June 2015: Written Questions

June 2015: Written Questions

3rd June

Roads

Bill Wiggin (North Herefordshire): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to reduce the number of potholes in Herefordshire.

Andrew Jones: My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport announced on 23 December 2014 funding allocations for local highway authorities in England between 2015/16 and 2020/21. This includes over £60 million for Herefordshire. This funding can be used to reduce the number of potholes on the local road network.

It is for each local highway authority to improve the condition of the local road network through planned preventative maintenance. The Department for Transport’s role is to support local authorities through the provision of funding and by sharing good practice.

Further information on the funding allocations can be found at the following address: http://maps.dft.gov.uk/local-highways-maintenance-funding/

 


Roads: Accidents

Diana Johnson (Kingston-upon-Hull North): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Answer of 8 November 2010 to Question 21910, Official Report, column 112W, how many accidents involving a car towing, by item on tow, there have been in the UK since 2010.

Andrew Jones: The table below gives the number of accidents involving a car towing, by item on tow, each year from 2010 to 2013 in Great Britain.

Reported accidents involving a car towing, by item on tow: GB 2010 to 2013
Accident year Single trailer Double trailer Caravan Other1
2010 400 12 155 76
2011 384 22 153 63
2012 313 23 121 68
2013 324 10 130 64
1. Including accidents involving multiple cars towing different items

The Department does not hold information for Northern Ireland so cannot provide figures for the UK.

Statistics for 2014 will be available from the 25th June.

 


Cycling

Louise Haigh (Sheffield, Heely): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to announce the Cycling and Investment Strategy.

Robert Goodwill: The Government intends to announce a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy as soon as is practicable once steps in the relevant legislation and any other activities deemed necessary have been undertaken.


 

8th June

Level Crossings

Lillian Greenwood (Nottingham South): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will place in the Library a copy of the Level Crossing Reform Action Plan.

Claire Perry: I can confirm that I have placed copies of the Department’s Level Crossing Reform Action Plan in the Libraries of both Houses.

 


Large Goods Vehicle Drivers

 Mr Laurence Robertson (Tewksbury): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the number of qualified heavy goods vehicle drivers; and if he will make a statement.

Andrew Jones: The Road Haulage Association estimates a current shortage of HGV drivers at around 45,000 and I am aware the shortage has put operational and financial pressures onto the industry. I have met industry representatives and discussed the issue.

Work continues on improving the accessibility of HGV driving tests in those areas where there are significant waits, in the context of recent increases in demand and a pass rate of about 54%. Discussions are continuing with industry and involving other government departments to improve recruitment and reduce administrative delays, including in respect of the costs of training, training effectiveness to achieve test passes and the attractiveness of the profession.

 


 

9th June

Roads: Cumbria

Sue Hayman (Wokingham):  To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many road accidents occurred on the (a) A66 between Workington and Keswick, (b) A595 and (c) A596 in each of the last 10 years; and how many of those accidents resulted in fatalities.

Andrew Jones: The table below gives the total number of reported personal injury road accidents, total number of reported fatal accidents and total number of reported fatalities for the (a) A66 between the junction with the A596 in Workington and the roundabout junction with the A591 north of Keswick, (b) A595 and (c) A596 for each year from 2004 to 2013.

Year Road Total reported accidents Of which fatal accidents Fatalities
2004 A66 54 0 0
2005 A66 60 2 3
2006 A66 51 1 1
2007 A66 51 2 2
2008 A66 43 0 0
2009 A66 37 1 1
2010 A66 42 4 6
2011 A66 38 1 1
2012 A66 30 2 2
2013 A66 41 0 0
2004 A595 180 6 6
2005 A595 141 5 6
2006 A595 156 5 7
2007 A595 140 3 3
2008 A595 113 3 7
2009 A595 118 2 2
2010 A595 110 6 8
2011 A595 94 3 3
2012 A595 106 4 4
2013 A595 96 2 2
2004 A596 54 2 3
2005 A596 51 0 0
2006 A596 59 0 0
2007 A596 60 1 1
2008 A596 50 3 3
2009 A596 49 1 1
2010 A596 30 0 0
2011 A596 35 1 1
2012 A596 53 1 1
2013 A596 32 2 4

Statistics for 2014 will be available from 25 June.

