Written Answers: January 2015

Written Answers: January 2015

 

5th January

Cycling

Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to encourage cyclists to wear high visibility clothing.

Mr Robert Goodwill: The safety of vulnerable road users is a priority for this Government and we recommend that cyclists wear clothing that makes them sufficiently visible to other road users. However, wearing high visibility clothing is a matter of individual choice, and I would want to resist imposing additional regulations which could lead to people choosing not to cycle and would be difficult to enforce.

We encourage the wearing of high visibility clothing through the Highway Code, THINK! Cyclist campaign, and Tales of the Road. In addition, children who take part in Bikeability cycle training courses have discussions on safety equipment and what to wear; this includes high visibility clothing.

 

M11: Accients

Mr Mark Prisk (Hertford and Stortford): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many accidents there have been on the M11 in each of the last five years.

Mr John Hayes: The latest five year period for which accident statistics have been published and are available for the M11 between junction 4 (near Woodford) and junction 13 (near Cambridge) are for 2009 to 2013. These are set out in the table below:

Year Collisions
2009 126
2010 112
2011 105
2012 102
2013 105

Casualty and collision data is drawn from police reports called STATS 19. These reports are completed when the police attend the scene of an accident where there has been at least one minor injury.

There is no requirement for damage-only accidents, with no human causalities to be reported to the police and therefore this data is excluded.

 

Motorways: Accidents

Mr Mark Prisk (Hertford and Stortford): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many accidents there have been on the (a) M11 and (b) A(1)M in the last 12 months.

Mr John Hayes: The latest annual period for which accident statistics have been published and are available for the M11 and the A1(M) is 2013. These are set out in the table below:

M11 A1(M)
Fatal 1 14
Serious 19 28
Slight 81 218
Total 101 260

Validated data for 2014 will be available in June 2015.

Casualty and collision data is drawn from police reports called STATS 19. These reports are completed when the police attend the scene of an accident where there has been at least one minor injury.

There is no requirement for damage-only accidents, with no human causalities to be reported to the police and therefore this data is excluded.

 


 

12th January

 Roads: Accidents

Justin Tomlinson (North Swindon): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many drivers under the age of 24 were killed in a road accident in each of the last five years.

Mr Robert Goodwill: The total number of drivers and riders of motorised vehicles (including motorcycle riders) aged under 24 who were a) killed or b) injured in road traffic accidents that were reported to the police between 2009 and 2013 are given in the table below.

Year Killed Injured
2009 254 29,078
2010 213 25,342
2011 191 24,207
2012 188 22,328
2013 191 20,003

These figures do not include any pedal cyclist, horse rider, pedestrian or vehicle passenger casualties.

 

Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many drivers under the age of 24 were injured in a road accident in each of the last five years.

Mr Robert Goodwill: The total number of drivers and riders of motorised vehicles (including motorcycle riders) aged under 24 who were a) killed or b) injured in road traffic accidents that were reported to the police between 2009 and 2013 are given in the table below.

Year Killed Injured
2009 254 29,078
2010 213 25,342
2011 191 24,207
2012 188 22,328
2013 191 20,003

These figures do not include any pedal cyclist, horse rider, pedestrian or vehicle passenger casualties.

Road Signs and Marking

Sir Greg Knight (East Yorkshire): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the extent of worn and faint road markings on (a) zebra crossings and (b) elsewhere; and what assessment he has made of the effect of such markings on road safety.

Mr Robert Goodwill: The assessment of the condition of road markings including those for zebra crossings is a matter for individual local highway authorities.

The Department for Transport provides guidance for traffic authorities on the installation and maintenance of road markings in the Traffic Signs Manual and in Departmental Standards. Compliance with the latter is mandatory on the trunk road network, and constitutes good practice elsewhere.

However, traffic authorities must balance competing demands on their resources. In particular, severe weather imposes a heavy burden and emergency repair works can divert resources from carrying out routine maintenance operations, no matter how desirable. It would not be appropriate for central Government to interfere in authorities’ freedom to decide how best to discharge their statutory duty to maintain the highways under their control.


13th January

Level Crossings: Accidents

Mr Douglas Carswell (Clacton): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the number of fatalities at level-crossings.

Claire Perry: We must not be complacent about level crossing safety. An industry safety framework is in place to manage risks.

As the relevant safety duty holder, Network Rail is best placed to assess the risks at level crossings and ensure that the most appropriate infrastructure is in place given local circumstances.

Having already reduced risk significantly across the network, the company has set further challenging targets for risk reduction at level crossings by 2019. The Department is supporting this work through a dedicated £109 million ring-fenced fund which aims to close around a further 500 level crossings and improve safety at hundreds more of the highest risk crossings.

 

Aviation: Crew

Mr John Spellar (Warley): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the extent to which airline pilots suffer skill fade as a result of over-reliance on automatic systems and of the implications of this for flight safety.

