HL Deb 28 January 1969 vol 298 cc1121-2

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 what progress has now been made towards increasing the erection of crash barriers between the up and down channels of motorways pursuant to assurances given in this House on Wednesday, December 18.]


My Lords, my right honourable friend the Minister of Transport has recently announced that he is reviewing the present criteria for the use of safety fences, and this may result in further lengths being authorised.

Meanwhile, he has recently approved their installation on 1,500 yards of M.1, North of the M.10 junction, and on 8 miles of M.4, West of the London Airport Spur. They will also be included in the construction of 11½ miles of M.23 southwards from the "C" ring road; of 10½ miles of M.5 from Quinton to Ray Hall, and of 12½ miles of M.6 from the A.454 intersection to Castle Bromwich.


My Lords, I thank the noble Lord very much indeed for his most encouraging reply. May I ask him to bear in mind that, as he well knows, there is a very large volume of instructed opinion, not only in this country but overseas, that crash barriers of some sort can probably do more than anything else to reduce the number of serious accidents on motorways? And will he press on with this good work?


My Lords, I am glad of the slight tribute of the noble Lord. I am sure that he is right in saying that if we had these barriers on motorways they would reduce accidents, particularly serious accidents. But I am sure the noble Lord will appreciate that we have many roads which are dangerous, particularly as a result of the increase in traffic; and with limited resources clearly we have to have some priority. But all these matters are considered with the road safety factor in mind.


My Lords, is the noble Lord aware that one of the most dangerous roads in the whole of this country is the M.8 and A.8, between Glasgow and Edinburgh, especially in foggy weather, which is almost always there in winter?