HC Deb 20 July 1960 vol 627 c464
3 and 4. Mr. Eden

asked the Secretary of State for War (1) what instructions he has given to ensure that military transport is used at weekends on British roads only for the most urgent and essential purposes;

(2) why military learner-drivers are required to practise in convoy on coast roads at weekends in the summer months.

Mr. H. Fraser

Instructions are already in force restricting movement by road by the Regular Army during summer weekends. But units of the Territorial Army have to travel to their annual camps and carry out training, including driver training, at weekends. I am afraid that this cannot be avoided.

Mr. Eden

Will my hon. Friend give instructions that when such training takes place at weekends on heavily congested coast roads, particularly the roads in Hampshire, drivers will be provided with some kind of escort, perhaps a motor-cycle patrol, and will be instructed to pull to the side of the road when great congestions of traffic occur in order to allow the traffic to pass them; because the continuous traffic blockages which occur are very bad and sometimes it is impossible for other traffic to overtake?

Mr. Fraser

We attempt in every way to help the traffic, and instructions are given to the drivers to be as helpful as possible. But it is necessary for the Territorials to train at weekends because that is the only time when they can train. I think that hon. Members who have experience of the Army, both Regular and Territorial, will know that the Army extends as much courtesy as is possible to the general run of traffic.