March Written Questions

March Written Questions

2nd March

Roads: Accidents

Richard Burden (Birmingham, Northfield): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what information his Department holds on the number of road traffic incidents in which a vehicle was damaged and a pedestrian or cyclist was at fault in each of the last three years.

Mr Robert Goodwill: The Department only holds information on accidents involving personal injury. The number of reported personal injury road accidents where a contributory factor was allocated to a pedestrian or pedal cyclist is given in the tables below.

Number of reported personal injury road accidents where a contributory factor1 was allocated to a pedestrian: GB, 2011-2013

2011 15,185
2012 14,454
2013 13,481

1 Includes only injury accidents where a police officer attended the scene and in which a contributory factor was reported.

Number of reported personal injury road accidents where a contributory factor1 was allocated to a pedal cyclist: GB, 2011-2013

2011 7,028
2012 6,522
2013 6,699

1 Includes only injury accidents where a police officer attended the scene and in which a contributory factor was reported.

The figures for pedal cyclists will include accidents where the road environment contributed e.g. the road was slippery due to the weather and therefore may not be the fault of the pedal cyclist.

Data for 2014 is not available.

 5th March

Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

Mark Menzies (Flyde): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what financial assistance he is providing to local authorities to repair potholes.

Mr Robert Goodwill: Potholes are a menace to all road users and this Government is taking action. We announced in December 2014 how we are allocating just under £6 billion for councils in England to tackle potholes and improve local road conditions over the next six years. This funding is on top of the £4.7 billion we have provided since 2010.

 

Tyres: EU Action

Richard Burden (Birmingham, Northfields): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the effect on (a) consumers and (b) retailers of the inclusion of tyres in the transposition of Article 2(h) of EU Regulation 168/2013 in those European countries that have done so.

Claire Perry: The Secretary of State currently has no plans to make an assessment of the transposition of EU Regulation 168/2013 in other EU countries. The UK is obliged by EU law to implement this regulation, and we intend to make a Statutory Instrument in due course.

9th March

Driving: Licencing

Steve McCabe (Birmingham, Selly Oak): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the length of time taken by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to review medical information provided by applicants for driver’s licences.

Claire Perry: The current measure is for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to complete 90% of cases that require further medical investigations within 90 working days of receiving an application and currently over half of applications are completed within 40 days.

The DVLA routinely assesses the adequacy of the Customer Service Measure through analysis of enquiries and complaints to help improve its service.

 

Large Goods Vehicle Drivers

 Charlotte Leslie (Bristol North West): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on safety of proposed changes to EU requirements on qualification for the driving of heavy goods vehicles; and what representations he has received on this issue.

Claire Perry: Driver training and testing matters are set in European legislation, which establishes minimum competence criteria and requires periodic training. We have implemented those requirements in the UK to promote road safety; establishing robust tests and appropriate medical standards for professional lorry and bus drivers.

In October 2013, the European Commission launched a review of Directive 2003/59/EC, which introduced the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC) for lorry and bus drivers. The Department responded to that review taking account of over 1,300 representations received from within the freight and passenger transport industries. Our response was published in November 2013, alongside a report summarising the industries’ views – those papers are available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/effectiveness-of-driver-cpc-call-for-evidence

The Commission has not yet published its response to that review. We have, though, already taken steps to address concerns about the safety of large vehicles, particularly in respect of their interaction with other road users. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency is requiring that DCPC periodic training makes specific reference to considering other road users, especially those that are vulnerable.

 

10th March

 Large Goods Vehicle Drivers

 Emma Lewell-Buck (South Shields): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the cost to (a) individual drivers and (b) the road haulage sector of complying with EU Directive 2003/59/EC.

Claire Perry: The previous Administration consulted about the implementation of EU Directive 2003/59/EC, which, by introducing a qualification and continued periodic training, aimed to improve the professionalism of lorry and bus drivers. The Directive was implemented by the previous Administration based on an initial qualification by theoretical and practical driving tests which assessed competence. Annual costs to the haulage industry, associated with drivers undertaking initial qualification, were estimated to be around £21 million.

To maintain the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence, drivers are required to undertake 35 hours periodic training every five years. Annual costs to the haulage industry were estimated to be around £109 million.

We expect those costs to be off-set by social, environmental and cost benefits for road safety, improved fuel consumption, reduced wear and tear on vehicles, and improved journey times as a consequence of adoption of the Directive. Fuel savings of around £385 million were estimated for the haulage industry.

