UPDATED FEBRUARY 2014
Parliament produces many ‘Standard Notes’ as reference information updated from time to time primarily for information of parliamentarians. There is an extensive listing devoted to Roads from which the following is extracted.
24.10.2013 Road tolls
This note explains the powers of government and the private sector to levy tolls on individual roads.
3.06.2013 Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs)
This note explains what Traffic Regulation Orders are, how they are made, and the various uses to which they can be put.
23.04.2013 Parking: disabled drivers
This note is chiefly concerned with the blue badge scheme; it also includes sections on the provision of parking bays and on off-street parking for disabled people.
17.04.2013 Roads: speed limits
This note outlines the legislation on speed limits and how local authorities can vary limits in their areas. It also explains the policy of successive governments towards speed limits, including their views on 20 mph zones and speeds in rural areas.
15.04.2013 Roads: speed cameras
This note outlines the legislative basis for speed cameras, the types of cameras in use and includes information on their funding. It also discusses issues surrounding their efficacy.
11.04.2013 Driving: alcohol
This note sets out the offences associated with driving and drinking and the policies of successive governments.
10.04.2013 Driving: young and novice drivers
This note explains the driver licensing and testing arrangements for new drivers and provides information on various initiatives – such as post-test restrictions and ‘black box' monitoring devices – designed to make these drivers safer and to reduce the cost of driving.
01/10/2014 Taxation of road fuels
This note sets out the way in which road fuels are taxed, and the Government's approach in recent years, before discussing the recent debate about reducing the burden of high oil prices on road users.
Oil prices peaked at almost $150 Dollars a barrel in July 2008 and fell sharply in the second half of 2008 as the global financial crisis hit. Prices have increased since then, despite a fairly weak global economy. Political unrest across the Middle East and the revolt in Libya contributed to further price rises in early 2011. Subsequent prices have been volatile; falling amid concerns about the world economy and going up as tension between Iran and the West increases. Some commentators have said that quantitative easing has contributed to the underlying price increases. Sustained high prices in 2011 meant the annual average price was above that seen in 2008 and the highest since 1864. The latest spot price is around $102 per barrel. This is $48 below the peak, but the weaker pound has meant that recent Sterling prices have frequently approached or exceeded their 2008 peak. The International Energy Agency's business as usual projections put the price of oil at almost $250 per barrel in 2035.
14.03.2013 Driving: medical conditions
This Note outlines the rules for driving with a medical condition generally and specifically for those suffering from either diabetes or epilepsy or who have poor eyesight.
12.03.2013 Reported road accident statistics
In 2011, there were 203,950 reported casualties on the roads of Great Britain, including 1,901 fatalities and 23,122 serious casualties. This Note provides a range of data relating to reported road accidents in Great Britain.
06.03.2013 Driving: older drivers
This short note describes the driving licence rules for people over the age of 70, including the medical requirements.
29.01.2014 Petrol and diesel prices
Road fuel prices have increased steadily since their recent lows in early 2009. Petrol prices reached a record monthly high in May 2010, set new records in December 2010 and in each of the following five months and broke these again in March and April 2012. Diesel prices exceeded their summer 2008 highs in January 2011 and also set new highs in each of the next four months. New records were set in February, March and April 2012. Prices fell by 10 11 pence per litre over summer, approached the earlier highs in early autumn 2012 but fell back somewhat in winter.
24.01.2013 Motor car insurance
This note outlines some of the reasons given for the substantial rise in motor insurance premiums experienced by many constituents in the last year.
24.01.2013 Driving: serious offences
This note explains the basic framework for serious road traffic offences, sentencing and charging policy and details of the new offence of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
24.01.2013 Roads: maintenance, repairs and street works
This note describes the framework in which local authorities and the Highways Agency in England and Wales maintain and repair the road network. It also sets out the powers of utility companies and others to undertake street works and the powers available to highway authorities to manage and mitigate those works. It does not deal with winter maintenance, which is covered separately in SN2874.
17.01.2013 Roads: vehicle excise duty (VED)
This note outlines the rates of vehicle excise duty (VED) for cars and other vehicles and gives information as to the exemptions from payment and how the Government enforces its collection.
15.01.2013 Road fuel prices: Social Indicators page
UK pretrol and diesel price trends and cross EU price comparisons
10.01.2013 Passenger transport: Social indicators page
Passenger transport, by mode. Social indicators page.
