HC Deb 06 February 1957 vol 564 cc433-4
32. Sir F. Medlicott

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation how soon he anticipates being able to allow the resumption of driving tests.

38. Captain Pilkington

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he has yet reached a decision as to the resumption of driving tests in view of the hardship caused to the employees of motor-driving schools.

43. Mr. Gresham Cooke

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he is aware of the inconvenience caused to many businesses by reason of the fact that they are unable to get new drivers owing to the absence of driving tests; and whether, in view of the fact that large firms are allowed to carry out their own driving tests for their employees, he will either extend this facility to more firms or alternatively reintroduce driving tests for commercial drivers forthwith.

44. Mr. Willis

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he is yet in a position to announce when driving tests will be resumed.

Mr. Watkinson

My examination of the arrangements for fuel rationing gives me reason to hope that it will be possible to resume driving tests on a limited scale in April.

Sir F. Medlicott

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this statement will give a good deal of satisfaction, especially in relation to the problems of road safety? It is clearly undesirable to postpone for too long the training and testing of those who wish to take their place on the roads.

Captain Pilkington

Will the Minister's welcome statement about this limited amelioration of the present position mean that employees of the driving schools will be looked after from the employment point of view?

Mr. Watkinson

The employees of the schools are nothing to do with me. I have been advised—and I think correctly —that the best way I can help the driving schools, as I am most anxious to do, is to announce the resumption of tests at least on a limited scale; and that I have now done.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

What does the Minister mean by "on a limited scale"? Does he mean limited to areas or limited in number?

Mr. Watkinson

There are roughly 750 driving examiners and at the moment all of them are being used on the fuel rationing scheme. Because we now have the fuel rationing scheme very well under control, I hope to release at least some of them to start a limited number of tests all over the country; but not to start them in one area and not in another.