Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of current methods of assessing road surface quality; and what assessment she has made of the potential effect on the safety of cyclists of increasing the quality of the road on the metre closest to the pavement. 
Norman Baker: The Department has made no specific assessment. Local road condition is a matter for local highway authorities who are responsible for setting their own highways condition standards. “Well-maintained Highways”, the code of practice for highways maintenance, provides guidance for local highway authorities and highlights the importance of a consistent standard of maintenance including ensuring attention is paid to carriageway edge condition.
The UK Roads Board, comprising local authority representatives, published a document in 2003 titled “Footway and cycle route design, construction and maintenance guide” which provides a practical field guidance for local highway authority engineers involved in the structural design, construction and maintenance of footways and cycle routes and includes a specific section on cycle route maintenance.
The Highways Agency is responsible for managing the strategic road network in England. It carries out annual road surface condition surveys, principally to measure the levels of rutting, the ride quality, general surface condition and the skid resistance provided by the road surface in the wet. In addition, visual surveys and inspections are conducted regularly throughout the year to identify emergency repairs and to support future planned maintenance. Sections requiring potential maintenance are also further investigated to identify the road material quality and the overall structural aspects, as guided by the agency’s standards and codes of practices. The agency takes account of maintenance needs based on road users’ needs, including cyclists, and issues raised by members of the public.
The agency’s Design Manual for Roads and Bridges Volume 6, Section 3 covers the design requirements of new facilities for cyclists, taking into account their vehicular rights and their particular vulnerability as road users. It makes clear that the provision of facilities for cyclists should therefore be considered during the planning stages of new or improved highways and traffic management schemes. It also highlights the importance of good maintenance, including regular cleaning, of the one metre carriageway edge as it is likely to be used by cyclists to gain a measure of separation from passing traffic. It also recommends that drainage grids and gratings should have slots at angles not likely to affect the passage of cyclists and be set flush with the carriageway.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the number of cycling accidents on UK roads which were caused by poor road surfaces. 
Mike Penning: There were 81 reported personal injury road accidents involving pedal cycles which had contributory factor “poor or defective road surface” attributed to the accident. This represents around 1% of all contributory factors allocated to pedal cycle accidents.
The contributory factors reflect the reporting officer’s opinion at the time of reporting and are not necessarily the result of extensive investigation. Moreover it is recognised that subsequent enquires could lead to the reporting officer changing his opinion. It is important to note where some factors may have contributed to a cause of an accident it may be difficult for a police officer attending the scene after the accident has occurred to identify these factors.
Driving Offences: EU Action
Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to Article 3 of EU Council Act of 17 June 1998 drawing up the Convention on Driving Disqualification, how many notifications of a driving disqualification for a person disqualified in an EU member state other than that in which they normally reside the UK (a) issued to and (b) received from other EU member states in each of the last 10 years; and what assessment her Department has made of the convention’s effectiveness. 
Mike Penning: Since January 2010, mutual recognition of driving disqualifications has existed between GB and the Republic of Ireland (ROI). To date, these are the only member states to have implemented the provisions.
Since the start, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has received 37 notifications of GB drivers disqualified in ROI and sent ROI six notifications of Irish licence holders being disqualified in GB. No assessment has been made of the effectiveness of the convention.
Driver licensing is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland and separate arrangements are in place with the Republic of Ireland regarding the recognition of driving disqualifications. Information on the numbers of disqualifications recognised between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is not held.
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road collisions there were between heavy goods vehicles and cyclists who were (a) killed and (b) seriously injured as a result in the latest period for which figures are available; and what research her Department has undertaken on addressing the issue of the blind spot of such a vehicle and cyclists. 
Mike Penning: The latest period for which data are available is 2010.
The number of reported personal injury road accidents involving heavy goods vehicles and pedal cyclists in Great Britain, is published in the table RAS40004 of “Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain—annual report 2010” at following web address:
The Department for Transport commissioned research with Loughborough university on improving driver vision and this was published in November 2011. The reports are available on the Loughborough website at:
The research findings are being used to improve international regulations on mirrors for new vehicles.
Motorways: Speed Limits
Mr MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans she has to introduce a speed limit on motorways of 80 mph. 
Mike Penning: We have announced our intention to consult on proposals to increase the speed limit on motorways to 80 miles per hour. As part of this process we are carrying out further work to assess the potential economic, safety and environmental impacts of implementing this change. We plan to bring forward detailed proposals and start consultation in the coming months.
Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether pedestrians have priority on pavements.[HL15971]
Earl Attlee: A footway (often referred to as a pavement) is defined in the Highways Act 1980 as:
“… a way comprised in a highway which also comprises a carriageway, being a way over which the public have a right of way on foot only”.