Parliamentary Questions: 1st-5th September

Parliamentary Questions: 1st-5th September

1st September

Written Statement

Heavy Good Vehicles (National Speed Limits)

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Claire Perry): My noble Friend, the Minister for Transport, Baroness Kramer, made the following ministerial statement on Thursday 24 July:

The Under-Secretary of State for Transport, my hon. Friend the Member for Devizes (Claire Perry), has today announced that the Government are proposing, following a public consultation, to increase the national speed limit for heavy goods vehicles of more than 7.5t on single carriageways from 40 mph to 50 mph.

This change will be implemented via a change in the law to be put to Parliament during the next few months, with implementation scheduled for early 2015. The existing 40 mph limit continues to apply until the change has been put into effect. The amended speed limit will cover single carriageway roads outside built-up areas in England and Wales, unless specific lower local speed limits are in effect.

The Government are also announcing:

the start of a six-week consultation closing 5 September to seek views and evidence about increasing the national speed limit for HGVs on all purpose (non-motorway) dual carriageways from 50 mph to 60 mph. The intention would be to implement this at the same time;

encouragement to English local authorities to take up the flexibility and policies contained in the speed limit circular issued last year related to local 40 mph speed limits in particular;

our intention to encourage and increase the greater use of vocational driver conduct hearings, with new guidance from the senior traffic commissioner likely for consultation later this year; and

our intention to specify and then procure a major study about rural road safety.

The change to the national speed limit on single carriageway roads will modernise an antiquated restriction, which is not matched in most other European countries, including some of the other leaders alongside the UK for road safety (e.g. the Netherlands and Norway). The current speed limit just does not work—it is broken by about three quarters of HGV drivers at any particular time when they are not constrained by other traffic or the road layout. It is implausible that it could readily be made to work without a disproportionate effort.

This package allows our roads to be used better and more effectively. It will reduce delays and congestion, particularly on busy single carriageway A roads. It will remove a 20 mph differential between the lorry and car speed limits on single carriageway roads, cutting dangerous overtaking and bringing permitted lorry speeds into line with other large vehicles like coaches and caravans. Assessed benefits to business are £11.8 million per year.

The Government are determined that any potential risks higher speeds bring will be managed effectively. This change will reduce speed differences between different types of traffic which is likely to reduce risks. The Government are also bringing forward associated measures so we continue to improve safety.

For example the change to the HGV speed limit will allow us to set up tougher procedures and sanctions for lorry drivers caught exceeding the new speed limits. It will also reinforce the credibility and importance of other safety-critical laws with similar sanctions, including the prohibition on hand held mobile phones and the 30 mph limit in towns and cities.

This change is founded on a long-standing trend of improving road safety, which we have committed to build on. So we will be introducing a new offence of driving with a drug in the body over specified limits and tightening up drink-drive enforcement early next year. Last year we increased by two thirds the fixed penalties for many traffic offences and we are consulting on changes to improve enforcement against tired HGV drivers, including those based abroad.

We will be supporting the speed limit increase by promoting the advice we updated last year to highway authorities about local speed limits. Local authorities can restrict all traffic to 30, 40 or 50 mph where this is needed because of the use of roads by pedestrians and cyclists, settlements on roads, high-air pollution or safety risks. Finally all drivers, but particularly the professional drivers of HGVs, need to be aware that the speed limit is a maximum not a guideline.

The Department for Transport is publishing the summary of single carriageway HGV speed limit consultation responses, the consultation document for dual carriageways and impact assessments for both measures.

Copies of these documents will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

 

Transport Infrastructure (Network Rail)

The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr Patrick McLoughlin): In December 2013, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced that, due to a change in European reporting rules, Network Rail Ltd with all of its subsidiaries would be reclassified as a central Government body. 1That decision takes effect today, and Network Rail is now a public sector arm’s length body of the Department for Transport.

