HC Deb 28 January 1931 vol 247 cc968-9

asked the Minister of Transport if his attention has been drawn to the danger to motorists and cyclists arising from the overloading of lorries with sugar-beet and the consequent scattering of beets on the roads in certain areas; and whether he will take some action in the matter?


My attention has been drawn to the danger arising from articles falling off motor lorries owing to faulty packing, and I have dealt with the matter in Regulations which came into force on the 15th of this month. The Regulation prescribes that the distribution, packing and adjustment of the load of a motor vehicle or trailer shall be such that no danger is caused or is likely to be caused to any person on the vehicle or trailer or on a road.

56. Mr. W. B. TAYLOR

asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware of the dilapidations of many unclassified roads in rural areas, especially where sugar-beet haulage has broken through the surface; and whether he will recommend a grant on the same scale as now available for Class 1 roads, provided the same percentage of unemployed workers are given employment thereon?


I am aware of the stress imposed upon rural roads by the haulage of sugar-beets and large grants have been made from the Road Fund for the purpose of improving such roads. I am not in a position to make grants for the maintenance of unclassified roads in rural areas, as the contribution from the Road Fund towards expenditure on work of this character is included in the General Exchequer Grants made under the Local Government Act, 1929. Where, however, it can be shown that such unclassified roads have definite traffic value I am prepared to consider a contribution from the Road Fund to a maximum of 50 per cent. of the approved estimated expenditure on works of improvement, as distinct from maintenance.

Colonel ASHLEY

What was the old percentage of grant?


It is a little difficult to say, because it is now all mixed up with the block grant and the general Exchequer contribution, and it is a fixed sum, as the right hon. and gallant Gentleman knows, from the Road Fund. I am afraid I could not give that percentage.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

Does the right hon. Gentleman consider the roads or the sugar-beet industry as being of the greater importance?