 

Sue Hayman (Wokingham): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what investment in road infrastructure there has been in (a) Workington constituency and (b) Allerdale district in each year since 2005.

Andrew Jones: Highways England (formerly the Highways Agency) is responsible for the Strategic Road Network and Cumbria County Council for the local road network within the Workington constituency and Allerdale district. The A595 Parton to Lillyhall improvement was the one major project that Highways England were responsible for in the wider Allerdale district since 2005. The spend profile since 2005/06 is shown below:

Year 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 Total
Spend (£m) 0.95 4.785 14.616 20.534 0.596 0.539 42.642

Highways England spent the following amounts on maintenance and improvements:

Allerdale District Workington Constituency
Financial Year £ million Financial Year £ million
2005/2006 0.917 2005/2006 0.050
2006/2007 2.123 2006/2007 0.055
2007/2008 2.536 2007/2008 0.004
2008/2009 1.917 2008/2009 0.016
2009/2010 2.151 2009/2010 0.246
2010/2011 1.365 2010/2011 0.210
2011/2012 0.484 2011/2012 0.010
2012/2013 1.476 2012/2013 0.000
2013/2014 2.553 2013/2014 0.052
2014/2015 1.597 2014/2015 0.070

The Department for Transport provides funding to local highway authorities for the local road network. For Cumbria County Council the allocations since 2005 are as follows:

Year £ million
2005/06 15.816
2006/07 17.378
2007/08 18.691
2008/09 19.801
2009/10 26.478
2010/11 58.27
2011/12 49.197
2012/13 34.772
2013/14 47.616
2014/15 40.666
2015/16 36.708

Cumbria have also been allocated £24.6 million through the Local Growth Fund announced in July 2014 and January 2015 for transport schemes including £2m towards replacement of a life expired road bridge that provides access to the Port of Workington.

 


Large Goods Vehicles

Dr Eilidh Whiteford (Banaff and Buchan): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make it his policy to introduce HGV overtaking restrictions on two-lane motorways and on some A-roads to reduce light vehicle journey times; and if he will make a statement.

Andrew Jones: There are no current plans to place overtaking restrictions on Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) on motorways and trunk roads, beyond their current prohibition from the outside lane of any motorway with three or more lanes. Such restrictions could delay journeys and lead to increased operating costs which could be passed on to consumers.

In addition, the possibility of nose to tail convoys of HGVs in the nearside lane could cause difficulty for drivers wishing to join or leave the motorway. All drivers should know and apply the rules contained in The Highway Code, which includes advice and rules to drivers on overtaking and lane discipline.

However, in very specific locations where there have been congestion problems caused by lorries overtaking on uphill sections of the strategic road network, restrictions have been put in place by Highways England. These restrictions have only been kept in place where clear evidence shows overall journey time improvements. If the Hon Member is concerned more specifically about the situation on roads in Scotland, she should contact Transport Scotland who have a similar power in Scotland to ban overtaking on specific sections of road.

In addition, we have recently increased the national speed limit for HGVs of more than 7.5 tonnes on dual carriageway roads in England and Wales from 50mph to 60mph. This may help to assist with light vehicle journey times when HGV drivers do choose to overtake on dual carriageways. This change only applies to England and Wales so if the Hon Member is concerned more specifically about the situation on roads in Scotland, she should discuss this with the Scottish Government.

 


 

10th June

 

Aviation: Air Conditioning

 

Gordon Marsden (Blackpool South): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Answer of 5 March 2015 to Question 225928, what (a) recent discussions he has had and (b) discussions he plans to have with the Civil Aviation Authority on its work reviewing the evidence for the possibility of genetic factors which might influence individual susceptibility to environmental toxins.

Robert Goodwill: The Department four published reports into cabin air were sent to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for their consideration. EASA are responsible for determining the requirement for and specification of any additional monitoring on board commercial aircraft.

