HC Deb 08 April 1964 vol 692 cc989-90
8. Mr. W. T. Rodgers

asked the Minister of Transport how many prosecutions were instituted in 1961, 1962 and 1963, respectively, against A and B licence holders for using their vehicles in a manner other than that permitted under the licensing regulations.

Vice-Admiral Hughes Hallett

As the Answer involves a number of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Rodgers

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that, whatever the figures may show in terms of a relatively large number of prosecutions, there is still very wide public concern at the extent to which the regulations are being broken, whether by excessive hours being worked, excessive loads being carried, or proper maintenance and repairs not being done? This represents not only unfair competition with British Road Services and hauliers who work within the regulations, but a grave risk in terms of safety. Will the Minister make known to licensing authorities that so long as these regulations continue they should be properly enforced?

Vice-Admiral Hughes Hallett

I am aware of the concern which is felt. I am sure that the licensing authorities are also aware of it, and I assure the hon. Member that every effort is made to enforce the regulations. There is a Question on this subject later on the Order Paper.

Mr. Mellish

Is not the real trouble that the Ministry has not enough inspectors to do the job? No one denies that there is wide abuse and that it is very dangerous from the point of view of road safety. What is the Ministry doing to ensure that there shall be more inspectors to do this job adequately?

Vice-Admiral Hughes Hallett

As I have indicated, there is a later Question on this point.

Following is the Answer:

The licensing authorities reported the following numbers of prosecutions for breach of conditions of carriers' A or B licences:

Year to 30th September A Contract A B
1961 18 724 1,528
1962 Nil 577 1,401
1963 14 314 992