HC Deb 14 July 1986 vol 101 c672
11. Mr. Adley

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what further steps he proposes to improve road safety, particularly in relation to coaches.

Mr. David Mitchell

I shall be consulting very soon on requirements for new coach design and equipment. Later this year we shall be ready to consult on requirements for the fitting of devices to limit the speed of all coaches.

Mr. Adley

I thank my hon. Friend for that welcome decision. Has he seen the clever but misleading propaganda emanating from the Bus and Coach Council, which provides information on the number of people killed or injured in coaches? In spite of numerous requests, it refuses to give me the information on the number of people killed or injured by coaches. Does my hon. Friend agree that that shows unusual reticence on the part of an organisation, indicating either a lack of information or a deliberate cover-up? If the council cannot provide the information, will my hon. Friend do so, so that we may have some facts by which to judge the evidence of our own eyes?

Mr. Mitchell

I have not seen the exact publication to which my hon. Friend refers, but I understand that the Bus and Coach Council will shortly be replying to a letter that it received from my hon. Friend.

Mr. Frank Field

Given the importance that drunkenness plays in the number of accidents, will the Minister tell us which other Government Departments have an interest in reducing that problem? Can he tell us whether they attach the same importance as his Department does to that end? Is he happy with Government co-ordination on that front? Can he give the House an idea of when his Department will bring forward proposals that will attempt to reduce the number of accidents caused by drunkenness?

Mr. Mitchell

Among other Government Departments, the Home Office takes a special interest. I refer the hon. Gentleman to a question that the Prime Minister answered on 3 July. Needless to say, my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary, who is responsible for roads, takes a special interest in that and in co-ordinating activities concerned with drunken driving.