HC Deb 25 April 1977 vol 930 cc219-20W
Mr. Hannam

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has received from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and other organisations concerned with road safety on the benefits of automatic transmission; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Horam

This has not been the subject of general representations to me, but the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents discussed its possible advantages for buses in its February publication of "Care on the Road". Advantages claimed include smooth take off when the bus starts, and a built in safeguard against the bus moving off with the doors open. I accept that automatic transmission has advantages both for buses and other vehicles, but there are also disadvantages such as reduced engine braking, a lower degree of control in certain driving conditions, and increased fuel consumption. On balance, therefore, I doubt whether I would be justified in taking a decisive line either for or against the increased use of automatic transmission in vehicles.

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