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Road Safety

Volume 407: debated on Friday 20 June 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list (a) improvements in pedestrian and cycling facilities, (b) traffic reduction and calming measures and (c) other local transport schemes which have been pursued as part of (i) Local Strategic Partnerships, (ii) the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund and (iii) the New Deal for Communities projects, including in each case details of (A) expenditure allocated by his Department and (B) the total cost of the project, broken down by region. [119135]

The National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal (2001) sets out the vision of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for narrowing the gap between the most deprived areas and the rest of the country on the key domains of crime, health, education and skills, worklessness, and housing and the physical environment.An important element in delivering the strategy is the introduction of floor targets under SR2000. These are National Public Service Agreement (PSA) targets that set a floor or minimum standard so that Whitehall Departments are judged for the first time on the areas they are doing worse rather than on the national average. Under SR2002, Department for Transport (DfT) have signed up to a PSA target on road safety with a floor component:

Reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in Great Britain in road accidents by 40 per cent., and the number of children killed or seriously injured by 50 per cent., by 2010 compared with the average for 1994–98, tackling the significantly higher incidence in disadvantaged communities.

The Neighbourhood Renewal Unit has been working closely with the DIT on its proposals for tackling road accident casualties in deprived areas. DfT is targeting £17.6 million to those deprived areas with a high number of child pedestrian casualties. Several of these are in Greater Manchester and around. Local authorities will be expected to draw up local strategies to tackle the problem and obtain results in three years. Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs) and the police will have a stake locally. In these areas, LSPs will play a key role in drawing together all the key agencies from both from the public and voluntary, community and business sectors to deliver decisions and actions that join up

partners' activities. The Neighbourhood Renewal Fund (NRF) could be used to support some of the less 'roads' oriented work.

NRF and LSPs

The Spending Review 2000 made available £900 million for NRF (£200 million in 2001–02, £300 million in 2002–03 and £400 million in 2003–04), and an additional £975 million was made available as part of the Spending Review 2002 (£450 million in 2004–05 and £525 million in 2005–06).

NRF can be spent in any way that tackles deprivation in the most deprived neighbourhoods, particularly, but not exclusively, in relation to floor targets and to local targets set out in the Local Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy (LNRS) agreed by each of the 87 LSPs (Kerrier and Penwith work together as the west Cornwall LSP). NRF spending plans are therefore determined locally, and the NRF can be used to support not only local authority services, but also those of other organisations, including other members of the LSP. NRF is used primarily to facilitate the bending of mainstream resources to tackle deprivation in the most deprived areas.

Various innovative local transport schemes have been pursued across England as part of the NRF:

from a total NRF allocation of £722,708 for 2002–03, Ashfield local authority has spent £87,220 on access to services and facilities improvement. Two buses have been acquired to link isolated parts of the district council;
in the north-east, Stockton-on-Tees local authority, from a total NRF allocation of £2,889,153 for 2002–03, has an estimated spend of £28,877 towards an initiative in the Queens Park ward, which has provided greater access for the disabled and disadvantaged through alternatives to public transport. In Wear Valley, £34,000 has been spent on demand responsive community transport for health;
in the north-west, Wirral local authority has spent £110,000 from a total NRF allocation of £3,806,394 for 2002–03 on a Heritage Skills and Community Transport programme, creating a base for social enterprise that will provide training in construction, driving and mechanical skills for people from priority areas; and
Islington local authority in London, from a total NRF allocation of £4,702,515 for 2002–03, has spent £42,500 providing safe, accessible and sustainable transport linking people to services.

Some LSPs have identified access and transport related priority themes when developing their Local Neighbourhood Renewal Strategies (LNRS). For example:

Hackney LNRS has a transport Action Plan to:
combat congestion on local roads to reduce pollution and minimise accidents;
make streets healthy and safe for pedestrians and cyclists to enable them to travel easily around the borough; and
combat social exclusion by enhancing public transport provision and opportunities and ensuring transport is strategically linked to regeneration and employment.

Bolton LNRS—The LSP has been responsible for negotiating an LPSA to reduce the numbers killed or seriously injured in road traffic accidents (excluding motorway network).

Derby LNRS—has a physical environment cross-cutting theme which seeks to address traffic and transport, urban design and neighbourhood character, open space and recreation, land uses and development sites, environmental improvements.

Easington LNRS—as part of their environmental strategic priority theme, seeks:

  • increased use of public transport;
  • increased visitor numbers to the coast;
  • re-establishment of rail station facilities;
  • number of linked bus services established;
  • increased number of routes established;
  • increase in per cent. of children walking to school; and
  • reduction in traffic congestion around schools.

New Deal for Communities

New Deal for Communities (NDC) supports inclusive neighbourhood partnerships, which identify the priority needs of their area and develop appropriate regeneration strategies. We do not hold data centrally about how much NDC funding is allocated to transport projects in each region.

The specific problems of each NDC neighbourhood are unique, but each NDC partnership looks for outcomes that make a real impact on the people living in their neighbourhood, by tackling five key themes: poor job prospects; high levels of crime; educational under-achievement; poor health; and problems with housing and the physical environment.

As each NDC neighbourhood has different needs, some but not all NDC Partnerships have specific transport projects. One example of such a project is the Shoreditch NDC Partnership, which launched a project called the Shoreditch Hoppa, which is a new local bus serving the NDC neighbourhood. This project has been so successful that it has been mainstreamed by Transport for London.