HC Deb 14 November 1934 vol 293 cc1954-7
38. Mr. GOLDIE

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will consider the provision of a safety-crossing in the neighbourhood of the Temple for the protection of members of the public desirous of crossing to and from the tramway service on the Embankment?


I have communicated with the Westminster City Council about the provision of crossings at this point.


Is the Minister aware that the Embankment between West-minister and Blackfriars Bridges is nothing more nor less than a Brooklands, and could he not provide beacons for the protection of the more law-abiding section of the community?


I am very grateful for that question, and I will convey my hon. Friend's sentiments to the Westminster City Council, hoping that no evil will accrue to my hon. Friend in the meantime.

41. Mr. GROVES

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware of the delay at his Department in settling the position of safety crossings opposite the Town Hall, Stratford; and, as this spot is one of the most congested in the neighbourhood and the need for such crossing most urgent, if he will give instructions to his officers to at once get into touch with the local highways authority for 'a determination of the crossings in question?


As the hon. Member is aware, there are difficulties attributable to the traffic conditions and not to my Department in the way of providing a pedestrian crossing opposite the Town Hall, Stratford. I hope that it may be possible to provide a solution, and I shall be grateful if the hon. Gentleman would discuss the matter with me.

42. Mr. GUY

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will consider the advisability of effecting alterations at crossing-places controlled by automatic lights so that the signals may be clearly visible to pedestrians on the pavement waiting to cross?


At several junctions where light signals have been installed, additional lights have been provided for the guidance of pedestrians. I have under examination the question of extending this or some similar arrangement to light signal installations generally.


Has the Minister had brought to his notice a device which is operated by the pedestrian and which, on pressing a button, indicates to him whether he may or may not cross?


Yes, there are two or three of those in use in London.


asked the Minister of Transport whether he can make arrangements for pedestrian crossings in Old Palace Yard and Abingdon Street?


I have communicated with the Westminster City Council about the provision of crossings at this point.


Is my hon. Friend aware that, excellent though Hore-Belisha beacons and studs and zebra crossings are, their partial adoption will add to the danger of the streets, and is he aware that if a pedestrian to-day attempts to cross a road at a place not fully equipped with Belisha tokens the motorist is apt to resent his intrusion and to regard him as a sort of legitimate prey?


I am obliged to my hon. Friend for that question. It exactly expresses my view, that the experiment to be adequately tried out must be more or less universal in a given area, and that local authorities should cooperate so to make it.


Why not have these yellow balls taken off the street altogether?

49. Sir G. FOX

asked the Minister of Transport how many local authorities have replied to his circular of 20th August requesting them either to submit schemes for pedestrian crossings or to submit their reasons why they considered it unnecessary to do so; how many of such replies have involved a submission of schemes; and how many have indicated that they consider it unnecessary or undesirable?


I have not yet fixed a date under the Act for the submission of schemes by local authorities outside the London Traffic Area and the circular in question was only of a preliminary character, calling attention to the provisions of the Act relating to pedestrian crossings. I have thought it desirable that further experience of the working of the crossings in London should be acquired before fixing the date to which I have referred. Although a number of authorities have submitted schemes already, any figure which I can now give would be misleading.

50. Lieut.-Colonel MacANDREW

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will take steps to clarify the legal position in a case where, at a pedestrian crossing, the driver of an approaching motor vehicle injures a pedestrian who, without warning, walks in front of the vehicle when it is six feet from the crossing?


I have endeavoured in the regulations to lay down simple rules which will afford practical guidance to drivers and pedestrians in normal conditions. If regulations deal with a number of detailed circumstances in the endeavour to formulate a precise rule applicable to each, the resulting complexity will defeat the object in view. Any scheme of traffic regulation must depend for its success on reasonable behaviour on the part of road users.

Lieut.-Colonel MacANDREW

What is the position, if a person without paying any attention at all walks on to the road in front of a car which is going at a reasonable pace? That question is capable of a simple answer and such an answer would clarify the position for many of us.


I have given the answer. The regulations are as clear as they can be made. The pedestrian has the right of way on an uncontrolled crossing, but, as I have said, the success of the scheme must depend upon reasonable behaviour on the part of road users.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in many cases it is impossible to know where the pedestrian crossings are, because one cannot see them?

Lieut.-Commander AGNEW

Apart from notices in the Press, are these regulations readily accessible to the public.? Are they posted up where the public can see them?


Will the Minister say whether the possession of the right to cross is intended to be a comfort to the relatives?