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Crossing Point Signs (Elderly And Disabled Persons)

Volume 981: debated on Wednesday 19 March 1980

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asked the Minister of Transport if he will consider the provision of special traffic signs to indicate crossing points used frequently by elderly or disabled people.

Yes, Sir. We have decided that these could be worthwhile if used where large numbers of blind, disabled or elderly people regularly cross a road unaccompanied. We have, therefore, included a proposed sign in the draft traffic signs regulations which have just been circulated to interested bodies for their comments.

Is my hon. Friend aware that my constituents who live on "danger mile" on the A5 at Grendon will greet that statement with great enthusiasm? Will my hon. Friend take into consideration the needs of spots, such as I have described, in many other parts of the country where people take their lives into their hands when crossing the road?

There is considerable demand for a sign of that type. We must decide on the right criteria for the use of such signs. However, in many places, including that in my hon. Friend's constituency, such provision would be welcome.

Is the Minister aware that crossing points generally are becoming more and more abused by motorists? One has only to step outside the Palace of Westminster to realise that zebra crossings are not regarded with respect by motorists. Can the Minister do anything to improve policing to solve the problem?

We rely on the police to enforce the regulations. The police have manpower problems but I am sure that they will bear the hon. Gentleman's comments in mind. To a large extent we rely on the courtesy, common sense and good behaviour of road users when approaching zebra crossings.

Is my hon. Friend aware that many hon. Members take their lives in their hands when they cross to St. Stephen's Entrance from Old Palace Yard for Divisions? Will he consider erecting an appropriate sign in that vicinity?

That is a problem for Westminster council and the police who look after us in the building. When leaving the House in my official car I shall remember what my hon. and learned Friend has said and draw it to the attention of whoever is responsible for the arrangements.