October 2015: Written Questions

October 2015: Written Questions

14th October

Cycling: Schools

Nigel Huddleston (Mid Worcestershire): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his policy in on continued funding for Bikeability in schools after March 2016.

Mr Robert Goodwill: We will take a decision on future funding for the Bikeability programme beyond March 2016 following the outcome of the Spending Review.

 


 

15th October

Road Traffic Offences

Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many people were killed or injured as a result of driving offences in 2014; what was the victim’s road user mode in each case; and where those statistics are reported.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: The number of people who were killed or injured in reported personal-injury road traffic accidents where at least one driver failed to stop is given in the table below.

Number of people killed or injured in reported road traffic accidents, Great Britain
As a percentage of all reported casualties
Year Killed Seriously injured Slightly injured Killed Seriously injured Slightly injured
2010 84 1,991 22,168 5% 9% 12%
2011 96 2,130 21,985 5% 9% 12%
2012 101 2,075 20,315 6% 9% 12%
2013 82 1,930 19,772 5% 9% 12%
2014 95 2,028 21,261 5% 9% 13%

These figures only include accidents that occurred on the public highway and were reported to the police.

The statistical record of the accident from the police does not include any information about whether the driver who failed to stop was identified or prosecuted, or any other driver was prosecuted for any other offence.

The table below gives the number of defendants proceeded against at Magistrates’ Court in England and Wales for the offences of failure to stop and failure to give name and address after accident, and failure to report accident within 24 hours, for 2010 to 2014.

Number of defendants proceeded against at Magistrates’ Court in England and Wales
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Failing to stop after accident 3,881 3,467 2,962 2,900 2,729
Failing to report accident within 24 hours 1,604 1,391 1,247 1,183 1,012
Failing to give name and address after accident 1,535 1,323 1,343 1,133 1,066

(Figures from Criminal Justice System Statistics Quarterly, December 2014)

Table RAS61001 in the attached document, Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: 2014 Annual Report, which has been deposited in the Libraries of the House, gives the number of offenders convicted, fixed penalty notices and written warnings for motoring offences in England and Wales for 2004 to 2013. The table below gives the number of offenders convicted at all courts in England and Wales of causing death or injury whilst driving a motor vehicle, in 2014.

Number of offenders convicted for causing death or injury by a motor vehicle driver, England and Wales
Offence 2014
Causing death by dangerous driving 123
Causing death by careless driving under influence of drink or drugs 25
Causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving 163
Causing death by driving unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured drivers 1
Causing death by aggravated vehicle taking 3
Causing serious injury by careless driving 186
Causing bodily harm by furious driving 5

(figures from Criminal Justice System Statistics Quarterly, December 2014)

The two tables giving statistics on convictions in England and Wales only include convictions for the principle offence (i.e. the most serious offence).

It is not possible to link any of the criminal justice data from the Ministry of Justice or the Home Office with reported road accident data to say how many of the motoring offences resulted in accidents or how many people were killed or injured as a result of the alleged offences.

Reported Road Casualties_GB_Annual Report 2014 (PDF Document, 5.89 MB)


16th October

 

Motor Vehicles: Exhaust Emissions

Andrew Rosindell (Romford): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that automotive manufacturers have not falsified emissions data in the same manner as Volkswagen has done.

Andrew Jones: In the UK, the Vehicle Certification Agency conducts tests on vehicles and components to ensure they meet the minimum standards required by European and UN-ECE legislation.

Emissions tests are carried out to determine that the level of pollutants emitted from a vehicle is below the required limits. The test is a laboratory based test under controlled conditions in order to achieve repeatable results.

The Department for Transport recognises the current test cycle for emissions is outdated and no longer represents normal driving patterns. Discussions have taken place over recent years to replace this with an updated more relevant laboratory test. The Department anticipates this will be implemented from 2017. In addition, a new real world driving emissions test is being implemented to ensure emissions in normal driving comply with the legal obligation. These new tests will remove the ability of car manufacturers to falsify test results.

