieve congestion around Basingstoke: Basingstoke Northern Corridor to Growth A33; Basingstoke North Eastern Corridor A340 partial dualling; and the Basingstoke South Western Corridor scheme. All of these schemes will reduce current congestion levels and help mitigate future congestion from new housing and business sites.

The Whitehill/Bordon Relief road will remove the severance caused by the A325 and improve traffic flows through the towns to reduce congestion.

EM3 have also been allocated £20.7 million, with £4.3 million in the first year for a transport fund which will comprise sustainable transport schemes to alleviate congestion in the identified growth and step up towns within the LEP area.

 

Roads: Accidents

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of recent trends in reported road casualties.

Mr Goodwill: The figures for 2013 show the lowest number of road deaths since records began.

The Government is working on a range of measures to continue to improve road safety including introducing a new drug driving offence, cycle proofing roads, and removing the “statutory option” to ensure more drink drivers are brought to justice.

 

Roads: Safety

Rehman Chishti: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of recent trends in road safety statistics.

Mr Goodwill: The figures for 2013 show the lowest number of road deaths since records began.

The Government is working on a range of measures to continue to improve road safety including introducing a new drug driving offence, cycle proofing roads, and removing the “statutory option” to ensure more drink drivers are brought to justice.

Information is available on the parliamentary website

 

9th July

Aviation: Exhaust Emissions

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what records are kept of the concentrations of identified toxic chemicals in a fume event in each of the principal classes of civil aviation airliners operating within the UK; and if he will make a statement;

(2) whether any UK agencies or Departments conduct or have conducted research into the long-term consequences of repeated exposure of air crews to low levels of toxic fumes within civil aviation aircraft; and if he will make a statement;

(3) what discussions he or Ministers in his Department have had with (a) airlines and (b) organisations about fume events in UK airlines; and if he will take steps to improve the monitoring of the air quality in UK airliners;

(4) how many fume events were recorded in (a) UK civil aviation aircraft and (b) other aircraft using UK airports operating within the UK in the last 12 months; and which agency is responsible for recording these events.

Mr Goodwill: In the period 1 June 2013 to 31 May 2014, from over a million passenger and cargo flights the Civil Aviation Authority received 309 reports of ‘contaminated air’ from UK operators under the Mandatory Occurrence Reporting Scheme. Incidents involving non-UK operators would be reported to the relevant national authority and we do not have data on the number of occurrences involving non-UK operators.

The majority of incidents of contaminated air are brief, lasting for periods of a few seconds to a few minutes. No records of chemical concentrations are kept as there is no equipment currently available which could be installed on aircraft and capture this information.

The Department has completed four research studies into cabin air, which involved close cooperation with airlines to facilitate the research. The main study was published by Cranfield university in May 2011, and concluded there was no evidence for pollutants occurring in cabin air at levels exceeding available health and safety standards and guidelines.

The Department has also engaged with the Committee on Toxicity, which considered the Department’s four published reports during 2013. The Committee concluded that there is no evidence that fume events are causing ill health in passengers or crew and, as a result, there are no plans to change the monitoring of air quality in UK carriers.

 

Driving Instruction

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what plans his Department has to make the Fleet Driver Trainer register mandatory for paid vocational driver training;

(2) what plans his Department has to introduce mandatory regulation of B+E driving instructors.

Stephen Hammond: The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) consulted recently on proposals to modernise and, as far as possible, reduce any potential burden that the current regulatory framework could place on approved driving instructors (ADI); it will publish the response to consultation shortly.

The consultation’s proposals were designed to reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses, therefore, the consultation document proposed that DVSA would not mandate the voluntary fleet driver trainer register.

The pass rate for the B+E practical test is 67%, one of the highest pass rates for any category of test; unlike learner drivers people seeking B+E instruction must already hold a full category B driving licence. Most BE instruction is already carried out by vocational trainers who are competent to provide this service given their expertise in delivering training in category C vehicles and CE. Therefore, DVSA currently has no plans to extend the regulation of paid driving instruction in a motor car to BE training; neither does it have plans to extend the regulatory framework for ADIs to cover paid vocational driver training.

 

Policy

Mr O’Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport at what level his Department values the reduction of risk of death per fatal casualty prevented; and if he will give an example of policy intervention where this evaluation was made.

Mr Goodwill: I refer my hon. Friend to my answer of 7 July 2014, Official Report, column 167WJ.

The value of a prevented fatality is used in the appraisal for every infrastructure investment business case. It is also used in the impact assessments for relevant policy interventions. For example, the impact assessment on the new drug driving offence takes account of the value of preventing a fatality in assessing the overall impact of the offence. The latest impact assessment can be found at:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2014/9780111117422/impacts

 

Roads: Hampshire

Damian Hinds: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the three most recent (a) traffic counts, (b) speed measurements and (c) weight-of-vehicles measurements are from the B3006 Selborne Road between the A31 at Alton and the A3 Ham Barn roundabout.

