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Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if, in the final draft of the TSRGD, he will ban

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from the trunk road network local government boundary signs welcoming motorists to towns or cities that they are still some distance from. [68613]

Mr. Jamieson: We have no plans to do so. The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD) make no distinction between boundary signs on trunk roads and other all-purpose roads. We consulted last year on proposals to allow the signing of local authority administrative boundaries including district councils that take their name from a town within the district, and the responses have generally been in favour. Decisions on particular signs on the trunk road network will be taken in the light of local circumstances.

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will provide for the marking of the historic county boundaries in the United Kingdom within the final draft of the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions; [67726]

Mr. Jamieson: This would not be appropriate. Traffic signs are provided for safe and efficient traffic management and should inform road users about current road conditions.

Road Accidents

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of (a) road accidents and (b) fatal road accidents occurred on minor single- carriageway roads in each of the past 20 years. [68226]

Mr. Jamieson: The percentage of personal injury road accidents and of fatal road accidents on public roads in Great Britain which occurred on single-carriageway roads of B classification or below was as shown in the following table.

All injury accidentsFatal accidents

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Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans the Government have to reduce the number of road accidents. [68524]

Mr. Jamieson: The Government's wide-ranging road safety strategy is set out in "Tomorrow's roads—safer for everyone", published in March 2000. The strategy is aimed at delivering three road casualty reduction targets by 2010—each compared with the average for 1994 to 1998:

Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if the Government will commission a study to investigate ways of reducing the number of road accidents. [68474]

Mr. Jamieson: My Department continues to commission a substantial amount of road and vehicle safety research into the many and various causes of accidents to inform our road safety strategy. A synopsis of recently completed and on-going projects, as well as new research, may be found in its publications:

Copies of each publication have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Mr. Marshall-Andrews: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the trend of (a) fatalities and (b) child fatalities in traffic accidents in residential areas over the period 1997 to 2001. [67432]

Mr. Jamieson: The numbers of fatalities on residential roads are shown in the following table. For this purpose, residential roads are defined as those with a speed limit of 40 mph or less and where street lighting is present.

Fatalities from accidents on residential roads: Great Britain


(1) Includes age not reported.

(2) Provisional.

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of research by the IPPR showing that children from socially excluded backgrounds are more likely to be involved in road collisions than children from other socio-economic groups; and what plans he has to take action to reduce road collisions affecting these children. [67494]

Mr. Jamieson: We are aware of the work of the Institute of Public Policy Research in researching child pedestrian casualties and, while they have yet to report, know their preliminary findings.

Our own research had already drawn similar conclusions. When the Road Safety Strategy, "Tomorrow's Roads—Safer for Everyone", was published in March 2000, it included challenging targets to reduce killed and

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seriously injured road casualties by 40 per cent. by 2010. Recognising the particular issue of child casualties, there is a specific, more stretching target, to reduce child killed and seriously injured casualties by 50 per cent. in the same time period. The strategy acknowledged that children in the lowest socio-economic group (SEG) are five times more likely to be killed as pedestrians than their higher SEG counterparts.

Since child pedestrian casualties are a particular problem, we have begun a child pedestrian training project, making £10 million available to local authorities over five years, to improve practical roadside training. Deprivation is a significant factor in deciding which authorities are selected for this scheme. The results will be fully evaluated. The issues which suggest why children from the lowest SEG may be more vulnerable generally are complex and we are continuing to research them.

Wealden Line

Mr. Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects the electrification of the Wealden Line to be completed. [67943]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 8 July 2002]: My right hon. Friend has accepted advice from the Strategic Rail Authority that there is currently no case for electrifying the Wealden Line, as the costs far outweigh the benefits. Equivalent passenger and operational benefits will be secured, significantly earlier, by introducing modern diesel trains to replace the 40-year-old trains currently operating services on the line. However, it is recognised that circumstances may change over time and the SRA therefore intends to secure a full electrification study after the new South Central franchise has run for five years.

Strategic Rail Authority

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if the salary of the chairman of the SRA counts as public spending; [67058]

Mr. Jamieson: All SRA expenditure counts as public expenditure.

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if the Strategic Rail Authority will remain a public sector body. [67246]

Mr. Jamieson: Yes.

Rail Infrastructure Investment

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the cost of infrastructure investment in the railways (a) before and (b) since privatisation. [66055]

Mr. Jamieson: No direct comparison can be made between investment before and after privatisation due to the different nature of individual projects and the externalisation of costs (such as possessions and the cost of capital) that were previously internalised under British Rail.

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The Rail Regulator sets out the expected cost of infrastructure investment through the periodic review process.

Transport 10-year Plan

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has revised his forecasts for the growth in (a) passenger and (b) freight rail usage during the 10-year plan period. [66056]

Mr. Jamieson: Forecasts for (a) rail passenger growth and (b) rail freight growth are set out in the 10-year plan for transport.

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