PACTS Comments on Parliamentary Questions: 31 Jan – 3 Feb

Roads: Safety

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will set a precise date for the publication of his Department’s new strategic framework for road safety. [36371]

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. 

Departmental Responsibilities

Charlie Elphicke: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department has taken to give effect to the Government’s big society initiative since May 2010. [35342]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport is committed to supporting the principles of the big society.

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.

Roads: Accidents

 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. [37093]

Mike Penning: The information requested is not collected centrally by the Department for Transport.

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:

Roads: Accidents

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. [37088]

Mike Penning: The number of reported personal injury road accidents involving at least one driver below the minimum legal age required to drive that vehicle is given in the following table:

31 Jan 2011 : Column 541W

31 Jan 2011 : Column 542W

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
Accidents
Police force code 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

Great Britain

1,237

987

814

639

520

Avon and Somerset

44

32

19

25

19

Bedfordshire

20

17

9

3

8

Cambridgeshire

20

16

13

8

5

Cheshire

27

16

19

12

12

City of London

0

1

0

0

0

Cleveland

8

7

6

3

4

Cumbria

9

4

4

4

5

Derbyshire

15

17

10

13

15

Devon and Cornwall

72

51

41

28

28

Dorset

23

8

14

9

4

Durham

6

10

7

13

10

Essex

20

34

29

21

7

Gloucestershire

8

8

11

5

5

Greater Manchester

89

63

35

25

13

Hampshire

35

35

28

15

14

Hertfordshire

21

13

10

11

4

Humberside

34

12

13

9

12

Kent

43

44

24

21

18

Lancashire

40

21

25

25

22

Leicestershire

20

14

7

10

9

Lincolnshire

13

10

8

5

4

Merseyside

38

27

22

10

12

Metropolitan Police

101

76

61

63

43

Norfolk

9

10

9

10

3

North Yorkshire

12

9

8

2

8

Northamptonshire

12

8

4

9

5

Northumbria

29

21

20

17

15

Nottinghamshire

25

24

21

12

13

South Yorkshire

51

35

31

18

16

Staffordshire

17

26

20

7

4

Suffolk

10

7

5

14

8

Surrey

28

15

8

23

13

Sussex

38

24

27

17

13

Thames Valley

32

31

21

18

10

Warwickshire

11

12

7

11

6

West Mercia

17

7

10

4

17

West Midlands

62

33

36

23

20

West Yorkshire

44

58

49

31

30

Wiltshire

8

10

7

4

5

Dyfed-Powys

10

5

8

4

1

Gwent

10

10

9

2

6

North Wales

7

13

7

5

5

South Wales

20

18

22

11

10

Central

4

5

4

8

3

Dumfries and Galloway

4

3

2

1

2

Fife

1

1

3

4

1

Grampian

9

10

7

6

8

Lothian and Borders

10

14

23

13

9

Northern

7

8

0

5

1

Strathclyde

36

26

26

17

11

Tayside

8

8

5

5

4

(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.

Mr Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to reduce the number of accidents involving (a) motorcyclists, (b) cyclists and (c) pedestrians. [37252]

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.

31 Jan 2011 : Column 543W

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. [37706]

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.

The number of reported personal injury road accidents involving animals as hazards in the carriageway by (a) A-roads and (b) motorways in the last five years is shown in the following table:

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

A-r oads Motorways

2005

473

36

2006

492

29

2007

450

33

2008

371

18

2009

354

25

(1) Except ridden horse.

Bus Services: Disability Aids

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the merits of requiring the introduction of audio and visual information systems on all new buses. [35999]

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.

We will take account of the results of this work in considering any changes to the Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations 2000 (PSVAR).The project is due to report shortly.

 

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. [35388]

31 Jan 2011 : Column 535W

Mike Penning [holding answer 24 January 2011]: The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) can provide the answer in full only at disproportionate cost.

Continuing professional development (CPD) for driving instructors was developed as an element of the agency’s modernising driver training (MDT) project and is being promoted on a voluntary basis.

Since 1 April 2008, DSA has spent £111,532 on the design and promotion of voluntary CPD within the driving instructor industry.

DSA is, at this time, unable to readily identify other costs relating specifically to CPD, such as the cost of implementing it, as it is only one element of the wider MDT project.

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. [36817]

31 Jan 2011 : Column 538W

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

1 November

2,507

2,285

85

3.4

8 November

2,947

2,541

185

6.3

15 November

2,373

2,147

106

4.5

22 November

3,677

3,228

217

5.9

29 November

9,231

6,311

1,298

14.1

6 December

3,772

3,377

165

4.4

13 December

8,072

4,098

2,524

31.3

20 December

6,449

4,963

921

14.3

27 December

1,444

1,371

29

2.0

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. [35732]

Mike Penning: Stopping time and distance depends on a number of factors, including road conditions, driver-reaction time and also the condition of the vehicle including its tyres.

We would expect the minimum stopping time for heavy goods vehicles would be according to the following table:

Speed (mph) Time (seconds)

30

3.9

40

4.8

50

5.7

60

6.6

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. [37185]

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

Henry Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps is he taking to make speed camera data(a) in Sussex and (b) nationally more accessible to the public. [35729]

31 Jan 2011 : Column 544W

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.

 

Electric Vehicles

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. [36920]

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.

The Department for Transport has committed to publishing the number of new registrations of ultra low emission vehicles on an annual basis.

 

 

Cycling

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to encourage cycling as a means of commuting. [36836]

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.

Electric Vehicles

Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department has plans to address range anxiety for owners of electric vehicles. [36909]

2 Feb 2011 : Column 800W

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.

To support and inform this strategy the Government have made available £30 million for infrastructure projects which will deliver over 8,500 charging points in eight places across the UK.

Electric Vehicles: Rural Areas

Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department has plans to install charging points for electric vehicles in rural areas. [36908]

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. [37705]

James Brokenshire: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested is not collected centrally. Motoring offences data are collected by police force area only, and cannot be broken down to specific roads.

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

Mr MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will discuss with his German counterpart the potential for use in the UK of tyres used in winter conditions in Germany. [35247]

Mike Penning: The Secretary of State for Transport will be meeting his German counterpart soon, but is not planning to discuss the use of winter tyres in the UK.

Given typical UK winter weather and the cost of winter tyres (including cost of storage and changing tyres twice a year), it would not be appropriate to mandate their use in the UK.

 

 

Share this Post: Facebook Twitter Google Plus RSS Email

Related Posts

Comments are closed.