HC Deb 16 January 1984 vol 52 cc10-1
11. Mr. Hanley

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with his colleagues in the European Council of Ministers about heavy lorries.

Mr. Ridley

Lorry weights and dimensions were discussed at the two meetings of the Transport Council in December. I also pressed strongly for the early removal of restrictions on road haulage in the Community, but the Council's inability to make progress on weights, largely because of difficulties raised by the Italians, prevented any progress on liberalisation.

Mr. Hanley

Is my right hon Friend aware that many constituencies in the Greater London area, including my own, are sorely affected by heavy lorries? Will he balance the demands of the commercial world, following the Wood report, with the essential environmental needs of the community?

Mr. Ridley

The completion of the M25 will be of considerable help to my hon. Friend's constituency. I believe also that when we trunk the south circular road, on the abolition of the Greater London council, we shall be able to make further improvements that will help my hon. Friend's constituents with the problem of heavy lorries. I hope that those two possibilities are of some help to my hon. Friend. I fear that none of that arises from my visits to Brussels and the Council.