PQs 23rd – 26th April 2012

 
Safety Belts
 
Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will publish the seatbelt wearing rates in the front and rear seats for each age group for the last five years; and if she will make a statement. [103759]
Mike Penning [holding answer 19 April 2012]: In the last five years the Department has published the seat belt wearing rates for front and rear seats broken down by age group, for the years 2007 to 2009. The most recent usage statistics are available from the Department for Transport and Transport for London’s website at:
http://www.dft.gov.uk/statistics/releases/seatbelt-and-mobile-phone-use-surveys-2009-results/
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/mobile-phone-and-seat-belt-report-london-08.pdf
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/mobile-phone-and-seat-belt-usage-rates-london-2007.pdf
Speed Limits
Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether her Department’s review of circular 1/06, setting local speed limits, will consider the effect of widespread 20 mph limits on cyclist safety and levels of cycling. [104483]
Norman Baker: The current circular indicates that cycling should be considered in the setting of speed limits. We are considering available evidence related to widespread 20 mph limits in t
Dual Carriageways
Paul Maynard: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many miles of single carriageway A-roads were dualled between May (a) 1997 and (b) 2010. [103386]
Mike Penning: The Highways Agency dualled 64 miles of single carriageway, major A roads between May 2002 and May 2010.
Note s :
1. The HA is only responsible for managing the strategic road network in England.
2. The figure above relates only to major A-road improvements delivered by the Highways Agency (HA).
3. The HA only holds details of major A-road improvement schemes completed since May 2002.
4. The figure only includes HA major schemes improvements. Data are not held centrally for HA minor schemes improvements.
5. Only schemes where the A-road has been dualled in both directions are included. The miles quoted are total scheme lengths.
Roads: Pedestrians
 
Question
Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Attlee on 20 March (WA 160), whether they will take action, through signage or other measures, to ensure (1) blind and disabled pedestrians, and (2) other pedestrians, are not put at risk by cyclists or motor vehicles when using pavements, and to ensure that cyclists and motorists are informed of the rights of pedestrians. [HL16765]
Lord De Mauley: The Department for Transport has no plans to take any additional action in this respect. The onus is on all road users to familiarise themselves with the rules of the Highway Codes for Great Britain and Northern Ireland, including those concerning the use of pavements.
Transport: Semi-trailers
 
Question
Asked by Lord Bradshaw
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the semi-trailers permitted in the trial that started in January 2012, (1) have a larger blind spot than conventional heavy goods vehicles; (2) pose any increased risk to cyclists compared to conventional heavy goods vehicles; (3) are required to fit motion sensors or cameras to increase safety in blind spots; and (4) have any special conditions as regards accessing narrow roads or city centres.[HL16725]
Lord De Mauley: The research undertaken by the Transport Research Laboratory concluded that the field of view from the cab of the HGV is not expected to be affected by changes to the length of semi-trailers.
While the research identified a potential increase in risk of up to 9 per cent compared to conventional heavy goods vehicles, the report made clear that the risk analyses had been deliberately conservative and were likely to produce an over-estimate. The research also indicated that, for many trailer configurations, the overall length-relevant accident involvement rates (accidents per billion vehicle kilometres) would actually decrease. Overall it was considered likely that the effects of the measures under consideration would be sufficiently small to make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to identify them in a reliable post-hoc analysis after implementation or to have any measurable effect on the overall long-term downward trend in HGV accident involvement rates.
The trial does not require the fitting of motion sensors or cameras as it wishes to compare the performance of these lorries directly with that of conventional heavy goods vehicles, which are not required to be so fitted. However, if trial participants choose to incorporate these elements in the trailers they operate, the trial will identify these and monitor their impacts.
There are no special conditions regarding access. These vehicles are within the maximum dimensions permitted for other heavy goods vehicles, and comply with the turning circle requirements of the construction and use regulations.
Transport: Eyesight Tests
 
Questions
Asked by Lord Bradshaw
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Attlee on 21 March (WA 180-1), how many collisions between (1) heavy goods vehicles, (2) buses and coaches, and (3) other vehicles, and (a) pedestrians, and (b) cyclists, involve drivers with defective vision.[HL16723]
Lord De Mauley: The number of reported personal injury road accidents in Great Britain between (1) heavy goods vehicles, (2) buses and coaches, and (3) other vehicles, and (a) pedestrians, and (b) cyclists, involving drivers with uncorrected or defective eyesight as a contributory factor is given in the table:
Number of accidents by vehicle type
Vehicle type (a) Pedestrian, injured by vehicle (b) Pedal cycle

2008

HGV

0

0

Bus or Coach

0

0

Other vehicle

34

1

2009

HGV

0

0

Bus or Coach

0

0

Other vehicle

23

3

2010

HGV

0

0

Bus or Coach

0

0

Other vehicle

24

4

The contributory factors reflect the reporting officer’s opinion at the time of reporting and are not necessarily the result of extensive investigation. Moreover it is recognised that subsequent inquires could lead to the reporting officer changing his opinion. It is important to note that where some factors may have contributed to a cause of an accident, it may be difficult for a police officer attending the scene after the accident has occurred to identify these factors.
Cyclists: Safety
 
Question
Asked by Lord Bradshaw
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what cyclist safety requirements they consider necessary in the development of cycle hire schemes.[HL16728]
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The provision of cycle hire schemes and the safety of any equipment is a matter for local authorities and scheme operators.
However, the Government are taking steps to make cycling safer for everyone, whether using a hire bike or their own. For instance, we have recently announced that councils are now free to use Trixi mirrors at junctions and have also made it easier for local authorities to introduce 20 mph zones and limits more efficiently. The Department for Transport is also leading discussions at European level on improving standards for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) to help reduce accidents caused by poor visibility,
We are also considering how to increase motorists’ awareness of cyclists’ issues. We have made the driving test more realistic and less predictable, and are considering how to improve training for drivers after they pass their test to help them develop their driving skills and knowledge. Every driving theory test includes six questions relating to cyclists or other vulnerable road users. We are also keen to look at how we can incorporate a greater degree of cyclist awareness in the driver certificate of professional competence for HGV drivers.
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