The Government have approached their response to the ONS decision in partnership with Network Rail, with an emphasis firmly on the preservation of Network Rail’s ability to continue to manage its business with appropriate commercial freedom, within effective regulatory and control frameworks appropriate for a company in the public sector.

Today, I am publishing a framework agreement between the Department for Transport and Network Rail which sets out how both bodies will interact in terms of corporate governance and financial management. By working closely with Network Rail, my Department has delivered a framework that provides appropriate accountability to Parliament and the taxpayer while preserving Network Rail’s operational independence. This both keeps clear Network Rail’s accountability for its performance and maintains the regulatory process managed by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) to give industry the confidence to plan for the long term.

Given that Network Rail is now part of the public sector and Government’s accounts, I will fulfil an enhanced role in overseeing the company. The framework agreement sets out how I and my officials will take on new responsibilities:

I will appoint future chairs of Network Rail and approve or be consulted on other key governance changes.

I will approve Network Rail’s remuneration policy and pay for executive directors.

These changes have been reflected in Network Rail’s articles of association and agreed by Network Rail members on 29 August 2014.

My Department will also ensure that Network Rail complies with parliamentary reporting requirements, managing public money and other relevant public sector-wide rules.

I am also publishing a memorandum of understanding between the Department for Transport and the Scottish Ministers, setting out how they will be involved in future decisions on Network Rail’s governance and financial management, and a loan facility agreement entered into between me and Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd.

Copies of both documents have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament

Accessible here on the parliamentary website

 

2nd September

Written Questions

Driving: Eyesight

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate his Department has made of the number of drivers whose visual acuity was poor who were involved in road traffic accidents in each year since 2010.

Mr Goodwill: The numbers of motor vehicle drivers who were assigned with “uncorrected or defective eyesight” as a contributory factor by a police officer attending the scene of an accident are given in the following table, for each year since 2010.

Number of motor vehicle drivers with “uncorrected or defective eyesight” as a contributory factor in reported injury accidents, Great Britain 2010-13
Number of accidents/percentage
All accidents
Contributory factor reported in accident1 Number Percentage
Uncorrected, defective eyesight
2010 227 0.18
2011 245 0.20
2012 245 0.21
2013 231 0.21
1 Includes only accidents where a police officer attended the scene and in which a contributory factor was reported.

The Department does not collect information on specific conditions such as “visual acuity”, but it is likely to be captured by the broader contributory factor above.

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost is of road traffic accidents in the UK where poor visual acuity was a contributory factor in each year since 2010.

Mr Goodwill: The total costs of reported road accidents in which “uncorrected or defective eyesight” was reported as a contributory factor by a police officer attending the scene of the accident, in each of year since 2010 for Great Britain, are as follows:

Cost of reported road accident (£ million)
2010 18.5
2011 29.7
2012 26.3
2013 29.4

The Department does not collect information on specific conditions such as “visual acuity”, but it is likely to be captured by the broader contributory factor above.

These costs have been calculated using the values for prevented casualties and accidents given in tables A4.1.1 and A4.1.3 of the TAG data book

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

which are used in the valuation of accident impacts in infrastructure investment and relevant policy business cases. They include the human costs of casualties and fatalities, lost economic output and other factors such as police, ambulance and medical costs but do not include any costs relating to delays arising from accidents. All the costs are given in 2010 prices.

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people were injured in road traffic accidents where the driver’s visual acuity was found to be below the legal acceptable level in each year since 2010.

Mr Goodwill: The numbers of casualties in injury accidents where a motor vehicle driver was assigned contributory factory “uncorrected or defective eyesight” by a police officer at the scene of an accident are given in the following table, by casualty severity, for each year since 2010.

 

Number of motor vehicle drivers with “uncorrected or defective eyesight” as a contributory factor in reported injury accidents by casualty severity: GB 2010-13
Contributory factor reported in accident1 Killed Seriously injured Slightly injured All casualties
Uncorrected, defective eyesight
2010 4 38 279 321
2011 9 52 296 357
2012 6 62 276 344
2013 9 54 252 315
1 Includes only accidents where a police officer attended the scene and in which a contributory factor was reported.

