HC Deb 14 April 1965 vol 710 cc1375-7
3. Mr. Adam Hunter

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether, in view of the increasing number of road accidents, he will institute an inquiry into the causes and possible remedies.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

No, Sir. I doubt whether such an inquiry would add to our present methods of obtaining information about the causes of road accidents. We recognise, however, that independent advice on the serious problems these accidents present may be of great value. It is for this reason that my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State and the Minister of Transport have set up the National Road Safety Advisory Council.

Mr. Hunter

Is my hon. Friend aware that many serious accidents with fatal consequences have occurred in the less congested areas of Scotland, north and south of the industrial belts, and that if appeals are to be made to motorists different appeals should be made in different parts of the country?

Dr. Mabon

I accept that, but my hon. Friend will remember that local authorities are enjoined to help in the propaganda and education associated with road safety matters. They vary in their records. Some local authorities have excellent records, but some leave room for considerable improvement. I hope that these local authorities will look again at the provision that they are making for more education and propaganda on this matter.

Mr. G. Campbell

On the important question of reducing road accidents, have the Government yet evaluated the results of the experiment carried out last year of a 50 m.p.h. speed limit on certain stretches of road?

Dr. Mabon

At the moment, these matters are being dealt with by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport. He is certainly anxious to raise the matter with the new Road Safety Advisory Council which he has established. It is a United Kingdom body. The hon. Member will be aware that two distinguished Scots are members of the Council, one of whom is very well known to hon. Members. I have no doubt that these evaluations will be made.

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

Will the hon. Member bear in mind the particular dangers of three-lane roads, such as that into Glasgow, on which there have been some most unpleasant accidents recently? Will he bear this in mind if he is considering an inquiry, and especially in planning new road programmes?

Dr. Mabon

As one who uses such a road a great deal I appreciate this problem.

Mr. G. Campbell

Is the hon. Member aware that the experiment to which I referred was a Scottish experiment and was conducted entirely within Scotland by my right hon. Friend when he was Secretary of State for Scotland last year? Is the Minister aware that we hope that this will be considered as a Scottish question as well as a United Kingdom question?

Dr. Mabon

Yes, but there is experience which we have gained from England in relation to what it is doing, and we in Scotland, in turn, are not ungenerous in trying to give our experience. The useful survey which was carried out by hon. and right hon. Gentleman opposite when they formed the Administration will certainly be fully evaluated and its results made known.