All new vehicles are tested in accordance with EU law to ensure that they meet the legislated requirements for emissions. There is no evidence that these emissions tests have been falsified in the UK.

 

Diesel Vehicles: Exhaust Emissions

Paul Flynn (Newport West): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when his Department first learnt of the installation by Volkswagen of software to distort emissions tests on diesel vehicles; and what steps he took in response to that information.

Andrew Jones: The government first became aware of the installation of software fitted to Volkswagen vehicles to distort emissions tests following the announcement of the US Environmental Protection Agency investigation in the US on 18 September 2015.

In response, the Vehicle Certification Agency, the UK regulator, has started investigations to establish whether this affects other manufacturers.

As part of this work they will re-run laboratory tests where necessary and compare them against real world driving emissions.

The government have called on the EU to conduct a Europe wide investigation into whether there is evidence that cars here have been fitted with illegal defeat devices.

 

Mark Menzies (Flyde): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that diesel car emissions are tested accurately; and that such emissions tests have not been falsified in the UK.

Andrew Jones: All new vehicles are tested in accordance with EU law to ensure that they meet the legislated requirements for emissions. There is no evidence that these emissions tests have been falsified in the UK.

The UK has been pressing for action at an EU-level to improve emissions tests and will continue to do so. The current test cycle is recognised as outdated and no longer represents normal driving patterns, and we have been involved in the development of a new laboratory test designed to be more representative of real driving conditions. We anticipate this will be implemented from 2017. In addition, we have been at the forefront of action at a European level to introduce real driving emissions (RDE) testing, which we believe is the best way to ensure tests accurately represent performance out on the road and ensure public confidence.

  

Railways: Speed limits

Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many temporary speed restrictions were in place on Network Rail infrastructure on (a) 1 April and (b) the most recent date for which figures are available.

Claire Perry: At the start of April 2015, there were 226 Temporary Speed Restrictions (TSR) on Network Rail infrastructure. As of 9th October (end of week 3, Period 7) there were 331 TSRs on the network.

 

Fishing Vessels: Accidents

Jim Shannon (Strangford): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many fishing boats were lost at sea in each of the last five years.

Mr Robert Goodwill: The numbers of UK-registered fishing vessels lost, as reported to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch are:

2010: 14

2011: 24

2012: 9

2013: 18

2014: 12

 

Jim Shannon (Strangford): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many people were killed due to fishing boats sinking in each of the last five years.

Mr Robert Goodwill: The numbers of fatalities resulting from the sinking of UK-registered fishing vessels in the last five years, as reported to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch are:

2010: 1

2011: 1

2012: 4

2013: 3

2014: 4

 


19th October

Motor Vehicles: Lighting

Christian Matheson (City of Chester): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will amend the road traffic construction and use regulations to require dashboard warning lights for faulty brake lights to be mandatory.

Andrew Jones: Dash board warning lights are the subject of the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989. There are no specific requirements for brake light failure warning and there are no plans to amend them. The optional fitment of such a warning light is permitted.

 

Christian Matheson (City of Chester): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of amending the road traffic construction and use regulations to prohibit blue lights on non-emergency vehicles.

Andrew Jones: The specification including colour and use of lamps on road vehicles are the subject of The Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989. Only emergency vehicles are permitted by this legislation to have blue special warning lamps and warning beacons. No assessment has been made to amend these regulations for blue lamps or warning beacons on non-emergency vehicles, as the prohibitions already exist.

 

Railways: Disability

Dawn Butler (Brent Central): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he to promote the expansion of the turn-up-and-go scheme for disabled transport users throughout the rail network.

Claire Perry: The Association of Train Operating Companies launched a six month trial of turn up and go at 36 London stations in May this year. If the trial is successful they will consider whether the service can be made permanent at the trial stations and if it can be expanded further across the network.

