Skip to main content

House Of Commons (Members Access)

Volume 79: debated on Thursday 16 May 1985

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

5.16 pm

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I am grateful to you for calling me to raise it. I wish to draw your attention to the Sessional Order dealing with the duties of the Metropolitan police, which is passed at the beginning of each Parliament. It is of direct consequence to an incident that happened to me this morning, on which I seek your guidance. The order states:

"That the Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis do take care that during the Session of Parliament that passages through the streets leading to this House be kept free and open and that no obstruction be permitted to hinder the passage of Members to and from this House".
At 10 o'clock this morning I was knocked down on the crossing between St. Stephen's Entrance and Westminster Abbey. You may be aware that this is a studded crossing, which is not classified as a proper pedestrian crossing. Having reported the accident to the Chief Superintendent of Police based here, I am informed that this crossing becomes a legal crossing when a Division is in progress, when the police can keep an eye on the traffic to enable hon. Members to get to the Division.

This crossing is used by many hon. Members and secretaries. As you will know, Mr. Speaker, Abbey Gardens and Dean's Yard contain many offices for secretaries and Members. Can you advise us on what can be done, following an investigation in consultation with the Serjeant at Arms and the Chief Superintendent of Police, to make this crossing subject to the legal requirement that cars and cycles should stop? On road safety grounds, there is surely a need to protect hon. Members going to and from their place of work.

The whole House will be sorry to hear of the hon. Gentleman's accident—[Laughter.] Order. This is not a matter of amusement. I shall look into the matter.

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I am sure that the whole House will be delighted to know that my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, East (Mr. Bruinvels) is slowly being restored to the rudest of the rude, following his accident this morning.

As a frequent user of that road, I endorse the point that my hon. Friend made. Because of the enormous build-up of tourist traffic, coaches and pedestrians, in the access areas outside the House, it is becoming increasingly hazardous to cross this road. I very much hope that the warning sign on that crossing can be made much clearer, even to the extent of erecting signs on lamp posts stating, "Caution. MPs cross here."

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. Is there no limit to the pomposity of some hon. Members, who waste our time with such trivia? If the hon. Member for Leicester, East (Mr. Bruinvels) had been in collision with a vehicle of his own size, it would have been a Sinclair C5, and he would have come off best again.

Order. I hope that the House will not treat this as a matter for hilarity. I have said that I will look into the problem. A great many hon. Members cross that road.