I understand they have recently launched a Preliminary Cabin Air Measurement Campaign. This campaign will develop the methodology including equipment to be used, to perform cockpit and cabin air measurements. This will be followed by a large scale project of in-flight testing of cabin air quality.

 

 

Gordon Marsden (Blackpool South): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Answer of 5 March 2015 to Question 225929, if he will discuss with the Civil Aviation Authority the feasibility of making the monitoring of toxins inside aeroplanes mandatory on UK aeroplanes.

 

Robert Goodwill: The Department four published reports into cabin air were sent to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for their consideration. EASA are responsible for determining the requirement for and specification of any additional monitoring on board commercial aircraft.

I understand they have recently launched a Preliminary Cabin Air Measurement Campaign. This campaign will develop the methodology including equipment to be used, to perform cockpit and cabin air measurements. This will be followed by a large scale project of in-flight testing of cabin air quality.


Roads: Accidents

 

Sir Greg Knight (East Yorkshire): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will provide guidance to police authorities who close a road following a road traffic accident about the need to post diversion signs to facilitate traffic flow; and if he will make a statement.

 

Andrew Jones: Guidance on traffic management, including the provision of diversion signs, following a road traffic accident or in other emergency situations is already provided in The Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 8. This document, published by the Department for Transport, is available online at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/traffic-signs-manual


 

 

11th June

 

Roads: Safety

 

Peter Dowd (Bootle): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress his Department has made on improving road safety.

 

Andrew Jones: The Department published its Strategic Framework for Road Safety in 2011. Actions were implemented in all three framework areas, improving road safety together, education, and targeted enforcement and sanctions.

A full progress report from 2013 is available on GOV.UK. Since then the Department has also made it an offence to drive with certain levels of drugs in your body; and drivers cannot demand a blood or urine test if they fail a breathalyser test anymore.


Road Traffic

 

Jo Cox (Batley and Spen): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to alleviate road congestion.

 

Andrew Jones: The Government’s Road Investment Strategy has committed £15bn to deliver 127 schemes on the strategic road network over the next five years. Some of these schemes will tackle longstanding congestion and safety problems as well as major capacity enhancements around Yorkshire. On local roads a programme of major local schemes with around £1 billion of Departmental funding has been announced.


Roads: Hertfordshire

 

Sir Oliver Heald (North East Hertfordshire): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what support his Department is giving to Hertfordshire County Council to assist with the upkeep of local roads.

Andrew Jones: My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport announced on 23 December 2014 funding allocations for local highway authorities in England between 2015/16 and 2020/21. This includes over £92 million for Hertfordshire. This funding can be used to reduce the number of potholes on the local road network.

It is for each local highway authority to improve the condition of the local road network through planned preventative maintenance. The Department for Transport’s role is to support local authorities through the provision of funding and by sharing good practice.

Further information on the funding allocations can be found at the following address: http://maps.dft.gov.uk/local-highways-maintenance-funding/


 

 

12th June

 

Infrastructure

 

David Simpson (Upper Bann): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what major infrastructure projects he expects to start in the UK in 2015.

Andrew Jones: The National Infrastructure Pipeline last published in December 2014 captured the significant current and upcoming infrastructure projects and programmes, including Transport, within the UK. The Pipeline lists 270 infrastructure projects related to transport of which 27 have expected start of works/construction dates in 2015.

Since publishing the National Infrastructure Pipeline, projects and programmes have continued through the development cycle with both construction starts and completions taking place. There have also been updates to overall delivery programmes, such as the Highways England Delivery Plan published on 26 March 2015.

The National Infrastructure Pipeline can be found at the following website link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-infrastructure-pipeline-december-2014


Roads: Accidents

 

David Simpson (Upper Bann): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many road deaths there have been in each of the last three years in England and Wales; and what steps his Department is taking to reduce such deaths.

Andrew Jones: The number of people killed in reported personal injury road accidents in England and Wales for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013 is shown below.

Fatalities in reported road accidents: England and Wales, 2011-2013

England Wales
2011 1,594 121
2012 1,491 93
2013 1,430 111

This new government will be looking at the best ways to improve road safety during this Parliament and beyond.