 


 

21st October

Cycling

Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, on which dates (a) the full Cycling Shareholder Forum, (b) the safety sub-group of the Cycling Stakeholder Forum and (c) the High Level Cycling Group have held meetings in the last 12 months.

Mr Robert Goodwill: The last Cycling Stakeholder forum meeting was on 24th June 2014, and the last safety-sub group meeting was held on 13 July 2013.

The High Level Cycling Group has met within the last 12 months. The most recent meeting was on 13 July 2015. Previous meetings were held on 8 September 2014 and 30 April 2014.

We are in the process of reviewing our arrangements for stakeholder engagement, as part of the work we are doing to form the governance structure for the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy.

 

Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 15 October 2015 to Question 11472, what (a) his Department’s expenditure per head and (b) total expenditure from the public purse on cycling in each English region was in each year from 2011-12 to 2014-15; and what expenditure per head on cycling (i) by his Department and (ii) from the public purse is projected to be in each English region in 2015-16.

Mr Robert Goodwill: In the five years 2011/12 to 2015/16, the Department for Transport (DfT) has increased its spend on cycling in England from £1 per head to £3 per head. Local authorities also spend significant amounts on cycling and over the same period, total spend on cycling in England has increased from £2 per head to £6 per head. Spend is over £10 per head in the eight Cycle Ambition Cities and London.

2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16
DfT spend per head £1 £2 £2 £2 £3
Total spend per head £2 £4 £5 £5 £6

 

The DfT budgets are:

DfT budgets: 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 Projected spend 2015-16
Cycle-Rail £7.0 £7.5 £14.0
Bikeability £11.7 £11.7 £11.7 £11.7 £11.7
Junction safety £30.0 £5.0
Linking Communities £13.0 £8.0 £7.5
Cycling Ambition – Cities/National Parks £46.6 £46.6 £15.0
Highways Agency £4.8 £16.7
LSTF- Cycling £37.8 £37.8 £37.8 £37.8 £64.5
LGF £20.2
Total DfT £62.5 £94.5 £120.9 £96.1 £142.1

In 2014-15, the Department’s dedicated cycling programmes were Bikeability, Cycle Ambition Cities, Cycling in National Parks and the Highways Agency’s cycling programme. The Department also funds cycling programmes through the Local Sustainable Transport Fund, with 28% of the LSTF being spent on cycling. The Department secures a range of match funding contributions from local authorities for these programmes: the LSTF secured 99% match funding.

Lists of projects and locations are available for the following programmes:

Cycle-rail:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cycle-rail-fund-schemes-2015-to-2016

Linking Communities:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/linking-places-fund

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/linking-places-fund-tranche-2

Local Sustainable Transport Fund:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-sustainable-transport-fund

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/224172/project-summaries-consolidated.pdf

Cycle Ambition Cities and Cycling in National Parks:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cycle-city-ambition-grants

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cycling-in-national-parks-grants

Bikeability:

http://bikeability.org.uk/publications/

 

Aviation: Safety

Lord Brabazon: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking in conjunction with the Civil Aviation Authority to reduce the risk to life caused by passengers on United Kingdom registered aircraft who retrieve, or attempt to retrieve, and remove cabin baggage from the aircraft during an emergency evacuation, against the explicit instructions and lawful orders of the aircraft’s crew and commander and in contravention of the Air Navigation Order.

Lord Ahmed of Wimbledon: Her Majesty’s Government are aware of concerns regarding passengers attempting to retrieve or remove cabin baggage from the aircraft during an emergency evacuation. The Department for Transport are working closely with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and our international partners at the European Aviation Safety Agency to review the current requirement for passenger briefings.

In advance of any amendments to European Aviation Regulations, the CAA will be publishing a Safety Notice on the management of passengers and cabin baggage in the event of an aircraft evacuation.


