HC Deb 03 February 1954 vol 523 cc338-41
31. Mr. Erroll

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation the separate purposes for which road and rail casualty statistics are compiled.

Mr. Molson

They are compiled and analysed so that the major causes of accident and casualties can be segregated, and remedial measures introduced where practicable, either on the road or on the railway or on both, as the case may be.

32. Mr. Erroll

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation the total number of road deaths in 1930 and the corresponding total in 1952; and how many children were killed in road accidents in 1930 and in 1952.

Mr. Molson

In 1930, 7,305 persons were killed on the roads, of whom 1,433 were children under 15 years of age. In 1952, the corresponding figures were 4,706 and 786.

Mr. Erroll

Does not this represent, therefore, a substantial improvement in road accident figures despite the popular belief to the contrary?

Mr. Molson

There has been an improvement in the sense that between 1934 and the present time the amount of traffic on the roads has doubled. But we must realise that there has been a steady increase in the number of accidents ever since 1934, and the figures for December last were the highest that have ever been reached in that month. Therefore, whilst realising that a very great measure of progress has been made, we should also realise that the present state of affairs is not one that justifies any complacency.

Mr. Snow

Whilst not desiring to introduce any party polemics into this question, may I ask if the Minister is aware that very acute anxiety hasbeen caused by the action of the Ministry of Education in forcing local education authorities to adhere rigidly to the mileage minima requirements of the 1944 Education Act, which results in the cutting down of school transport? Is he aware that this acute anxiety is caused by the increased danger to which, as a result, children are subjected, especially in country areas?

Mr. Molson

That is an entirely different matter and I do not believe that it has any direct bearing on road casualties.

35. Mr. Wigg

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation the length of the part of the main trunk road A34 which runs within the boundary of the city of Stoke-on-Trent; and what was the number of accidents which have occurred thereon in the years 1950, 1951, 1952 and 1953.

36. Mr. Swingler

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what is the length of that portion of the A34 road which falls within the boundaries of the borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme; and how many accidents occurred on this stretch of road in each of the years 1950, 1951, 1952 and 1953.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

As the answer contains a number of figures, I propose to circulate it in the Official Report:

Following is the answer:

The lengths of A 34 within the boundaries of Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme are 4.27 and 4.36 miles, respectively. The accidents in the last four years are as follows:

1950 1951 1952 1953
Fatal 2 4 3 3
Serious 11 9 8 4
Slight injury 36 33 21 35
No personal injury 67 82 80 77
116 128 112 119
1950 1951 1952 1953
Fatal 6 3 1
Serious 15 35 29 26
Slight 38 39 44 48
No personal injury 127 117 143 129
186 194 216 204

43. Mr. Warbey

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what was the accident rate per million ton-miles of freight carried on roads, railways and canals, respectively, during the latest five-year period for which figures are available.

Mr. Molson

I regret that this information is not available.

Mr. Warbey

Is it not apity that such statistics should not be available? If they were would it not be clear that one of the ways of reducing the appalling casualties on the road would be to divert a great deal of heavy traffic, which is increasing on the roads, to the railways and canals?

Mr. Molson

To arrive at this figure would require a quite inordinate amount of research, and it is not clear to me that any beneficial results would ensue from obtaining these statistics.

Mr. Warbey

Does the right hon. Gentleman agree with my conclusion, even though the exact figures are not available?

Mr. Molson

No, Sir, I do not agree with the hon. Member.

44. Mr. Noel-Baker

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation how many bicyclists were killed in accidents on the road, and how many were injured during hours of darkness in each year since 1944.

Mr. Molson

As the answer is nearly all figures, I am circulating it in the Official Report.

Following is the answer:

Number of pedal cyclists killed and injured in road accidents during hours of darkness—1945 to 1953.

Killed Injured Total
1945 193 4,533 4,726
1946 194 4,837 5,031
1947 193 4,783 4,976
1948 224 6,047 6,271
1949 214 6,710 6,924
1950 215 7,506 7,721
1951 216 7,991 8,207
1952 191 7,414 7,605
1953(11 months) 161 6,559 6,720