Skip to main content

Commercial Vehicles (Speed Limit)

Volume 439: debated on Monday 23 June 1947

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

asked the Minister of Transport (1) what action he proposes to take in regard to the application from the road haulage industry for an increase in the maximum speed limits for commercial vehicles;

(2) if he will give an assurance that, prior to any change being permitted in the maximum speed limits of commercial vehicles, he will consult with the trades unions concerned to determine the necessary safeguards against the undue physical and nervous strain on the workers in the industry and a deterioration in working conditions that would otherwise result;

(3) If he will give an assurance that before any change in the maximum speed limits of commercial vehicles is authorised he will require changes in the braking system of the heavy vehicles concerned to ensure the safety of the drivers and the general public.

I have already consulted the Transport and General Workers' Union about this proposal and am awaiting their reply. Any regulations increasing the speed limit for commercial vehicles would require an affirmative Resolution of both Houses of Parliament before they become operative. The requirements of the Construction and Use Regulations with regard to brakes on heavy vehicles, which are limited at present to 20 miles per hour, are similar to those for goods vehicles, which are limited to 30 miles per hour.

Would my right hon. Friend inform me whether that application to increase the speed limit has already been made and whether he is contemplating any action in the near future?

I think that my reply indicates that negotiations are taking place between the interested parties. So far as Members of this House are concerned, I have indicated that an affirmative Resolution would be necessary before any changes could become operative.

Before the Minister comes to a decision in this matter, will he also take into account the necessity of reducing accidents on the roads, and that an increase in the speed limit might have the opposite effect?

I can assure the hon. Member that no change takes places in these directions without consideration of the problem of the safety of the roads