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Motor Cyclists (Training Scheme)

Volume 645: debated on Monday 2 October 1961

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asked the Minister of Transport if he will now make a statement on the expansion of the Royal Automobile Club and the Auto-Cycle Union scheme to train learner motorcyclists and scooter riders through tuition arrangements at motor-cycle clubs; and what will be the increased Government grants for this purpose.

I am in touch with the Royal Automobile Club about an expansion of this most valuable scheme, but I am not at the moment in a position to make any further statement.

While welcoming that statement from the Minister, may I ask whether he is aware, first, that the rate of accidents of motor cyclists during their first six months is equal to that during the next two years of their experience, and that it is tremendously important from the point of view of saving life that these experiments should be expedited? Will he resist any effort by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to reduce expenditure upon this necessary activity?

I am quite well aware that it is necessary to save as many lives as possible, and the motor cyclist is in an extremely vulnerable position. This scheme of the R.A.C. has done a great deal of good. They submitted some pro-proposals to me, and I in my turn have submitted some proposals to them of a rather different nature. We are now considering all these.