HL Deb 29 November 1960 vol 226 cc991-2

2.35 p.m.


My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question Which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the result of the experiments with the anti-dazzle fence on the motor way M.1 may now be given, and whether any further action is to be taken.]


My Lords, I have nothing to add to the Answer which I gave my noble friend on July 27th concerning this experimental anti-dazzle fence. As I then stated, the experiment to date has not established that in present traffic conditions there is a good case for providing such a screen. Studies are continuing. Pending further experience my right honourable friend the Minister of Transport decided not to extend the installation on the M.1.


My Lords, in thanking the noble Lord for his reply, may I ask whether he is aware that there have been five cases of motor cars skidding off the road, three of which have been stopped by the anti-dazzle fence instead of going on to the carriageway running in the opposite direction? This would seem to be an additional factor of safety, quite apart from any benefits that may arise from the anti-dazzle properties of the fence.


My Lords, I know that this is one of the considerations that are being thought about. My noble friend must not suppose that nothing has been done since I replied to his last question. My right honourable friend has referred this matter to his Departmental Committee on Traffic Engineering, who have considered all the relevant factors (I do not think I need to go into them), including the division of the road aspect, and still think that the time is not ripe to come to a decision on this matter.


My Lords, can my noble friend say whether his right honourable friend will consider extending the anti-dazzle experiment physically, because at the present time cars travelling at 60 m.p.h. pass it within two minutes, and that is hardly sufficient to see whether it causes dazzle on cars in front of them going in the same direction—a matter which is causing considerable anxiety?


Yes, my Lords, that is true. If my noble friend recalls the Answer I made in July, he will remember that one of the doubtful factors about the anti-dazzle fence was that it caused people to drive with headlights full on, so dazzling people in front of them. This is one of the possible objections to it. Although at 60 m.p.h. this fence may be passed in two minutes, I think that a stretch of two miles, which is quite a costly affair anyway, should be adequate for experimental purposes.

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