HC Deb 18 April 1957 vol 568 cc2100-1
53. Sir N. Hulbert

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation if he will state the object of the twin white line experiment; and what is the estimated cost thereof.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation (Mr. G. R. H. Nugent)

The object of the experiment is to try out the advantages to traffic of a more rational form of carriageway marking, widely used abroad, and to determine the best standards and patterns for such markings. The rule is for motorists not to cross the solid white line when it is on their side of the road. The cost is estimated at £7,500.

Sir N. Hulbert

How many man-hours have been employed in carrying out this work, which many motorists believe will not reduce road accidents at all? Does the figure of £7,500 which the Minister has given include the cost of the innumerable extremely well-made signposts dotted all over the roads?

Mr. Nugent

Yes, it does. It includes both the cost of the carriageway markings and the cost of the signs, but if the effect of this experiment is to improve the standard of driving and road safety, and reduce accidents, I think that it will be money well spent.

Mr. Ernest Davies

I welcome the fact that this experiment is being tried, in view of the success with which it has been operating in many other countries, but does not the Minister agree that unless penalties are imposed for infringement—after the first period of experimentation has been carried out—it is unlikely to succeed, in view of the fact that motorists are apt to ignore the rules of the road unless there are penalties for infringement?

Mr. Nugent

I agree. After the experimental stage is over, and when we have established whether this method will be suitable for our roads, we shall certainly proceed to make these carriageway markings mandatory and those crossing them liable to prosecution.