HC Deb 21 February 1940 vol 357 cc1328-9
37. Mr. Ellis Smith asked

the Minister of Transport whether he will consider allowing an increase in the overall length of passenger vehicles by two feet six inches, in order that the maximum number can be converted without the use of a trailer which is considered by engineers to be a cumbersome and out-of-date practice; and for an increase of three inches in the maximum width so that heavier tyres can be fitted, these allowances being consequent upon the changes already allowed?

Captain Wallace

To enable a producer-gas apparatus to be fitted on a rear extension of a public service vehicle an increase in the permissible overhang as well as the permissible overall length would be required, as existing public service vehicles usually have the maximum overhang at present allowed. I am satisfied that any general extension of the permissible overhang would be unadvisable, although I have made Orders exempting certain specified vehicles from the Regulations regarding overall length and overhang so that tests with producer-gas apparatus fitted at the back of the vehicles could be carried out.

Gas producer plant can often be fitted into public service vehicles without the need for a rear extension: and I cannot agree that the use of a trailer is a cumbersome and out-of-date practice. In connection with the draft regulations relating to gas-propelled vehicles which I have recently circulated, I have had no requests from the transport industry for an increase in width of vehicles so that heavier tyres can be fitted; but if tyre manufacturers can show that they are unable to produce tyres to carry the loads now permitted without increasing the overall width of the vehicles, I will certainly give the matter further consideration.