§ Mr. Stainton
asked the Minister of Transport what estimate she has made of the increase in transport costs which will take place as a result of the measures contained in the Transport Bill.
§ Mrs. Castle
The only additions to transport costs that will result from provisions in the Transport Bill are the road haulage and abnormal loads charges, which will add about£33 million overall. The Government will shortly be discussing with both sides of the road transport industry productivity measures designed to absorb any consequential increases in cost resulting from the proposed reduction in drivers' hours, so this measure should not add substantially to user costs. There will be a reduction in the number of goods vehicles subject to licensing and there should be no addition to the cost of administering the licensing system. The effect of quantity licensing should, because of the criteria on which it will be based, lead to a reduction rather than an increase in user costs. Except, therefore, in the case of some abnormal loads, the total effect on the cost and even more on the delivery price of any individual consignment will be minimal.