In 2013, Ministers sought to identify and remove unnecessary burdens for those who drove lorries or buses as an incidental part of their employment. The measures introduced, which removed the requirement for these drivers to obtain an initial qualification or undertake periodic training to maintain the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence, were estimated to have an annual net benefit to UK businesses of around £23 million.

 

Cycleways

 Stephen Timms (East Ham): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his oral contribution of 5 March 2015, Official Report, column 1064, on cycling and walking, for what reasons those provisions to cycle lanes in part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 have not yet been implemented; and when he expects those powers to be implemented.

Mr Robert Goodwill: The implementation of the provisions for civil enforcement of mandatory cycle lanes in Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 would result in the installation by local authorities of camera-based systems to identify contraventions by motorists. Such changes would not be introduced without first consulting with motorists, cyclists and local authorities to establish the merits, or otherwise, of increasing camera-based enforcement. Those powers will not be implemented in this Parliament.

 

Roads: Safety

Mr Frank Field (Birkenhead): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to improve road safety for elderly pedestrians.

Mr Robert Goodwill: My Department issued revised guidance in January 2013 aimed mainly at local traffic authorities who are responsible for setting speed limits on local roads. Traffic authorities set local speed limits in situations where local needs and conditions suggest a speed limit which is lower than the national speed limit.

Local authorities may provide pedestrian crossings, including dropped kerbs, where there is a local need. Pedestrian crossings and crossing timings are a matter for guidance rather than legislation. The Department intends to produce a new Chapter of the Traffic Signs manual on traffic lights and crossings but there is no date yet for publication.

In London there is a general ban on parking on the footway. In the rest of England there is no such prohibition but traffic authorities have wide-ranging powers to prevent people parking on the pavement and my Rt Hon Friend the Minister of State for Transport, Baroness Kramer, wrote to all English traffic authorities on 27 June 2014 to remind them of this.

The Government is committed to cycling and walking and making it easier for people to choose them as sustainable travel options. The Government laid an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill that would place into law a commitment of the Government to produce a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy. The Bill has now completed its passage through both Houses and was granted Royal Assent on 12 February.

 

12th March

 

Bicycles: EU Action

Richard Burden (Birmingham Northfields): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether an e-bike that complies with EU pedelec regulations with a throttle used to provide a degree of assistance will be exempt from type approval; and what the procedure will be for type approval for throttle-controlled e-bikes.

Claire Perry: Any electric cycle that can be propelled by the use of a throttle has to comply with type approval in accordance with EU Regulation 168/2013. Electric cycles with a maximum motor power of 250 Watts and a maximum assisted speed of 15.5 mph, that provide assistance only when the rider is pedalling are excluded from the requirement to comply with type approval.

A manufacturer may obtain type approval in accordance with EU regulation 168/2013, and its Delegated Regulations, from a Type Approval Authority of an EU member state. A manufacturer producing an individual cycle may obtain approval from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency. The UK Type Approval Authority is the Vehicle Certification Agency.

 

Motorways: Accidents

 Mr John Spellar (Warley): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what guidance his Department provides to Highways Agency patrol staff on time taken for the restoration of normal running on motorways following accidents.

Mr John Hayes: The Highways Agency is leading CLEAR (Collision, Lead, Evaluate, Act, Re-open) which 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.

Performance information is provided by monthly reporting across the Agency. This information is disseminated to Highways Agency patrol staff by monthly report, which includes tabular, graphical and infographic formats. The current performance measure is average incident duration times.

From 1 April 2015 the performance metric will be refined to monitor all incidents between 0600-2200hrs – on the motorway network where a physical closure has occurred, which can be a lane closure, total motorway closure or a rolling closure – all of which results in an effect to the traffic flow. The duration of the closure is recorded and measured with a target of 85% of incidents cleared within 1 hour. This will continue to be monitored and reports disseminated to patrol staff on a monthly basis.

 

Motorways: Signs and Markings

 Mr John Spellar (Warley): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that electronic signs on motorways provide information that is up-to-date.

Mr John Hayes: The Highways Agency regularly monitors the accuracy of variable message signs (VMS) on motorways to ensure that information to customers is both as timely and accurate as possible. This is done through a variety of channels, including regular reviews of how incidents on the strategic road network have been managed, and by seeking feedback from customers.

The Highways Agency’s seven Regional Control Centres are measured on the speed with which signs (and signals) are set and cleared in response to incidents on the network. This ensures signs are not displaying messages for longer than is necessary following an incident.

