§ 8. Mr. William Price
asked the Minister of Transport whether he will make a statement about the future size of goods vehicles allowed on British roads.
§ 13. Mr. Dalyell
asked the Minister of Transport what proposals he has to increase the maximum weight of road vehicles allowed on British roads to 44 tons.
§ 35. Mr. Goodhart
asked the Minister of Transport what plans he has for increasing the maximum weight and length of goods vehicles using the roads.
Mr. Bob Brown
I would refer hon. Gentlemen to the Answer I gave to the hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Richard Wainwright) on 3rd November. —[Vol. 790, c. 66.]
I am aware that there are several considerations to which the Government will have to give careful thought, including, not least, the question 156 of road safety, about which, I know, my hon. Friend thinks deeply.
§ Mr. Dalyell
What demand has there been from the industry to have 44-ton vehicles on the road, and, if it were accepted, what would be done to designate such roads as could carry these enormous vehicles?
The situation is that we have had the request from the industry, and that the existing roads, given suitable vehicle design, would be capable of accepting the loads requested.
§ Mr. Goodhart
If the Minister does contemplate allowing bigger vehicles on the roads, will he seek to ascertain the views of other road users, both pedestrians and drivers, who may well object to having the roads made even less safe?
I can give the assurance that the hon. Gentleman seeks, that all the considerations—and there are certainly very many—will be carefully weighed by the Government before we make any decision.
§ Mr. Michael Heseltine
In view of the very real public concern about the matter, will the Minister consider publishing all the representations made to him in a Green Paper before the Ministry makes decisions in the matter?
I will consider the hon. Gentleman's suggestion of a Green Paper. It is worth repeating that there are many considerations, and it will take a great deal of time to give them the type of thought they deserve.
§ Mr. Leslie Huckfield
Has my hon. Friend with him the figures of these vehicles already travelling at 44 tons gross vehicle weight on British roads under special licence?