PQ’s 9th-20th December

PQ’s 9th-20th December

20th December

Written Statement: Drug Driving

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Mr Robert Goodwill): In May 2012 the Government introduced primary legislation to Parliament that would create a new offence of driving with a specified controlled drug in the body above the specified limit for that drug. The Crime and Courts Act 2013 sets out the framework for the new offence.

Regulations now need to be made to specify the drugs to be included in the legislation and the limits to be specified. I have today published a consultation seeking views on the Government’s proposed limit for amphetamine to be included in these regulations. The proposals follow an earlier consultation conducted over the summer on the proposed 17 drugs and limits for 16 of them. We did not propose a limit for amphetamine as we sought views in that consultation on what a suitable limit might be. We have analysed the responses and concluded that the limit should be 50microgrammes/L.
For more click here.

Written Answers:

Cycling Safety

Meg Hillier: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to improve cycle safety.

Mr Goodwill: We must continue to improve the safety of cyclists which—despite recent negative publicity—has improved markedly over the last decade.

Spending on cycling has doubled in comparison to when her party was in power which will allow further progress to be made.

 

Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to improve cycle safety.

Mr Goodwill: We must continue to improve the safety of cyclists which—despite recent negative publicity—has improved markedly over the last decade.

Spending on cycling has doubled in comparison to when his party was in power which will allow further progress to be made.

 

Pedestrian Safety

 

Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to improve safety for pedestrians.

Mr Goodwill: The Government has already taken a range of steps to improve pedestrian safety, including making it easier for local authorities to implement 20 mile per hour zones and launching a new THINK!resource centre to help teachers educate children and teens on road safety.

We will continue to work with delivery partners, including local authorities, to identify further opportunities for improving pedestrian safety.

 

Pedestrian Crossings

Sir Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will estimate the number of pelican crossings, puffin crossings and countdown crossings in operation on national and on local authority roads;

(2) what assessment he has made of the circumstances in which a pelican crossing can have a superior safety record to that of a puffin crossing;

(3) with reference to the puffin pedestrian crossing accident study published by TRL in March 2011, for what reasons his Department permits local authorities to install new pelican crossings;

(4) whether his Department needs to commission further research before mandating that local highway authorities discontinue installation or renewal of pelican crossings;

(5) if he will issue guidance to local highway authorities on the dangers of pelican crossings on roads with multi-lane approaches.

 

Mr Goodwill: The Department for Transport does not hold information on number of pelican, puffin and countdown crossings installed by local authorities.

The Highways Agency is responsible for maintaining the strategic road network in association with its service providers. There are approximately 400 pelican crossings and 200 crossings of other types on that network.
For more information click here.

 

19th December

Driving: Young People

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to publish his Department’s green paper on the safety of young drivers.

Mr Goodwill: The safety of young people on our roads is very important to us. Too many young people die, too often. But we are wrestling with how to make things safer, while not unduly restricting the freedom of our young people. We want young people to be able to get to work and training, to education and to leisure activities, and we want them to do so safely. We are finding this a difficult balance, with passionate voices on both sides. We will issue a paper when we have considered this further.

Pedestrian Crossings

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will estimate the number of (a) pelican, (b) puffin and (c)countdown crossings in operation;

(2) if he will estimate the number of new (a) pelican and (b) puffin crossings installed in (i) 2010, (ii) 2011 and (iii) 2012;

(3) how many local highways authorities installed pelican crossings in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012;

(4) with reference to the puffin pedestrian crossing accident study published by TRL in March 2011, for what reasons his Department permits local authorities to install new pelican crossings;

(5) what assessment he has made of whether available research evidence permits firm conclusions about the relative safety performance of pelican and other types of pedestrian crossing; and what guidance his Department issues to local authorities on that matter;

(6) if he will issue guidance to local authorities on the dangers of pelican crossings on roads with multi-lane approaches.