Mr Goodwill: The Department’s estimates the average annual daily flow, measured in the number of vehicles a day, for a selection of minor roads each year including the B3006 near Stairs Hill Farmhouse.

Figures for the last three years are in the following table.

Average annual daily flow

2011

8,529

2012

7,107

2013

7,826

Estimates of average speeds and weight-of-vehicle measurements for the B3006 are not held centrally.

Information is available here on the parliamentary website

 

8th July

A14

Mr Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many motor vehicle accidents occurred on the A14 in each month in 2013.

Mr Goodwill: The numbers of reported personal injury motor vehicle accidents on the A14 for each of the 12 months in 2013 are given in following table; by severity:

Number of reported personal injury accidents involving at least one motor vehicle1 on the A14 from Felixstowe to its junction with M6
Fatal Serious Slight Total
January 6 2 45 53
February 0 2 14 16

 

March 0 3 34 37
April 1 5 46 52
May 0 3 38 41
June 4 7 32 43
July 0 1 29 30
August 0 13 41 54
September 0 4 38 42
October 0 11 53 64
November 1 7 57 65
December 2 4 43 49
Total 14 62 470 546
1 Excludes pedal cycles, horse riders and mobility scooters.

 

A428

Mr Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many motor vehicle accidents occurred on the A428 in each month in 2013.

Mr Goodwill: The numbers of reported personal injury motor vehicle accidents on the A428 in each of the 12 months in 2013 are given in the following table; by severity

Number of reported personal injury accidents involving at least one motor vehicle1 on the A428 in 2013
Number of accidents
Fatal Serious Slight Total
January 0 0 17 17
February 0 2 10 12
March 0 1 17 18
April 0 3 20 23
May 0 7 17 24
June 0 7 13 20
July 0 0 16 16
August 0 6 12 18
September 0 0 6 6
October 0 5 23 28
November 0 2 10 12
December 0 3 24 27
Total 0 36 185 221
1 Excludes pedal cycles, horse riders and mobility scooters

 

Cycling: Children

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 12 June 2014, Official Report,column 295W, on cycling: children, what criteria his Department uses to measure whether a mode of transport is safe and secure.

Mr Goodwill: Anyone killed or seriously injured on our roads is one too many. The Department collects and publishes statistics annually (and sub-annually) and uses those to monitor road safety. Where there is an existing or emerging road safety challenge, the Department works hard to ensure the right policy solutions are in place to minimise those road safety risks.

 

Cycling: Safety

Sir Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to improve the road safety behaviour of pedal cyclists; what steps he is taking to make it more likely that those cyclists who ride through red traffic lights are prosecuted; and if he will make a statement.

Mr Goodwill: The Department recognises that everyone who uses the highway has a responsibility to behave safely and with consideration for others. Cyclists who commit offences can be prosecuted for riding dangerously or carelessly.

The enforcement of cycling offences is an operational matter for individual chief officers of police. Officers can issue verbal warnings, fixed penalty notices or report the road user for formal prosecution.

Information is available on the parliamentary website

 

7th July

Driving: Licensing

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many driving licences were withdrawn on the basis of alcohol abuse (a) following a road traffic accident and (b) at the request of a GP or medical practitioner in each of the last five years.

Stephen Hammond: The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) does not hold information on the number of driving licences withdrawn on the basis of alcohol abuse following a road traffic accident.

No driving licences have been withdrawn on the basis of alcohol abuse at the request of a general practitioner or a medical practitioner in the last five years.

Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of drivers who accumulate over 12 points on their licence are disqualified.

Stephen Hammond: On 3 July 2014, 93% of drivers who had accumulated 12 or more penalty points were disqualified.

 

Driving: Young People

Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) when his Department plans to publish the Green Paper on young drivers safety;

(2) what steps his Department is taking to encourage the use of telematics to reduce car insurance premiums;

(3) pursuant to the answer of 24 June 2014, Official Report, column 148W, to the hon. Member for Rochford and Southend East, on driving, when he plans to publish the findings from the focus groups with parents, young people and employers.

Mr Goodwill: I am committed to improving the safety of young drivers. However, I want to ensure that this is done in a manner that protects social and economic freedoms. I am striving to get this balance right and will make an announcement on this matter later this year.

I believe that telematics technology has the potential to both increase road safety and reduce young driver insurance premiums. That is why my Department plans to undertake further research on this issue shortly. The findings should help to inform future Government policy in this area.

I expect the findings of the recent focus group research with parents, young people and employers to be finalised shortly. Once finalised, it will be published within the standard 12-week period that applies to all Government social research.

 

Highways Agency

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the potential cost to the Strategic Highways Company of carrying full public liability and professional indemnity insurance as proposed in the Infrastructure Bill [Lords].

