Roads: Closures

Department for Transport written question – answered on 23rd October 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Baroness Wolf of Dulwich Baroness Wolf of Dulwich Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their confirmation that the public sector equality duty still applies in cases where roads have been closed under COVID-19 emergency legislation, whether this obliges local authorities to carry out an Equality Impact Assessment of their road closures.

Photo of Baroness Wolf of Dulwich Baroness Wolf of Dulwich Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether experimental road closures made under regulations relating to the COVID-19 pandemic require an Equality Impact Assessment, and if so, (1) whether the results of those Assessment must be published, (2) what the timeframe is for (a) completing and (b) publishing the Assessment, following the closures.

Photo of Baroness Wolf of Dulwich Baroness Wolf of Dulwich Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish regulations requiring (1) the assessment of the impact of experimental road closures on protected characteristic groups, and (2) the mitigating action in the event of an adverse impact on those groups.

Photo of Baroness Wolf of Dulwich Baroness Wolf of Dulwich Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether local authorities have any obligation to monitor the impact on air quality of road closures, whether experimental or permanent, including in adjacent roads to which traffic may be displaced.

Photo of Baroness Vere of Norbiton Baroness Vere of Norbiton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

It is for local authorities to ensure that any changes they propose to make to road layouts are delivered in line with relevant legislation, consultation and noticing requirements.

The Emergency Active Travel Fund (EATF) was announced on 9 May and included £225 million of funding in two tranches for local authorities in England. Alongside the funding, the Government published additional Network Management Duty guidance. This clearly set out what the Government expects local authorities to do in making changes to their road layouts to encourage cycling and walking in response to Covid-19 and to support a green restart and recovery. These measures included road closures, for example to create low-traffic neighbourhoods.

The guidance is clear that the Public Sector Equality Duty still applies, and in making any changes to their road networks, authorities must consider the needs of disabled people and those with other protected characteristics, for example by carrying out Equality Impact Assessments on proposed schemes.

It is for local authorities to ensure any such assessments are carried out in line with relevant procedures.

The Local Air Quality Management regime requires that local authorities review and assess air quality in their area. This will normally include monitoring pollution levels especially where the local authority assesses that air quality objectives may be exceeded.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes2 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.