HC Deb 09 December 1968 vol 775 c19
14. Mr. Gordon Campbell

asked the Minister of Transport what is the policy of the Government on crash barriers and anti-dazzle screens in the central reservations of motorways; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Bob Brown

The Department's policy on the use of crash barriers is set out in the Sixth Special Report from the Estimates Committee, 1967–68. At the present time, there is no case for a widespread use of anti-dazzle screens on road safety grounds.

Mr. Campbell

Are not central barriers very necessary to prevent bad multiple head-on collisions arising from a single skid, especially in winter conditions, both on motorways and on appropriate dual carriageways?

Mr. Brown

This is a debatable point, bearing in mind that, in a four-year observation of the Ml, the M10 and the M45, it was found that 11 per cent. of the accidents involved vehicles crossing the central reservation. Of these accidents, only one in five vehicles so crossing was in collision with a vehicle travelling along the opposite carriageway.

Mr. Bessell

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in almost every other country it is the custom to erect these crash barriers and that they undoubtedly result in the saving of life, even on the figures the hon. Gentleman has just given?

Mr. Brown

I do not dispute that the saving of life would result, but clearly, with our limited resources, we have to spend money on road safety in the best possible way and there are other ways in which we can save many more lives.

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