PACTS Comments on Parliamentary Questions: 31 Jan – 3 Feb
Mike Penning [holding answer 27 January 2011]: The Department for Transport’s business plan for 2011-15 sets out that the date for developing the new strategic framework for road safety is by April 2011.
PACTS Comments: The new strategic framework for road safety is a long awaited document, as the previous road safety strategy came to a close at the end of 2010. Without a strategy for moving forward road safety practitioners (in particular within local authorities) have faced many difficulties in planning for the period 2011 – 2015, including difficulties in persuading decision makers to direct funding which is no longer ring fenced to road safety. Without a vision and targets for the future road safety becomes less of a priority and suffers reduced funding and job losses as a result. Our forthcoming follow-up report to Tackling the Deficit goes into these issues in more detail, and will be published by PACTS and the RAC Foundation at the end of February.
For example, in response to public concerns about the fear of litigation, in October 2010 the Department for Transport published straightforward guidance for households and traders who wish to act in a neighbourly
3 Feb 2011 : Column 877W
way by clearing snow and ice from paths in front of property, pavements and other public spaces. It was clear during the recent spell of severe winter weather that the overwhelming majority of people want to take social action in a common sense way, whilst showing neighbourliness and generosity of spirit in these circumstances.
Furthermore, the recently published Local Transport White Paper, encourages local authorities to form greater partnership with the voluntary, community, and social enterprises sector and citizens in the design and delivery of local sustainable transport solutions. This is intended to lead to greater community empowerment, the opening up of public services and to further the promotion of social action to achieve the local outcomes people want.
PACTS Comments: PACTS argues that road safety is the Big Society in action. For over 20 years, Great Britain has had a co-ordinated approach to reducing deaths and injury on the roads. This approach has involved central and local government, statutory bodies such as the police and emergency services, professional organisations, academic institutions and civil society. Casualty reduction has been “the Big Society‟ in all but name.
Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road traffic accidents involving uninsured drivers were reported in each police authority area in each of the last five years. 
PACTS Comments: This is a disappointing answer giving the link between lack of insurance and crash involvement. PACTS would urge the department to undertake a small scale research study aiming to assess the scale of uninsured and accident involved drivers.
Other transport safety Parliamentary Questions from this week:
Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road traffic accidents involving under-age drivers were reported in each police authority area in each of the last five years; and how many such incidents resulted in prosecutions. 
|Reported personal injury road accidents involving at least one driver below the minimum legal age required to drive that vehicle( 1, 2) , by police force: Great Britain 2005 to 2009|
|Police force code||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009|
|(1 )Relates to drivers of a motor vehicle only.
(2 )Includes accidents involving motor vehicles of an unspecified type. In these cases the legal age to drive has been assumed to be 17.
The court proceedings database held by the Ministry of Justice, contains information on defendants proceeded against, found guilty and sentenced for criminal offences in England and Wales. Other than where specified in a statute, statistical information available centrally does not include the circumstances of each case. It is therefore not possible to separately identify from motoring offences proceeded against those which resulted in an accident.
Mike Penning: We are aiming to publish the new strategic framework for road safety by April of this year and intend for the measures that it will set out to continue to increase road safety for all road users, including motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.
Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many recorded accidents on (a) A-roads and (b)motorways were attributable to escaped farm animals and horses in each of the last five years. 
Mike Penning: The Department for Transport collates information on animals identified as carriageway hazards in reported personal injury road accidents. However, information on the types of animals involved in accidents and whether they were escaped farm animals or horses is not available.
|Number of reported personal injury road accidents where an animal( 1) was identified as carriageway haza rd, by type of roads, Great Britain, 2005-09|
|Type of r oad|
|(1) Except ridden horse.|
Bus Services: Disability Aids
Norman Baker: Research has been commissioned to assess the costs and benefits of installing audio visual systems on buses. The research project has brought together a cross section of stakeholders, including Guide Dogs, Royal National Institute of Blind People and Royal National Institute for Deaf People.
Driving Instruction: Training
Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of expenditure by the Driving Standards Agency on the design, promotion and implementation of the programme of continuing professional development for driving instructors in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Highways Agency: Telephone Services
John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 24 January 2011,Official Report, column 83W, on the Highways Agency: telephone services, what proportion of calls to the Highways Agency public helpline were unanswered in each week of November and December 2010. 
