Parliamentary Questions: 27th January-3rd February

Parliamentary Questions: 27th January-3rd February

3rd February

Cycling: Accidents

John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of accidents on the national trunk road network that led to the death or serious injury of a cyclist involved a heavy goods vehicle in each of the last five years.

Mr Goodwill: The proportion of reported road accidents on the English trunk road network1 that led to the death or serious injury of a cyclist which involved a heavy goods vehicle in each of the last five years is given.

 

For further information click here.

 

Driving under the influence: Drugs

 

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to include information on the new drug driving offence in the driving theory test; and if he will make a statement.

 

Stephen Hammond: We currently have no plans to include information about the new drug driving offence in the theory test. We make our position on drug driving clear in the Highway Code, rule 96, which states:

 

“ … you MUST NOT drive under the influence of drugs or medicine. Check the instructions or ask your doctor or pharmacist. Using illegal drugs is highly dangerous. Never take them if you intend to drive; the effects are unpredictable, but can be even more severe than alcohol and may result in fatal or serious road crashes.”

We have also taken steps to raise awareness of the new drug driving offence via social media.

 

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effect on the pharmaceutical industry of the changes required to patient information leaflets following the introduction of the new drug driving offence; and if he will make a statement.

 

Mr Goodwill: Changes to patient information leaflets are mandated through the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, which is an executive agency of the Department of Health. However, officials are currently working with a number of pharmaceutical companies to fully understand the costs they expect to incur as a result of the new drug driving legislation. These will be included in an updated impact assessment that will be presented to Parliament alongside the finalised draft regulations.

 

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to ensure that patients taking long-term medication for chronic pain and similar conditions understand the medical defence under in the drug driving legislation; and if he will make a statement.

 

Mr Goodwill: In developing its proposed drug driving legislation the Government proposed limits for those controlled drugs which are commonly taken as medication but can also be abused at a level where a road safety risk is likely to occur. This was based on advice from a panel of medical and scientific experts. These limits are above the therapeutic range of the majority of doses used for treating medical conditions.

 

For further information and debate click here.

 

Driving: Licensing

 

Mr David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will meet Google to discuss the profits that company makes from copycat websites which charge for the application for and renewal of driving licences. [185848]

Stephen Hammond: The issue around copycat websites is a cross-Government one affecting many Departments and agencies. The Cabinet Office Government Digital Service (GDS) leads on this and has set up a cross-Government response group. The Department for Transport is represented on this group which is considering how to deal with the challenges raised. GDS is in ongoing discussions with Google on matters around these websites and the clarity of information provided to customers. A ministerial meeting with Google is scheduled for 19 February 2014.

 

Driving: Young People


Richard Burden:
 To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research his Department is undertaking on the potential(a) social and economic effects of Graduating Driver Licensing, (b) the effect of reforms to young driver training and testing on road safety and (c) road safety benefits of telematics.

 

Mr Goodwill: On 9 October 2013, the Transport Research Laboratory published research, which was commissioned by the Department, concerning the effectiveness of interventions such as graduated driver licensing.

Also, in October 2013, the Driving Vehicle and Standards Agency (DVSA) published quantitative and qualitative research reports on evaluating the new learning to drive syllabus and process. In addition, the DVSA have undertaken a qualitative review of the introduction of independent driving to the driving test, which shall be published soon.

We are also considering new research into how telematics can change the behaviour and attitudes of learner drivers and we will issue a paper when we have considered this further.

 

Road Traffic Control


Andrew Gwynne:
 To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will publish his Department’s business case score for the Crown Point East bypass scheme in Denton, Greater Manchester submitted under the Pinch Point initiative; (2) if he will publish his Department’s business case scores for the projects awarded funding in the latest round of the Pinch Point initiative.

 

Mr Goodwill: The Department for Transport announced 25 local Pinch Point Fund schemes in December 2013. The fund was oversubscribed with a total of 83 applications being received by the Department in which funding of over £177 million was being requested from a total available funding pot of £55 million.

