HC Deb 04 November 1959 vol 612 cc1002-3
28. Mr. Nabarro

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will state the number of C-licence vehicles at the latest convenient date; and, having regard to the official survey of loading of goods vehicles conducted in April, 1958, on a sampling basis, and the report thereon, published last summer, what action he now proposes to take in connection with the present system of goods vehicles licensing.

Mr. Marples

At 30th June this year there were 1,116,354 C-licence vehicles. I am not at present proposing to take any action in connection with the system of licensing goods vehicles. I shall, of course, be glad to consider any suggestions my hon. Friend may care to put to me.

Mr. Nabarro

It is not a question of my making suggestions. Is it not the fact that the Minister's predecessor set up this inquiry into the loading of goods vehicles, and that a careful report was prepared and presented last June? Would not my right hon. Friend agree that the present licensing system dates from the early 1930's, more than a quarter of a century ago, when road conditions were entirely different from what they are today?

Mr. Marples

I will look at the report to which my hon. Friend has referred.

Mr. F. Noel-Baker

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the very grave anxiety about the extent to which goods that could and should be sent by rail are now going on enormous vehicles on the roads? Will he take an early opportunity of seeing what can be done to overhaul the present licensing system and to get some of this traffic back on the railways?

Mr. Marples

I will look at the report to which my hon. Friend has referred and will study it carefully.