Parliamentary Questions: 7th-10th April

Parliamentary Questions: 7th-10th April

10th April

Schools: Cycling

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 31 March 2014, Official Report, column 411W, on transport: schools, how many (a) schools and (b) pupils took part in Bikeability cycle training in each year since 2005.

Mr Goodwill: Funding provided by the Department for Transport (DFT) for Bikeability cycle training began in financial year 2006-07.

Data collection since then has consisted mainly of the number of places delivered by each Bikeability grant recipient. Therefore it is not possible to fully answer (A), however, the current estimate is that 8,177 schools take part in training delivered by either their Local Highway Authority or School Games Organiser Host School.

The number of places delivered using DFT grant funding until 31 March 2013 is available and the totals are as follows:

Number
2006-07 7,983
2007-08 26,894
2008-09 92,579
2009-10 133,984
2010-11 199,197
2011-12 293,969
2012-13 255,833
Total 1,010,439

 

Unmanned Air Vehicles

 

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will bring forward proposals to update the current Air Navigation Order to define and categorise unmanned aircraft systems. [R]

 

Mr Goodwill: The safe operation of civil Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) in the UK is governed by the requirements of the Air Navigation Order 2009 (ANO). RPA with an operating mass of more than 20 kg are subject to regulation as though they are manned aircraft.

 

RPA with an operating mass of 20 kg or less are referred to as ‘small unmanned aircraft’. Small unmanned aircraft are exempt from the majority of the regulations that normally apply to manned aircraft, however their use is specifically covered by two articles within the ANO, which legislate for the ‘general’ flying aspects and the flight of those equipped for surveillance. As well as these specific articles however, a more general article which prevents a person ‘causing or permitting an aircraft to endanger the safety of any person or property’ also remains applicable. There are no current plans to further categorise RPA.

 

For more information please click here

9th April

Cycling: Greater London

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) fatal and (b) serious injuries were suffered by cyclists in London in each of the last 10 years.

 

Mr Goodwill: The number of reported (a) killed and (b) seriously injured cyclists in London in each of the last 10 years is given in the table below:

Number of killed and seriously injured cyclists in London: 2003-12
Number of casualties:
(a) Killed (b) Serious
2003 19 419
2004 8 332
2005 21 351
2006 19 373
2007 15 446
2008 15 430
2009 13 420
2010 10 458
2011 16 555
2012 14 659

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

 

Parking: Pedestrian Areas

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if his Department will take steps to prevent unnecessary pavement parking;

(2) if his Department will commission an assessment of the dangers and problems of vehicles parked on pavements.

 

Mr Goodwill: The Department has no plans to commission a report into pavement parking.

In London there is a general ban on parking on the footway. In the rest of England there is no such prohibition but local authorities outside London have wide-ranging powers to make Traffic Regulation Orders to prohibit pavement parking on designated lengths of highway or over a wide area.

 

Road Traffic: Greater London

 

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of trends in the levels of (a)congestion and (b) traffic accidents in London in each of the last 10 years. [195180]

Mr Goodwill: Road congestion is measured in the Department by average morning peak speeds. Estimates of average weekday morning peak speeds, on locally managed ‘A’ roads in London between 2007 and 2013 are presented in the table below. The first calendar year in this series is 2007 and earlier years are not available. Over the last 6 years, average morning peak speeds in London rose by 3.8% between 2007 and 2009, remained relatively stable until 2011, before falling by 2.7% between 2011 and 2013.

Equivalent estimates for individual London boroughs can be found on the Department for Transport’s website at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/279125/cgn0206.xls

For more information please click here

Roads: Accidents

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what change there has been in the level of accidents attributable to congestion in each of the last 10 years.

Mr Goodwill: The information requested is not collected by the Department.

 

8th April

Driving: Licensing

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment his Department has made of the appropriate age at which people must renew their driving licence; and what evidence his Department took into account when so doing.

