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Volume 526: debated on Wednesday 28 April 1954

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asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation the number and percentage of accidents on zebra crossings for the quarter ended 31st March last.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation
(Mr. Hugh Molson)

The information required by the hon. and gallant Member is not yet available; I will send it to him as soon as I can.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the general figures giving the accidents for the quarter ended 31st March are already available? Have they yet been analysed, and if so can the hon. Gentleman say whether or not the degree of security for pedestrians on zebra crossings is improved or is getting worse?

I have already said that the figures have not yet been analysed. They will be analysed in the middle of May. I will send the hon. and gallant Gentleman the analysis.


asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what has been the number and type of accidents on the North Circular Road, from Staples Corner to Neasden Circus, since the installation of traffic lights along that road; and if he will give similar information with regard to accidents on the same road for the corresponding previous period.

As the answer contains a number of figures, I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Yes, Sir. The figures are extremely satisfactory. From 23rd September, 1952, to 22nd March, 1953, the number of accidents was 22. In the subsequent comparable period the figure fell to nine.

Following is the answer:

The last set of these signals came into operation on 23rd September, 1953, and excluding accidents at the junctions at either end of this length of road, the figures of accidents to 22nd March, 1954, compared with the figures for the same period a year earlier are as follows:

23rd Sept., 1952–22nd March, 195323rd Sept., 1953–22nd March, 1954

The accidents are analysed as:

23rd Sept., 1952–22nd March, 195323rd Sept., 1953–22nd March, 1954
Passengers alighting from Public Service Vehicles.21
Collisions between private cars Collisions between goods62
and other vehicles Collisions involving motor12
[Collisions with other vehicles]22
Collisions with grass verge10
Collisions involving pedal cyclists52
[Collisions with vehicles42
Collisions involving pedestrians30

Of the two persons killed in the period before the installation of the traffic lights, one was a pedestrian and one a cyclist.

Traffic Congestion, London


asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what has been the result of his consideration of proposals to relieve congestion in London.

I dealt with this matter rather fully in my speech in the Adjournment debate on 15th April, and I have nothing further to add.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that he had nothing to state on that occasion? The hon. Gentleman has not given the House any information of what is being done to relieve traffic congestion in London. He said that consideration was being given to it. Can he tell us the nature of the consideration? Did not the Easter traffic indicate the urgency that something should be done?

I made as full a statement as it was possible for me to do in the somewhat limited time available. The hon. Member will remember that he himself made the longest speech in that debate.

Will my hon. Friend communicate with the British Transport Commission and ask them if they will suggest to bus drivers and to drivers of other public service vehicles that they should not close up on zebra crossings and so become stationary, impeding the natural flow of pedestrians? That is happening at many places in London.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary say whether his right hon. Friend is taking the London traffic problem at all seriously? Is he aware that when I asked the right hon. Gentleman to consider outstanding London cases, for example Hyde Park Corner, all he did was to make a contemptuous reference to London as if it deserved no consideration at all? Will he try to reconcile his right hon. Friend to the fact that London exists and does require attention?

The right hon. Gentle man has been Minister of Transport and is aware that my right hon. Friend is the Traffic Authority. My right hon. Friend gives a great deal of time to this matter, which requires very careful consideration. He is trying to deal with a problem which none of his predecessors have been able to deal with. With regard to Hyde Park Corner, I answered a Question on that subject recently and said that I did not think it was one of the cases in London which required priority treatment.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that within a week of the Minister's scorning of the Hyde Park Corner suggestion there was a terrible bus accident at Hyde Park Corner?

That accident was not due to Hyde Park Corner but to the negligence of the driver.*

Traffic Lights, Willesden


asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he will consider the installation of traffic lights at Chichele Road, N.W.2, where it is crossed by Anson Road.

Those roads are the responsibility of the Willesden Borough * See Question No. 45, 5th May, 1954, Vol. 527, c. 362 Council who have made no application to us for the erection of traffic lights. I understand, however, that warning signs are to be erected on the approaches to this junction.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this crossing, which was already very dangerous, has been made more dangerous as the result of the provision of a school at one side and of a municipal public hall on the other in the last three years? Without representations being made to him by Willesden Borough Council, will the hon. Gentleman accept the representations that are now made to him by the hon. Member for Willesden, East?

I do not think that the hon. Gentleman realises that the local authority has statutory responsibility for putting up these signs.