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M1

Volume 649: debated on Wednesday 15 November 1961

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40.

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will authorise the extension of aluminium slotted screening between the carriageways to the entire length of the M.1.

No, Sir. Although this experimental screen gives protection against glare from approaching headlights, there is no indication that its presence has, in fact, helped to reduce accidents. It may encourage drivers not to dip their headlights, thus increasing danger and discomfort from dazzle in the driving mirror from the lights of following vehicles. The screen is definitely not adequate as a crash barrier.

Would my right hon. Friend not agree that this antidazzle barrier should be erected throughout the length of the carriageway? It certainly acts as a wind-break. Only the other day a lorry overturned on the M.1. Will he not look into the matter again? Would he not agree that the cost is well worth while even if only a few lives are saved each year?

There is a committee which sits continually to consider safety on the M.1, and we have members of the Road Research Laboratory on it. They are not satisfied that what my hon. and gallant Friend asks for is justified at present.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that many people like myself who use this road fairly frequently, including the other day when the lorry overturned, find it quite invaluable to have this light barrier down the middle of the road? I notice particularly that where the barrier stops is the place where the dazzle starts again.

This road is being observed almost daily by the Road Research Laboratory and my engineers. If my hon. Friend has any evidence to offer to them I will certainly see that it is sent.