HC Deb 21 June 1933 vol 279 cc752-3
23. Mr. HALES

asked the Minister of Transport whether his attention has been drawn to the serious injuries caused by outbreaks of fire on motor cars on the Stone, Stafford, and Brighton roads during the past few days; and if he contemplates taking such action as will reduce the number of such accidents in future?

The MINISTER of TRANSPORT (Mr. Oliver Stanley)

My hon. Friend has sent me newspaper reports of these accidents. In each case, so far as it is possible to judge from the reports, an ordinary fire extinguisher carried on the vehicle would have proved ineffective. As regards the second part of the question, I have nothing to add to the answer which I gave him on the 12th May.


Is it not a fact that these fatalities are increasing daily, and that, if an extinguisher were carried on every oar, not only would one car be made safe, but every car that came up would be practically a fire engine and able to give assistance? How many more valuable lives are to be sacrificed, and how much more property is to be destroyed, before the Ministry realise their responsibilities?


asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware that, since 13th April, there have been at least four fatal accidents on the Margate-Canterbury road, two children being killed in the village of Hersden; and, in view of the fact that many motorists ignore drive slowly notices posted outside the village, what steps he proposes to take for the protection of the inhabitants?


I am aware that fatal accidents have occurred recently at the village of Hersden involving the death of two children. I am not in a position to apportion responsibility for them. I am instructing one of my engineers to examine the position with a view to seeing whether the danger to inhabitants of the village could be reduced by the better siting of the existing signs or by the erection by the highway authority of other suitable danger or warning signs, in accordance with the recommendations of the report of the Departmental Committee on Road Traffic Signs which is to be published very shortly.


Has the hon. Gentleman's attention been called to the fact that many inhabitants of the village strongly desire that the footpath should be widened, as one of the accidents is partly attributable to the fact that the footpath is not sufficiently wide for two people to walk abreast?


The hon. Lady is rather rushing in where I feared to tread and allocating responsibility for the accident. I will certainly consider any representations made to me with regard to the question of the footpath.