Mike Penning: The following table shows the proportion of calls unanswered in each week of November and December 2010. Calls abandoned within 60 seconds are not counted as part of our abandoned call target as customers are given information in front end messages which may provide the answer required without the need to speak to an adviser. This is the agreed internal key performance indicator in line with industry standards.
|Week commencing||Received||Answered||Abandoned after 60- second wait||P ercentage abandoned after 60- second wait|
Large Goods Vehicles
Mr Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the acknowledged stopping time is for heavy goods vehicles travelling within each legal speed limit; and if he will make a statement. 
|Speed (mph)||Time (seconds)|
Large Goods Vehicles: Technology
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will bring forward legislative proposals to make anti jack-knifing technology such as anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, electromagnetic braking systems or manually operated trailer brakes mandatory for all freight vehicles on UK roads; and if he will make a statement. 
Mike Penning: Legislation introduced in Great Britain in May 2002 requires all heavy commercial vehicles and their trailers, with a maximum gross weight exceeding 3500kg, to be fitted with anti-lock braking systems.
A large number of new heavy commercial vehicles and their trailers are also fitted with electronic braking systems. In addition, electronic stability systems will be required on new vehicles and trailers under a phased introduction starting in November 2011.
European wide legislation on vehicle and trailer construction standards is already in place. While there are no plans to mandate specific anti jack-knifing technology, the introduction of advanced stability and braking systems on new vehicles will help to reduce loss of control situations which can lead to vehicle jack knifing.
Speed Limits: Cameras
Mike Penning: We have made a commitment that information about cameras will be easily available to the public by April 2011. This could include data about accident rates at camera sites, vehicle speeds and the numbers of motorists prosecuted or offered training after offences recorded by cameras.
Public bodies should be accountable and if taxpayers’ money is being spent on speed cameras then it is right that information about their effectiveness is available to the public. These proposals will help show what impact cameras are having on accident and casualty rates and also how the police are dealing with offenders. This is in line with our commitment to improve transparency of Government data so that the public are able to make more informed judgments about the work of local and central Government.
Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has made an assessment of the extent of regional variation in the uptake of electric cars; and what plans he has to encourage uptake in areas which have reported lower sales. 
Norman Baker: The nationwide Plug-In Car Grant was launched successfully on 1 January 2011 and will help both private consumers and businesses across the UK purchase an electric, plug-in hybrid, or hydrogen-fuelled car. We will monitor this developing market closely, including any regional variations.
Norman Baker: On the 19 January the Government published a Local Transport White Paper-“Creating Growth, Cutting Carbon”. This strategy encourages greater use of public transport and more active travel, including cycling.
The Government have announced a Local Sustainable Transport Fund of £560 million over four years for local authorities to bid for funding for sustainable travel packages, including measures to encourage cycling to work.
The Department has also launched an electronic cycle journey planner, available via Transport Direct. People who would like to cycle can choose the quietest, quickest or most recreational route between two points. This is currently live in 31 areas and near England-wide coverage is expected by the end of March 2011.
The DfT continues to support the Cycle to Work scheme through the provision of the Cycle to Work scheme implementation guidance and any further advice required by employers and employees via telephone and written correspondence.
In addition the Department funds the National Business Travel Network, which launched a ‘ways2work’ tool kit in November 2010 to help people and businesses work more efficiently. The tool kit includes a section on commuting and encouraging cycling and walking for work.
Norman Baker: A strategy setting out how the installation of charging infrastructure can be promoted across the UK is due to be published in the summer of 2011. This will include the role of infrastructure in addressing range anxiety.
Electric Vehicles: Rural Areas
Norman Baker: The Secretary of State for Transport announced the outcome of the second round of Plugged-In Places funding on 14 December 2010. Five projects were successful-based in Northern Ireland, Central Scotland, Greater Manchester, the Midlands and the East of England. These supplement the three existing projects in London, Milton Keynes and the North East. The projects cover a wide range of different locations, from large cities to rural areas and a range of technologies.
The outcomes of these projects will inform the development of national policy regarding electric vehicle infrastructure, with a strategy for promoting the installation of charging infrastructure due to be published in June 2011.
Speed Limits: Fines
Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many motorists received (a) fixed penalty notices and (b) convictions in respect of offences connected with exceeding temporary speed limits on motorways in each of the last five years. 
Data on fixed penalty notices are published within chapter 3 of the Home Office Annual Statistical Bulletin: “Police Powers and Procedures”. Data on convictions for motoring offences are published within chapter 8 of the Ministry of Justice Bulletin: “Criminal Statistics”. Current and previous editions of both publications are available online and in the Library of the House.
Tyres: Snow and Ice