10.01.2013 Road traffic: Social Indicators page
Trends since 1950 of road traffic in Great Britain.
05.12.2012 Transport: winter maintenance
This note looks at the Quarmby recommendations to improve the resilience of all modes of transport to extreme weather, focusing particularly on the road network. It also explains the duty of highways authorities to ensure that safe passage along the highway is not endangered by snow or ice and looks briefly at issues of salt and grit supplies.
29.11.2012 Transport: Motability
This note explains the eligibility for and operation of the Motability scheme for disabled people.
08.11.2012 London Olympics 2012: transport
This note gives an overview of the transport planning for the Games and summarises the performance of the London transport network during the Games period.
29.10.2012 Roads: lorry road user charging
This note provides information on the implementation of the HGV road user levy, to be introduced in the UK from April 2014.
08.10.2012 Parking: policy
This note summarises parking policy in England: civil parking enforcement and parking on private land or private roads.
19.09.2012 Road accident casualties: Social Indicators page
A summary of road accidents casualty statistics. There were 1,901 road deaths in Great Britain in 2011, an increase of 3% on 2010.
06.08.2012 Parking: wheel clamping
This Note describes the law on wheel clamping on public roads and the legal position of clamping on private land. As this is a devolved issue in Scotland it deals with England and Wales only.
08.06.2012 Taxis: quantity restrictions
This note looks at the issue of quantity restrictions on taxis and proposals for their removal. Taxi regulation is a devolved matter; this note deals only with England and Wales.
08.06.2012 Driving: drugs
This note sets out the offences for drug driving and the evidential problems associated with their enforcement.
07.06.2012 Driving: licences
This note explains the law related to driver licensing, including the changes introduced in the UK by virtue of European Directives. There is a separate section on the new licensing regime for HGV drivers, introduced in 2009.
30.05.2012 Sources of social statistics: Transport
This note is intended as a guide to the key sources in transport statistics. It represents a self-help guide, providing a starting point for those interested in obtaining statistics for themselves.
23.05.2012 Roads: tolling
This note outlines the policies of successive governments towards the introduction of tolling on the UK road network. It also provides information on tolled undertakings such as the Dartford Crossing and the M6 Toll Road, and on European legislation that affects the installation and use of tolls.
21.05.2012 Roads: charging in London
This note provides information on the two road charging schemes that exist in central London: the Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) and the Congestion Charge.
26.04.2012 Planning and Parking
This note deals with the issue of how much parking space is required in new development.
03.04.2012 Local transport governance and finance in England, 2010-
This note explains the structures and reform of local transport governance and finance in England following the 2010 General Election.
01.03.2012 Roads: Workplace Parking Levy (WPL)
This note describes the Workplace Parking Levy (WPL), a policy introduced by the Labour Government that enables local authorities to charge businesses for every employee who parks in the area. It outlines the policy of successive governments and provides information on the only scheme currently in place, in Nottingham.
07.02.2012 Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T)
Trans-European Networks (TENs) are infrastructure networks in transport, energy and telecommunications. This note is only concerned with the transport networks (TEN-T). It gives information on the background to the scheme, its financial aspects; the priority projects it supports; and the European Commission's plans for reform.
19.01.2012 Focus on road casualties: Social Indicators article
A summary of trends in road casualties and breath tests to 2010.
27.06.2011 Roads: Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs)
This note explains what Traffic Regulation Orders are, how they are made and the various uses to which they can be put.
18.05.2011 Driving: UK requirements
This note provides information on the driver and vehicle requirements in the UK for foreign drivers and imported vehicles.
05.05.2011 Transport: Wales
This note gives details of the overal legislative position pertaining to transport in Wales and provides a guide to the Assembly Government's transport strategy and areas of focus.
28.03.2011 Transport: Scotland
This note gives details of the reserved areas of transport policy in Scotland and provides links to resources on these and devolved transport matters.
23.02.2011 Taxis and private hire vehicles
This note covers the licensing arrangements for taxis and private hire vehicles and their drivers and the enforcement of those licences.
21.01.2011 Taxation of road fuels: the road fuel escalator (1993-2000)
From 1993 to 2000 Conservative and Labour Governments set taxes on road fuels by means of a ‘escalator' – a commitment to raise duty rates by a specified percentage each year. This note is a short history of this policy.
21.01.2011 Taxation of road fuels: policy following the ‘fuel crisis’ (2000-2008)
This note discusses the ‘fuel crisis' of summer 2000, and the Labour Government's approach to taxing road fuels in the following years.
