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Right-Hand Driving

Volume 649: debated on Wednesday 22 November 1961

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asked the Minister of Transport what consideration he has given to introducing right-hand driving on United Kingdom roads as in most other countries; and what estimate he has made of the approximate cost of instituting such a change.

The subject is at present being studied in my Department. The cost of adapting roads, changing traffic signs, and converting buses and other vehicles would be very high, but no estimates are yet available.

Will my right hon. Friend please remember that every month of delay in this matter is bound to add to the cost of any ultimate change, if one is desired? Will he also remember that it is somewhat absurd that we should continue in this way, placing an extra disability on our motor car industry's export drive?

I do not think that left-handed steering is a very severe disability for exports. The point which my hon. Friend has made will be taken into account, along with other items such as questions of traffic signs, which would have to be altered, white lines, minor works at road junctions and the 76,000 public service vehicles which would have to be converted. The accident factor would also have to be taken into account.