Previous Section Index Home Page

30 Jan 2006 : Column 25W—continued

Rail Franchises (Value for Money)

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 15 November 2005, Official Report, column 1150W, on train operating companies, what the benefits are whose delivery is monitored and enforced through continuous management of franchise contracts with train operating companies. [39377]

Derek Twigg: Franchise contracts place a wide variety of obligations on train operators associated with the provision of franchised services. In many cases they also prescribe penalties for non-compliance. Franchise contracts are managed and monitored to ensure that these obligations are delivered and that subsidy, premium payments and liabilities are managed in the interests of the taxpayer.

Road and Public Safety

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which organisation is responsible for road and public safety matters between the start of a new development and the date when roads are adopted by the local highways authority. [44198]

Dr. Ladyman: Where there is a new development such as a housing estate or a business park which provides for public access the responsibility for road and public safety matters principally lies with the owner of the site. This will usually be the developer until the properties are sold after which the owners of the properties fronting the road will become responsible for maintaining it until it is adopted as a publicly maintainable highway by the relevant highway authority. While the road remains unadopted, the relevant street works authority can serve a notice requiring the owners of premises fronting the street to execute such works to obviate danger to traffic using it as may be specified in the notice within a prescribed time. Should the works not be carried out in the required timescale the street works authority may carry out the works itself and recover the costs from the owners of the relevant properties.

In addition, the local traffic authority has a duty to secure the expeditious, convenient and safe movement of vehicular and other traffic, including pedestrians. This applies to all highways and roads to which the public has access, irrespective of whether or not the road has been adopted as a public highway.

The relevant police authority will also have a responsibility for safety matters in its area.

Where the new development is a new highway intended for use by the public and does not impinge on an existing highway the highway authority promoting the new highway and which makes the orders in relation to the construction of the new highway is the authority responsible for road and public safety matters during the construction stage as well as after adoption of the road as a public highway.

When the new development is an improvement to an existing highway, depending upon the circumstances, either the highway authority promoting the improvement to the highway or the traffic authority which regulates the use of the existing highway is the authority responsible for
30 Jan 2006 : Column 26W
road and public safety matters. Usually the relevant highway authority and the relevant traffic authority are the same authority.

Who the relevant highway authority or the relevant traffic authority is will depend upon the location of the highway development, the classification of the highway (i.e. local road, trunk road or special road) and the nature of the development.

Road Gritting

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what guidance the Government issues to local authorities on the gritting of roads during cold weather; and if he will (a) place a copy in the Library and (b) provide a weblink to the documents. [46324]

Ms Buck: The Government strongly recommend that local authorities carry out winter maintenance, including gritting, in accordance with Section 13 of Well-maintained Highways, Code of Practice for Highway Maintenance Management" published by the UK Roads Liaison Group in July 2005. A copy of this is in the Library, and it is also available electronically at

Road Improvements (Stonehenge)

Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when (a) Ministers and (b) officials last met representatives of the National Trust to discuss road improvements at Stonehenge; and if he will make a statement. [46852]

Dr. Ladyman: There have been no recent meetings of Department for Transport Ministers with the National Trust at which road improvements at Stonehenge have been discussed.

An official from the Highways Agency and representatives from the National Trust attended the last meeting of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site Committee on 29 November 2005 at which progress with the A303 Stonehenge Review was discussed.

Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost was to (a) his Department and (b) the Highways Agency, to the end of July 2005, of preparatory work on the A303 Stonehenge improvement scheme. [45816]

Dr. Ladyman: The Highways Agency has spent £14.1 million on preparatory work with its suppliers since awarding the contract for the Stonehenge improvement scheme in March 2002 up until end-March 2005.

This figure does not include HA salary and other costs which would be difficult to apportion. Similarly, it is not possible to apportion DfT salary and other costs on developing the scheme.

Road Pricing Framework Division

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the scope and remit is of the Road Pricing Framework Division within his Department; how many persons (a) are and (b) are planned to be employed therein; and if he will make a statement. [46393]

30 Jan 2006 : Column 27W

Dr. Ladyman: The Road Pricing Framework Division is a new division established within the Department for Transport's Roads, Regional and Local Transport Group in January 2006.

The purpose of the division is to take forward work on the technical systems and standards that will need to be developed to support the piloting of road pricing.

It is planned that the division will employ up to 13 full-time equivalent members of staff. Seven posts have already been filled.

Road Safety (Barnsley/Doncaster)

Jeff Ennis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many fatalities there have been in (a) Barnsley and (b) Doncaster in each of the last 10 years as a consequence of road traffic accidents. [46554]

Dr. Ladyman: The number of fatalities in personal injury road accidents in the Metropolitan Districts of Barnsley and Doncaster between 1995 and 2004 (the last year for which figures are available) are shown in the table.
Fatalities(4) in Barnsley and Doncaster districts: 1995–2004.


(4) Deaths within 30 days of the accident.

Road Transport Fuel Obligation

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated into the design of a certification scheme for the sustainability of the sources of fuel to be accepted within the proposed Road Transport Fuel Obligation. [46192]

Dr. Ladyman: We have made clear from the outset that we want the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation to promote the use of the most environmentally beneficial forms of biofuel. We are discussing with stakeholders how best to achieve this.

In the meantime, we have asked the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership to take forward two separate but related pieces of work in this area, both of which have been part-funded by this Department. The first is the development of an agreed and user-friendly methodology to allow the carbon savings from different biofuels to be calculated. The second is the development of a sustainability assurance standard for all biofuels.

Safe Driving Skills

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what modern learning techniques have been
30 Jan 2006 : Column 28W
developed by the Driving Standards Agency since September 2005 to help learners develop safe driving skills. [45605]

Dr. Ladyman: The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is always looking at new and innovative ways of helping drivers to learn and prepare for their tests. Earlier this year the DSA launched a revised version of its free information DVD Are You Ready?" This is sent to all categories of theory test candidate with the appointment letter. The DVD explains the nature of the different parts of the driving test and the standards that candidates need to reach.

Next Section Index Home Page