§ 6. Mr. Sheerman
asked the Minister of Transport what was the total amount of money spent in each of the last five years on traffic education by each county in England and Wales.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
I have no expenditure returns which specifically record expenditure on traffic education. I have arranged for as much of the detailed information requested as is available to be printed in the Official Report.
§ Mr. Sheerman
Does the hon. and [earned Gentleman agree that, given the unacceptable level of road deaths and casualties, the Government should take a new initiative and perhaps even consider moving road safety education from the province of local authorities to the police? Is he aware that the experience of hon. Members on both sides of the House is that every time there is a cutback in public expenditure that affects local authorities, the first item to get the axe is road safety training?
§ Mr. Clarke
The figures that will be printed do not include such matters as expenditure by the police, who already engage themselves quite actively in road safety education in schools. I do not think that it would be right to take the responsibility from local authorities. We all welcome urgings from those such 481 as the hon. Gentleman to local authorities when considering their budgets to bear in mind the heavy cost to the country of road casualties. Road safety education should be an important part of the function of local authorities.
Following is the detailed information:Local authorities inform me that their total current expenditure on road safety was £5.6 million in 1975–76, £60 million in 1976–77, £6.1 million in 1977–78 and £62 million in 1978–79. The information for 1979–80 is not yet available. To give a breakdown for years earlier than 1978–79 would involve disproportionate cost. Expenditure by Welsh authorities is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.
|BREAKDOWN OF LOCAL AUTHORITY CURRENT EXPENDITURE ON ROAD SAFETY 1978–79|
|Isle of Wight||0.008|
|West Midlands Met||0.292|
|Tyne and Wear||0.154|
|YORKSHIRE & HUMBERSIDE|