Written Answers 28 June to 2 July 2010
Monday 28 June 2010
Crime: Drink and Drug Driving
Question asked by Viscount Simon
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many (a) arrests, (b) prosecutions, and (c) convictions, of (1) men, and (2) women, there were for the offences of driving after consuming alcohol or taking drugs in each police force area in each year since 2000. [HL621]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The number of males and females proceeded against at magistrates’ courts and found guilty at all courts for driving after consuming alcohol or taking drugs, by sex and police force area, from 2000 to 2008 (latest available) are shown as follows in tables 1 and 2.
Court proceedings data for 2009 are planned to be published in the autumn, 2010.
The arrests collection held by the Home Office covers arrests for recorded crime (notifiable offences) only, broken down at a main offence group level, covering categories such as violence against the person and robbery. Information on summary motoring offences including those of driving after consuming alcohol or taking drugs are non-notifiable and as a result are not covered by the collection.
Tuesday 29 June 2010
Mr Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the percentage change in traffic levels (a) on English roads and (b) on roads in each county within England was in each year since 1997, taking 1997 levels as the baseline. 
Mike Penning: Tables showing percentage changes in traffic volumes for all motor vehicles on all roads for (a) English roads and (b) each local authority in England have been placed in the Libraries of the House.
The figures provided in the tables are for the period 1997-2009. Table 1 shows estimated traffic for all motor vehicles, table 2 shows the percentage change from 1997 and table 3 shows year on year percentage changes.
Road traffic estimates are produced by using a consistent national methodology which is mainly designed to deliver national level estimates. Traffic figures at local authority level are less robust than the regional and national totals and are not classed as national statistics. Some discontinuities exist in the data between various years for certain local authorities.
Transport: Sustainable Development
Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he plans to take to build a modern and sustainable transport system in (a) West Sussex and (b) Mid Sussex. 
Norman Baker [holding answer 24 June 2010]: The Department for Transport is focused on building a modern and sustainable transport system. This will contribute to future economic growth of all parts of England including in West Sussex and Mid Sussex.
Following the Spending Review we will be reviewing priorities for the transport network, including those in West Sussex and Mid Sussex.
Speed Limits: Cameras
Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much accrued to the Consolidated Fund from the payment of penalties issued on the basis of evidence from speed cameras in each year since 2007. 
James Brokenshire: The fixed penalty for a speeding offence is £60. Following the ending of the National Safety Camera Funding Scheme, all such income, whether or not the offence was detected by camera, goes to the Consolidated Fund.
Information on the amount that has accrued to the Consolidated Fund from speeding offences detected by camera cannot be identified separately. Data on the number of fixed penalties issued and paid per year for all motoring offences and separately on all speeding offences detected by camera are collected centrally and published as part of National Statistics. These are outlined in detail within Chapter 3 of the Home Office Statistical Bulletin: ‘Police Powers and Procedures’. Sections 3.3 and 3.4 deal respectively with fixed penalty notices generally and notices issued on the basis of speed camera evidence respectively. The latest publication outlines data for the financial year 2008-09 as well as making reference to historical data.
Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many notices of intended prosecution have been issued for speeding in a speed camera site area in each year since 2007. 
James Brokenshire: The information requested is not available.
The Home Office collects data on the number of fixed penalty notices issued and paid, for speed limit offences in England and Wales involving the use the use of any camera device. There were 1.26 million such notices in 2007 and 1.03 million notices in 2008.
Data are also collected for number of fixed penalty notices issued for total motoring offences by final disposal (including referrals for court proceedings). However these data, as provided to the Home Office, cannot be broken down by type of offence or whether a speed camera was involved.
Question asked by Viscount Simon
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what were the road safety area based grant revenue and capital allocations for each local highway authority in 2010-11 as at April 2010; how much was allocated to each local highway authority in the announcement of 10 June; and what were the percentage reductions for each authority.[HL506]
Earl Attlee: The road safety funding allocations for each local authority in 2010-11, as at April 2010, can be found on the Department for Transport’s website at: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/regional/localauthorities/funding/fundingstreams/capitalandrevenue/roadsafety/.
The Government have made it clear that their most urgent priority is to tackle the UK’s record deficit. To help achieve this, on 10 June the Department for Communities and Local Government announced £1.166 billion of savings from grants to local authorities, including reductions to road safety capital grant and revenue funding. These are detailed on the Department for Communities and Local Government’s website at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/localgovernment/localgovernmentfinance/.
The percentage reductions for each local authority in 2010-11 are approximately -26.6 per cent for the road safety area based revenue funding, and -100 per cent for the road safety capital grant.
The fact that certain grants have been chosen for reduction over others does not indicate the relative importance Government attach to different areas. The specific grants selected are simply a mechanism to deliver the cash reduction in funding in a way which is equitable as possible between authorities and to protect revenue budgets as far as possible. Local authorities are free to make efficiencies elsewhere in their budgets in order to deliver road safety outcomes as previously planned, and I would expect this to be a priority for them.
Wednesday 30 June 2010
Motorcycles: Driving Tests
Mr Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many motorcycle test examiners were available to carry out module 1 of the motorcycle test in (a) Wales, (b) England and (c) Scotland on the most recent date for which figures are available. 
Mike Penning: On 21 June 2010, 162 examiners were available to conduct module 1 practical motorcycling tests:
(a) 14 in Wales,
(b) 124 in England and
(c) 24 in Scotland.
The data comprise the number of examiners available to deliver module 1 practical motorcycling tests and were not on leave or absent through sickness on 21 June 2010. These examiners were also available to conduct module 2 practical motorcycling tests as well as other categories of test.
Examiners are not confined by national boundaries and are deployed to best meet local demand for tests.
Motorways: Speed Limits
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will end the operation of average speed camera readings on stretches of motorway where a 50 mph limit is in place on weekends and bank holidays when no work is taking place. 
Mike Penning [holding answer 17 June 2010]: Reduced speed limits are used for the protection of road users and road workers. Where possible, speed restrictions are lifted when the risks to road users and road workers have been reduced.
The Highways Agency reviews the number and scale of road works, including the use of temporary reduced speed limits, at bank holidays to see how many can be reduced or removed temporarily.
Where narrowed lanes or contra flow systems have to remain in place, even when work is not being carried out, it may not be safe to remove the temporary speed limit. The Highways Agency is investigating the possible use of moveable barriers to address this problem.
Thursday 1 July 2010
Road Signs and Markings
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to bring forward proposals to delegate the powers to control the placing of stop signs in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 to (a) local highway authorities and (b) parish councils; and if he will make a statement. 
Norman Baker: Although the Department for Transport has no specific plans to delegate responsibility for placing traffic signs to parish councils, the Department is reviewing traffic signs policy to see where greater flexibility can be given to local traffic authorities to remove unnecessary regulatory and administrative burdens. I will make sure the placing of stop signs is considered as part of the wider review.
Photo supplied by TRL (Transport Research Laboratory).