HC Deb 10 February 1982 vol 17 cc965-6
10. Sir William van Straubenzee

asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has received figures for road accidents for the nearest convenient period which includes Christmas 1981; and how these figures compare with previous years.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

I regret to say that the information will not be available for several months.

Sir William van Straubenzee

I am grateful to my hon. and learned Friend for that helpful reply. Based on previous figures, is the trend rising or falling?

Mr. Clarke

The trend has been falling for many years. We hope that that will continue. There is no case for being complacent, which is why the Government are taking steps on motor cycle safety, drink and drive and the totting-up laws.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

Why is it that all Government Departments, especially Transport, take months and months to provide information that should be available within a few days? The Department of Transport has computers, electronic aids and staff, yet cannot provide information on what happened last week. Will the Minister ask his staff to give effect to the words of a famous man, and get their fingers out?

Mr. Clarke

I cannot always claim that my Department reacts with great speed, but in the case in question the delay is being caused by police and local authorities, which must analyse a large number of national figures.