HC Deb 03 April 1974 vol 871 cc1239-40
8. Mr. Madel

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, in view of the traffic conditions in villages in South Bedfordshire, he will reconsider the criteria issued by his Department for determining whether 30 mph speed limits should be imposed and if he will make a statment.

Mr. Carmichael

Yes, Sir. We shall be discussing revised criteria with the new local authorities in the next months.

Mr. Madel

In view of the planned growth of population in these villages, the ever-increasing volume of traffic and the urgent need to alter the criteria, may I ask the Minister whether his reply means that he will have early talks with the new Bedfordshire County Council?

Mr. Carmichael

On the last point, once the new local authorities have settled down there will be general discussions with them. On the other matter, because of the build-up in certain villages and the fact that certain village routes are main routes in some instances, there will be a variation in some of the criteria.

Mr. Winterton

What progress is being made with designated routes for heavy vehicles, especially in country areas? Further, is the hon. Gentleman aware that the proliferation of traffic signs and road safety signs is beginning to make jungles of what have hitherto been attractive villages?

Mr. Carmichael

The question of heavy goods vehicles raises a much more complicated matter than can be dealt with on this Question. The signs to which the hon. Gentleman refers are, unfortunately, required. As speeds increase, and as more people travel on the roads, more signs will be required. However, every effort will be made to standardise signs and make it as easy as possible for people to be directed properly on the road without too much inconvenience or damage to roadside amenity.