PQs 14th – 17th May

Mobility Scooters
 
Michael Connarty: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether she plans to license mobility scooters. [106544]
 
Norman Baker: There are no plans to require users of mobility scooters to hold the equivalent of a driving licence. However, both new and second-hand Class 3 vehicles are required to be registered with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.
 
Michael Connarty: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road accidents involved mobility scooters in each of the last three years for which figures are available. [106545]
Norman Baker: Road casualty statistics do not currently include mobility scooters as a separate vehicle category. However, I am pleased that from 2013, the police will be able to record whether an accident on the public highway has involved a mobility vehicle.
In 2010, the Department commissioned an Office of National Statistics Opinions omnibus survey of public attitudes towards mobility scooter users. It included a question about the extent to which their use may have caused injuries to people. The survey found that 17% of those interviewed either had been injured or knew someone who had been injured by a mobility scooter.
PACTS comments: Mobility scooters offer vitally important independence to users who have mobility difficulties. Over recent years there have been some questions regarding the level of safety for both the users and other road users. There is a lack of data available to assess the extent of any risk, therefore the inclusion of mobility vehicles in road casualty statistics is an important step. 
Roads: Accidents
 
Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information her Department holds on the number of road traffic accidents which were due to a driver being distracted by smoking in the last 12 months. [106654]
 
Norman Baker: The information requested is not available.
However, Table RAS50001, in the DfT publication “Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: annual report 2010” shows the number and proportion of reported personal injury road accidents which had “Distraction in vehicle” recorded as a contributory factor, in Great Britain in 2010. Table RAS50001 can be found using the following link:
http://www.dft.gov.uk/statistics/tables/ras50001/
Note that 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 enquires could lead to the reporting officer changing their opinion.
Alok Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many cyclist fatalities there were in road traffic accidents in Reading West constituency in each of the last 10 years. [106793]
Norman Baker: There were no cyclists killed in reported personal injury road accidents in Reading West constituency in the last 10 years for which data are available.
Alok Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road traffic accidents there were in Reading West constituency in each of the last 10 years; and how many of those accidents involved (a) cyclists and (b) motorbikes. [106794]
 
Norman Baker: The information requested is given in following table:
Number of personal injury road accidents in Reading West constituency (1) , 2001-10
Number of accidents involving
All accidents (a) Pedal cyclists (b) Motorcyclists

2001

299

28

57

2002

321

37

64

2003

310

39

48

2004

262

37

47

2005

268

28

34

2006

248

27

35

2007

239

31

39

2008

215

32

23

2009

238

44

24

2010

205

36

32

(1) Based on 2010 parliamentary boundaries.

 

Level Crossings: Accidents
 
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many incidents reported at level crossings involved collisions between trains and (a) pedestrians and (b) road vehicles in each of the last 10 years; how many such incidents resulted in a fatality; and where such incidents occurred. [108014]
Mrs Villiers: This information is not held by the Department for Transport. The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) and the RSSB collate figures of incidents and accidents on the railway that are reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995.
Safety statistics for railways are available on the RSSB website at:
www.rssb.co.uk
In addition, the ORR reports annually on safety performance, including at level crossings.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport at which level crossings safety works have been undertaken following an incident involving a collision between a train and (a) pedestrians and (b) road vehicles in each of the last 10 years. [108015]
Mrs Villiers: This information is not held by the Department for Transport. Safety at level crossings is a matter for the relevant railway safety duty holder. These duty holders, such as Network Rail, have a legal obligation to reduce risks at level crossings so far as is reasonably practicable.
It is the responsibility of the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) to monitor that railway duty holders meet those obligations, and to take enforcement action to secure improvements as necessary.
Roads
 
Mr Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much the Highways Agency spent on downgrading lay-bys to emergency use only in (a) Suffolk, (b) the East of England and (c) England in each of the last five years; and how many were so downgraded in each year in each area. [106498]
Norman Baker [holding answer 14 May 2012]: Highways Agency lay-bys downgraded to emergency use only:
Suffolk only East of England (excluding Suffolk) England (excluding Suffolk and East of England)
Cost (£) Number Cost (£) Number Cost (£) Number

2007-08

158,543

1

0

0

0

0

2008-09

0

0

0

0

n/a

1

2009-10

22,000

2

33,000

3

182,000

9

2010-11

20,236

2

0

0

n/a

1

2011-12

0

0

0

0

0

0

All costs quoted are approximate, as many lay-by downgrades were undertaken as part of larger maintenance schemes.
Mr Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much the Highways Agency spent on upgrading substandard lay-bys in (a) Suffolk, (b) the East of England and (c) England in each of the last five years; and how many substandard lay-bys were upgraded in each area in each year. [106499]
Norman Baker [holding answer 14 May 2012]: Highways Agency lay-bys that have been upgraded:
Suffolk only East of England (excluding Suffolk) England (excluding Suffolk and East of England)
Cost (£) Number Cost (£) Number Cost (£) Number

2007-08

0

0

0

0

766,423

4

2008-09

0

0

0

0

570,079

4

2009-10

0

0

158,850

7

3,734,741

12

2010-11

91,330

2

227,338

2

434,651

11

2011-12

0

0

0

0

0

0

All costs quoted are approximate, as many lay-by upgrades have been undertaken as part of larger improvement schemes.
Not all lay-bys were classed as sub-standard by the Highway Agency. Some were enhanced as part of larger schemes.
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