HC Deb 23 December 1981 vol 15 c986
23. Mr. Dykes

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what further discussions have taken place on maximum lorry weights following his statement on 1 December.

Mr. David Howell

The House debated the Government's proposals on 9 December. Draft amending regulations and a technical note on the effects of the weight increases proposed have been published and interested organisations have been invited to comment by 31 January. There will then be a further full debate on the Government's proposals for dealing with the problems of the environment and heavy lorries before any new regulations are brought into effect.

Mr. Dykes

I thank my right hon. Friend for that answer, but would it not be nicer for him to give the nation a Christmas present by pledging that the Government have no intention of allowing the maximum weight to reach 40 tonnes?

Mr. Howell

In my earlier answer I made the Government's position clear. There will be a further full debate on the Government's proposals. That is the right way to proceed. The House debated the issue fully and came to the conclusion that there should be a period for consultation and debate.

Mr. Robert Hughes

Is the Minister confirming that, although the regulations as laid down in statute are subject to annulment, a decision will be taken before regulations are laid and come into effect?

Mr. Howell

I am setting out the position exactly as it was set out in the debate on 9 December and in my earlier answer. There will be a further full debate on the draft regulations, and following that decisions will be reached on the regulations that are appropriate. That is the position as I set it out earlier, and I am setting it out again now.

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