HC Deb 24 July 1963 vol 681 cc1456-7
29. Mr. Dance

asked the Minister of Transport what progress has been made with research into the design of rigid mud-guarding to make this more effective in preventing wheels of vehicles from throwing spray into the path of following vehicles.

Mr. Marples

The Road Research Laboratory has planned a programme and constructed equipment for research into this matter. I understand the work may need to continue for some months.

Mr. Dance

Can something be done about this before we come to wet weather again next winter? We have not had a very good summer and we may have a much worse winter. Is my right hon. Friend aware that it is extremely dangerous, particularly on motorways, when fast-travelling traffic throws up spray which can completely blind motorists following behind?

Mr. Marples

I do not disagree about the seriousness of this matter. The Road Research Laboratory has already built a twin-wheel tanker-type vehicle designed to water the road in front of its wheels so that research can take place. It is taking place as fast as can be done consistent with getting results.

Mr. Bence

Will the right hon. Gentleman advise motorists to fix windscreen washers to their cars so that they can avoid this trouble?

Mr. Marples

It is very difficult to stop heavy trucks throwing water from the side of the tyres—not behind, but from the side. The real answer is to have water which comes on to the wind screen and the windscreen wiper goes across it.

Mr. Stodart

Will my right hon. Friend agree that research has taken a remarkably long time, in view of the fact that these things seem to be taken better care of on the Continent?

Mr. Marples

The Road Research Laboratory, with which I have been in touch, thinks that it cannot do this in too short a time. It wants to make exhaustive studies in order to get the right solution.