 

 

15th June

 

Integrated Transport Authorities

 

Charlotte Leslie (Bristol North West): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his policy is on allowing a smaller group of local authorities in a region to create an Integrated Transport Authority if all of the local authorities in that region are not willing to take part.

Andrew Jones: It is for local authorities to develop jointly a proposition to change their transport governance arrangements, including Integrated Transport Authorities or Combined Authorities. Any such proposition would have to show that the establishment of an Integrated Transport Authority would be likely to improve the exercise of transport statutory functions and the effectiveness and efficiency of transport in the area. Local authorities have to consent to joining an Integrated Transport Authority.

 

 

Charlotte Leslie (Bristol North West): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what incentives his Department provides to encourage councils to create Integrated Transport Authorities.

Andrew Jones: No specific incentives are provided to encourage councils to create Integrated Transport Authorities. It is for the councils concerned to determine what the benefits would be of moving to new local governance arrangements.

 

Charlotte Leslie (Bristol North West): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the benefits of Integrated Transport Authorities.

Andrew Jones: No assessment has been made of the benefits of Integrated Transport Authorities. It is for local areas to undertake a review of their governance arrangements to determine the benefits for them of establishing an Integrated Transport Authority, or other governance arrangements such as a Combined Authority.


Cycling: Capital Investment

Zac Goldsmith (Richmond Park): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will lay before the House a commencement order to allow the publication of a funded Cycling and Investment Strategy under the Infrastructure Act 2015.

Mr Robert Goodwill: The Government intends to announce the commencement of the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy as soon as is practicable.


Pedestrian Areas: Visual Impairment

Ian Austen (Dudley North): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Highways Agency and (b) local authorities on the provision of dropped kerbs to aid the blind and partially-sighted.

Andrew Jones: The Department for Transport (DfT) is committed to comprehensive civil rights for disabled people. An integrated transport policy, which encompasses accessible public transport, public transport infrastructure and a barrier-free pedestrian environment is fundamentally important to delivering that commitment.

With regard to the provision of dropped kerbs (or crossovers at driveways), this is a matter for each local authority as they are responsible for deciding on the appropriate policies that balance the needs of local residents, emergency services, local businesses, and those who work in and visit the area. However, the DfT has produced information for service providers called ‘Inclusive Mobility’ and this includes detailed advice on the design and provision of dropped kerbs for various situations. This document may be viewed at –

www.gov.uk/government/publications/inclusive-mobility

There have been no recent discussions with either the Highways Agency (now Highways England) or local authorities on the provision of dropped kerbs to aid blind or partially-sighted people.

The DfT also remains committed to review and update ‘Guidance on the Use of Tactile Paving Surfaces’. We have met stakeholders to identify a number of priority amendments to the existing guidance and we are considering further consultation on the proposed layouts in the summer.

Provisions in the Equality Act 2010 require service providers, such as local authorities, to take reasonable steps to ensure that disabled people do not find it impossible or unreasonably difficult to enjoy a service on the same basis as non-disabled people.

Safety of all road users is of paramount importance, and the Department supports pedestrian safety through a range of measures, providing local authorities with a wide range of tools to help them provide safer roads.

For example, following changes made in the last few years, local authorities now have more flexibility than ever before in designing 20mph zones and limits. We have also authorised pedestrian countdown, as an additional option for authorities in choosing appropriate crossing types for different roads.

The Department recognises that inconsiderate parking, especially on the pavement, can cause problems for blind and partially sighted pedestrians. 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 we wrote to all English traffic authorities on 27 June 2014 to remind them of this

 

 

Ian Austen (Dudley North): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to improve road safety for blind and partially-sighted pedestrians.

Andrew Jones: The Department for Transport (DfT) is committed to comprehensive civil rights for disabled people. An integrated transport policy, which encompasses accessible public transport, public transport infrastructure and a barrier-free pedestrian environment is fundamentally important to delivering that commitment.