The Department does not collect information on specific conditions such as “visual acuity”, but it is likely to be captured by the broader contributory factor above.

 

Motorways: Accidents

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will bring forward legislative proposals to prevent the Highways Agency keeping motorways out of action for any longer than necessary in the aftermath of incidents;

(2) what steps he is taking to improve the management of traffic in the aftermath of motorway incidents.

Mr Hayes: I agree that roads should be re-opened as quickly as possible following an incident to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum. Unfortunately, roads do need to be closed when critical infrastructure repairs cannot be performed whilst part of the carriageway remains open. In addition, when an incident has resulted in serious injury or a fatality, the police have a duty to conduct a thorough investigation in accordance with their recently revised Collision Investigation Manual.

A review of the closure procedures for motorway incidents has been undertaken; this has been carried out jointly with the Home Office, Association of Chief Police Officers, Fire and Ambulance services, Department for Transport (DfT) and the Highways Agency, to identify what can collectively be achieved to reduce incident clear up times.

The review, known as CLEAR {Collision, Lead, Evaluate, Act, Re-open) aims to reduce the time taken to re-open motorways following an incident and will minimise both the economic impact of closures and the delay experienced by road users.

In addition, laser scanners are being operated by 27 police forces across England to significantly reduce the time taken to gather essential evidence at incident sites.

At this time, there is no intention of introducing legislation as the Highways Agency is already mandated to reduce the time that motorways are subject to restrictions or closures following incidents.

 

Railway Signals

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what recent discussions he has had with Network Rail on improving rail signalling; (2) what future discussions he has planned with Network Rail on improving rail signalling.

Claire Perry: There have been no recent discussions with Network Rail specifically about signalling improvements. The Secretary of State and ministerial colleagues will continue to meet with Network Rail to discuss a range of issues including improving rail signalling.

Network Rail is funded, as part of its five-year Control Period 5 settlement, to maintain and upgrade its signalling systems. The Office of Rail Regulation will monitor Network Rail’s performance in the delivery of its Control Period 5 objectives.

 

Roads: Accidents

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road traffic accidents there were per 100,000 of the population in (a) the UK, (b) London and (c) Barnet in each of the last five years.

Mr Goodwill: The numbers of reported personal injury road traffic accidents per 100,000 population in (a) Great Britain, (b) London and (c) Barnet for the years 2009 to 2013 are shown in the following table:

Number of reported personal injury road traffic accidents in (a) Great Britain (b) London and (c) Barnet per 100,000 population: 2009-13
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
(a) Great Britain 270 253 246 235 223
(b) London 234 300 298 290 274
(c) Barnet 317 343 311 280 269

Mark Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many motor vehicle accidents occurred in (a) Preston constituency, (b) Preston and (c) Lancashire in each month in 2013.

Mr Goodwill: The numbers of reported personal injury motor vehicle accidents in (a) Preston constituency, (b) Preston and (c) Lancashire in each month of 2013 are shown in the following table:

Number of reported personal injury accidents involving at least one motor vehicle1 in Preston constituency, Preston and Lancashire: 2013
(a) Preston constituency (b) Preston (c) Lancashire
January 36 58 377
February 25 37 375
March 34 47 375
April 38 66 363
May 33 43 377
June 34 51 424
July 38 58 439
August 30 40 392
September 48 59 388
October 44 66 437
November 38 51 476
December 53 81 406
Total 451 657 4,829
1 Excludes pedal cycles, horse riders, mobility scooters and trams

 

Road: North Yorkshire

Andrew Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much has been invested in road infrastructure in (a) Harrogate and Knaresborough constituency and (b) North Yorkshire in each of the last four years.

Mr Goodwill: The Highways Agency is responsible for the motorway and strategic trunk road network. There have been no Major Road Schemes in the Harrogate and Knaresborough constituency during the last four years.