Mr Robert Goodwill: There is a robust European Certification process in place to ensure that commercial air transport pilots have technical knowledge, competency and training that they need.  The training is developed collaboratively between industry, manufacturers and regulatory bodies and takes into account technological advances including automation.  After their initial training, pilots are required to demonstrate periodically that they still have the full set of skills they need to operate equipment safely in a range of circumstances.  All Flight Examiners and Type Rating Instructors/Examiners work to a common set of standards agreed at a European level.


 

14th January

Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

Dr David Ruffley (Bury St Edmunds): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 11 December 2014 to Question 217210, how much funding his Department has allocated to each district and unitary council in (a) Suffolk, (b) Bedfordshire, (c) Cambridgeshire, (d) Essex, (e) Hertfordshire and (f) Norfolk for road improvement in each year since 2005.

Mr Robert Goodwill: The table below lists the funding the Department for Transport has allocated to (a) Suffolk, (b) Bedfordshire, (c) Cambridgeshire, (d) Essex, (e) Hertfordshire and (f) Norfolk for road improvement since 2005:

£m £m £m £m £m £m
Year Suffolk Bedfordshire* Cambridgeshire Essex Hertfordshire Norfolk
05/06 22.6 9.4 21.0 31.9 21.2 29.3
06/07 23.6 9.6 21.4 30.0 23.9 30.5
07/08 21.5 7.8 20.3 34.9 24.2 32.5
08/09 23.0 8.7 21.4 33.6 25.6 31.4
09/10 21.7 9.2 19.4 39.4 25.9 30.5
10/11 23.2 9.5 18.9 60.0 26.5 32.1
11/12 27.2 10.4 17.8 61.2 30.6 35.2
12/13 21.8 9.1 14.8 34.4 24.8 26.7
13/14 24.3 17.3 16.8 33.1 27.2 30.4
14/15 33.9 14.8 20.3 44.5 32.9 60.8

* from 2010/11 Bedfordshire split into the 2 unitary authorities of Central Bedfordshire and Bedford and therefore this figure is the sum of their allocations.

The Department does not provide any funding directly to district councils. The table below lists the funding provided to the Unitary Authorities that fall within the historical counties of Suffolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Norfolk for road improvement since 2005:

£m £m £m £m £m £m
Year Bedford* Central Bedfordshire* Luton Peterborough Southend on Sea Thurrock
05/06 4.0 5.5 4.4 6.6
06/07 3.5 4.1 4.3 5.3
07/08 4.0 7.7 4.5 3.2
08/09 6.5 6.4 4.1 3.0
09/10 3.9 11.0 4.1 3.1
10/11 3.9 5.6 3.3 10.5 3.7 2.9
11/12 4.3 6.1 2.9 5.5 3.5 3.2
12/13 3.8 5.3 4.9 4.5 2.9 3.0
13/14 8.8 8.5 13.8 8.4 3.2 2.9
14/15 5.2 9.6 5.3 7.2 6.7 3.5

* from 2010/11 the 2 unitary authorities of Central Bedfordshire and Bedford came into being and therefore this figure is the sum of the allocations to Bedfordshire.

These tables include funding we have provided through the local Highways Maintenance Block, Integrated Transport Block, Severe Weather Funding, Local Major Projects and Local Pinch Point Fund schemes. The table does not include funding provided through the Bus Service Operators Grant, Local Sustainable Transport Fund, or Cycling Grant.

Local authorities are also able to use revenue funding, allocated by the Department of Communities and Local Government through the Revenue Support Grant for maintaining their local highways. It is for local highway authorities to decide upon their spending priorities across the whole range of services that they provide.

 


 

16th January

Mobile Phones

Mrs Cheryl Gillian (Chesham and Amersham): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the results of the most recent mobile telephone usage survey will be published; and if he will make a statement.

Mr Robert Goodwill: Results from the 2014 mobile phone usage survey commissioned by the Department will be published on 25th February 2015 at 9:30 a.m. on the Department’s website. The results will provide estimates of the levels of hand held mobile phone use by drivers in England and Scotland.

19th January

Cycling: Safety

Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will ensure that the needs of cyclists are considered when infrastructure contracts are awarded.

Mr Robert Goodwill: In August 2013 the Prime Minister announced his intention to “cycle proof” the road network – in other words, to ensure that people using cycles are considered from the design stage of new and improved road infrastructure. Cycle proofing is a process which over time ensures that the built environment generally, and roads specifically, are seen to be safe, convenient and pleasant for cycle use by people of all ages and abilities.

Work to cycle proof roads has already begun. The Highways Agency has recently published its Strategic Business Plan[1] which sets out how they will improve facilities for people cycling or walking alongside the strategic road network. Designated funding has been allocated to make provision for vulnerable users when designing and building major schemes and where feasible make it safer and easier for cyclists and pedestrians to access local routes when crossing the strategic road network. For cyclists the Agency will:

  • Invest £100m to improve access, integration and facilities on and around the network;
  • Undertake studies at 600 sites identified in conjunction with Sustrans and the National Cycling Charity to decide the best potential solution for each location;
  • Provide additional professional development training for those engineers and planners responsible for designing schemes to include appropriate cycling provision;
  • Produce its first National Cycling Strategy by the end of 2015.

