HC Deb 10 June 1959 vol 606 c961
7. Mr. Turton

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he is aware of the increasing danger to children attending schools that are sited on trunk roads; and what action he proposes to take to minimise this peril.

Mr. Nugent

Yes, Sir. The danger increases, of course, as the number of vehicles increases. Action is taken in schools by the provision of road safety training for the children, and on the road by such devices as warning signs, adult patrols, footpaths, guard rails, subways and footbridges. We are also getting under way a national training scheme for those children who cycle to school.

Mr. Turton

Is my hon. Friend satisfied that his Ministry has sufficient direct responsibility in this matter? Is not a great deal of the responsibility with the standing joint committees and education committees of county councils? Will he reconsider the matter, since there is likely to be an increasing danger to children as the rate of traffic increases and as trunk roads are improved?

Mr. Nugent

This is a continuing anxiety for us and my right hon. Friend is quite right in saying that the danger will increase as we have more vehicles. But I do not think that it would be right to take it out of the hands of local authorities and local people on whom we must rely for effective road safety campaigns and the enforcement of road regulations.

Dr. King

As some such siting is inevitable, will the hon. Gentleman consider the provision of subways, since at least half the children involved will necessarily have to cross one of the main roads?

Mr. Nugent

We do that where possible, but subways are very expensive to put under existing roads and we cannot always justify them. However, we always have that in mind as a possible solution in dense urban areas.