HC Deb 05 June 1957 vol 571 cc1235-6
16. Mr. Langford-Holt

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation to what extent the new traffic signs are tested for visibility and effectiveness in a scientific manner by the Road Research Laboratory before being finally approved for use on the road.

Mr. Nugent

We make use of the aid of the Road Research Laboratory whenever scientific research is involved, but I do not think that their help is required where established principles are applied to new traffic signs.

Mr. Langford-Holt

Is my hon. Friend aware that there are in the world today two generally accepted principles—the European system and United Nations system, which is a combination of the European and the American systems—but that the Regulations which came into operation on 1st March, issued by Her Majesty's Government, conform to neither? Can my hon. Friend say with which of the two main systems we intend to comply?

Mr. Nugent

That supplementary question goes a good deal wider than the Question. The reply is broadly that we are following our established practice, our own system, and we think that on balance that is to the general benefit.

Mr. G. R. Strauss

Does the hon. Gentleman's first reply mean that no scientific test whatsoever was made by anybody about the effectiveness of the new traffic signs before they were adopted?

Mr. Nugent

No, not at all. There was a good deal of scientific research. The distinction that I was making was that with a great many new traffic signs there is a large common denominator which has already been covered by experience and therefore further research is not needed.