§ Mr. Leslie Huckfield
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the accident 297W on the M1 on 26th July in which an articulated lorry and a bus were involved; and if he will state what his intentions are with regard to making anti-jackknifing devices compulsory.
§ Mr. Mulley
I have called for a full report of the tragic accident in which a double-decked bus overturned killing three people and seriously injuring 13 others.
Not all the factors involved have yet been established, but it is clear that there were two separate incidents. In the first an articulated lorry damaged a lamp standard thus causing an obstruction in the offside lane of the southbound carriageway. In the second a few minutes later the bus overturned after taking action to avoid the obstruction.
As to anti-jack knifing measures, my Department, with the co-operation of British Road Services, is carrying out long-term field trials of two types of anti-jack knifing systems. The trials are necessary in order to test the effectiveness and reliability of the systems in ordinary operating conditions and under normal maintenance arrangements. I have asked for a report to be prepared possessing this evidence and I shall consider then whether there is a case for the introduction of mandatory requirements designed to minimise or eliminate the incidence of jack knifing.