HC Deb 01 May 1935 vol 301 cc355-9
22. Captain Sir WILLIAM BRASS

asked the Minister of Transport whether he has given further consideration to the question of a more satisfactory indication of the end of the 30-miles-per-hour speed limit in built-up areas; and if so, what action he proposes to take?


Yes, Sir. The diameter of the de-restriction signs indicating the ends of the speed limit will be increased from 8 inches to 18 inches, that is, the same as the "30" sign. In addition, I have given instructions to the local authorities in London and the Home Counties to erect a sign on each side of the road wherever the speed limit begins or ends showing the "30" sign to motorists entering the speed limit and the "de-restriction" sign to motorists leaving the speed limit. I am issuing similar instructions to all local authorities throughout the country.


While thanking my hon. Friend very much for his answer, may I ask whether he will make sure that local authorities do what he says, and whether he will remember that he has power under the Act to do things himself if the local authorities do not?


I will do my level best, as I think I have shown by my answer to the question, to assist motorists in every possible way.

Lieut.-Commander AGNEW

Will the cost of affixing the new sign be reimbursed to the local authorities, who will otherwise have to bear the cost?


There will be no appreciable increase in cost, because the signs will only be put at the limits of the areas, and the smaller signs can still be used on lamp posts elsewhere.


Will the Minister take steps to secure that the 30-miles-an-hour sign and the de-restriction sign are always at the same place on the road, because at some places they are at different points, perhaps 200 yards apart?


Yes, Sir, I will try.


Will the Minister take steps to ensure that the signs are within perfect vision of the driver, and not, as in many instances, round corners, in which case drivers pass them before they have seen them?


It is most desirable that they should be.

48. Mr. TINKER

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department the number of persons, male and female, that have been summoned for exceeding the 30-mile limit in built-up areas since the 18th March; the number that have been convicted; and the total amount of fines?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir John Gilmour)

I regret that I do not feel justified in asking the police to undertake the work that would be involved in compiling a return of this kind. I will consider later whether it would be possible to obtain figures of a more limited kind after the general speed limit in built-up areas has been in operation for a longer period.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say how many of the persons convicted have had their fines returned?


asked the Minister of Transport what action he is taking to accelerate the decontrol of those thoroughfares in built-up areas which do not need the application of the 30 miles per hour limit?


asked the Minister of Transport to which highway authorities he has addressed communications suggesting that areas of road under their control have been unnecessarily subjected to the 30 miles per hour speed limit; and in which of such cases de-restriction has now taken place?


I will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT a list of the authorities to whom I have addressed communications in this sense. Five of these authorities have already agreed to de-restrict certain roads in response to the suggestions I have made to them. In a number of other cases I have intimated that my consent to orders imposing restrictions was subject to early review. My hon. Friend will have observed that I gave notice yesterday in the London Gazette of my intention to deal with a number of roads in the London traffic area.


Will my hon. Friend make it clear to these local authorities that it is a matter of urgency, because in many of these thoroughfares where the 30 miles limit is obviously absurd, traffic each week is speeding up, and, if we are not careful, we shall be back where we were under the 20 miles an hour limit?


I am so very well aware of the urgency that in some appropriate cases where the local authority has not accepted my suggestion, I have given instructions for a local inquiry to be held. That is the only step that I can take.


Am I to understand that the consent was provisional on some of these roads?


Yes, Sir. In cases where I did not agree with the local authorities I said that they could have regard to the wishes of their local inhabitants in spite of my views, but that I would hold myself open to review the matter at an early date.


Is it not a fact that since the establishment of the 30 miles speed limit motorists are giving far more consideration to the pedestrians than they have ever done before, and that at the present time the pedestrians are feeling far more confidence in motorists than they have had in recent years?


I am very glad to have that expression of opinion, which I think is generally held.

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