By improving data flow and processing, the Highways Agency is also looking to further improve the quality and timeliness of all its information services. A new system to be used in the Highways Agency’s National Traffic Operations Centre is currently under testing. The system will speed up the identification of incidents, in turn ensuring even more timely and accurate information can be published on variable message signs and other information services e.g. smartphones and websites.

 

16th March

 

Cycling: York

Sir Hugh Bayley (York Central): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many (a) accidents and (b) fatal accidents involving cyclists there have been in (a) York Central constituency and (b) York Unitary Authority area in each year since 2010.

Mr Robert Goodwill: The table below gives the number of (a) accidents (b) fatal accidents involving cyclists and (c) the number of pedal cyclists killed in reported personal injury road traffic accidents in (i) York Central constituency and (ii) York Unitary Authority area in each year from 2010 to 2013.

Year Total accidents involving pedal cyclists Total fatal accidents involving pedal cyclists Number of pedal cyclists killed
York Central Const 2010 86 0 0
York Central Const 2011 86 1 1
York Central Const 2012 107 0 0
York Central Const 2013 122 0 0
York Unitary Authority 2010 128 0 0
York Unitary Authority 2011 130 1 1
York Unitary Authority 2012 139 0 0
York Unitary Authority 2013 149 0 0

Statistics for 2014 will be available in June 2015.

 

 

Cycling

 Richard Burden (Birmingham Northfields): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, from what budget line his Department’s £114 million investment for cycling for 2015-16 to 2017-18 has been allocated; and whether it is capital or revenue expenditure.

Mr Robert Goodwill: The original two-year funding for the Cycle Ambition Cities programme was announced at Autumn Statement 2012, with a further £114m investment announced by the Chancellor at Autumn Statement 2014, with all government funding being capital. It is a free-standing programme in its own right.

 

 

Roads: Accidents

 Sir Grey Knight (East Yorkshire): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the (a) number and (b) proportion of accidents was on UK roads that involved non-UK registered (i) lorries and (ii) other vehicles in each year between 2010 and 2014.

Mr Robert Goodwill: The Department does not hold information that allows the identification of foreign registered vehicles in reported road traffic accidents. However, the accident record does include information on left hand drive vehicles. The Department uses this as a proxy for foreign vehicles and recognises that there will be some UK registered vehicles that are left hand drive (for example dust carts and road sweepers) which are included in the figures.

The Department only holds information on reported personal-injury accidents on public roads (including footways) in Great Britain, which became known to the police.

  1. i) The attached table shows the number of reported personal injury road accidents in Great Britain involving at least one heavy goods vehicle as well as the number involving at least one left hand drive heavy goods vehicle for the years 2010 to 2013.
  2. ii) The table also shows the number of reported personal injury road accidents in Great Britain involving at least one of the shown vehicle types split by whether the vehicle was left hand drive (except for pedal cyclists and motor cyclists).

Data for 2014 will be available in June 2015.

 

17th March

Heathrow Airport

Adam Afriyie (Windsor): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many aircraft taking off or landing at Heathrow Airport breached night flight restrictions in (a) 2012, (b) 2013 and (c) 2014.

Mr Robert Goodwill: Night flying restrictions set by the Government at Heathrow comprise a movement limit and a noise quota limit set for each summer and winter season. Up to 10% of unused movements or noise quota may be carried over to the next season. The limits apply to the period 23.30-06.00. There are additional restrictions on movements by the noisiest aircraft in the period 23.00-07.00. None of these restrictions was breached between 2012-2014.

In addition the Government sets departure noise limits which include lower limits at night. Infringements of these limits are reported in Heathrow’s Flight Performance Reports published on its website, the latest of which covers the period up to the end of September 2014.

 

 

Adam Afriyie (Windsor): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many times the management of Heathrow Airport have used dispensations under section 78(4) of the Civil Aviation Act to allow night flights in the last five years.

Mr Robert Goodwill: Heathrow Airport publishes this information in its Flight Performance Reports which are available on its website. Its latest published report (Q3 2014) includes data from Winter season 2006/07 up to and including Winter season 2013/14. Dispensations issued under section 78(4) of the Civil Aviation Act are categorised in the report as ‘not counted – delays’ or ‘not counted – emergency’. In Summer season 2014 there were a further 296 dispensations issued under section 78(4).

 

 

Roads: Windsor

Adam Afriyie (Windsor): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he has taken to improve road safety in Windsor constituency since 2010.

