Light Goods Vehicles (Speed Limit)

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd April 1958.

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Photo of Mr Donald Chapman Mr Donald Chapman , Birmingham, Northfield 12:00 am, 2nd April 1958

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether, now that the speed limit for heavier goods vehicles has been raised from 20 to 30 miles per hour, and the speed limit in certain areas is being raised to 40 miles per hour, he will now raise the speed limit of the lightest vans and similar small goods vehicles from 30 miles per hour to 40 miles per hoar outside restricted areas.

Photo of Mr Harold Watkinson Mr Harold Watkinson , Woking

I am considering whether any change is desirable in the speed limit for light goods vehicles.

Photo of Mr Donald Chapman Mr Donald Chapman , Birmingham, Northfield

Will not the Minister gather together more opinion from the police authorities? Is it not a fact that the Metropolitan Police, for example, are in support of raising the speed limit? Will there not be less opposition from the unions in this matter than in the case of heavy goods vehicles, because these vans are mainly in the 30 miles-an-hour limit area anyway, they are very largely owner-used, and there is not the great strain on men of driving them over long distances as there is in the case of heavy goods vehicles?

Photo of Mr Harold Watkinson Mr Harold Watkinson , Woking

I note the hon. Gentleman's support for this alteration in the speed limit. We are collecting the kind of technical advice he has mentioned, and I will give it consideration as soon as I have it.

Photo of Mr Graham Page Mr Graham Page , Crosby

Will my right hon. Friend resist the application of this leap-frogging principle to speed limits, which can only result in an increase in accidents?

Photo of Mr Harold Watkinson Mr Harold Watkinson , Woking

I do not think that my hon. Friend's point is borne out by the facts.