PQs 16th – 26th Jan 2012

Pedicabs
 
Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what representations she has received on the application of traffic regulations to pedicabs since June 2010; [90894]
(2) what recent discussions she has had with (a) the Mayor of London and (b) Transport for London on the safety of pedicabs; [90915]
(3) what discussions she has had with (a) the police and (b) the Secretary of State for the Home Department on parking and traffic offences committed by riders of pedicabs or rickshaws. [90916]
 
Mrs Villiers: Pedicabs outside London are already regarded in law as “hackney carriages” (taxis) and local licensing authorities have the power to license them under the existing legislation which applies to hackney carriages. However, in London, pedicabs do not fall within the legal classification of a hackney carriage and are therefore not subject to formal licensing controls.
In London, pedicabs are the responsibility of the Mayor of London and Transport for London. The Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Justine Greening), has not received any applications of traffic regulations to pedicabs since 2010.
Enforcement of traffic regulations in London is the responsibility of Transport for London, London borough councils, the Metropolitan Police and ultimately the Home Office.
We have no record of these matters being discussed recently.
Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the provisions of the Disability Discrimination (Transport Vehicle) Regulations 2006 apply to pedicabs; and what assessment her Department has made of the compliance of pedicabs with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. [90914]
Mrs Villiers: The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 has now been replaced by the Equality Act 2010. Section 29 of the Equality Act essentially prohibits discrimination in the provision of services; this would include the provision of a pedicab service.
Pedicabs outside London are already regarded in law as “hackney carriages” (taxis) and local licensing authorities have the power to license them under the existing legislation which applies to hackney carriages. However, in London, pedicabs do not fall within the legal classification of a hackney carriage and are therefore not subject to formal licensing controls.
In London, pedicabs are the responsibility of the Mayor of London and Transport for London. As such the Department has not carried out any specific assessment of compliance with Section 29.
Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment her Department has made of the (a) safety and (b) roadworthiness of pedicabs. [90964]
Mike Penning: The Department has made no assessment of the safety and roadworthiness of pedicabs, however, they must comply with the requirements of the Pedal Bicycle (Safety) Regulations 2010, the Pedal Cycle (Construction & Use) Regulations 1983, the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989, and if they are electrically assisted, the Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles Regulations 1983.
If an electrically assisted pedicab is over 60 kg unladen weight, then it must also comply with the requirements of the Road Vehicles (Construction & Use Regulations) 1986 (as amended) as it is classed as a motor vehicle and would therefore need to be registered, insured and be issued with the appropriate road fund licence. The rider would also need to hold the correct licence.
Enforcement of these requirements would be a matter for the police.
PACTS comments: It is bizarre that pedicabs are classed as hackney carriages outside London but not within, particularly as they are numerous in the capital. In the interest of public safety the licensing and regulation of pedicabs seems sensible. Therefore the Public Carriage Office should class them as hackney carriages. 
Cycling: Accidents
Mr Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many children were (a) killed and (b) injured while riding a bicycle in the last year for which figures are available. [89506]
 
Mike Penning: The information is available in table RAS30002 of “Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: Main Results 2010” which has been published on the Department’s website at:
http://assets.dft.gov.uk/statistics/tables/ras30002.xls
Driving Under Influence: Rehabilitation
 
Paul Blomfield: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 19 December 2011, Official Report, column 1004W, on driving under influence: rehabilitation, what evidence her Department used to support its proposals on new arrangements for drink drive rehabilitation courses. [89026]
Mike Penning: We have drawn on a variety of sources of evidence to support our proposals on new arrangements for drink drive rehabilitation courses. The principle driver for change came from the findings of the Transport Research Laboratory report (No. 613, 2004) referred to in paragraphs 18, 19 and 20 of the Driving Standards Agency’s consultation paper ‘New approval arrangements for drink-drive rehabilitation courses’ of 9 November 2011.
The proposals were also based on independent audits commissioned by the Department for Transport throughout 2007-09 (referenced in the DSA consultation mentioned above, at Annex A para 10).
Driving: Eye Sight
 
