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Volume 507: debated on Monday 8 March 2010


Monday 8 March 2010



Car Scheme (Castle Point)

The Petition of the New Thundersley Afternoon Townswomen's Guild, the residents of Castle Point and others,

Declares that they object to the proposed reduction in funding for the Castle Point Car Scheme buses, to take effect from January 2010, that this reduction in funding will impact upon frail, elderly and infirm residents who rely on the buses as a means of independent living, and that public transport such as the Car Scheme offers a cheaper and greener alternative to private transport.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to press Castle Point Borough Council, and all Councillors, to reverse the decision to reduce funding for the Castle Point Car Scheme, and to increase support for local, greener transport schemes.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Bob Spink, Official Report, 5 January 2010; Vol. 503, c. 142.]


Observations from the Secretary of State for Transport:

The Department for Transport is supportive of schemes that improve access to key services, particularly for the most vulnerable people in our society. It is for this reason that we provide funding for an England-wide bus concession, which provides the opportunity for greater freedom and independence to around 11 million older and disabled people.

The Department provides over £1.3 billion in funding to local transport authorities in England (outside London) for investment in transport, in addition to revenue funding via the Department for Communities and Local Government’s formula grant. Local authorities are best placed to know what is right for their local areas and it is for them to decide what their priorities should be, within the context of their statutory duties, and consulting with local communities and stakeholders.

Road repairs (Northamptonshire)

The Humble Petition of members of Rushden, Northamptonshire and the surrounding areas,


That the roads of Rushden are in a poor state and are desperately in need of repair; there are many potholes and these cause a hazard to drivers and pedestrians; they are dangerous for the vulnerable who have to cross the roads and risk causing much damage to vehicles and costing constituents large amounts of money during the recession; the roads are in a very bad condition and cannot cope with the current local population; action needs to be taken if they are to be able to cope with the planned expansion of north Northamptonshire

Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House urges the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to direct Northamptonshire County Council to take remedial action to repair the roads, thereby improving the situation for local residents.

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.—[Presented by Mr. Peter Bone, Official Report, 10 February 2010; Vol. 505, c. 1005.]


Observations from the Secretary of State for Transport:

Maintenance of the highways in Rushden is a matter for Northamptonshire County Council. It has a duty, under s41 of the Highways Act 1980, to maintain the highways in its charge. The Act does not specify standards to which highways should be maintained; this is a matter for each local highway authority, taking into account local priorities and resources. Local government democratic processes provide opportunities for the public to make their views known to the Council.

The Department for Transport encourages local highways authorities to develop Transport Asset Management Plans. These set out an inventory of the assets under the council’s control, the condition they are in, the service levels the council intends the assets to deliver, and their plans to maintain the assets so as to deliver that service. The Department also encourages authorities to adopt the good practice set out in the UK Roads Liaison Group’s code of practice for highways maintenance management, “Well-maintained Highways” (available from: The code is not mandatory, but together with complementary codes on highways structures and street lighting, provides good practice advice across the whole range of maintenance activities.

Over the decade 2001-02 to 2010-11, the Department has provided £82.829 million in capital funding for highways maintenance to Northamptonshire County Council, as part of the Local Transport Plan settlement. In addition, the Council can also apply Revenue Support Grant provision from the Department for Communities and Local Government, and their own resources such as Council Tax or Supported Borrowing, to the maintenance of their highways’ assets.