Mr Robert Goodwill: Britain is a world leader in road safety, but we are always striving to improve. For example, from 2 March this year it is now an offence to drive with certain drugs in your body in excess of official limits.

And measures in the deregulation bill will remove the driver’s right to demand a blood or urine test if they fail a breathalyser test.

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 also been designed to help explain to everyone why and how local speed limits are determined. This circular has been revised following full public consultation in summer 2012.

Traffic authorities set local speed limits in situations where local needs and conditions suggest a speed limit which is lower than the national speed limit. They have the flexibility to set local speed limits that are appropriate for the individual road, reflecting local needs and taking account of local considerations.

 

Policy

Paul Flynn (Newport West): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which policies contained in the 2010 Coalition Agreement and falling under his Department’s responsibilities have not yet been implemented; and what the reasons are for each such policy’s non-implementation.

Claire Perry: The vast majority of the policies within the 2010 Coalition Agreement and falling under the Department for Transport’s responsibilities have either been implemented or will be implemented within the duration of the current Government.

One policy – to grant longer rail franchises – has been subject to a change already agreed and announced by Ministers. In June 2013 the Government published its response to the Brown Review of the Rail Franchising Programme, accepting the Review’s recommendation that the basis for future franchises would be to assume a 7 – 10 year length, adapted to fit the best needs of each franchise.

 

 

Bus Lanes

 

Michael Weatherley (Hove): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to make bus lane access standardised throughout the country.

Mr Robert Goodwill: Bus lanes are provided to give bus services priority during congested times, which can improve punctuality, reliability and journey times.

Provision of bus lanes is the responsibility of local traffic authorities, including decisions on what type of vehicles are allowed access. The Government believes these decisions are best made at local level as local circumstances will influence what is appropriate. Traffic signing must clearly reflect the classes of vehicle permitted to access bus lanes, so that drivers are clear what is expected of them.

As well as buses and pedal cycles, authorities have discretion to allow motorcycles, hackney carriages and ‘authorised vehicles’ to access bus lanes.

 

 

18th March

 

Cycleways

 

Stephen Timms (East Ham): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 10 March 2015 to Question 226547, what assessment he has made of the merits of deploying civil enforcement officers rather than using cameras to enforce mandatory cycle lanes; and if he will make a statement.

Mr Robert Goodwill: Enforcement of moving traffic offences associated with mandatory cycle lanes is currently a matter for the police as they have the powers to stop vehicles. Civil enforcement officers are able to enforce parking contraventions in mandatory cycle lanes, but effective enforcement of moving traffic contraventions, if Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 were commenced, would require the installation by local authorities of camera systems.

 

 

20th March

 

Research

Mr Chuka Ummuna (Streatham): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what amount his Department and its agencies spent on research and development in each year since 2010-11; and what proportion such spending was of total departmental spending.

Claire Perry: The amount the Department for Transport and its Agencies spent on Research & Development (R&D) in each year since 2010 and the proportion of such spending against the Departmental spending are provided in the table below:

Year 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
Net R&D Spending 34,000,000 38,000,000 38,000,000 43,000,000
Total Department Spend 10,411,727,000 12,744,204,000 12,549,868,000 12,513,124,000
Percentages 0.33% 0.30% 0.30% 0.34%

 

23rd March

 

Roads: Torridge

 Mr Geoffrey Cox (Torridge and West Devon): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what support his Department is providing for the maintenance of rural roads in Torridge and West Devon.

Mr Robert Goodwill: The Government announced in December 2014 that we are allocating just under £6 billion for councils in England for local highways maintenance over the next six years for all local roads, including rural. This is in addition to the £4.7 billion we have provided to councils since 2010.

The Department is providing Devon County Council with over £220 million from 2015/16 to 2020/21 based on a needs formula for maintaining the roads for which they are responsible, including rural roads in Torridge and West Devon. It is entirely for the Council to decide on how this funding is allocated locally based on sound asset management principles.

 

 

Roads: Shrewsbury

Daniel Kawczynski (Shrewsbury and Atcham): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will consider providing national funding for the North West Relief Road scheme in Shrewsbury.

Mr Robert Goodwill: This Government is supportive of local efforts to promote growth and very aware that roads play a vital part in driving growth. Local areas are best placed to determine what local road schemes should be developed to address local problems. Funding for proposals, such as the North West Relief Road, has now been devolved to the Local Growth Fund. In July 2014 The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) secured £75.3m from the Government’s Local Growth Fund to support economic growth in the area and in January the LEP agreed an expansion to its growth deal which will see an extra £7.7m invested in the area between 2016 and 2021.