The table shows the investment in the two Major Road Schemes that are in the North Yorkshire area. Please note the 14/15 expenditure includes actual spend to the end of June 2014 and a forecast up to and including the end of March 2015.

£ million
Actual Forecast
Scheme 11/12 12/13 13/14 14/15 Estimated total out-turn cost
A1 Dishforth to Leeming 80.4 6.0 1-5.9 1.9 311
A1 Dishforth to Barton 0.1 3.1 35.7 90.8 380
1 The -5.9 reported in 13/14, is made up of a change in accounting policy and a reduction in the provision for post construction activity.

 

The Highways Agency does not separately identify the investment on its roads by constituency area. The Highways Agency has invested approximately £33 million on safety and improvement schemes, renewal of carriageway surfaces and repairs to structures in the North Yorkshire region within the last four years. The breakdown of investment by financial year is shown in the following table:

Investment (£ million)
2010/11 5.211
2011/12 4.261
2012/13 10.791
2013/14 12.438

 

For the local road network the Department for Transport provides capital funding to local highway authorities for maintenance. The Harrogate and Knaresborough constituency falls within North Yorkshire county council’s area of responsibility and therefore we do not allocate any funds directly to that area for local road infrastructure. Over the four year period from 2011 North Yorkshire county council’s allocation is:

Allocation (£ million)
2011/12 25.252
2012/13 24.065
2013/141 29.002
2014/152 27.855
1 Includes the top up announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement 2012 and the Wet Weather funding paid in March 2014. 2 Includes the top up announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement 2012 and the Pothole Fund.

The Department for Transport is funding one local major scheme in North Yorkshire, the Bedale Aiskew Leeming Bar Bypass which has £10.760 million of funding in 2014/15.

The information is also available on the parliamentary website

 

3rd September

Written Statement

Transport Resilience Review

The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr Patrick McLoughlin): At the beginning of March, following the extreme weather of winter 2013-14, I asked Richard

Brown CBE, former chairman of Eurostar and now a non-executive director in my Department, to lead a review of the resilience of the transport network to extreme weather events. I am today publishing Mr Brown’s report.

I welcome this report and am grateful to Richard Brown and his fellow experts, Brian Smith and John Curley, for completing such a thorough analysis in time for the transport industry to consider the findings before the onset of next winter. The report considers the effects of extreme weather on roads, railways, ports and airports and makes some 60 recommendations for action by transport operators and central and local government. These range from short-term actions, such as those designed to improve basic maintenance of ditches, drains and vegetation, to longer-term recommendations, such as those on the economic signals and legislative provisions which have a bearing upon the resilience of our transport system.

As today’s report notes, transport operators on the whole responded well to last winter’s series of extreme weather events, but there were clear areas of weakness. I therefore welcome the practical measures identified to improve the transport network’s performance further at times of disruption.

Given the comprehensive nature of Richard Brown’s report, I propose to consider his recommendations in more detail and to publish a full response in due course. In the meantime, copies of the report have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

More information available here at the parliamentary website

 

Written Questions

Dangerous Driving

Richard Graham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will bring forward legislative proposals to introduce a charge of killing or injuring someone through a hit and run.

Mr Goodwill: We do not believe it is necessary to create a specific offence of killing or injuring someone during a hit and run incident. This is because a range of offences and penalties already exist to deal with offences committed on the roads and this can include manslaughter in appropriate cases. The offence of causing death by dangerous driving carries a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment. In 2012 the Government also introduced a new offence of causing serious injury through dangerous driving which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment.

Richard Graham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many recorded hit and run incidents involving (a) injury and (b) death there have been in each of the last five years.

Mr Goodwill: The numbers of reported personal injury road accidents involving at least one hit and run driver by accident severity for the years 2009 to 2013 are shown in the table.

