HC Deb 02 November 1955 vol 545 c1018
39. Mr. Fenner Brockway

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation if he will make a statement on the progress of the Slough safety experiment, including figures regarding the number of fatal and other accidents during the period of the experiment compared with those in a similar period a year ago.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

As the Answer is rather long, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Brockway

Could the right hon. Gentleman give the figures for accidents, both fatal and otherwise? While realising the devotion of those engaged in this experiment, and expressing the hope that it may be of value to the whole nation, could I ask the Minister to say whether the figures do not indicate the need for road changes, such as the Uxbridge Road, the railway and canal bridge and the Slough by-pass, to which I have referred?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I must ask the hon. Member first to study the Answer which I shall be circulating. Let me say at once that I very much appreciate the co-operation which the Slough County Council is giving in undertaking this most important experiment.

Following is the answer: The Slough experiment will last two years, during which time many different road safety measures are to he studied. The main emphasis so far has been on propaganda, education and police activity. Some engineering work has already been completed, but items in the works programme are only now beginning to appear. During the months April to September, 1955, six fatal accidents, 63 resulting in serious personal injury and 202 resulting in slight personal injury, were reported to the police in the Borough of Slough. Corresponding figures for the same period in 1954 were five, 64 and 140, respectively. The total of fatal and serious accidents is unaltered despite a heavy increase in traffic. Fatal and serious casualties in the whole of the country have increased by 11 per cent. The increase in slight accidents may be due, in part, to an increased tendency to report minor in juries as a result both of the extra police on the road and increased public interest in road accidents. The behaviour of road users in Slough has been studied by the Road Research Laboratory and the Social Survey, and surveys have been carried out. Preliminary results show improvements in many aspects of road behaviour.