All contracts on the Agency’s network use the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges[2] (DMRB) for the design of works and the Manual of Contract Documents for Highway Works[3] as the specification. The DMRB incorporates requirements, processes and procedures to ensure that the needs of vulnerable road users are considered and included at scheme design stage.

The Department is currently finalising the Cycling Delivery Plan. Several actions outlined in that Plan will contribute further to this cycle proofing work. The Department will seek to ensure roads projects that receive government funding, as well as those conducted by local authorities, are cycle proofed. This means that the needs of people using cycles are considered from the design stage.

The Department is also working to ensure Highways engineers have evidence based tools with which to design high quality conditions for cycling on England’s roads. This includes updating the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions, and – where suitable and appropriate – endorsing the use of new standards and guidance produced by other authorities in the UK.

We do of course consider the needs of all users of public transport, including cyclists, at railway stations. That is why we have allocated almost £30 million for cycling facilities and we are on track to triple the number of cycle parking spaces at railway stations.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/387252/141215_Strategic_business_plan.pdf

[2] http://www.standardsforhighways.co.uk/dmrb/

[3] http://www.standardsforhighways.co.uk/mchw/

 

 

Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to promote awareness among motorists of cyclist safety.

Mr Robert Goodwill: In September 2012 we launched the THINK! Cyclist, Look Out for Each Other campaign http://think.direct.gov.uk/cycling.html. This was the first time a THINK! (road safety) campaign has been aimed at adult cyclists.

As part of this campaign, in October 2013, we launched the THINK! Cyclist ‘Safety Tips’ campaign in five cities across England. The campaign originally ran in London before being rolled out in the 5 cities where statistics show the highest rates of traffic collisions involving cyclists compared to population. In March 2014 we ran a second round of this campaign.

Analysis of the THINK! Cyclist ‘Safety Tips’ campaign showed that almost 79% of drivers agreed the adverts reminded them about the importance of looking out for cyclists while 59% agreed that the adverts made them think about their driving.

Driving: Young People

 

Mr David Ward(Bradford East): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what terms of reference have been set for his Department’s research project on the effect of telematics on young drivers; and when he plans to publish the outcomes of each of that project’s phases.

 

Mr Robert Goodwill: The Department has just awarded a research contract for a project which is intended to demonstrate the road safety benefits which could arise as a result of novice drivers using telematics products.

A description of the Department’s research requirement has been placed in Libraries of both Houses.

We expect phase one to be completed in April 2015. The timing of phase two will be dependent on the first phase.

 


21st January

 

Roads: Accidents

Meg Munn (Sheffield, Heely): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many fatal road traffic accidents were caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel in each of the last three years.

Mr Robert Goodwill: The Department does not collect information specifically on drivers falling asleep at the wheel. However, the Department does hold information on the number of accidents where the attending police officer judged that driver fatigue contributed to the cause of the accident. The table below provides the number of fatal road traffic accidents that were reported to the police in which at least one driver was allocated the contributory factor of fatigue for 2011 to 2013.

Year Number of fatal accidents
2011 80
2012 59
2013 68

 


 

26th January

Speed Limits

 Sir Grey Knight (Yorkshire East): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what advice his Department gives to local Highways Authorities on how to decide which speed limits are appropriate in local areas.

Mr Robert Goodwill: The Department issued revised guidance in January 2013 aimed mainly at local traffic authorities who are responsible for setting speed limits on local roads. It has been designed to help explain to everyone why and how local speed limits are determined. This guidance was revised following full public consultation in Summer 2012. The guidance is available online on GOV.UK

 

Speed Limits: Cameras

 

Sir Grey Knight (Yorkshire East): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reasons the Highways Agency Digital Enforcement Camera System 3 cameras are not painted yellow in accordance with policy elsewhere; and if he will make a statement.

 

Mr Patrick McLoughlin: Traffic flows on some motorways have been smoothed and made more reliable by varying the speed limit at times of significant congestion. This has been assisted by grey spot-speed cameras since 1995. The latest cameras, Highways Agency Digital Enforcement Camera System 3, are also grey like their predecessors.

These cameras are currently in use on Smart Motorways. This government has introduced Smart Motorways to improve safety, reduce congestion and achieve as quick a journey as possible. Large signs are placed regularly on these motorway sections to make drivers aware of the cameras and the vast majority of motorists do keep within the speed limit. For all motorists to gain from smoother traffic flows in those areas with a track record for congestion, the speed limits need to be adhered to and this will lead to better journeys for everyone.

All cameras are sign posted and more visible than before, helping ensure motorists apply the speed limit and get where they want to go as quickly as possible. If the public have concerns about the visibility of speed cameras on the motorway network that is something we will look at with the Highways Agency and we will continue to work with organisations including the AA and RAC to inform motorists of the changes.

 


 

Further information is available here on the parliamentary website.

 

 

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