Number of reported personal injury accidents involving at least one hit and run driver, by severity: GB, 2009-2013
Number of accidents involving at least one hit and run driver
Fatal Serious Slight Total
2009 78 1,569 15,382 17,029
2010 57 1,465 14,879 16,401
2011 73 1,610 15,160 16,843
2012 75 1,579 14,008 15,662
2013 57 1,448 13,885 15,390

Insurance

Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on how many occasions he has met representatives of the insurance industry in the last 12 months; and what issues were discussed at those meetings.

Mr Goodwill: The Secretary of State has not personally met with the insurance industry in the past year. However, I regularly meet with insurers to discuss road safety and how we can make motor insurance more affordable to the public.

Further information on written parliamentary questions available here

 

4th September

 

Written Questions

Large Goods Vehicles

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with his counterparts in HM Treasury about likely effects of the proposed methanol excise duty reduction to incentivise the increased use of methanol as a replacement for diesel in HGVs on (a) the wider fuel market and (b) the wider vehicle market.

Mr Goodwill: Officials from the Department for Transport and Her Majesty’s Treasury are in regular contact on the development of proposals to change the duty rate for methanol.

These changes will provide businesses with the tax certainty they need to invest in alternatively fuelled commercial vehicles and improve air quality. The reduced rate will apply to methanol composed of 95% pure methanol, and 5% water.

Draft legislation will be published at the autumn statement for further consultation, including with representatives from the fuel industry and motor manufacturers.

 

Pedestrian Crossings

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department plans to increase the time for pedestrians to cross on signalised crossings.

Mr Goodwill: Local councils are responsible for setting pedestrian crossing timings with reference to the Department for Transport’s guidance walking speed of 1.2 metres per second given in Local Transport Note 1/95: ‘The Assessment of Pedestrian Crossings’, Local Transport Note 2/95: ‘The Design of Pedestrian Crossings’, and Traffic Advisory Leaflet 5/05: ‘Pedestrian Facilities at Signal-controlled Junctions’.

The Department recommends that where a crossing may be used by a large number of older people or those with mobility issues, for example outside residential care homes, this should be taken into account when setting timings.

The Department expects to bring the successor to the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions, which will include all pedestrian crossing types, into force in 2015 and once that is complete will consider the need to update existing guidance.

Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will assess the potential merits of lowering the assumed walking speed of 1.2 metres per second used for calculating crossing times for pedestrians; and if he will publish the findings of that assessment.

Mr Goodwill: Local councils are responsible for setting pedestrian crossing timings with reference to the Department for Transport’s guidance walking speed of 1.2 metres per second given in Local Transport Note 1/95: ‘The Assessment of Pedestrian Crossings’, Local Transport Note 2/95: ‘The Design of Pedestrian Crossings’, and Traffic Advisory Leaflet 5/05: ‘Pedestrian Facilities at Signal-controlled Junctions’.

The Department recommends that where a crossing may be used by a large number of older people or those with mobility issues, for example outside residential care homes, this should be taken into account when setting timings.

The Department expects to bring the successor to the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions, which will include all pedestrian crossing types, into force in 2015 and once that is complete will consider the need to update existing guidance.

 

Road Traffic

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the average number of vehicles on an average day on

(a)  the strategic road network and

(b)local roads in the most recent year for which figures are available.

Mr Goodwill: The table below includes the annual average daily flow for the strategic road network, local authority managed major roads and minor roads in England for 2013.

Department for Transport statistics

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-transport/series/road-traffic-statistics

Motor vehicle flow by road class and road management, England, 2013, annual average daily flow1
Vehicles a day
Highways Agency (HA) managed roads Local authority (LA) managed roads
Motorways ‘A’ roads All HA roads Major roads Minor roads All LA roads All Roads
82,500 31,200 52,800 13,300 1,500 2,600 3,800
1 The calculation for the annual average daily flow is estimated by dividing the annual traffic estimate by the road length. Source: DFT National Road Traffic Survey. Last updated: June 2014. The figures in this table are National Statistics.

