HC Deb 24 February 1970 vol 796 cc958-9
2. Mr. Atkinson

asked the Minister of Transport if he will now appoint the date on which the speed limit for light goods vehicles not exceeding 30 cwt. unladen weight will be raised to 50 miles per hour; and if he will make a statement.

3. Mr. Farr

asked the Minister at Transport when he proposes to raise the non-motorway speed limit of light goods vehicles of 30 cwt. and below.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport (Mr. Bob Brown)

Draft regulations to give effect to this and some other changes in speed limits, with associated rules to make driving of certain vehicle-trailer combinations safer, will shortly be circulated for comment in the usual way.

The date of operation depends upon the time taken to complete these consultations and the necessary parliamentary approval.

Mr. Atkinson

Will my right hon. Friend look at the timing with a view to introducing the speed limit changes before the Easter Recess? I am sure he will appreciate the irritation which is caused by slow-moving light vehicles. Secondly, will he confirm that the Government intend to reduce the speed of heavy vehicles on motorways from 70 to 60 m.p.h.?

Mr. Brown

In reply to the first point, the speed with which the Orders can be implemented will depend upon the time needed for consultation and to pass tire Resolutions required of both Houses.

On the second point, I confirm that we are to introduce a 60 m.p.h. motorway limit for goods vehicles over 3 tons unladen weight. In addition, we are increasing to 50 m.p.h. the motorway and non-motorway limit for private motor cars and other light vehicles drawing caravans and trailers.

Mr. Farr

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that it is now almost a year since this change was forecast, and we still have no definite knowledge when the change will take place? Why must such simple legislation take so long to bring into effect?

Mr. Brown

Clearly, there must be consultations with the interested organisations. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman would condemn us if we introduced the change without consultation. As I have said, this requires an affirmative Order of this House and of the other place, and it would be a bold Minister who would assume that even the most innocuous Order would go through on the nod.