HC Deb 13 January 1986 vol 89 cc757-8
4. Mr. Adley

asked the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects that speed governors on coaches will be required to be fitted; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Michael Spicer

We expect to consult on draft regulations later this year with a view to requiring coaches that can exceed 70 mph starting to be fitted with speed governors in 1987.

Mr. Adley

I welcome the Government's decision to try to do something to control the increasing menace of coaches on our roads, but may I ask my hon. Friend, if he has not yet done so, to look at the recent Channel 4 programme called "Catching the coach"? Is he aware that it was made clear in that programme that the safety standards applied by coach operators in Britain are well below those of other countries and that the behaviour of some coach operators in using physical short cuts in many of our towns and cities is just one of the problems that mean that we should have a full review of the way in which coach companies are using or abusing the law in a whole area of activity at the moment?

Mr. Spicer

I have not seen the programme to which my hon. Friend refers, but I shall do so. I agree about the sense of urgency that this matter requires, but before introducing the necessary regulations we must be sure that the devices work properly and safely and are calibrated and sealed.

Mr. Holt

My hon. Friend knows that we shall all welcome the introduction of the governors on coaches, but what will the Government do about the drivers who are able to drive lethally often when they are inadequately trained and qualified and moonlighting?

Mr. Spicer

If the drivers are not obeying the law they will be prosecuted.