HC Deb 15 November 1967 vol 754 cc416-7
30. Mr. Lomas

asked the Minister of Transport when she expects to lay the regulations to allow the use of reflecting number plates in accordance with the Road Transport Lighting Act, 1967.

Mr. Swingler

We expect to complete statutory consultations later this month and, subject to this, regulations should follow soon after.

Mr. Lomas

Does the Minister recall the firm promise which he made to this House on 12th June that these regulations would be laid before the winter months? Would he make every effort to see that this is done before Christmas, and that the trade is given notice of the intended date so that the public will be able to buy these plates in order to save lives over the Christmas period?

Mr. Swingler

Yes. We are bound by Statute to carry out consultations about this. There are a number of technical matters yet to be resolved. In particular, we have received a request for further consideration for grant. However, we have decided not to defer the regulations and I can assure my hon. Friend they will be issued before Christmas.

Mr. Ogden

Is my hon. Friend aware that he gave a categorical undertaking in this House that these regulations would be laid before the onset of winter? The dark nights have now begun. Can he explain why my right hon. Friend can do other necessary and unpopular things in a short time and is dragging her feet on this necessary and popular measure?

Mr. Swingler

There is no dragging of feet. There are technical consultations to be carried out by the manufacturers as we promised. There are certain questions to be resolved—technicalities of the design of number plates. They will come to an end this month. I can assure my hon. Friend that the regulations will be published before Christmas.