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Fatal Accident, Manchester

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 5 March 1952

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( by Private Notice)

asked the Minister of Transport whether he has any statement to make on the tragic road accident which occurred in the hon. Member's constituency yesterday, when four children were killed and six seriously injured whilst waiting at a bus fare stage at the junction of Crossley Road and Errwood Road, Burnage, Manchester.

I am grieved to learn of this serious accident. I should like at once to express my deep sympathy with the injured children and with the families of those who were killed and injured. I am sure the House will understand that I cannot, at this moment, make any comment on the circumstances of the accident, but I have called for an immediate report.

Whilst I am deeply appreciative of the sympathy which my hon. Friend has just expressed with the parents of the children involved in this accident, may I ask him whether a Ministry of Transport observer will attend the inquest so that any useful lesson which may be learned from this tragedy can be effectively passed on to local road safety committees?

Yes, Sir. My Department will be represented at the inquest and obviously any lessons which can be learned will be conveyed to wherever best use can be made of them.

Would the Minister bear in mind that the nation is shocked by regularity with which we are having such accidents? Would he keep in mind the desirability of having a wider inquiry, possibly a Royal Commission, so that we can have a coherent policy on the way to deal with this matter?

In view of the fact that the Ministry of Transport is an interested party, may I also appeal for a much wider form of inquiry?

As representative of the Gorton Division of Manchester, which has suffered very much indeed from the casualties in this accident, may I stress the point raised by several hon. Members—that there should be a Royal Commission and a full investigation into this subject and into our road transport?