HC Deb 23 June 1927 vol 207 cc2054-5

asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware that commercial motor transport companies frequently send large lorries, bearing heavy loads, on journeys involving practically continuous travelling for more than 12 hours with a single driver; if he is aware that this practice, by reason of the strain it imposes on the driver, is a source of danger both to the driver and the general public; and if he is proposing to take powers to deal with this practice?

Colonel ASHLEY

I am aware that it is alleged that commercial motor transport companies on occasion require their drivers to take long spells of duty without rest. The matter is one which primarily concerns conditions of service, and I do not think that it could be properly dealt with in the draft Road Traffic Bill.


Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that companies to-day are sending men from London to Birmingham and back, single drivers, with loads of over 10 tons? These men return sometimes in the dead of night, and does he not think it is a very dangerous practice to allow single drivers to engage in such long journeys and travel back by night?

Colonel ASHLEY

I have no doubt that, if an accident occurred and it was found that it was due to the fact that the men were working excessive hours, that would he taken into consideration.

Commander WILLIAMS

Will my right hon. and gallant Friend draw the attention of the Minister of Labour to this particular question, and see if it cannot be dealt with?

Colonel ASHLEY

The Minister of Labour, I think, knows all about this question.


Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that it is not an occasional practice but a common practice?

Colonel ASHLEY

But let us also he aware that if you are legislating for the hours during which a man can drive a motor on the road, you cannot confine it to commercial vehicles only.


That is a matter for debate.