 

Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) with reference to the National Audit Office report entitled, Maintaining strategic infrastructure roads, HC169, published on 6 June 2014, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on local highways of local authorities not implementing guidance from the highways of maintenance efficiency programme;

(2) which local highways authorities have not completed an asset management plan.

Mr Goodwill: The Department for Transport continues to work closely with the all parts of the sector to help spread best practice in highways asset management, including through the Highways Maintenance Efficiency. It is recommended that local highway authorities have an asset management strategy in place to ensure the efficient delivery of highway maintenance service for which they are responsible.

The development of highways asset management plans and strategies is entirely a matter for each local highway authority. As the National Audit Office report highlighted many authorities are currently at different stages of implementing such plans. The Department does not, therefore, hold comprehensive data on how many authorities have up to date asset management plans in place.

More information available on the parliamentary website

 

5th September

 

Written Answers

Buses: Tyres

Steve Rotheram: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what date he plans to publish the conclusions to research into tyre-ageing on buses and coaches that he commissioned in December 2013.

Claire Perry: My officials have consulted with experts from the British and the European tyre manufacturing industry who have provided consistent advice that chronological age is not an indicator of a tyre’s mechanical properties. Further research is currently being planned

 

Cycleways

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many segregated bicycle lanes have been constructed in England in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available; (2) how many segregated bicycle lanes have been constructed in England in each of the last 20 years.

Mr Goodwill: The Department for Transport does not centrally hold figures for how many segregated bicycle lanes have been constructed over the last twenty years. The Department has provided significantly more funding than the previous administration to local authorities to implement cycling schemes, including segregated bicycle lanes, for instance through the Cycling Ambition Grants, Local Sustainable Transport Fund and Local Growth Fund.

 

Driving: Licensing

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many driving licence (a) applications and (b) renewals breached the target timeframe for processing in each of the last five years; and in how many such cases the breach arose as a result of delays in medical assessments.

Claire Perry: The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) does not hold separate figures for applications for a driving licence and renewal applications which missed the target for processing. However, the total number of driving licence applications where the target time for processing has been breached is shown in the table:

Total number of all driving licence applications received including applications to renew a driving licence Total number of applications for a driving licence, including applications to renew a licence, where the target was missed Total number of applications for a driving licence, including applications to renew a licence, where the target was missed due to medical investigations
2009-10 8,794,140 184,398 48,146
2010-11 9,716,576 318,982 58,825
2011-12 9,834,914 98,086 57,552
2012-13 9,769,331 194,751 77,764
2013-14 10,233,837 241,437 63,963

 

The number of applications and renewal applications where the target was missed due to medical investigations also includes cases where the DVLA has been notified of a medical condition which requires further investigation. However, these notifications were not necessarily associated with an application for a driving licence or an application to renew a licence.

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many driving licence (a) applications and (b) renewals the DVLA has received in each of the last five years.

Claire Perry: The number of driving licence applications and applications to renew a licence received at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in the last five years is set out in the table below:

 

Total number of all driving licence applications received including applications to renew a driving licence Total number of applications received to renew a driving licence
2009-10 8,794,140 3,164,424
2010-11 9,716,576 4,113,264
2011-12 9,834,914 4,272,278
2012-13 9,769,331 4,271,609
2013-14 10,233,837 4,315,268

 

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the current target timeframe is for processing of driving licence (a) applications and (b) renewals; and whether the same timeframe applies in the case of licences that have a medical test as part of the application.

Claire Perry: The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s (DVLA) targets for processing driving licence applications are to deliver:

98% of first provisional driving licences within eight working days;

98% of vocational driving licences within eight working days; and

98% of all other driving licence applications, including renewal applications within 10 working days

Where a driving licence application requires medical investigations, the target is to conclude 90% of all cases and make a licensing decision within 90 working days.

 

EU Law

Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many new EU directives and regulations have been transposed into UK law by his Department since May 2010.

Claire Perry: The Department for Transport has transposed 44 EU directives since May 2010. This number comprises fully transposed directives which originated from the European Commission’s Directorate General Mobility and Transport.

