HC Deb 20 December 1961 vol 651 cc1354-5
34. Mr. Walker

asked the Minister of Transport how many accidents in England and Wales in 1960 involved pedestrians attempting to use a pedestrian crossing; and if he will experiment with the use of double white lines at the approach to pedestrian crossings.

Mr. Marples

During 1960, 1,285 people were killed or seriously injured at the 10,000 uncontrolled pedestrian crossings in Great Britain. For the reasons given in the reply to the hon. Member on 22nd November, I do not consider that an experiment with double white lines on the approach to pedestrian crossings would be more effective than the present restrictions in preventing accidents. I am considering what else could be done to improve safety on crossings.

Mr. Walker

Is my right hon. Friend aware that it is quite probable that a large number of these deaths and serious injuries were caused as a result of vehicles overtaking on the approaches to pedestrian crossings? Is he also aware that four road safety committees which I have consulted are in agreement that it would be a good idea to carry out such an experiment, and that the Droitwich Borough Council would be quite happy to have the experiment taking place in the town? Will he reconsider this matter?

Mr. Marples

I think that my hon. Friend's assumption has not been proved by the available statistics, because in 1958 the Road Research Laboratory examined the reports of 216 accidents and found that 18 per cent., and only 18 per cent., were due to overtaking. I agree that this was not a very big sample, but, so far, the evidence does not show that most accidents are caused by overtaking. But I have asked the Laboratory to look at this again, and pending its advice I do not think that I can add to what I have said already.

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