HC Deb 23 June 1952 vol 502 cc1816-8
9. Sir T. Moore

asked the Minister of Transport how many zebra crossings are permitted in Ayrshire; and what directions were given to the county council as to their location.

Mr. Braithwaite

In the county council's scheme, 22. Certain burghs, of course, have their own schemes in addition. No special directions were given to the council, but Circular No. 668 issued from the Department in June, 1951, contained some general guidance. I will send the hon. and gallant Member a copy.

Sir T. Moore

While not wishing to worry my hon. and right hon. Friends unduly, because I realise that they have plenty on their plates already, may I ask them to investigate the allocation to Ayrshire which permits of the small village of Monkton, lying astride the main Glasgow-Ayr Road at the very gate of Prestwick Airport, being denied a crossing?

Mr. Braithwaite

We will bear these matters in mind. Ayrshire at first suggested a reduction to 26 crossings. In the end, 22 have been approved. If my hon. and gallant Friend will study Appendix 3 of the Circular to which I have referred he will find the procedure which should be followed.

18. Sir T. Moore

asked the Minister of Transport if the reports up to date indicate that the zebra crossings are fulfilling their purpose satisfactorily; and that they are suitably located and adequately distributed.

Mr. Braithwaite

The broad answer to both parts of the Question is "Yes," although finality has not been reached. Changes in location are made as necessary, in the light of experience.

Sir T. Moore

Is my hon. Friend aware that what I did not gather from his statement last week, and have not gathered from his answer today, is whether the Minister has any direct responsibility for the number of zebra crossings allotted to local authorities and for their distribution? If so, what action does he take in the matter?

Mr. Braithwaite

First, my hon. and gallant Friend will have seen from my lengthy statement on Friday last that my right hon. Friend is about to review the working of crossings in all areas by discussions with the local authorities. These matters are arranged by agreement between the Department, the local authority and the divisional road engineers, and, of course, my right hon. Friend possesses overriding powers.

Mr. Snow

May I ask the Minister if, when he undertakes the review, he will pay particular attention to the question of the abolition of pedestrian crossings in the vicinity of schools? May I give him notice that, on 2nd July, I shall raise on the Motion for the Adjournment the question of a private school at Lichfield, where the risks taken by his Ministry appear to most people in Lichfield to be entirely unjustified?

Mr. Braithwaite

I do not want to repeat the lengthy remarks which I made on Friday on school crossings, but I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving me notice that he is to raise the matter on the Motion for the Adjournment.

Sir T. Moore

What has all this got to do with my Question? Surely it is only myself who can give notice that I will raise the matter on the Motion for the Adjournment.

Mr. Speaker

Order. Lichfield is a different location from that represented by the hon. and gallant Gentleman, but there may be two separate problems in the two places.

Mr. Edward Davies

Will the Parliamentary Secretary tell us if, when this matter is under discussion, an attempt will be made to light these zebra crossings at night? What protection is there against the danger arising from a motorist not seeing a pedestrian on a crossing at night?

Mr. Braithwaite

I had hoped that I had illuminated that point on Friday.

27. Sir E. Boyle

asked the Minister of Transport if he will authorise a zebra crossing at the junction of the roads, Trinity Road, Hampton Road and Earls-bury Gardens, Birchfields, Birmingham 6.

Mr. Braithwaite

This junction is one of a number which are under discussion with the Birmingham City Council. It is within 120 yards of a cross-roads controlled by traffic lights, and I doubt whether a zebra crossing there is necessary.

Sir E. Boyle

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that this crossing, which was recently the scene of a serious accident, is on the route by which many children in the district go to school; and would he also bear in mind that Trinity Road is the major road leading from Hands-worth to the industrial centre at Witton?

Mr. Braithwaite

As I said, this matter is still under discussion, and I shall be pleased to receive any representations from the hon. Gentleman which he wishes to make, or from any other hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Shurmer

Will the Minister expedite the discussions now going on between his Department and the local authority, because a number of zebra crossings have been taken away in Birmingham, many of them outside schools, and parents are very much concerned about the traffic that runs along the roads from which the crossings have been removed?

Mr. Braithwaite

We shall try to come to a decision as soon as possible, but the hon. Member will remember that no zebra crossings have been taken away.

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