HC Deb 01 February 1956 vol 548 cc906-7
29 and 30. Mr. Rankin

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation (1) what steps he is taking to make periodic inspection of motor cars compulsory;

(2) if he will now set up further vehicle-testing stations similar to the one at Hendon.

Mr. Watkinson

As I announced last week, the Government have accepted the principle of compulsory periodic vehicle testing. The vehicle-testing station at Hendon is a pilot venture from which I hope to gain much useful information. I do not intend at the moment to open any more in advance of a general scheme.

Mr. Rankin

Is the Minister aware that since these two Questions were put down the Government have reversed their policy in this matter and decided to follow the policy of the Labour Party? We hope that that will be continued, of course. Is he further aware that we shall study his detailed proposals on this matter with the very greatest care?

Mr. Watkinson

I appreciate that since the hon. Gentleman put these Questions down things have happened elsewhere, but I hope there are no politics in trying to stop deaths on the road.

Mr. Usborne

Before the Minister decides to set up many more testing stations like the one at Hendon, will he consider the possibility that that kind of expense could be better used in other ways? Is he aware that the Birmingham Accident Prevention Road Safety Campaign is also of the opinion that that could be so?

Mr. Watkinson

We had better wait until the Bill comes back to the House.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Would the Minister agree by way of encouragement to introduce a regulation to ensure that only those cars which have passed the vehicle test at Hendon shall be allowed to park in New Palace Yard?