HC Deb 20 June 1934 vol 291 cc368-70
21. Dr. SALTER

asked the Minister of Transport whether the organisation representing pedestrians was consulted before the new experimental crossing-places in London were instituted; and, if not, whether he will undertake that before further innovations are made regarding crossing-places in the London and Home counties area he will consult the representative bodies of all road users?


No Sir, but in accordance with my statutory duty I consulted the London and Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee upon which the local authorities of the area are largely represented.


Is the Minister aware that pedestrians are not represented on the committee, and does he not think that the muddle and confusion which now exists would have been avoided if specialists, who have given great attention to this subject, had been consulted?


I think that I got very good advice on this matter from local authorities which represent the ratepayers. I take exception to the statement that a great deal of muddle and chaos has resulted from experiments which I believe will prove successful.


Is there any way of instructing people at these crossings. Speaking from my own experience, it is difficult to understand when to cross and when not to cross. Everyone is in the same predicament.


I understand that there is a possibility of an opportunity to discuss this matter in connection with a Prayer on the Regulations which have been laid, and I should certainly welcome an opportunity of giving full publicity to the object of these crossings.


Will that Prayer be discussed at a time when it will get the necessary publicity?


I cannot say; nor do I say that it is impossible to get publicity after eleven o'clock at night.


asked the Minister of Transport if he consulted the Paris traffic authorities before introducing the new system of crossing-places in the streets of London; and if he can state the number of casualties which take place annually in Paris as compared with London?


Before introducing an experiment with marked pedestrian crossing places in London, I obtained information as to the system adopted in Paris and ascertained that the introduction of crossing places on a large scale was accompanied by a substantial reduction in accidents. Having regard to the different conditions obtaining in the two cities, I do not consider that a valid comparison can be made between the number of casualties in London and Paris.