Commons Gate

Road Safety (HC 460-i)

Transport Committee 26 Mar 2008

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Evidence given by
2.45 University of Sheffield Professor Danny Dorling, Professor of Human Geography, University of Surrey Dr Nicola Christie, Head of Surrey Injury Research Group, TRL (Transport Research Laboratory) David Lynam OBE, Chief Research Scientist
3.45 University College London (UCL) Professor Richard Allsop OBE, Professor of Transport Studies Heather Ward, Honorary Senior Research Fellow Association of British Insurers Nick Starling, Director of General Insurance and Health.

Q21 Mr. Eric Martlew (Carlisle): Basically you are saying that road safety is too important for the Ministry for Transport, that it goes far beyond that. Mr Lynam said that you have to convince the public to do something. When we talk about children, obviously we have a bad record. I brought a Private Member's Bill to try to make young cyclists wear helmets. I have never been so vilified in all my life by the CTC. Unfortunately, I found that the Department for Transport was aiding and abetting them. In a way, road safety, passenger safety and children's safety are not high on the priorities of the Department for Transport. Is that your view?

Mr Lynam: My answer would be that it is high on their priorities, but whether they have the solutions for it is another matter. If we can look at the comparison, because we have already said that some countries are doing better than ours, what is happening in those countries? One of the difficulties we see in Britain rather more so than in some of those countries is that generally traffic flows on average right across towns are much higher in Britain. It is a lot easier in the Netherlands and in Sweden to develop a town structure which separates the residential areas and puts intensive measures on those, keeps traffic out of them, keeps traffic slow, and then have a smaller number of main routes on which the traffic can be concentrated with rather different policies. It is far more difficult to do with the structure of British towns and the amount of traffic in British towns.

This is an uncorrected transcript of evidence taken in public and reported to the House. The transcript has been placed on the internet on the authority of the Committee. Neither witnesses nor Members have had the opportunity to correct the record. The transcript is not yet an approved formal record of these proceedings.

The full transcript may be read here.

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On behalf of Eric Martlew, 3 Chatsworth Square Carlisle Cumbria CA1 1HB