HC Deb 01 February 1961 vol 633 cc975-6
17. Sir B. Janner

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that dislocations of traffic have occurred in Leicester owing to the use of transporters for the purpose of carrying excessive loads through the town; and what steps he proposes to take by introducing regulations to prevent similar incidents in Leicester and elsewhere in the future.

Mr. Hay

Yes, Sir. I am aware of the difficulty recently caused in Leicester by the movement of a series of very long steel girders through the town. Efforts are now being made to find an alternative route for the remainder of these loads. We are hoping to introduce shortly new regulations which will give us power to control directly the movement of such very long loads.

Sir B. Janner

While I thank the Minister for that reply, may I ask him whether in the circumstances he will also consider some kind of co-ordination between road and rail services in respect of heavy loads? Does he also realise that he must get on with the main motor road speedily, because that in itself will ultimately solve many of the problems with which we are confronted in Leicester?

Mr. Hay

I suspected that the hon. Member would wish to raise the question of the London-Yorkshire Motorway in view of the numerous passages which he and I have had on the subject. We are well aware of this problem, and that is why the regulations are being reconsidered.

Mr. J. T. Price

Is the hon. Member aware that this problem of excessive loads on British roads is not confined to Leicester but is becoming a national scandal? What happened to the Inter-Departmental Committee, which is supposed to have been sitting to consider this problem? The House has been fobbed off year after year with the statement that the Committee was not yet ready to make its report. Has the Committee reached any conclusion about dealing with moving this excessive traffic back to the railways of Britain, where it belongs, instead of on the roads, thus reducing these dangers?

Mr. Hay

It is only right to point out that an increasing number of these large loads are moved by road because it is either much more economical or more efficient than to send them in any other way. But their movement raises difficulties, and our regulations are intended to deal with the problem.