HC Deb 27 January 1971 vol 810 cc542-3
26. Mr. Wall

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will place restrictions on the size and weight of lorries using country roads.

Mr. Peyton

This is a matter for the local traffic authorities, who have ample powers to do so if they wish.

Mr. Wall

Because of bad east-west communications on Humberside, heavy lorries are using country roads which were not constructed for this form of traffic and are gravely damaging them. Will my right hon. Friend look at the whole question so that he can devise voluntary restrictions to be applied until the new motorway is open?

Mr. Peyton

Apart from the brevity and truth of my reply, there is more to be said on this subject. It is one which I take very seriously indeed.

Mr. Lipton

Will the right hon. Gentleman also direct his attention to the problems in urban roads, particularly in the London area, where, as I have tried to show previously, the weight of lorries is largely responsible for the large number of burst water mains about which we have heard recently?

Mr. Peyton

Having in mind, amongst other things, the hon. Gentleman's eloquence on this subject, I took a modest step forward recently in refusing a further growth in the laden weight of lorries.

Mr. Michael McNair-Wilson

Is it not high time that my right hon. Friend designated a whole series of lorry routes throughout the United Kingdom to safeguard small towns, villages and parts of the country which are precious to us all?

Mr. Peyton

Yes, Sir. I agree entirely that it is highly desirable that we should do this, but until we have completed an adequate network of motorways, I think it would be very hard to achieve.