08.12.2010 Lorry sizes and weights
This note gives details of the current weight limits for goods vehicles in the UK.
01.12.2010 Motor vehicles: seat belts and child restraints
This note outlines the legislative requirements to fit and wear seat belts in cars, taxis and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).
19.11.2010 Roads: compensation for homeowners
This note explains the right of homeowners to compensation where they are affected by road works of one type or another.
19.11.2010 Roads: traffic noise
This Note outlines the various initiatives of successive government and the European Union to properly monitor and reduce road traffic noise and its associated impacts.
17.11.2010 Roads: compensation for loss of business from road works
This note explains the right of businesses to compensation in the event of loss of trade due to road works.
04.11.2010 Roads: traffic reduction
This note outlines the targets that successive governments have set to reduce traffic on strategic and local roads.
02.11.2010 Roads: highway infrastructure
This Note outlines the road building policies of the current and previous governments and explains how the Coalition Government intends to take forward highway schemes in the future.
28.10.2010 Local transport governance and finance in England, 1997-2010
This standard note explains the structures and reform of local transport governance and finance in England during the course of the 1997-2010 Labour Government.
22.10.2010 Roads: 30 mph repeater signs
This note explains the law regarding the use of 30 mph repeater signs in urban areas.
20.10.2010 Roads: home zones
This Note describes the introduction of home zones.
18.10.2010 Roads: unadopted
This note explains what unadopted roads are and the problems and issues associated with them. It also explains how highways authorities can ‘adopt' such roads and make them public highways.
13.10.2010 Roads: traffic calming
This note gives information as to the legislative authority for traffic calming measures; the relevant guidance to local authorities on its installation and explains about different types of calming such as road humps, chicanes and so-called ‘naked streets'.
11.08.2010 Roads: local road charges
This note outlines the policies of successive governments towards local road charging. It gives further information on the two schemes proposed in Manchester and Cambridgeshire in 2007-08 that ultimately failed to proceed.
10.08.2010 Transport Innovation Fund (TIF), 2005-2010
This note outlines what the Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) was, from its inception in 2005 to its demise in 2010.
10.08.2010 Roads: national road pricing
This note explains the history and theory of road pricing, along with the policies of successive governments.
13.07.2010 Parking: enforcement officers
This note explains the different responsibilities of civil enforcement officers, traffic wardens and others for enforcing parking restrictions.
13.07.2010 Parking: lorries in residential areas
This note briefly sets out the law regarding the parking of HGVs on the road.
12.07.2010 Parking: pavement and on-street
This Note outlines the general legal position on pavement parking and the measures available to the police and local authorities to tackle it.
16.06.2010 Roads: pedestrian accidents on the pavement
This note describes the duty of the local highway authority to maintain the highway (including, in the definition of that term, pavements) and those defences that an authority can use if a pedestrian is injured on the pavement.
14.04.2010 Transport and Works Act 1992
This Note explains why the TWA was introduced and how it works.
08.03.2010 Transport: rural areas
This note explains the Government's approach to rural transport.
01.03.2010 Eddington Transport Study
This note sets out the conclusions of the 2006 Eddington study into transport and the economy and subsequent responses to it.
21.09.2009 Working time directive and road transport
This note explains the rules relating to the applicability, or not, of the Working Time Regulations 1998 in the road transport sector.
24.08.2009 Motor vehicles: bull bars
This note outlines the proscriptions on bull bars set out in European legislation.
13.08.2009 Drivers’ hours
This note outlines the European and domestic drivers' hours rules and how they are enforced. It does not cover working time rules.
31.07.2009 Driving: mobile phones
This note outlines the offence of driving while using a mobile phone and the penalties associated with it.
06.05.2009 Motor vehicles: registration plates
Updated with details of the changes to permit the display of national symbols on number plates, which came into force in April 2009.
24.04.2009 Driving: instruction
Updated with details of the proposals to reform driving instruction given in the April 2009 report on the responses to the ‘Learning to Drive' consultation and Willie Rennie's Private Member's Bill on the immediate removal of instructors from the register in cases of serious misconduct.
01.10.2008 Motor vehicles: daytime running lights
In September 2008 the European Commission confirmed that daytime running lights would be fitted to all new vehicles from 2011.
13.07.2004 Social statistics: Key sources
Social statistics: Key sources. By Matthew Whittaker. SN/SG/2206.
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