Meg Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps she is taking to ensure that Group 2 drivers meet the minimum visual requirements set out in EU directives 2006/126/EC and 2009/113/EC. [88934]
Mike Penning: Directive 2006/126/EEC was adopted in December 2006; its provisions will take effect on 19 January 2013. Directive 2009/113/EC amends this directive.
Group 2 drivers are currently required to have a medical examination, which includes an eye test, at first licence application, at the age of 45 and every five years until age the age of 65 when annual medicals are needed. They are also required by law to advise DVLA if they are unable to meet the required medical standards (including the minimum visual requirements) at any time.
From 19 January 2013 Group 2 drivers will still have to undergo a medical examination when they first apply for this entitlement. Licences will have an administrative validity period of five years.
This will mean that they will expire every five years from first application to age 45. A self-declaration of continuing compliance with the minimum medical standards for driving, including appropriate vision, will be required on each five year renewal. The arrangements from 45 onwards will remain unchanged.
Level Crossings
 
Karl McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will request Network Rail to publish all risk assessments in respect of level crossings; and what assessment she made of the level of transparency in the availability of such information. [89226]
Mrs Villiers: Risk assessments at level crossings are undertaken by Network Rail in order to satisfy their legal duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. That Act requires duty holders to record the significant findings of risk assessments and reduce risks so far as is reasonably practicable. Legislative standards also ensure that the risk assessment process is sufficient and suitable.
There is currently no legal obligation to publish those risk assessments but they are available for consideration by the Office of Rail Regulation.
However, Network Rail is currently revising their risk assessment process for level crossings. Their intention is that future process takes a more collaborative approach to risk assessment with assistance provided by local stakeholders such as the relevant local authorities, level crossing users and train operators. Network Rail will also consider requests on a case by case basis for access to existing risk assessments.
Network Rail is a private sector company and the Government’s policy is to resist the expansion of burdens on companies. On this basis, we do not intend to request that Network Rail publishes all level crossing risk assessments. The Government welcome the fact, however, that Network Rail is taking steps to enhance their own transparency and is developing a voluntary publication scheme.
Karl McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment her Department has made of recent trends in the use by Network Rail of remote-controlled level crossings; what safety risk assessment has been undertaken on such crossings; and if she will assess any effects of such crossings on the level of pedestrian injuries. [89227]
 
Mrs Villiers: The Department has made no assessment of these issues. In the first instance, risk assessment and the reduction of risks at level crossings so far as is reasonably practicable is a matter for the relevant duty holder. As such, the risk assessment process and determination of appropriate safety measures to be put in place, including equipment type, is an operational safety matter for Network Rail.
The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) monitors that Network Rail is meeting their health and safety duties at level crossings. The ORR, where it administers level crossing orders on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Justine Greening), may also contribute to the risk assessment of the type of equipment deployed at a specific location including remote-controlled (CCTV) type crossings.
CCTV controlled crossings are one of the safest crossing types in use and a breakdown of level crossing safety by crossing type, and user can be found in the RSSB Annual Safety Performance Report 2010/11, available at:
http://www.rssb.co.uk/SPR/REPORTS/Pages/AnnualSafetyPerformanceReport201011.aspx
The UK has one of the best level crossing records in Europe. A significant proportion of risk in this context results from public behaviour. Network Rail and the British Transport police have various programmes aimed at addressing this problem.
Motorcycles: EU Law
Jackie Doyle-Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information her Department holds on the EU member states where the wearing of motorcycle helmets is compulsory for users of motorbikes and mopeds. [90351]
Mike Penning: The Department does not keep detailed information on this. Many, if not all, EU countries do require helmets to be worn by motorcyclists, but some allow more flexibility for moped riders.
Motorways: Safety
 