With regard to the provision of dropped kerbs (or crossovers at driveways), this is a matter for each local authority as they are responsible for deciding on the appropriate policies that balance the needs of local residents, emergency services, local businesses, and those who work in and visit the area. However, the DfT has produced information for service providers called ‘Inclusive Mobility’ and this includes detailed advice on the design and provision of dropped kerbs for various situations. This document may be viewed at –

www.gov.uk/government/publications/inclusive-mobility

There have been no recent discussions with either the Highways Agency (now Highways England) or local authorities on the provision of dropped kerbs to aid blind or partially-sighted people.

The DfT also remains committed to review and update ‘Guidance on the Use of Tactile Paving Surfaces’. We have met stakeholders to identify a number of priority amendments to the existing guidance and we are considering further consultation on the proposed layouts in the summer.

Provisions in the Equality Act 2010 require service providers, such as local authorities, to take reasonable steps to ensure that disabled people do not find it impossible or unreasonably difficult to enjoy a service on the same basis as non-disabled people.

Safety of all road users is of paramount importance, and the Department supports pedestrian safety through a range of measures, providing local authorities with a wide range of tools to help them provide safer roads.

For example, following changes made in the last few years, local authorities now have more flexibility than ever before in designing 20mph zones and limits. We have also authorised pedestrian countdown, as an additional option for authorities in choosing appropriate crossing types for different roads.

The Department recognises that inconsiderate parking, especially on the pavement, can cause problems for blind and partially sighted pedestrians. 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 we wrote to all English traffic authorities on 27 June 2014 to remind them of this.

 

 

Ian Austen (Dudley North): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans the Government has to offer financial support to people who want to drop their kerbs in order to help the blind and partially-sighted.

Andrew Jones: The Department for Transport (DfT) is committed to comprehensive civil rights for disabled people. An integrated transport policy, which encompasses accessible public transport, public transport infrastructure and a barrier-free pedestrian environment is fundamentally important to delivering that commitment.

With regard to the provision of dropped kerbs (or crossovers at driveways), this is a matter for each local authority as they are responsible for deciding on the appropriate policies that balance the needs of local residents, emergency services, local businesses, and those who work in and visit the area. However, the DfT has produced information for service providers called ‘Inclusive Mobility’ and this includes detailed advice on the design and provision of dropped kerbs for various situations. This document may be viewed at –

www.gov.uk/government/publications/inclusive-mobility

There have been no recent discussions with either the Highways Agency (now Highways England) or local authorities on the provision of dropped kerbs to aid blind or partially-sighted people.

The DfT also remains committed to review and update ‘Guidance on the Use of Tactile Paving Surfaces’. We have met stakeholders to identify a number of priority amendments to the existing guidance and we are considering further consultation on the proposed layouts in the summer.

Provisions in the Equality Act 2010 require service providers, such as local authorities, to take reasonable steps to ensure that disabled people do not find it impossible or unreasonably difficult to enjoy a service on the same basis as non-disabled people.

Safety of all road users is of paramount importance, and the Department supports pedestrian safety through a range of measures, providing local authorities with a wide range of tools to help them provide safer roads.

For example, following changes made in the last few years, local authorities now have more flexibility than ever before in designing 20mph zones and limits. We have also authorised pedestrian countdown, as an additional option for authorities in choosing appropriate crossing types for different roads.

The Department recognises that inconsiderate parking, especially on the pavement, can cause problems for blind and partially sighted pedestrians. 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 we wrote to all English traffic authorities on 27 June 2014 to remind them of this.


 

 

16th June

Level Crossings

Lillian Greenwood (Nottingham South): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress he has made in consulting stakeholders on reform of level crossing legislation; and if he will issue a public consultation on that matter.

Claire Perry: The Department is continuing to develop its response to the Law Commission’s recommendations on the reform of level crossing legislation in conjunction with stakeholders.

Our Level Crossing Reform Action Plan, copies of which are available in the House library, explains the steps that we are taking and includes an indicative timetable for completion of this process.

The Action Plan notes that we expect to consult on proposals in those areas where we believe further policy and legal investigation was required during the summer.


Cycling

 

Mr Laurence Robertson (Tewksbury): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to encourage cyclists to have due regard for other road users; and if he will make a statement.