22nd October

Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

Bill Wiggin (North Herefordshire): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which three counties he projects will receive the most funding from his Department for road repairs in the next three years.  

Andrew Jones: The Department for Transport has not commissioned any research in respect to the condition of rural roads.

In December 2014 it was announced how this Government is allocating record funding of just under £6 billion to local authorities in England, outside London, for highways maintenance between 2015 and 2021. This funding can be used to fix potholes and improve the condition of the rural road network depending on the priorities and needs of the respective highway authority.

The following weblink provides information on how much funding is to be allocated between now and 2021 to local highway authorities for local highways maintenance. The funding is based on a formula which includes the length of carriageway an authority is responsible for rather than need:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/highways-maintenance-funding-allocations-201516-to-202021

Herefordshire County Council will receive over £60 million between 2015 and 2021 from this funding.

Grouped Questions: 12071 | 12072

 

Bill Wiggin (North Herefordshire): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he plans to take to ensure that local authorities fix potholes during winter 2015-16.

Andrew Jones: The Department for Transport has not commissioned any research in respect to the condition of rural roads.

In December 2014 it was announced how this Government is allocating record funding of just under £6 billion to local authorities in England, outside London, for highways maintenance between 2015 and 2021. This funding can be used to fix potholes and improve the condition of the rural road network depending on the priorities and needs of the respective highway authority.

The following web-link provides information on how much funding is to be allocated between now and 2021 to local highway authorities for local highways maintenance. The funding is based on a formula which includes the length of carriageway an authority is responsible for rather than need:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/highways-maintenance-funding-allocations-201516-to-202021

Herefordshire County Council will receive over £60 million between 2015 and 2021 from this funding.

Grouped Questions: 12071 | 12077

 

Roads: Rural Areas

Bill Wiggin (North Herefordshire): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what research he has commissioned on the condition of rural roads.

Andrew Jones: The Department for Transport has not commissioned any research in respect to the condition of rural roads.

In December 2014 it was announced how this Government is allocating record funding of just under £6 billion to local authorities in England, outside London, for highways maintenance between 2015 and 2021. This funding can be used to fix potholes and improve the condition of the rural road network depending on the priorities and needs of the respective highway authority.

The following weblink provides information on how much funding is to be allocated between now and 2021 to local highway authorities for local highways maintenance. The funding is based on a formula which includes the length of carriageway an authority is responsible for rather than need:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/highways-maintenance-funding-allocations-201516-to-202021

Herefordshire County Council will receive over £60 million between 2015 and 2021 from this funding.

Grouped Questions: 12072 | 12077


23rd October

Parking: Pedestrian Areas

Greg Mulholland (Leeds North West): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to tackle vehicle parking on pavements.

Andrew Jones: Local authorities are best placed to assess the need for pavement parking controls in their area and the effectiveness of any restrictions in place. It would be for the relevant traffic authorities to conduct an assessment of legislation specific to London.

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 met with Guide Dogs officials as recently as 13 October this year.

Local authorities already have the powers to introduce enforceable pavement parking restrictions where they consider it appropriate. My Department’s guidance to local authorities makes clear that, during the appraisal of their parking policies, an authority should consider whether pavement parking is problematic in any part of its area. If it is, and is not covered by an existing Traffic Regulation Order, the authority should consider amending the existing Order or making a new one. We have issued councils with authorisation to place specifically designed traffic signs without the need for Whitehall approval.

Grouped Questions: 12297 | 12298

 

Greg Mulholland (Leeds North West): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent representations he has received from local authorities, charities and disability groups on pavement parking.

Andrew Jones: Local authorities are best placed to assess the need for pavement parking controls in their area and the effectiveness of any restrictions in place. It would be for the relevant traffic authorities to conduct an assessment of legislation specific to London.

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 met with Guide Dogs officials as recently as 13 October this year.