Mr Nuttall: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the criteria are which determine whether footbridges over motorways are covered for the purpose of preventing objects being thrown from them onto vehicles travelling on the motorway. [89977]
Mike Penning: The Highways Agency has published criteria for protection to be provided on the edge of new footbridges over motorways and they are described in Standard TD19/06—‘Requirements for Road Restraint Systems’ and in Standard BD 29/04—‘Design Criteria for Footbridges’. These standards are publically available through the agency’s website.
TD19/06 covers the criteria for the height and form of the parapet protection that must be provided along the edge of a footbridge, and is governed by the nature of the intended lawful use of the bridge, and whether it carries a footway, cycleway or bridleway. Where a new footbridge is being proposed, designers must consider and balance a range of issues such as cost, accessibility, safety and appearance, in developing the form and layout of the structure to encourage greater use and appreciation by the public.
Designers of new footbridges would need to consider risks and the potential for unlawful activities such as throwing objects on to passing vehicles. In such circumstances where there is an established high risk, BD 29/04 suggests that full or partial enclosures of the bridge may be considered. For existing footbridges a range of factors would be considered, some of which are covered in BD29/04.
The prevention of unlawful activities such as objects thrown from bridges is a policing matter. However, where there are significant risks or a high number of incidents at a particular location on the strategic road network in England, the Highways Agency has worked closely with the police, local community and other partners, and in the past has prepared educational packs which have proved to be effective. The Highways Agency has also arranged for visits to be made to schools and community groups to educate younger people as to the dangers and consequences of objects being thrown onto roads, and to prevent these incidents recurring.
Roads: Safety
Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what guidance she gives utility companies on the manner in which they leave the public highway after completing works. [89060]
Norman Baker: The Specification for the Reinstatement of Openings in Highways is a statutory Code of Practice which sets out the relevant standards. Compliance with the Specification is a requirement under section 71 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991. In respect of England, the most recent (third) edition of the Specification came into operation on 1 October 2010.
Driving Under Influence: Rehabilitation
Paul Blomfield: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what meetings (a) Ministers and (b) officials in her Department have had with potential providers of drink-drive rehabilitation courses. [89488]
Mike Penning: Driving Standards Agency (DSA) officials have had regular meetings and communications with potential providers of Drink Drive Rehabilitation (DDR) courses. All existing course providers are potential providers under the proposed scheme.
Since 2009, DSA has actively engaged with The Association of Drink Drive Providers of Training (ADDAPT)—the representative body for DDR course providers. DSA officials have attended ADDAPT management meetings, quarterly ADDAPT ‘full members’ meetings and taken an active part in ADDAPT Study days, including running workshops. ADDAPT has also been closely involved in the development of the DDR Scheme Course Syllabus, which DSA published to coincide with the “New approval arrangements for drink-drive rehabilitation courses” consultation paper.
Since July 2009, 20 out of the 21 existing course providers have been visited by DSA officials. DSA has also responded to a number of expressions of interest from organisations wishing to provide DDR courses. The agency corresponded with these organisations to keep them informed as to current developments and the consultation.
Motor Vehicles: Lighting
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps she is taking to raise awareness of road safety standards on correct use of headlights by vehicles in rain, snow and low-light. [90552]
Mike Penning: There are no current plans to raise, awareness of road safety standards regarding the correct use of headlights by vehicles in rain, snow and low-light. The Highways Agency’s winter campaign includes a call to “Make sure your lights are clean and check the bulbs”:
http://www.highways.gov.uk/knowledge/33230.aspx
The Highway Code also provides information for drivers when driving in adverse conditions.
Pedestrian Crossings: Accidents
 
