Roads: Safety

Department for Transport written question – answered on 10th March 2015.

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Photo of Frank Field Frank Field Labour, Birkenhead

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to improve road safety for elderly pedestrians.

Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

My Department issued revised guidance in January 2013 aimed mainly at local traffic authorities who are responsible for setting speed limits on local roads. Traffic authorities set local speed limits in situations where local needs and conditions suggest a speed limit which is lower than the national speed limit.

Local authorities may provide pedestrian crossings, including dropped kerbs, where there is a local need. Pedestrian crossings and crossing timings are a matter for guidance rather than legislation. The Department intends to produce a new Chapter of the Traffic Signs manual on traffic lights and crossings but there is no date yet for publication.

In London there is a general ban on parking on the footway. In the rest of England there is no such prohibition but traffic authorities have wide-ranging powers to prevent people parking on the pavement and my Rt Hon Friend the Minister of State for Transport, Baroness Kramer, wrote to all English traffic authorities on 27 June 2014 to remind them of this.

The Government is committed to cycling and walking and making it easier for people to choose them as sustainable travel options. The Government laid an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill that would place into law a commitment of the Government to produce a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy. The Bill has now completed its passage through both Houses and was granted Royal Assent on 12 February.

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