As part of the assessment of bids, a scoring system was used based on the Department’s Transport Business Case Model. Each bid was assessed independently by two assessors and a final moderated score calculated. The bids were ranked on the basis of the assessment criteria score. In addition, and due to the quality and number of bids submitted to the Department, bids were approved for funding only if they offered at least medium value for money.

The Department for Transport is currently sending feedback letters to those authorities whose bid for funding was unsuccessful. These letters will provide individual scores to those authorities, including Tameside Council in respect of the Crown Point East bypass scheme.

 

Road Traffic Control: School

Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will introduce legislative proposals to reduce road congestion around primary schools.

 

Mr Goodwill: Under part 2 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 (“the Act”), each English local authority is required to manage their road network to secure the expeditious movement of traffic on that network and to facilitate the same on the network of others.

The Act is intended to provide better conditions for all road users through coordination and proactive management of the road network. It provides a key tool in the Government’s strategy to tackle congestion through a range of initiatives including for example, better management of street works in order to minimise disruption and delivering fairer systems for civil parking and traffic enforcement (including the provision and enforcement of parking controls outside schools).

The Act specifically places a Network Management Duty (NMD) on each local traffic authority to manage its road network to secure the expeditious movement of traffic on its own network and to facilitate the same on the network of other authorities. Coordination of activities and actions between authorities is an especially important element of network management.

 

29th January

Cycling: Accidents

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what proportion of serious injuries to cyclists in Greater London involved cyclists hit by HGVs in (a) 2010, (b) 2011, (c) 2012 and (d) 2013;

(2) what proportion of cyclist fatalities in Greater London involved cyclists hit by HGVs in (a) 2010, (b) 2011, (c) 2012 and (d)2013.

 

Mr Goodwill: The proportion of cyclist fatalities and serious injuries in reported road traffic accidents in Greater London, which involved a cyclist hit by an HGV in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012, were as follows:

Casualties/percentage
  Cyclist casualties Cyclists hit by HGVs in two vehicle1accidents Proportion hit by HGVs in two vehicle1accidents
  Killed Serious Killed Serious Killed Serious
(a)2010 10 458 2 18 20 4
(b)2011 16 555 6 20 38 4
(c)2012 14 659 4 14 29 2
1 It is not possible to identify from our records which vehicle hit a cyclist in accidents involving more than two vehicles.

Data for the year 2013 will be available June 2014.

 

Driving: Licensing

 

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the annual cost to the DVLA is of the retention of paper driving licence counterparts.

 

Stephen Hammond: The annual cost to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to issue driving licence counterparts is £471, 000.

 

Motorway Service Areas

 

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effect on road safety on the granting of the licensing of public houses at motorway service stations.

 

Mr Goodwill: The Licensing Act 2003 bans the sale of alcohol at certain motorway service areas (MSAs) but does not extend to all of them. At MSAs which are not covered by this Act, the granting of premise licenses for the sale and consumption of alcohol is a matter for the local licensing authority. The Government is not consulted on the decisions made by these authorities and any advice on road safety matters is provided by the police.

 

Pedestrians: Accidents

 

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what proportion of serious injuries to pedestrians in Greater London involved pedestrians hit by vehicles while on a footpath in (a) 2010, (b) 2011, (c) 2012 and (d) 2013; (2) what proportion of pedestrian fatalities in Greater London involved pedestrians hit by a vehicle while on a footpath in (a)2010, (b) 2011, (c) 2012 and (d) 2013.

 

Mr Goodwill: The proportion of pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries in reported road traffic accidents in Greater London, which involved a pedestrian on a footway or verge, in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012, were as follows:

Casualties/percentage
  Pedestrian casualties Pedestrian casualties on footway or verge Proportion on footway or verge
  Killed Serious Killed Serious Killed Serious
(a) 2010 58 855 10 49 17 6
(b) 2011 77 903 7 47 9 5
(c) 2012 70 1,054 0 28 0 3

Data for the year 2013 will be available in June 2014.