 

Stephen Hammond: Increasing the driving licence renewal age was proposed as part of the recent review of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

No detailed assessment has yet been made about this proposal. Any such decision would not be taken until a full consultation had been carried out and supporting evidence considered.

 

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many new drivers had their licences revoked as a result of insurance offences in each year since 2010.

 

Stephen Hammond: The Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995 requires that drivers who accumulate six or more penalty points during their probationary period will have their licences revoked. The accumulation of offences can be for any reason. The following table shows the number of drivers whose licences were revoked under the New Drivers Act who committed at least one insurance offence:

Number of licences revoked
2010 4,372
2011 5,921
2012 5,897
2013 5,606
2014 (up to 29 March) 1,118
Total 22,914

 

For more information please click here

Offshore Industry: Helicopters

 

Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of the helicopter fleet operating in the offshore oil and gas industry is fitted with a side-floating helicopter scheme that is compliant with the Civil Aviation Authority’s relevant statutory specifications.

 

Mr Goodwill: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), as part of its Offshore Helicopter Review, looked at improvements that could be made to helicopters to increase the survivability of passengers in the event of a ditching in the sea. The CAA has made recommendations to industry concerning the use of flotation devices. However, the CAA does not have statutory specifications for side-floating helicopter schemes.

The requirements for such equipment are being developed by the European Aviation Safety Agency.

 

Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment he has made of the effect on passenger survivability in the North Sea of side-floating helicopter schemes that (a) comply and (b) do not comply with the relevant Civil Aviation Authority statutory specifications.

 

Mr Goodwill: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), as part of its Offshore Helicopter Review, looked at improvements that could be made to helicopters to increase the survivability of passengers in the event of a ditching in the sea. The CAA has made recommendations to industry concerning the use of flotation devices. However, the CAA does not have statutory specifications for side-floating helicopter schemes.

The requirements for such equipment are being developed by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which commissioned a study that was conducted by Eurocopter and Aerazur. Previous research by both the CAA and the US Federal Aviation Administration has shown that the majority of fatalities following a ditching or water impact event were due to drowning following the capsize of the helicopter. Future requirements for such equipment, which are intended to mitigate the risk of capsize, will be determined by EASA.

 

7th April

Motor Vehicles: Testing

 

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his Department’s policy is on (a) the frequency of periodic roadworthiness tests for old vehicles and (b) the stringency of technical roadside inspections for commercial vehicles in line with European Union roadworthiness package adopted by the European Parliament on 12 March 2014.

 

Stephen Hammond: The Department will be consulting widely on the changes required by the new directive relating to old vehicles with a view to supporting road safety and minimising unnecessary burdens for vehicle owners. This engagement will start in coming months. The new directive regarding technical roadside inspections will be very close to existing practice in Great Britain. If any changes to processes are required these will be adopted after consultation.

 

Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

 

Mrs Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the maximum amount available to councils who apply for extra funding for potholes is; and what funding his Department provides to tackle potholes in St Albans.

Mr Goodwill: The Department for Transport provides capital funding to local highway authorities from the local maintenance highways maintenance capital block grant and over the four year period from 2011 Hertfordshire county council’s allocation is £77.6 million. St Albans falls within Hertfordshire county council’s area of responsibility for road maintenance.

The Department has also allocated additional funding to authorities to help repair roads damaged due to severe weather events, and for Hertfordshire county council this includes £1.446 million in 2010-11, £3.87 million in March 2011 and more recently over £3.62 million in March 2014.

A £200 million pothole fund was announced in the Budget on 19 March 2014. From this, £168 million is being made available to councils in England through a bidding exercise. Further details on the fund will be made available shortly.

 

Unmanned Air Vehicles

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made by the cross-government working group on remotely piloted aircraft systems. [R]

Mr Goodwill: The Cross Government Working Group has been discussing its draft Terms of Reference (extract copied as follows) and its membership. The focus of its work so far has been to gather information from the relevant Departments to identify areas of common interest requiring collaboration.

 

RPAS Cross Government Working Group Vision and Activities

Vision: For more information click here.

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