The Department for Transport has been tracking EU regulations since 8 July 2010. Since that date, 164 EU regulations in the Department for Transport’s area of responsibility have come into effect.

Details of all EU legislation, including full details of all EU regulations that came into force before 08/07/2010, can be found on the Commission’s website:

http://old.eur-lex.europa.eu/en/index.htm

for older legislation and

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/homepage.html?locale=en

for legislation since 1 April 2014.

 

Pedestrian Crossings

Sheila Gilmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the recommendations contained in the report, A review of pedestrian walking speeds and time needed to cross the road, published by Living Streets and Transport Research Laboratory on 1 September 2014.

Mr Goodwill: The Department notes the recommendation that the relevant guidance on this subject should be updated.

The Department expects to bring the successor to the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions, which will include all pedestrian crossing types, into force in 2015 and once that is complete will consider the need to update existing guidance.

 

Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which local highways authorities are not members of maintenance alliances.

Mr Goodwill: The Department does not hold the information on which local highway authorities are members or not of maintenance alliances as it is for each highway authority to decide on whether they wish to become a member.

The Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme does, however, hold information on each alliance that has been formed and this can be seen at the following weblink:

http://www.highwaysefficiency.org.uk/connect-and-share/connect/collaborative-alliances.html

In July 2012 the Programme published a toolkit which promotes the benefits of highway authorities

working collaboratively with other authorities as part of an alliance. This toolkit can be found at the following weblink:

http://www.highwaysefficiency.org.uk/efficiency-resources/collaboration–change/local-highway-authorities-collaborative-alliances-toolkit.html

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which local highways authorities do not use the pothole repair methods recommended the highways maintenance efficiency programme report, Prevention and a Better Cure: Potholes Review, published in April 2012.

Mr Goodwill: The Department encourages local highway authorities to adopt the recommendations and approaches set out in the Pothole Review Report. Applications submitted by local highway authorities through the £200 million Pothole Fund announced in the Budget of March 2014 demonstrated that the majority of authorities had implemented recommendations in the Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme report.

It is, however, for each local highway authority to decide on the methods to be applied to pothole repairs based upon their local knowledge and circumstances.

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to the National Audit Office report, maintaining strategic infrastructure: roads, what savings, under what headings, the Highways Agency has made in each of the last three financial years; and what savings are forecast for 2014-15.

Mr Hayes: The savings achieved in the past three years (2011/12 to 2013/14) total £136 million. The forecast for 2014/15 is £102 million (remains in line with the forecast in the June NAO report). This would total savings of £238 million for the four year SR10 period ending in 2014/15. Almost two thirds of the total savings will be achieved through maintenance contracts. See following table.

Highways Agency Savings
£ million
Actual
2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 Total SR10 Act/Fcast
Savings on Maintenance Contracts (6) 33 52 74 153
Other (Incl Increased use of in house-staff) 19 19 19 28 85
Total Savings 13 52 71 102 238

In reference to the National Audit Office (NAO) report, ‘maintaining infrastructure: roads’, the Highways Agency took a range of actions to achieve the savings and budget reductions set in the Spending Review 2010 (SR10). The main action relating to maintenance was; to renegotiate its existing and continuing maintenance contracts to give an affordable level of service; and it also developed a new type of contract in which it specified outcomes rather than prescribing maintenance activities. When maintenance contracts are renewed they are negotiated using the new type of contract. The majority of savings were anticipated to be achieved through the contract renegotiations.

Another area of savings identified in NAO report was the use of in-house staff to cover areas of work such as commercial and asset management.

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the scope for the Highways Agency and local highways authorities to share departments, plant and staff and other resources used by their contractors; and what estimate he has made of the savings arising from such integration of resources.

Mr Goodwill: While no assessment or estimate of savings has been made in respect of the Highways

Agency and local highway authorities integrating services, the Highways Agency takes advantage of opportunities to share resources with local authorities where it is able to do so and it is appropriate.

More information is available on the parliamentary website

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