 

For more information on Pedestrians: Accidents click here.

 

 28th January

Driving Under Influence: Drugs

Angela Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effect of the recent introduction of a new drug driving offence on people on prescription medication who are required to drive for their work.

 

Mr Goodwill: The Government believes that its proposed approach to the new drug driving offence published in last summer’s consultation will not have any impact on those who are driving for work and are also taking prescribed medication. The consultation and its accompanying impact assessment is available at:

www.gov.uk/government/consultations/drug-driving-proposed-regulations

The new offence includes a statutory defence for any driver who may have a specified drug in their body over the specified limit if they have been lawfully prescribed it and have taken it in accordance with the advice of a health care professional.

It is already an offence to drive while impaired by drugs, Any driver needs to consider their fitness to drive when taking medication and we do not expect that to change with the introduction of the new drug driving offence.

 

Driving: Licensing

 

Mr MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to encourage people to use the official Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency website as a channel for applications for provisional driving licences and driving licence renewals rather than websites which charge fees to check application forms.

 

Stephen Hammond: The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has published advice to remind motorists that GOV.UK is the first stop for motoring services and that other websites may charge additional fees. The DVLA directs motorists to GOV.UK in all its leaflets, forms and through its social media channels.

 

Heavy Goods Vehicles

 

Sir Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to restrict heavy goods vehicles to the inside lane on motorways, when, due to roadworks, a four or three lane carriageway is reduced to two lanes.

 

Mr Goodwill: Lane restrictions can be put in place for Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) when reduced road space is available through roadworks and where narrow lanes are in use. We consider the site specific conditions for each set of roadworks so do not have any plans to introduce a blanket restriction on the movements of HGVs to the inside lane as this can result in nose to tail convoys which can impact on other road users.

 

Motorways: Accidents

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for how many hours the UK’s managed motorways sections were closed in part or totally in either direction due to accidents in each of the last five years (a) in total and (b) by scheme.

Mr Goodwill: Incidents recorded in the Highways Agency Command and Control systems prior to April 2013 were unable to record accurately information regarding whether a smart motorway was operational at the time an incident occurred. In April 2013 an internal review allowed for more accurate data to be collected, therefore this has been used to collate this response.

Between 1 April 2013 and 31 December 2013 (inc.), 276 road traffic collisions were recorded which resulted in part or total closure of an English smart motorway scheme, with a total lane impact duration of 191 hours and 39 minutes.

 

These figures include any closure from one lane to a total closure (all lanes both directions). There have been no road traffic collisions within an operating smart motorway scheme since April 2013 that has resulted in a whole (all lanes one direction) or total (all lanes both directions) closure.

The incident duration provided is the total impact duration, that being the time where the capacity of one or more running lanes has been reduced and not just the time that all lanes were closed.

The information is broken down by scheme (both directions) as follows:

 

M1 J10-13: 92 road traffic collisions, total impact duration 69 hours and 21 minutes.

M4 J19-20: four road traffic collisions, total impact duration four hours and 27 minutes.

M42 J3a-7: 38 road traffic collisions, total impact duration 23 hours and 44 minutes.

M6 J4-5: 14 road traffic collisions, total impact duration 11 hours and 29 minutes.

M6 J8-10a: 89 road traffic collisions, total impact duration 51 hours and 34 minutes.

M62 J25-30: 39 road traffic collisions, total impact duration 31 hours and four minutes.

Road humps

Sir Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to the new guidance on street clutter, including road humps, produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government, and published on 28 August 2013, what plans he has to update his Department’s guidance on the installation of road humps.

 

Mr Goodwill: Provision of traffic calming, including road humps, is a matter for local highway authorities. The Department has no plans to review its guidance on designing and installing traffic calming given in Local Transport Note 1/07: Traffic Calming. This document is available to download from:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-transport-notes

For more information click here.