Anne Marie Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the number of accidents that occurred on zebra crossings in the latest period for which figures are available. [90955]
Mike Penning: The Department collects information only on reported personal injury road accidents. The number of accidents involving pedestrian casualties that occurred on zebra crossings in Great Britain in 2010 was 764. This total excludes accidents on zebra crossings that did not involve pedestrian casualties.
EU Law
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which EU (a) Directives, (b) Regulations and (c) other legislation affecting her Department require transposition into UK law; and what estimate she has made of the cost to (i) the public purse and (ii) the private sector of such measures. [89689]
Norman Baker: The EU Directives requiring transposition which my Department is directly involved in implementing are:
Directive 2003/20/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 April 2003 amending Council Directive 91/671/EEC on the approximation of laws of the member states relating to compulsory use of safety belts in vehicles of less than 3.5 tonnes (one discrete aspect remaining);
Directive 2006/126/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on driving licences;
Directive 2008/57/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 on the interoperability of the rail system within the Community;
Commission Directive 2008/65/EEC of 27 June 2008 amending Directive 91/439/EEC on driving licences;
Directive 2008/110/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 amending Directive 2004/49/EC on safety of the Community’s railways (Railway Safety Directive);
Council Directive 2009/13/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2009 implementing the Agreement concluded by the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) on the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, and amending Directive 1999/63/EC;
Directive 2009/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 establishing the fundamental principles governing the investigation of accidents in the maritime transport sector and amending Council Directive 1999/35/EC and Directive 2002/59/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council;
Directive 2009/20/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the insurance of shipowners for maritime claims;
Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC;
Directive 2009/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 amending Directive 98/70/EC as regards the specification of petrol, diesel and gas oil and introducing a mechanism to monitor and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and amending Council Directive 1999/32/EC as regards the specification of fuel used by inland waterway vessels and repealing Directive 93/12/EEC;
Directive 2009/40/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 May 2009 on roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and their trailers;
Commission Directive 2009/149/EC of 27 November 2009 amending Directive 2004/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards Common Safety Indicators and common methods to calculate accident costs;
Commission Directive 2010/36/EU of 1 June 2010 amending Directive 2009/45/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on safety rules and standards for passenger ships;
Commission Directive 2010/47/EU of 5 July 2010 adapting to technical progress Directive 2000/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the technical roadside inspection of the roadworthiness of commercial vehicles circulating in the Community;
Directive 2010/40/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 July 2010 on the framework for the deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems in the field of road transport and for interfaces with other modes of transport;
Directive 2010/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 October 2010 on reporting formalities for ships arriving in and/or departing from ports of the member states and repealing Directive 2002/6/EC;
Commission Directive 2011/18/EU of 1 March 2011 amending Annexes II, V and VI to Directive 2008/57/EC of the Parliament and of the Council on the interoperability of the rail system within the Community;
Commission Directive 2011/63/EU of 1 June 2011 amending, for the purposes of its adaptation to technical progress, Directive 98/70/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels;
Commission Directive 2011/75/EU of 2 September 2011 amending Directive 96/98/EC on marine equipment; and Directive 2011/72/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 September 2011 amending Directive 2000/25/EC as regards the provision for tractors placed on the market under the flexibility scheme.
EU Regulations have direct effect and so do not require transposition although it may be necessary to introduce some related measures, for example to ensure that there are effective remedies and penalties.
All EU Directives that impact on business or have a major impact on the public sector will have a full impact assessment (IA) carried out on them prior to being transposed. The assessment will include analysing the impacts on the public purse and private sector. These IAs are available on the Department’s website at the consultation stage and on the legislation.gov.uk website on enactment of the transposing measure.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether her Department holds information on the EU regulations in its policy area which have not been implemented in (a) France and (b) Germany and the dates on which those regulations became EU law; and if she will make a statement. [90701]
Norman Baker: To the extent that the information requested is held by the Department, it is not in a systematic form. I therefore regret that providing an accurate answer would impose a disproportionate cost. However, this information is held on the European Commission’s EUR-Lex website at:
http://eur-lex.europa.eu
Motorways: Accidents
Mrs Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions she has had with representatives of the emergency services on the proposed changes to the Incident and Support Unit service; and if she will publish the minutes of any such discussions. [90598]
Mike Penning: The Highways Agency is responsible for operating and maintaining the Strategic Road Network (SRN). The Agency has undertaken liaison with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). Discussions have taken place at ACPO/Highways Agency Partnership Board (November 2011) and the North West Police Liaison meeting (September 2011). Relevant extracts of the minutes of these meetings will be placed in the Libraries of the House.
This liaison will be supplemented by the Agency’s attendance at the Roads Policing Operations Forum on 19 January 2012.
Additionally, the Agency routinely engages with police at a regional level.
Driving: Licensing
Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if she will estimate the length of time required to update (a) driving licences and (b) Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency records when recording a change in medical circumstances; [92232]
(2) whether the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency sets targets in respect of the return of driving licences submitted as a consequence of changed medical circumstances; [92233]
26 Jan 2012 : Column 321W
(3) what representations she has received on the amount of time the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency holds driving licences submitted as a consequence of changed medical circumstances. [92234]
Mike Penning: Changes in medical circumstances notified to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) require investigations to establish if the individual is fit to drive. Once these are completed a licence is either issued straight away, or the individual is informed that it has been refused or revoked. Records are updated as soon as licensing decisions are made. Where there is a change in medical circumstances the DVLA currently responds to 87% of its cases within 71 days. Just under half are dealt with within 14 days. Medical cases are often complex and require external specialists to provide information which can have an impact on response times.
The Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Justine Greening), has set targets for consideration of notifications of changed medical circumstances. These are:
1. to complete 88% of medical applications, where sufficient medical information is provided with the initial application, within 15 days; and
2. to complete 85% of medical applications, where further information is required, within 90 days.
In 2011, DVLA exceeded both targets. Where sufficient medical information was provided with the original application, 97% of driving licences were returned within 15 days. Where further medical inquiries were needed 90% of applications were returned within 90 working days.
In 2011, the DVLA received 322 representations about the time taken to update the driving licence when medical inquiries were required.
Buses: Testing
 
Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the MOT failure rate was for bus and coach operators in Vehicle and Operator Services Agency area 3, including (a) Go North East, (b)
26 Jan 2012 : Column 320W
Stagecoach Cumbria,
(c)
Stagecoach North East,
(d)
Snaiths Coaches,
(e)
Scarlet Band Motor Services,
(f)
Redby Travel,
(g)
Kingsley Coaches,
(h)
Henry Cooper,
(i)
First Choice Travel,
(j)
Classic Coaches,
(k)
Arriva North East and
(l)
A-Line Coaches in each of the last five years. [91662]
Mike Penning: MOT failure results are not available by operator as the data is commercially in-confidence.
Vehicle and Operator Services Agency’s North East Area MOT results for bus and coach operators (PSVs) are displayed in the following table:
Test result 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11

Pass

2,838

2,863

3,068

3,150

3,178

Fail

648

553

542

455

455

PRS

477

455

390

360

300

Prohibitions

11

21

19

16

15

Total tests

3,974

3,892

4,019

3,981

3,948

Note: PRS results are Pass after Rectification at Station and represent minor defects such as loose screws/bolts, bulbs out etc. that could be repaired or replaced safely at the test site with little difficulty. They are then tested again for that defect alone after the repair on the same day and a pass certificate is issued.
Roads: Accidents
 
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road traffic accidents involved incorrect use of headlights as a contributory factor in Shrewsbury and Atcham constituency in (a) 2008, (b) 2009 and (c) 2010. [90551]
Mike Penning: Information specifically on the “incorrect use of headlights” as a contributory factor in road accidents is not collected by the Department. However, the following table shows the number of reported personal injury road accidents in the West Midlands which had “dazzling headlights” or “not displaying lights at night or in poor visibility” recorded as a contributory factor, over the period 2008-10. To protect the privacy of those involved in accidents, information on contributory factors is not released below former Government Office Region level.
Contributory factors are reported only for injury road accidents where a police officer attended the scene and reported at least one contributory factor. These factors are largely subjective, reflecting the attending officer’s opinion at the time of reporting. It is recognised that subsequent inquiries could lead to the reporting officer changing their opinion.
Reported personal injury road accidents (1) involving “dazzling headlights” or “not displaying lights at night or in poor visibility” as a contributory factor in the West Midlands, 2008-10
2008 2009 2010

Not displaying lights at night or in poor visibility

52

45

36

Dazzling headlights

35

35

26

(1 )Includes only accidents where a police officer attended the scene and in which a contributory factor was reported.
Motor Vehicles: Testing
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) motorcycles, (b) motor cars and (c) commercial vehicles were submitted for an MOT test in (i) the UK, (ii) England, (iii) Yorkshire and the Humber and (iv) City of York in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and how many vehicles failed the test in each case. [88848]
Mike Penning: The number of MOT tests undertaken by test class and number of failures in (i) Great Britain, (ii) England, (iii) Yorkshire and the Humber and (iv) City of York unitary authority during the calendar year 2010 are given in the following table:
Tests undertaken Fails

(i) Great Britain

Motorcycles

964,600

123,752

Classes 3 and 4: Cars , vans and passenger vehicles with up to 12 seats

26,421,628

8,037,505

Private passenger vehicles with more than 12 seats

49,045

13,539

Goods vehicles between 3,000 and non-testable vehicles include mobile cranes, diggers and non-HGV trailers. Excludes emissions-only checks.

589,261

239,613

(ii) England

Motorcycles

862,117

110,254

Classes 3 and 4: Cars , vans and passenger vehicles with up to 12 seats

22,881,777

6,803,314

Private passenger vehicles with more than 12 seats

41,393

11,332

Goods vehicles between 3,000 and non-testable vehicles include mobile cranes, diggers and non-HGV trailers. Excludes emissions-only checks.

511,400

205,005

(iii) Yorkshire and the Humber

Motorcycles

83,841

9,787

Classes 3 and 4: Cars , vans and passenger vehicles with up to 12 seats

2,155,793

712,357

Private passenger vehicles with more than 12 seats

5,037

2,519

Goods vehicles between 3,000 and non-testable vehicles include mobile cranes, diggers and non-HGV trailers. Excludes emissions-only checks.

52,114

23,867

(iv) City of York UA

Motorcycles

5,103

515

Classes 3 and 4: Cars , vans and passenger vehicles with up to 12 seats

80,269

24,479

Private passenger vehicles with more than 12 seats

98

41

Goods vehicles between 3,000 and non-testable vehicles include mobile cranes, diggers and non-HGV trailers. Excludes emissions-only checks.

1,641

620

MOT test results for Northern Ireland are not held by the Department.

MOT data are available in raw format from:

www.data.gov.uk

 

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