Pedestrian Crossings (Hansard, 19 November 1951)
HC Deb 19 November 1951 vol 494 cc4-6
7. Dr. Barnett Stross

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that the Stoke-on-Trent City Council has protested against the instructions to remove two-thirds of the pedestrian crossings in the city, particularly as regards those in the vicinity of schools; and what action he contemplates to meet this protest.

Mr. Maclay

Yes, Sir. I am considering the Council's proposals, and I hope to reach agreement with them.

8. Mr. A. Edward Davies

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction among local authorities arising from the operation of the Pedestrian Crossings (General) Regulations, 1951, and of the reduction of pedestrian crossings; and what action he proposes to take.

Mr. Maclay

Local authorities are not, I think, dissatisfied with the regulations which provide only for new markings and rules for pedestrian crossings. Some have objected to the reduction in the number of crossings which they were requested to make last July. As regards the last part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to the replies I gave on 12th November for the hon. Members for Newport (Mr. Peter Freeman) and Morecambe and Lonsdale (Sir I. Fraser).

Mr. Davies

In the absence of the details of that reply, may I ask the Minister whether there is a standstill order which would enable local authorities not to dispose of such crossings as they feel to be necessary, and, secondly, when the Minister hopes to be in a position to tell us what he can do to help the local authorities?

Mr. Maclay

No, Sir, there is no standstill order. I would refer the hon. Member to the previous Answers which were very full on that point.

Mr. Percy Shurmer

Is the Minister aware that local authorities are turning to the Association of Municipal Corporations on that matter? Is it not a fact that the local authorities know best about the number of pedestrian crossings which they require and which should be prohibited?

Mr. Maclay

I would also ask the hon. Member to look at the previous replies to which I have referred, because I think he will find that this is fully covered.

Sir Herbert Williams

Has the Minister received any protests in his Department after this order was made by his predecessor?

Mr. Maclay

I understand that the order was originally made after full consultation with all local authorities, and there is really little more that one can add to the replies I have already given.

Dr. Stross

In his discussions with the local authorities, will the Minister bear in mind particularly the need not to remove crossings where schools are concerned, as far as that is possible?

Mr. Maclay

On the question of schools, I think the proper answer is adult patrols; but I am naturally studying all these problems very carefully indeed.

9. Mr. Baker White

asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware that the pedestrian crossings on the main Dover Road at Bridge, near Canterbury, installed a few years ago, have been removed on the orders of his Department, thus making it extremely dangerous for children on their way to and from school, and to residents of the village as a whole; and if he will take urgent steps to restore these pedestrian crossings.

Mr. Maclay

I do not think, on present evidence, that a pedestrian crossing is the right answer here. I consider that it is safer for the school children to be seen across the road by an adult patrol. However, I understand how the people locally feel about this matter and will arrange for one of my officers to discuss it with them on the spot.

14. Major W. J. Anstruther-Gray

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is prepared to add zebra road markings to pedestrian crossings wherever possible, in view of the successful results of this experiment.

Mr. Maclay

The Pedestrian Crossings (General) Regulations, 1951, and the corresponding London regulations, provide that all pedestrian crossings except those at traffic lights shall be marked in this way.

Major Anstruther-Gray

Will the Minister encourage local authorities elsewhere to press on with this method?

Mr. Maclay

Yes, Sir, we are very anxious that the most rapid progress should be made.