HL Deb 06 April 1998 vol 588 cc74-5WA
Lord Brabazon of Tara

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Under the schedule to the Local Authorities (Transport Charges) Regulations 1998 (Table 1, item 10), if an accident results in the need for clearance of debris from the highway, whether it will be the responsibility of the police to inform the local highway authority of the accident and to apportion blame for the accident; and, in the event of damage-only accidents not reported to the police, who, if anyone, will be responsible for reporting the accident to the local highway authority. [HL1301]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Baroness Hayman)

An authority wishing to exercise the discretionary power to pursue the person responsible for the deposit of debris for the costs of removing it contained in the 1998 regulations will need to establish arrangements for obtaining information about the incident. Highway authorities already have a duty in law to maintain the highway, including the removal of debris. It is our understanding that the police currently inform highway authorities of collisions that result in the deposit of debris that the police do not clear away themselves and can supply names and addresses of those involved. We envisage that the local highway authority would then take matters up with those persons. The Government doubt that an authority would consider it cost-effective to seek to recover the costs entailed in minor collisions that are not reported to the police.