HC Deb 04 February 1952 vol 495 cc74-5W
63 and 82. Mr. Janner

asked the Minister of Transport (1) whether he can now give the result of the investigations undertaken by the Road Research Laboratories and his Department about difficulties experienced by motorists in seeing some of the new zebra crossings at night in wet weather;

(2) whether he will make a statement on the steps he has taken to provide adequate lighting for pedestrian crossings to be visible at times of half light and darkness; and whether he has considered the suspending of a winking orange light above the crossings as one of the methods of avoiding accidents on these crossings.

Mr. Maclay

Different ways of illuminating pedestrian crossings at night have been carefully studied by the Road Research Laboratory and my Department, and the various forms of lighting installed for experiment include that suggested by the hon. Member. I expect to have a report very shortly.

I shall have to consider this Report before deciding upon any action which local authorities should be asked to take in the matter.

66. Mr. Janner

asked the Minister of Transport what organisations interested in road safety he has consulted since December, 1951, concerning the Regulations relating to the use of pedestrian crossing; and what new Regulations he proposes to issue, in consequence of such consultations and of his own observations, to ensure greater safety on the roads.

Mr. Maclay

I have had the advantage of informal consultations with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and a number of chief constables, but until the Regulations have been in operation for a longer period it would, I think, be premature to consult interested organisations in any comprehensive or formal way. The only amendments of the Regulations which I have at present in mind are to meet certain technical difficulties, including the provision of greater tolerance in the marking. I propose to make these amendments as soon as possible.

74. Sir I. Fraser

asked the Minister of Transport whether, in the light of the experience gained, Iunder review, as recently met he is satisfied with the working of the zebra crossings system; and what better methods he has considered of illuminating these crossings at night.

Mr. Maclay

I think that it is still rather too early to judge the working of the new system, but it seems already clear that both motorists and pedestrians are giving more attention to the new zebra crossings than they did to the old type. I will continue to watch the system closely.

For the second half of the Question may I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I have given today to the hon. Member for Leicester North-West (Mr. Janner).

83. Mr. Peter Freeman

asked the Minister of Transport in view of the public misunderstanding of the use of zebra crossings, he will now issue a statement clearly defining the rights and responsibilities of the police, pedestrians, motorists, cyclists and horse-drivers in regard to them under his Regulations.

Mr. Maclay

Guidance has already been given in the official Press announcement issued when the new Regulations came into operation, and in unofficial broadcasts, television programmes, newsreel films and newspaper articles. I hope myself to broadcast a short statement on 14th February. Meanwhile I have brought to the notice of the Press generally some useful notes issued by the West London Road Safety Committee after consultation with my Department.