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9 Jul 2002 : Column 808W
from the trunk road network local government boundary signs welcoming motorists to towns or cities that they are still some distance from. 
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; 
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. 
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 accidents||Fatal accidents|
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Mr. Jamieson: The Government's wide-ranging road safety strategy is set out in "Tomorrow's roadssafer for everyone", published in March 2000. The strategy is aimed at delivering three road casualty reduction targets by 2010each compared with the average for 1994 to 1998:
a 50 per cent. reduction in child deaths and serious injuries; and
a 10 per cent. reduction in the rate (by vehicles kilometres) of serious injuries.
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:
Vehicle standards and engineering research: Compendium of projects 200102.
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. 
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.
(1) Includes age not reported.
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. 
Our own research had already drawn similar conclusions. When the Road Safety Strategy, "Tomorrow's RoadsSafer 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.
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.
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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