Speed Limit

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st March 1956.

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Photo of Mr Anthony Hurd Mr Anthony Hurd , Newbury 12:00 am, 21st March 1956

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what changes have been made in his regulations during the last year in the speed limit rules affecting Land Rovers, jeeps and such pick-up vehicles as the Vanguard used by farmers for commercial purposes.

Photo of Mr Harold Watkinson Mr Harold Watkinson , Woking

By the Motor Vehicles (Variation of Speed Limit) Regulations, 1955, approved by affirmative Resolutions of both Houses, "dual-purpose vehicles," as defined in the Regulations, are now at all times and under all circumstances treated for speed limit purposes as private cars.

Photo of Mr Marcus Lipton Mr Marcus Lipton , Lambeth Brixton

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he will introduce legislation to increase the speed limit in the London area, as advised by the special committee which has considered the matter.

Photo of Mr Harold Watkinson Mr Harold Watkinson , Woking

Legislation is not required to implement the recommendations of the London and Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee on the operation of the 30 m.p.h. speed limit in built-up areas, as no general increase is proposed. The imposition of a special speed limit of 40 m.p.h. on specific lengths of road, which has been recommended by the Committee, could be carried out under existing powers.

Photo of Mr Marcus Lipton Mr Marcus Lipton , Lambeth Brixton

As most accidents occur for the simple reason that cars do not stop in time, will it not be murderous madness to increase the speed limit in certain parts of the London area, which is already a slaughterhouse for pedestrians?

Photo of Mr Harold Watkinson Mr Harold Watkinson , Woking

I think that the hon. and gallant Member misunderstands the purpose of this Report. The idea merely is that there should be, so to speak, a tapering off process around London so that speeds can be allowed to go up by ten miles an hour for a period as one leaves the congested area, before one passes out of the restricted area altogether.

Photo of Mr Graham Page Mr Graham Page , Crosby

Will my right hon. Friend consider the matter very carefully before he increases any speed limits on restricted roads? Will he remember that the Committee which recommended this change was not really representative of the people most vitally—perhaps I ought to say, most mortally—concerned, those who have to cross the roads?

Photo of Mr Harold Watkinson Mr Harold Watkinson , Woking

I am grateful to the Committee for doing a very good job. It was quite fully representative. I have not yet made up my mind what action I shall take about its Report.

Photo of Mr Ernest Davies Mr Ernest Davies , Enfield East

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation when the Report of the London and Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee on speed limits in the London traffic area will be available.

Photo of Mr Harold Watkinson Mr Harold Watkinson , Woking

I understand that the Report is likely to be published about 12th April.

Photo of Mr Ernest Davies Mr Ernest Davies , Enfield East

In the meantime, would the Minister place a map in the Library so that hon. Members may study it? Will he speed up his decision as much as possible, because we have had a large number of reports from the London and Home Counties Advisory Committee, and many months and in fact years have passed before they have been implemented?

Photo of Mr Harold Watkinson Mr Harold Watkinson , Woking

I apologise for the delay in printing, but that is due to the printing strike. I will see if I can place the Report in the Library.

Photo of Mr Marcus Lipton Mr Marcus Lipton , Lambeth Brixton

How will it taper off the traffic, if that is the idea, to have a speed limit in one place of 30 m.p.h. and in another place of 40 m.p.h.? Will it not taper off pedestrians in the process?

Photo of Mr Harold Watkinson Mr Harold Watkinson , Woking

The hon. and gallant Member had perhaps better read the Report.