Mr Goodwill: The Infrastructure Bill includes no measures that change existing legislation on public liability and professional indemnity insurance. The strategic highways company is expected to manage risk and insurance in line with HM Treasury’s “Managing Public Money” and the detailed insurance arrangements for the new company are being considered.

 

Level Crossings

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to reduce the number of deaths at railway level crossings.

Stephen Hammond: Railway safety is a priority for this Government and the United Kingdom already has the best level crossing safety record in Europe.

However, the industry must not be complacent and Network Rail has already done a great deal in this area including the closure of over 750 level crossings since 2009. Their response to the Transport Committee’s recent report into level crossing safety provided further detail and the Department is supporting this work through a £109 million ring-fenced fund to further reduce risk at level crossings by 2019.

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to educate the public about dangers arising from railway level crossings.

Stephen Hammond: The best way to reduce risk at level crossings is to ensure they are used safely and that any instructions displayed are followed. The Department continues to support the railway industry to ensure that crossing users are aware of the dangers at level crossings, for example, by sponsoring research by RSSB (formerly the Rail Safety and Standards Board) in this area.

Given the limited success of physical mitigation measures, such research is vital to assist Network Rail and the wider rail industry to understand, and mitigate, ‘human factor’ elements. The results have informed the development of Network Rail’s long-running “Don’t Run the Risk” and “See Track—Think Train” television and radio campaigns which are aimed at raising awareness of the dangers at level crossings and educating the public about the consequences of misuse.

Network Rail has also created a “Rail Life” campaign aimed specifically at primary and secondary school pupils. This is providing educational material to schools adjacent to level crossings and produced video material to explain the risks to children.

Part of the role of the level crossing managers which Network Rail has recruited is to build relationships with all level crossing users as well as the wider community and the Government expects further safety benefits to accrue from these activities.

 

Policy

Mr O’Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what explicit monetary value his Department assigns to the value of preventing a fatality calculation during the process of policy appraisal and evaluation.

Mr Goodwill: The value of a prevented fatality used in transport analysis is £1,632,892 (in 2010 prices and at 2010 incomes). The value is given in Table A4.1.1 of the WebTAG (web-based transport analysis guidance) data book:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/webtag-tag-data-book-may-2014

Guidance on using it, and related values, is given in TAG Unit A4.1 Social Impact Appraisal:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/webtag-tag-unit-a4-1-social-impact-appraisal

 

Railways: Standards

Mr Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans his Department has to ensure that improvements in rail infrastructure in the South East are matched by improvements in the North West.

Stephen Hammond: The Government’s £38 billion Rail Investment Strategy for the period 2014-2019 is set to benefit rail passengers throughout the country. Key projects that will transform rail services in the North West include the Northern Hub programme, the redevelopment of Manchester Victoria station, and electrification from Manchester Victoria to Liverpool, Preston, and Blackpool.

 

Rescue Services

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many coastguards have left the service since the Coastguard Reform programme began; and how many new entrants to the Coastguard service there have been in that period.

Stephen Hammond: Since the ministerial announcement of the new Her Majesty’s Coastguard structure, on the 22 November 2011, 187 have left the organisation. There have been 128 new entrants to Her Majesty’s Coastguard in the same period.

 

Rescue Services: Aberdeen

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether MRCC Aberdeen was staffed at below risk assessed levels on any shifts between 20 May and 22 May 2014.

Stephen Hammond: Aberdeen Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) was fully staffed with five qualified officers during each of the day watches over the period 20 to 22 May 2014. On the night of 20 May, the watch was reduced to three qualified officers, and on the night of 21 May, four qualified officers. This had no impact on search and rescue operational capability for that period.

Aberdeen MRCC could also have called on further experienced and capable support from five other MRCCs, should this support have been required.

 

Roads: Accidents

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many serious and fatal road accidents there were in York Unitary Authority in each year since 2008-09.

Mr Goodwill: The number of fatal and serious reported personal injury road accidents in York Unitary Authority for each of the calendar years 2008 to 2013 are given in the following table; by severity:

Number of reported personal injury road accidents in York Unitary Authority, by severity: 2008-13
Fatal Serious
2008 9 71
2009 4 51
2010 4 56
2011 7 51
2012 4 45
2013 0 55

 

Roads: Lancaster

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to Lancaster City Council’s Local Plan for Lancaster District 2011-2031: Strategic Options for Land Allocations, what assessment his Department has made of the potential increased need for roads infrastructure that would arise under Option 5 of that plan.

Mr Goodwill: The Highways Agency has not carried out any assessments of the possible impact on the strategic roads network of Lancaster city council’s Local Plan for Lancaster District 2011-31: Strategic Options for Land Allocations, Option 5.

The Local Plan is still in the consultation period which ends on 31 July 2014. It is the council’s responsibility to assess the transport implications of their options and the Agency will work with them as part of this process.

Information available on the parliamentary website here and here

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