 

Mr Goodwill: The Department for Transport (DFT) does not hold information on numbers of pelican and puffin crossings installed by local authorities during the period 2010-12 or which local authorities installed those crossings.

Decisions on what type of crossing to provide are for local traffic authorities, taking into account local factors such as road layout, traffic speed and volume, and pedestrian flow. Many factors contribute to the safety record of a crossing and for this reason it is not possible to provide a definitive ranking of crossing types in terms of safety.
For more information click here.

18th December

Cycling: Greater London

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans his Department has to improve road safety for cyclists in Greater London.

 

Mr Goodwill: In London, the Department for Transport devolves funding decisions to Transport for London (TfL) via the GLA Transport Grant—£1.988 billion this year. This supports TfL’s infrastructure investment programme, including the delivery of the Mayor’s Vision for Cycling in London.
For more information click here.

Pelican Crossings

Sir Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will estimate the number of new (a) pelican crossings and (b) puffin crossings installed on roads in (i) 2010, (ii) 2011 and (iii) 2012
(2) which local authorities installed new pelican crossings in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012;
(3) if he will list types of pedestrian crossing in order of their safety performance.

Mr Goodwill: The Department for Transport does not hold information on numbers of Pelican and Puffin crossings installed by local authorities during the period 2010-12 or which local authorities installed those crossings.

Decisions on what type of crossing to provide are for local traffic authorities, taking into account local factors such as road layout, traffic speed and volume, and pedestrian flow. Many factors contribute to the safety record of a crossing and for this reason it is not possible to provide a definitive ranking of crossing types in terms of safety.
For more information click here.

17th December

Large Goods Vehicles

Mr Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the practicality of fitting sensors to heavy goods vehicles for the protection of cyclists.

 

Mr Goodwill: The Department for Transport (DFT) commissioned Loughborough University in conjunction with MIRA Ltd, to assess sensing systems as part of a wider investigation on improvements to driver vision from vehicles. The report was published in 2011. The expert appraisal of sensors highlighted the differing capability of these systems in detecting vulnerable road users compared to mirrors and cameras. The research also collected information from 14 drivers routinely using vehicles fitted with sensors. They reported concerns with annoyance/distraction of the audio feedback and unreliability/over-sensitivity giving rise to false alarms. However, the Department recognises that sensor technology is developing and is currently engaging with manufacturers to understand the latest developments.

A full impact assessment of these systems will be needed before reaching a decision on requiring installation on vehicles.

EU Transport Council

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Stephen Hammond): I attended the final Transport Council of the Lithuanian presidency in Brussels on Thursday 5 December.

The Council noted progress on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Union Agency for Railways and repealing regulation (EC) no 881/2004 (part of the fourth railway package). This regulation would define a range of new tasks for the European Railway Agency following changes in the recast railway interoperability and safety directives. The presidency noted the importance of completing this regulation which would conclude consideration of the technical pillar of the fourth railway package.

 

For more information click here.

16th December

Pedestrian Crossings: Schools

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many schools had lollipop patrols in (a) 2010, (b) 2011, (c)2012 and (d) 2013 to date.

Mr Goodwill: The Department does not hold records of the number of school crossing patrol services in each local authority.The provision of the school crossing patrol service is a matter for the local authority. Legislation gives ‘Appropriate Authorities’ the power to make arrangements for the patrolling of places where children cross roads on their way to or from school, but does not impose a duty on them to do so.

For more information click here.

12th December

Helicopters: Vehicle Data Recording Devices

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport in how many and what proportion of helicopter crashes in the UK in the last 10 years no flight data recorder was fitted in the helicopter.

Mr Goodwill: In the past 10 years there have been 180 accidents involving helicopters. In 169 of these accidents no flight data recorder was fitted or required to be fitted to the aircraft.

 

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to discuss with the Civil Aviation Authority the adequacy of current requirements to have flight data recorder equipment fitted in helicopters according to their weight.