Mr Robert Goodwill: Like all road users, cyclists have a duty to behave in a safe and responsible manner. We encourage road sharing by cyclists through, for instance, the Highway Code, THINK! Cyclist campaign and Bikeability cycle training.


Pedestrian Areas: Visual Impairment

Tulip Siddiq (Hampstead and Kilburn):To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will encourage the installation of artificial sound generators on quiet electric and hybrid-electric buses in London to ensure their audibility for the safety of blind and partially-sighted pedestrians.

Andrew Jones: A new EU regulation dealing with noise from road vehicles was adopted in 2014 and this will require additional sound devices to be fitted to all new types of electric and hybrid-electric vehicles from July 2019. This includes new buses and manufacturers may choose to fit them sooner. There are no plans currently to require the devices to be fitted before July 2019. Whether to encourage their fitment in London is a matter for the Mayor of London.

 

Tulip Siddiq (Hampstead and Kilburn): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what guidance his Department has given to local transport authorities on protecting the safety of blind and partially sighted bus users when (a) placing floating bus stops, (b) closing bus stops and (c) placing temporary bus stops.

Andrew Jones: The Department for Transport (DfT) is committed to comprehensive civil rights for disabled people. An integrated transport policy, which encompasses accessible public transport, public transport infrastructure and a barrier-free pedestrian environment is fundamentally important to delivering that commitment.

Provisions in the Equality Act 2010 require service providers, such as local authorities, to take reasonable steps to ensure that disabled people do not find it unreasonably difficult to enjoy a service on the same basis as non-disabled people.

The DfT has not provided any guidance on protecting the safety of blind and partially sighted bus users when placing floating bus stops or when specifically closing bus stops or placing temporary bus stops.

However, our document ‘Safety at Street Works and Road Works’ (a statutory code of practice for utility companies and local highways authorities in England) provides general principles to observe when considering the needs of vulnerable users. It is the responsibility of local authorities to apply these general principles to any works they carry out in the highway, including work on bus stops.

The code of practice is available at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/safety-at-street-works-and-road-works

 

 

Tulip Siddiq (Hampstead and Kilburn): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what account has been taken of the safety of blind and partially sighted pedestrians in the introduction of an ultra-low emission zone in London.

Andrew Jones: The design of the proposed ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) in London is a matter for the Mayor of London.

I understand that in designing the ULEZ Transport for London have taken into account new European legislation which will require that ultra-low emission vehicles are fitted with some form of artificial engine sound. This will help ensure that they can be heard by pedestrians and other road users, including people who are blind or partially sighted. The Mayor has said that, by the time the ULEZ is introduced in 2020, European legislation will have ensured that virtually all new electric and hybrid vehicles on sale are fitted with technology which ensures a minimum noise level when driving at low speeds.


Electric Vehicles

Jim Shannon (Strangford): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the possible dangers posed to pedestrians by electric vehicles.

Andrew Jones: A study by Transport Research Laboratory for the Department in 2011 found no evidence that quiet vehicles, e.g. electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, represent a greater danger to other road users, including pedestrians, than conventional vehicles. Nonetheless, a new EU regulation dealing with noise from road vehicles was adopted in 2014 and this will require additional sound devices to be fitted to new types of electric and hybrid-electric vehicles launched from 2019.


 

 

17th June

Road Traffic Offences: Fines

Richard Burden (Birmingham Northfield): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Government plans to implement the EU Cross-Border Enforcement Directive in respect of non-payment of fines.

Andrew Jones: The Government will implement the requirements of the Directive by 7 May 2017.


 

 

18th June

Cars

Daniel Zeichner (Cambridge): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what provisions he has made for the use of green technology in the Government’s new code of practice for driverless car testing; and what plans he has to extend the pilot test scheme beyond four cities.

Andrew Jones: There are no plans to include specific provisions for the use of green technologies in the forthcoming Code of Practice for testing Driverless cars in the UK. Nonetheless, the use of driverless technology is expected to deliver environmental benefits by reducing unnecessary acceleration and braking, resulting in smoother, more efficient and cleaner journeys.

As well as the trials of driverless cars in four UK cities, the government is funding a range of other activities in this area. In addition, the non-regulatory approach of the Code is expected to encourage those wishing to develop and test these technologies to do so in the UK.


