HC Deb 11 February 1991 vol 185 cc595-6
2. Mr. Flynn

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what new initiatives he is planning to increase the use of traffic-calming measures.

The Minister for Roads and Traffic (Mr. Christopher Chope)

Current initiatives include the new road humps regulations, 20 mph zones and the recently published urban safety management guidelines.

Mr. Flynn

Does the Minister agree that, in addition to reducing the number of road casualties by between 15 arid 30 per cent., speed-calming measures have the great advantage of recivilising the centres of many towns and villages by removing from them the menace of fast-moving traffic? However, we are not enjoying the full advantages of that due to certain ambiguities in the law about vertical and horizontal alignments. When will the Department clarify the position?

Mr. Chope

I cannot give precise dates, but the Department's lawyers are considering the issue to see whether clarification of the law is necessary.

Sir Anthony Grant

Is my hon. Friend aware that, particularly in the current bad weather, the least calming feature of our roads is the outrageous exceeding of the speed limit by heavy goods vehicles? If, therefore, as earlier reported, my hon. Friend plans to reduce the speed of HGVs, that is to be welcomed. Will my hon. Friend also consider confiscation of vehicles that break the law? That would have a salutary effect on irresponsible employers.

Mr. Chope

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that suggestion. Last Thursday we issued a consultation paper which, when implemented, will ensure that new heavy goods vehicles would have to to be fitted with limiters so that they could not exceed the maximum speed limit, as many do at present. In the prevailing weather conditions, many vehicles are going far in excess of an appropriate speed even though they may be within the speed limit.