 

Roads: Rural Areas

 Mr Geoffrey Cox (Torridge and West Devon): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department has taken to assist local authorities with the maintenance of rural roads.

Mr Robert Goodwill: The Government announced in December 2014 that we are allocating just under £6 billion for councils in England for local highways maintenance over the next six years for all local roads, including rural. This is in addition to the £4.7 billion we have provided to councils since 2010.

The Department is providing Devon County Council with over £220 million from 2015/16 to 2020/21 based on a needs formula for maintaining the roads for which they are responsible, including rural roads in Torridge and West Devon. It is entirely for the Council to decide on how this funding is allocated locally based on sound asset management principles.

 

24th March

Drving: Epilepsy

 Richard Fuller (Bedford): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to reduce the length of time a person who has had a seizure while asleep must surrender their driving licence from one year to three months without further seizures.

Claire Perry: There are no plans to reduce the length of time for surrendering a driving licence from one year to three months where a person has had an epileptic seizure whilst asleep.

Drivers who have suffered a sleep seizure over 12 months ago and have only had sleep seizures since (i.e. no awake seizures), may be licensed to drive, if it has been established over the 12 months that the history or pattern of the attacks have only ever occurred while asleep.

Rules around the length of time a driver must surrender their driving licence following a seizure are governed in the UK by European Directives. The minimum standards for the issue of driving licences must be implemented by all member states.

 

 

25th March

Road Traffic Control: Lancashire

 

Andrew Stephenson (Pendle): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he has taken to reduce traffic congestion in Lancashire since 2010.

Mr Robert Goodwill: On 29 January the Government announced a £17.2m expansion of the Growth Deal with the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership. We understand the LEP intends to use around £1.85m of that additional funding to support transport interventions to support growth. This is in addition to the £179.4m Local Growth Fund support that we allocated to local transport improvements in last July’s Growth Deal with the LEP, supporting delivery of 16 transport projects across Lancashire, including the Burnley to Pendle Growth Corridor.

This funding is in addition to £49.9m integrated transport block allocated to the 3 Lancashire transport authorities (Blackpool, Blackburn with Darwen and Lancashire County Council) since the 2010 Spending Review, together with £98.6m for highways maintenance. In addition, we have announced a further £55.2m integrated transport block funding and £136.8m highways maintenance funding for these authorities covering the period 2015/16 to 2020/21. We have also given the go ahead to two local major schemes in Lancashire, the Heysham Link Road and Pennine Reach, both of which are under construction and have been supported by over £142 million of Government funding. A further £5.7 million local pinch point funding is addressing local congestion hotspots in Blackpool, Blackburn and on the A582 near Preston.

The Government launched the Roads Investment Strategy on 1 December 2014. It contains firm proposals to deliver the A585 Windy Harbour to Skippool Bypass, which will tackle congestion on the main route to Fleetwood, as well as a new Junction 2 on the M55, to support links between Lancashire’s Enterprise Zone sites at Samlesbury and Warton as well as support future housing growth in Preston.

The Highways Agency is due to shortly complete over £14.3 million pinch point fund investment to relieve traffic congestion at four hotspots in Lancashire on the A585 – Windy Harbour Junction and Bourne Way to West Drive, M6 junction 32 and M55 junction 1, and M65 junction 5.

The Government and Lancashire County Council are also investing heavily in improvement of the rail network in Lancashire, including the electrification of lines between Blackpool, Preston and Manchester, the re-opening of the Todmorden Curve, a new station at Buckshaw Parkway and a commitment for the new franchises for Northern and TransPennine Express to deliver new trains, more capacity and replace Pacers.

 

 

26th March

 

Research

 

Mr Clive Betts (Sheffield, South East): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what research his Department has commissioned from external bodies between September 2010 and December 2014 has not been published; when each such report was commissioned; what the nature of the research commissioned for each such report was; from whom each such research report was commissioned; what the value of each such commission was; on what date each such report was received by his Department; for what reason each such research report has not yet been published; and when he plans to publish each such report.

Claire Perry: The Department commissions a wide range of research to support its objectives. The general presumption is that research results used in the course of the Department’s business should be made available to broaden knowledge and better inform discussion. In a few circumstances (for instance, where the research relates to security matters or where the Department does not hold the necessary rights to publish) such information is not published; but such circumstances are exceptional. Information on publication of the outputs of this research is not collected centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

This information was obtained from the Parliamentary Website.

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