19th June

Road Signs and Markings

Tom Brake (Carshalton and Wallington): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans for the new Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions to come into force.

Andrew Jones: As with any legislation, the new Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions will be subject to appropriate scrutiny and we will update the House in due course. In the meantime the regulatory requirements set out in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 (as amended) remain in place.


Immobilisation of vehicles: Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency

Mr Roger Gosdiff (Birmingham Hall Green): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many vehicles the DVLA clamped in each month of the most recent year for which figures are available.

Andrew Jones: The table below provides a monthly breakdown of the number of vehicles that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has clamped for the financial year 2014-15. The DVLA may also authorise others, such as, the police or local authority to take enforcement action against vehicles that are unlicensed.

Month Number of vehicles clamped by the DVLA Number of vehicles clamped by other authorities
April 2014 4,362 852
May 4,748 801
June 4,686 844
July 4,766 868
August 4,556 828
September 4,751 779
October 5,008 798
November 5,025 731
December 5,920 820
January 2015 7,104 1,786
February 7,019 1,722
March 6,921 1,709

 


 

22nd June

Parking: Pedestrian Areas

Mr Barry Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what representations he has received on the Streets Ahead campaign on pavement parking.

Andrew Jones: Last year this Department received around a thousand communications from Guide Dogs campaigners in support of two Private Members’ Bills on pavement parking.

Departmental officials have had contact with Guide Dogs and Living Streets over the last year, to discuss pavement parking.

I also attended the Guide Dogs parliamentary reception in June.


 

 

23rd June

 

M56: Accident

 

Justin Madders (Ellsmere Port and Neston): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many road traffic accidents have happened on the M56 between junctions 12 and 14 in the last three years.

Andrew Jones: The number of reported personal injury road accidents by severity on M56 between junctions 12 and 14 for the last three years is given in the following table:

Number of reported personal injury accidents on M56 between junctions 12 – 14: 2011 – 2013
Number of accidents
Year Fatal Serious Slight Total
2011 0 0 11 11
2012 0 3 8 11
2013 1 1 20 22

Data for 2014 will be available on 26th June 2015 when it is first published. Damage only accidents are not collected by the Department.


Motorways: Repair and Maintenance

Sir Greg Knight (East Yorkshire): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will discuss with the Highways Agency the potential merits of introducing shorter stretches of roadworking on motorways.

Andrew Jones: Highways England is working closely with the Department for Transport to progress various initiatives to improve the customer experience through roadworks. The government has announced a major investment in the strategic roads infrastructure which includes motorways. This will need to be carefully planned and managed, particularly in respect of length of roadworks and proximity of adjacent works to one another, to ensure the impact of construction on road users is minimised.


Motorways: Speed Limits

 

Sir Greg Knight (East Yorkshire): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make it his policy to trial the use of variable temporary speed limits on sections of motorways involving roadworks to take account of the different road conditions at off peak times in order to reduce delays.

Andrew Jones: Highways England has been tasked with improving and operating the Strategic Road Network. They are currently working on a number of projects looking at how the management of road works can be changed to deliver improvements for road users.

The varying of temporary speed limits in road works is currently not possible under existing legislation. However, Highways England is working closely with the Department for Transport to review the Motorway Regulations with the aim of updating them. One of the changes being considered would open the way for variable temporary speed limits in road works. Signing technology would also have to be developed and evaluated, particularly where gantries are not installed on certain motorway sections.


Level Crossings

 

Jim Shannon (Strangford): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what guidance he has issued on improving safety for pedestrians at railway crossings.

Claire Perry: Railway safety in Northern Ireland is a devolved matter and the responsibility of the Department for Regional Development.

The Office of Rail and Road, in its role as the independent railway safety regulator for Great Britain, has published guidance for those who design, install, operate and maintain level crossings to assist them in understanding risks and responsibilities. This is available from http://orr.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/2158/level_crossings_guidance.pdf.

The Office of Rail and Road, and the Heritage Railway Association, have also worked with Network Rail to develop a range of guidance documents based on the type of user – pedestrian, driver, cyclist or horse rider. These are available from www.networkrail.co.uk/level-crossings/using-level-crossings.


