The petition of residents of the constituency of Hemel Hempstead,
Declares that Bennetts End Road is a very busy and long road; further that, over the last few years, there have been numerous incidents on the road as a result of local residents crossing the road for various reasons; further that it is especially dangerous for local children accessing the various schools in the area; and further that a solution needs to be found as soon as possible to avoid further incidents on the road and provide all residents a safe way of crossing the road.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to make Bennetts End Road safer by reallocating funding for Hertfordshire County Council to use to install a pelican crossing on Bennetts End Road.
And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Sir Mike Penning, Official Report, 7 December 2021; Vol. 705, c. 352.]
Observations from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Roads, Baroness Vere of Norbiton
The design, installation and maintenance of pedestrian crossings are matters for local highway authorities. They have powers to establish crossings on their roads, as well as a duty under section 122 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 to “secure the expeditious, convenient and safe movement of vehicular and other traffic (including pedestrians)”.
Local authorities would need to consider local factors such as pedestrian numbers, road layout, traffic flow and speed and accident records in deciding whether a crossing is necessary, and if so what type to provide. The Department for Transport has published guidance on the assessment and design of pedestrian crossings, in chapter 6 of the “Traffic Signs Manual”.
This is available on the Department's website at:
With respect to funding, between 2020-21 and 2021-22, the Department will provide over £510 million to local authorities in England, outside London, through the integrated transport block for small-scale transport schemes, including safety measures. From this capital funding, Hertfordshire County Council will receive over £9.1 million. The integrated transport block is not ring-fenced, allowing authorities to spend their allocations according to their own priorities. It is therefore for each authority to decide how it allocates its resources and which transport improvement projects to support.
Local authorities are free to make their own decisions about the design of the streets under their care, provided they take account of the relevant legislation. It would be inappropriate for the Government to seek to intervene in the process of local democratic accountability.