§ Mr. Dodds-Parker
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that it takes on average half as long to cross from Parliament Street to New Palace Yard when the traffic signals are working as when the crossing is controlled by police; how many police are employed on these duties; and why the signals are kept switched off on many occasions both before and after the sittings of the House.
§ Mr. George Thomas
I agree that when police officers are employed on traffic duty traffic may be allowed to run for longer periods than would be possible with traffic signals. The Commissioner of Police informs me that the use of lights when the House is sitting would enable him to employ on other duties four of the six officers who at peak periods of the day now regulate traffic in the vicinity of the House.
On sitting days the traffic lights are switched off at 10 a.m. and remain off until midnight or half an hour after the House rises, whichever is the later, to facilitate hon. Members' attendance at committees and their departure after the House has risen.