Local authorities already have the powers to introduce enforceable pavement parking restrictions where they consider it appropriate. My Department’s guidance to local authorities makes clear that, during the appraisal of their parking policies, an authority should consider whether pavement parking is problematic in any part of its area. If it is, and is not covered by an existing Traffic Regulation Order, the authority should consider amending the existing Order or making a new one. We have issued councils with authorisation to place specifically designed traffic signs without the need for Whitehall approval.

Grouped Questions: 12297 | 12299

 

Unmanned Air Vehicles

Jim Shannon (Strangford): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to monitor the use of drones in UK airspace.

Mr Robert Goodwill: The Civil Aviation Authority keeps a record of all the permissions they have issued to fly commercial drones in UK airspace. However this does not extend to leisure users of drones. To address this issue The Department for Transport is currently looking at a range of options including regulation, registration and licensing options and a database to increase transparency on the use of drones for the general public. We intend to consult on all of these issues and other possible solutions in 2016.

 

Driving Offences: Mobile Phones

David Simpson (Upper Bahn): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many people died on the roads in each region in incidents where a driver was using a mobile telephone in each of the last three years.

Andrew Jones: The Department holds information on the number of personal-injury road traffic accidents where the attending police officer judged that a driver using a mobile telephone contributed to the accident. This includes both cases where ‘hand held’ and ‘hands free’ telephones were deemed to contribute to the accident. The table below provides the number of fatalities in road traffic accidents that were reported to the police in which at least one driver was allocated the contributory factor ‘driver using mobile phone’ by region for 2012 to 2014.

Fatalities in reported road accidents in which the contributory factor ‘driver using mobile phone’ was reported: GB, 2012-2014

Region 2012 2013 2014
North East 2 1 1
North West 1 2 1
Yorkshire and the Humber 2 5 1
East Midlands 1 1 4
West Midlands 2 2 0
East of England 1 2 3
South East 3 2 9
London 1 0 1
South West 2 4 1
Wales 1 2 2
Scotland 1 5 1
Total 17 26 24
Note: Includes only casualties where a police officer attended the scene and in which a contributory factor was reported

 


26th October

Aviation: Lasers

Greg Mulholland (Leeds North West): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to deal with the problem of aircraft being targeted by laser pens.

Mr Robert Goodwill: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), as independent aviation safety regulator, is co-ordinating an industry-wide initiative to decide what further measures are needed to reduce the risk of an accident from laser pens. As part of this process, the CAA is working with a wide range of key stakeholders including relevant Government Departments, emergency services, air traffic control, airports, and airlines. The CAA has also published a Safety Notice providing guidance on the action that aircraft crew and air traffic controllers should take during and after an incident.

 

Aviation: Crime

Philip Davies (Shipley): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the (a) maximum, (b) minimum and (c) average sentence was for people convicted under Article (i) 137, (ii) 139, (iii) 140, (iv) 141 and (v) 142 of the Air Navigation Order 2009 in each of the last six years.

Mr Robert Goodwill: Although DfT has responsibility for this policy area, sentencing statistics are recorded by the Ministry of Justice.

Grouped Questions: 12211

 

Philip Davies (Shipley): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many (a) prosecutions and (b) convictions there have been under Article (i) 137, (ii) 139, (iii) 140, (iv) 141 and (v) 142 of the Air Navigation Order 2009 in each of the last six years.

Mr Robert Goodwill: Although DfT has responsibility for this policy area, sentencing statistics are recorded by the Ministry of Justice.

Grouped Questions: 12210

 


27th October

Cycling

Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 21 October to Question 12230, if he will provide a breakdown by English region of the figures provided in the first table contained in that Answer under the headings (a) his Department’s spend per head and (b) total spend per head.

Mr Robert Goodwill: The table below details spend per head per region on cycling. These figures are made up of the following Government funded programmes: Cycle-Rail, Cycle Safety, Linking Communities, Cycle Ambition Cities, Cycle Ambition National Parks and the Local Sustainable Transport Fund. The figures for total funding consist of DfT funding plus matched funding. Matched funding comes from a range of public and private sources, for example local authority budgets, private partnerships or third party grants.

