PQs 21st – 24th Jan 2013

Railways: Safety
 
David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what safety measures have been implemented since the Tebay rail accident. [138503]
Mr Simon Burns: The RSSB (formally the Rail Safety and Standards Board) held an independent inquiry into the Tebay accident of 15 February 2004. Its report, “Track Worker Fatalities at Tebay on 15 February 2004”, was published in October 2004 (a summary is available from
www.rssb.co.uk/LEARNING/Documents/FI2884.pdf
and contained 12 recommendations. All have been successfully implemented.
In February 2012 Network Rail announced plans to spend £5 million to further improve the safety of its road-rail vehicles (“RRVs”) by adding extra disc brakes to more than 300-flat trolleys used to move materials to and from railway worksites. It is also developing a secondary protection and warning system, with the close involvement of rail unions, and other measures aimed at reducing the risks of and from runaway vehicles.
In the longer term, Network Rail is seeking to design and develop a new generation of RRVs specifically built for use on the railway. The Office of Rail Regulation, the industry’s independent health and safety regulator, has had a focused inspection programme looking to improve the safe use of RRVs since 2009 and plans to continue monitoring whether the industry is controlling the risk from and to the use of RRVs in 2013-14, including Network Rail’s development of a new generation of RRVs.
Roads: Snow and Ice
 
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to educate people on the dangers of driving in ice and snow. [138314]
Stephen Hammond: Rules 226 to 237 of the Highway Code provide practical advice on driving in adverse weather conditions. In particular, rules 228 to 231 relate specifically to icy and snowy weather. In addition the Highways Agency website has also published seasonal advice on planning journeys and driving safely in different kinds of weather, including winter conditions.
Buses: Safety Belts
 
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent representations he has received on amending legislation relating to the use of seat belts in coaches. [138316]
Stephen Hammond: The Department has received three items of ministerial correspondence about the rules governing the use of seat belts in coaches and buses in the last three months.
Driving: Licensing
Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will estimate the number of individuals driving in the UK on (a) driving licences issued inside the European Union and (b) driving licences issued outside the European Union; and if he will make a statement. [137532]
Stephen Hammond: The law allows drivers from the European Community to drive until they reach the age of 70 (or the age of 45 for holders of bus and lorry licences), while drivers from outside the European Union may drive here for up to 12 months from their date of last entry to the UK. Information on those driving on licences issued outside the UK is not recorded.
Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to reduce the number of non-UK driving licence holders who do not apply for a full UK driving licence within 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [137585]
Stephen Hammond: The law already requires driving licence holders from outside the European Community to exchange their driving licence or pass the relevant driving test if they wish to continue driving beyond 12 months. Those who fail to do so commit an offence. Enforcement is a matter for the police and the courts. Drivers who continue to drive beyond the 12 month period commit an offence and risk a fine of up to £1,000 and three to six penalty points.
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