Road Traffic: Borehamwood

 

Oliver Dowden (Hertsmere): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to help alleviate road congestion approaching the Stirling Corner roundabout; what discussions he has had with Transport for London on that congestion; and if he will make a statement.

Mr Robert Goodwill: Transport for London (TfL) is responsible for this section of main road. TfL has informed the Department that it has been investigating a recent problem relating to faulty traffic signal equipment on the approach to Stirling Corner which has led to increased congestion in the area, and that it is making every effort to repair the fault as soon as possible.


 

25th June

Traffic Officer Service

Richard Burden (Birmingham, Northfield): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many people were employed in the Highways Agency Traffic Officer Service in each year since 2010; and how many people are employed in the comparable section of Highways England.

Andrew Jones: The information is as follows:-

Year Staff in Traffic Officer Service
2010 1727
2011 1676
2012 1608
2013 1516
2014 1439
2015 (Highways England) 1454

Please note we have interpreted Traffic Officer Service as Traffic Officers and support staff such as control room staff.

Note that the decrease in the number of staff in the Traffic Officer Service reflects various organisational changes which have not impacted on the operational capability of the service: such as the introduction of Flexible Rostering into the Traffic Officer Service which has meant less staff are required to operate; and a review of the Team Manager role has lead to non-operational tasks removed from the role and posts converted into non-operational roles in Service Delivery, a department not in the Traffic Officer Service.

 


Large Goods Vehicles: EU Law

Sir Alan Meale (Mansfield): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish his Department’s response to the formal notification of infraction from the European Commission concerning the Government’s application of Regulation EC 1071/2009 on access to the occupation of a road transport operator; and what steps he plans to take in response to that notification.

Andrew Jones: On 30th April 2015, the Department for Transport received a formal notice of infraction from the European Commission concerning the UK’s application of Regulation (EC) no 1071/2009 (on access to the occupation of road transport operator). We will consider the content of this letter and respond within two months, in line with Article 258 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

As this is a live case, and communications with the European Commission concerning infractions are in most cases confidential, it would not be appropriate to publish our response.

At this stage, no decisions have been made about any actions the UK may take in the light of the issues raised by the Commission.

 

 

Sir Alan Meale (Mansfield): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his policy is on the application of Regulation EC 1071/2009 concerning occupation of transport operators.

Andrew Jones: As an EU Regulation the United Kingdom is obliged to implement such measures as specified. The requirements under Regulation 1071/2009 were met by amending domestic legislation which was implemented on 4 December 2011. These legislative changes will be the subject of a Post Implementation Review in 2016.


 

29th June

Public Transport: Crime

Sadiq Khan (Tooting): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many incidents of (a) burglary, (b) criminal damage, (c) drugs, (d) fraud or forgery, (e) robbery, (f) sexual offences, (g) theft and handling, (h) violence against the person and (i) serious public disorder there were on (i) London Underground, (ii) London Overground, (iii) London buses, (iv) London tramlink and (v) the Docklands Light Railway in each year between 2008 and 2014.

Mr Robert Goodwill: Transport for London (TfL) publish information of recorded crimes on the TfL network in annual bulletins on a financial year basis. This information can be found on their website: https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/publications-and-reports/crime-and-incident-bulletins

The number of incidents of the various crimes are in the attached table. TfL do not separate incidents that occur on London Underground and the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) so these are combined.


Road Repairs and Maintenance

 

Mr Laurence Robertson (Tewksbury): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what flexibility exists between his Department’s maintenance and integrated transport budgets to enable funding to be re-allocated to increase spending on road maintenance.

Andrew Jones: The Department for Transport allocates capital funding grants for local highways maintenance and integrated transport block to local highway authorities. This funding is not ring-fenced and it is entirely for each highway authority to decide, based on their needs and priorities, as to how this funding is spent.


 

 

Additional information on Parliamentary written questions is available here on the Parliamentary Hansard.

Share this Post: Facebook Twitter Google Plus RSS Email

Related Posts

Comments are closed.