We do not hold a regional breakdown for the £4.8m spent in 2013/14 by the Highways Agency. The table also does not include the £11m a year spent on Bikeability cycle training, as we do not hold a regional breakdown of this funding. These funding streams have therefore been excluded from the below calculations. Further, as we are still in financial year 2015/16 we cannot confirm exact expenditure and we have therefore excluded the 2015/16 financial year from the figures.

Region Average spend per head to nearest £
2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15
East Midlands DfT spend 1 1 1 1
Total spend 3 3 4 3
East of England DfT spend 1 2 2 1
Total spend 3 4 4 4
North East DfT spend 1 2 2 2
Total spend 5 6 8 7
North West DfT spend 1 2 3 2
Total spend 4 6 6 6
South East DfT spend 1 2 2 1
Total spend 4 5 5 5
South West DfT spend 1 2 3 2
Total spend 7 7 8 8
West Midlands DfT spend 1 1 3 3
Total spend 4 4 6 6
Yorkshire & Humber DfT spend 1 1 3 3
Total spend 4 5 7 7
London Total spend 2 3 9 13

 


 

28th October

Road Traffic Offences: Fines

Viscount Goschen: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of whether the generation of revenue from penalties is a legitimate objective in the deployment and operation of cameras used to enforce traffic regulations such as those governing the use of bus lanes and yellow box junctions.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: Raising revenue is not a legitimate objective for such deployments. The objective of enforcing moving traffic contraventions should be to meet the traffic authority’s legal network management duty to secure the expeditious movement of traffic. That is, to secure the efficient use of the road network and the avoidance of congestion. Relevant governing legislation, such as the Traffic Management Act 2004, is not revenue raising legislation.

 

Lord Stone of Blackheath: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the statistics provided in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 showing that the London Borough of Merton did not comply with 87 per cent of the decisions by independent adjudicators regarding the issuing of parking penalty fines, what assessment they have made of (1) the value for money of, and (2) the efficacy of, independent adjudicators who consider and make recommendations on such fines.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: No such assessment has been made. The adjudication services are not administered by central Government. However there is a distinction between recommendations, which do not have to be followed by authorities, and adjudicators’ directions following successful appeals, which must be complied with in law.

 


 

29th October

Cycling: Greater London

Robert Flello (Stoke-on-Trent South): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has for cyclists in London to undergo a safety training course for their own and pedestrians’ protection.

Mr Robert Goodwill: Policy for cycle training in London is devolved to Transport for London (TfL). All London boroughs offer free or heavily subsidised child and adult cycle training to anyone who lives, works or studies in London. TfL funds cycle training through the boroughs’ Local Implementation Plan (LIP), Borough Cycling Programme and other funding streams.

TfL works closely with the London boroughs and the cycle training industry to ensure all cycle training delivered in London complies with the national standards set by the Department of Transport (DfT). Children (under 16’s) are offered DfT’s nationally recognised ‘Bikeability’ cycle training.

TfL also provides free adult cycle training to London employees through the Cycling Workplaces programme. This scheme offers organisations in London with five or more employees a range of cycling goods and services to help kick-start cycling in the workplace and encourage more people to commute by bike. Employers can request “Commuter Cycle Skills Sessions” (cycle training) for their employees. In addition to cycle training, businesses can order cycle safety seminars, cycle parking and cycle safety and security checks for their employee’s bikes through the online scheme.

 

Speed Limits

Bill Wiggan (North Herefordshire): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will estimate the effect on (a) fuel consumption and (b) tax receipts of a 10 mph increase in the speed limit.

Andrew Jones: There are no plans to increase the motorway speed limit to 80 mph or to increase national speed limits by 10mph. There are no available estimates of the effect such increases would have on fuel consumption or tax receipts.