Mr Goodwill: There are currently no plans to discuss with the Civil Aviation Authority the adequacy of current requirements to have flight data equipment fitted to helicopters according to their weight.

Current flight data recorder (FDR) requirements are set under Section K of Joint Aviation Requirements for Public Transport Operations (Helicopters) Part 3 (JAR-OPS 3) for commercial helicopter operations, which will be superseded by European law through the European Aviation Safety Agency in October 2014.
For more information click here.

11th December

Driving Tests

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received on the effectiveness of the Esterman and Goldmann tests of a driver’s visual ability.

Mr Goodwill: In the past three years the Department has a record of receiving five representations from hon. Members on behalf of their constituents about the effectiveness of the Esterman and Goldmann methods used to test a driver’s eyesight.

 

Highways Agency

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the proposed Government-owned company replacing the Highways Agency will be able to borrow at (a) government or (b) private industry rates.

Mr Goodwill: The new company will be funded directly from public funds and therefore it is not expected that external borrowing is going to be a requirement for financing activities. However the Department is still working on the detailed financial arrangements for the company including whether any borrowing might be required and if so on what basis.

 

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the proposed Government-owned company replacing the Highways Agency will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

 Mr Goodwill: We are currently in the middle on a consultation process which will close on 20 December.We expect the Freedom of Information Act will continue to apply to Highways Agency in its new form.

 

Large Goods Vehicles

 Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when his Department will publish its review of sidebar exemptions for HGVs.

Mr Goodwill: The Department will publish its review of exemptions for sideguards fitted to HGVs in early 2014. Work is ongoing to develop an impact assessment to understand fully the cost and benefits of any changes to the current exemptions.

For more information click here.


10th December

Cycling: Accidents

 

Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many cyclists were (a) killed and (b) seriously injured whilst wearing headphones in each of the last three years.

Mr Goodwill: The information requested is not held centrally.

Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many cyclists were (a) killed and (b) seriously injured whilst not wearing a helmet in each of the last three years.

 

Mr Goodwill: The Department recently started to collect information on whether reported pedal cyclist casualties were wearing a helmet at the time of accident. In 2012, the Department only received this information for 8% of killed or seriously injured (KSI) pedal cyclists. The remaining 92% of cases were unknown.

Of the 8% of KSI casualties where this information is available, 52% were not wearing a helmet.

 

Large Goods Vehicles: Safety

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the outcome of his Department’s review of exemptions from safety standards in current heavy goods vehicle regulations was.

Mr Goodwill: The review is not finalised and work is ongoing to develop an impact assessment to understand fully the cost and benefits before reaching a decision on changing the current side guard exemptions.From 29 October 2014 all new goods vehicles will have to comply with revised European rules, which permit fewer exemptions than the current domestic legislation.

 

Roads: Accidents

Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people were (a) killed and (b) seriously injured whilst working on the hard shoulder in each of the last three years.

Mr Goodwill: The following data has been provided by the Highways Agency who manage and operate the Strategic Road Network in England:

 

For more information click here.

 

Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many accidents involved construction vehicles in London in each of the last three years.

Mr Goodwill: The information request is not available. The Department does not hold “construction” vehicles as a vehicle type category in the reported personal injury road accident database (STATS19).

 

9th December

Large Goods Vehicles

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 22 November 2013, Official Report,column 1051W, on large goods vehicles, for what reason his assessment that longer semi-trailers are able to match the performance of existing semi-trailers differs from the assessments in paragraphs 23 and 24 of his Department’s consultation on the possibility of allowing an increase in the length of articulated lorries and in paragraph 3.2.6 of his Department’s publication, Longer Semi-trailers feasibility study and impact assessment, published in March 2011.

Mr Goodwill: The Feasibility Study and consultation documents both stated that if longer semi-trailers used existing steering technology then they would comply with existing regulations, albeit with a slightly increased tail swing. The degree of tail swing depends on the axle configuration.

For more information click here.

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