§ 18. Mr. McBride
asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will institute a special study of the hazards to health, life and limb, arising from accidents to, or collisions between, the increasingly large number of road tanker vehicles now being used in the transportation, in Wales, of volatile liquid chemical cargo.
§ Mr. Peter Thomas
No, I see no need for a separate study of the problem in Wales. The matter falls within the field of review of the Standing Advisory Committee on Dangerous Substances which has it under active consideration.
§ Mr. McBride
That reply indicates that safety is not within the purview of the right hon. and learned Gentleman. Is he aware that he cannot recommend to his right hon. Friend too soon that specified road routes be used in Wales for specified cargoes of liquid chemicals and petrol? Is he further aware that he should resist any increase in the axle load of such vehicles, be they British or continental juggernauts, which will come when we are vassals of France? Will he recommend to his right hon. Friend that all road tanker vehicles, British or foreign, be subject to the highest standard of mechanical efficiency?
§ Mr. Thomas
Safety in Wales is obviously a matter of concern to me, but the conveyance of dangerous substances by road is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. The conveyance by road of a large number of volatile liquid chemicals is already controlled by regulations under the Petroleum (Consolidation) Act, 1928. It is our intention that further substances should be brought within control as soon as detailed requirements have been formulated by the Standing Advisory Committee on Dangerous Substances. I see no need for a separate study of the problem in Wales.
§ Mr. Gower
Will my right hon. and learned Friend note that, apart from dangerous substances, there is acute anxiety about these huge vehicles which many people feel should be restricted in speed? They are restricted in speed in several continental countries. I hope that my right hon. and learned Friend will look at this matter.
§ Mr. Thomas
I am aware that there is anxiety about these large vehicles. It is probably for that reason that my hon. Friend had two Questions down today.