The focus of government policy on our road network is the delivery of a step change in investment.

Grouped Questions: 12803

 

Motorways: Speed limits

Bill Wiggan (North Herefordshire): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will increase the speed limit on motorways to 80 mph; and if he will make a statement.

Andrew Jones: There are no plans to increase the motorway speed limit to 80 mph or to increase national speed limits by 10mph. There are no available estimates of the effect such increases would have on fuel consumption or tax receipts.

The focus of government policy on our road network is the delivery of a step change in investment.

Grouped Questions: 12834

 

Roads: Rural Areas

Bill Wiggan (North Herefordshire): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he plans to take to improve the condition of rural roads.

Andrew Jones: I refer my Honourable Friend to my answer dated 22 October 2015, UIN 12071

(http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-questions-answers/?page=1&max=20&questiontype=AllQuestions&house=commons%2clords&uin=12071).

 

Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

Bill Wiggan (North Herefordshire): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of likely spending by his Department on road repairs in each year between 2015 and 2020.

Andrew Jones: I refer my Honourable Friend to my answer dated 3 June 2015, UIN 365 (http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-questions-answers/?page=1&max=20&questiontype=AllQuestions&house=commons%2clords&uin=365).

 


 

30th November

Roads: Safety

Kate Hollern (Blackburn): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make it his policy to reintroduce National Road Safety targets.

Andrew Jones: The Conservative Manifesto 2015 had a commitment to reduce the number of cyclists and other road users killed or injured on our roads every year. We are working closely with road safety groups to consider what more can be done and we believe that every death is a tragedy and is one too many.

The Government has not set road safety targets for local authorities or the police, and is not considering reinstating them. We do not believe that further persuasion is needed on the importance of road safety through “Whitehall knows best” diktats. However, local authorities and the police are free to set their own targets if they find this useful.

 

Driving under the Influence: Scotland

Bridget Phillipson (Houghton and Sunderland South): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will examine evidence from Scotland on the effects of a lower drink-drive limit; and if he will make it his policy to equalise the limit in England.

Andrew Jones: Tackling drink driving is a priority for this Government and we have continued to focus on tough enforcement. In April 2015 legislation was introduced through the De-Regulation Act which removed the automatic right for drivers who fail a breathalyser test to demand a blood or urine test. This has denied people the chance to sober up while waiting for the test to be taken. Also, ‘High Risk Offenders’ are now required to prove that they are no longer alcohol-dependent before being allowed to drive.

I would be interested to see a robust and comprehensive evaluation of the change to the Scottish drink drive limit.

 

Driving Tests

Bridget Phillipson (Houghton and Sunderland South): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will give consideration to introducing the testing of (a) night-time and (b) motorway driving as mandatory components of the driving test.

Andrew Jones: Current legislation requires the eyesight element of the practical driving test to be conducted in good daylight and prohibits learner drivers from motorways. The learning to drive and testing processes are, however, kept under review. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is currently trialling a series of potential changes aimed at encouraging learner drivers to obtain a wider range of driving experience prior to the practical driving test. This will include driving on roads which require a higher speed and other varying traffic situations. DVSA is also developing clips that depict hazards related to driving at night for inclusion in the hazard perception element of the theory test.

 

Motor Vehicles: Insurance

Sir David Amess (Southend West): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment the Government has made of the financial effect on consumers of the requirement for drivers to be insured at all times under the Road Safety Act 2006.

Andrew Jones: Since the introduction of the Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) scheme, the level of uninsured driving has been reduced from 1.4 million vehicles at the end of 2010 to 1.0 million at the end of 2014, a 29% reduction. CIE has promoted positive changes in vehicle keeper behaviour and contributes significantly to making our roads safer and in helping keep down insurance premiums for the honest motorist.

 


Further information is available on the Parliamentary Hansard.

 

 

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