27th January

Debate: Dangerous Driving

6.30 pm

Chris Skidmore (Kingswood) (Con): I beg to move, That this House has considered the law on dangerous driving.

I thank the Backbench Business Committee for allotting the time for this debate. Members in all parts of the House feel strongly on this issue and I recognise that I am not the only Member to have raised concerns regarding the law on dangerous driving. My hon. Friend the Member for North East Cambridgeshire (Stephen Barclay) launched a “Stop Dangerous Drivers” campaign and my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds North West (Greg Mulholland) gathered a significant petition relating to a case in his constituency. Many other Members are on the record as being committed to changing the law on dangerous driving. The hon. Member for Clwyd South (Susan Elan Jones) recently introduced a ten-minute rule Bill, supported by 12 Members from all political parties, calling for the Government to consider the sentencing guidelines as they relate to penalties for dangerous driving offences that lead to death or serious injury.

 

The debate continues here on the commons website.

 

24th January

Cycling Accidents

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many cyclists were killed in Greater London in (a) 2010, (b)2011, (c) 2012 and (d) 2013.

 

Mr Goodwill: The number of cyclists killed in Greater London in reported road accidents in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012 were:

  Cyclist fatalities
2010 10
2011 16
2012 14

The data for the year 2013 will be available in June 2014.

 

Driving Under the Influence: Drugs

 

Angela Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the medical profession on the effect of drug driving legislation on patients; and if he will make a statement.

 

Mr Goodwill: I have had no discussions with the medical profession on the effect of the drug driving legislation on patients. Officials have met and discussed the new legislation with representatives of the medical profession, patient support groups, the pharmaceutical industry and the Department of Health.

A full consideration of any potential impact on patients will be incorporated in the summary of the two consultations on the proposed drugs and their limits. We expect to publish the summary shortly after the consultation on the Government’s proposed limit for amphetamine closes on 30 January 2014.

 

Driving: Licensing

 

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with the Advertising Standards Agency on counteracting misleading advertising claims for driving licence renewals.

 

Stephen Hammond: The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has not consulted with the Advertising Standards Agency on this issue.

The Department is aware of several websites not connected to the DVLA or the official Government website that are offering services to customers who are applying for driving licences. The Office of Fair Trading has ruled that websites which charge additional fees and services are not acting illegally.

The Government led by Cabinet Office Government Digital Service, will continue to investigate reports of organisations which may be actively misleading users about their services or acting illegally, taking swift action when necessary.

The DVLA has published advice on GOV.UK to remind motorists that GOV.UK is the first stop for motoring services and that other websites may charge additional fees. The DVLA also directs motorists to GOV.UK in all its leaflets, forms and in news stories and its social media channels.

 

Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy that people who have recently renewed their driving licences are not charged when they are required to renew them again when they reach the age of 70; and if he will make a statement.

 

Stephen Hammond: There is no charge for drivers to renew their driving licence at age 70 or thereafter.

 

Large Goods Vehicles

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish the data collected for the operator compliance risk score by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency. [184195]

Stephen Hammond: To ensure compliance with the Data Protection Act, DVSA does not currently publish specific OCRS data. However, operators are able to obtain their own OCRS scores, details of annual tests and roadside encounters on-line. A more detailed OCRS report has been developed in association with industry representatives and will be made available to individual operators in the spring of 2014.

 

Motorways: Accidents

 

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for how many hours UK motorways were closed in part or completely in either direction due to accidents in each of the last five years.

 

Mr Goodwill: Over the last five years (1 January 2009 to 31 December 2013 inc), on the English motorway network, 3,911 Road Traffic Collisions have been recorded that resulted in a total closure (all lanes both carriageways) or whole closure (all lanes one carriageway) with a total of 10,413 hours and five minutes impact duration being recorded.

Please note, this is the total impact duration (the time where the capacity, of one or more running lanes, has been reduced) and not just the time that all lanes were closed, as this information is not recorded.

 

For more information click here.

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