HC Deb 05 March 1979 vol 963 c457W
Mr. James Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to make a further statement about the decision of the European Court of Justice in the tachograph case.

Mr. William Rodgers

My honourable Friend is aware that on 7 February the European Court of Justice announced its decision on the European Commission case against the United Kingdom over the implementation of the tachograph Regulation No. 1463/70. Copies of the full text of the judgment have been placed in the Library.

The regulation requires the use of tachographs in most goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes gross weight, and in buses and coaches not on regular services. It was accepted by the United Kingdom on accession to the Community and there was no subsequent attempt to renegotiate it. However, although in 1977 Parliament approved regulations enabling the tachograph to be used on a voluntary basis, the Government have not previously believed it necessary to make its use compulsory.

The Government have now considered the decision of the Court that the United Kingdom is in breach of its obligations under the Treaty of Rome. They have reluctantly concluded that they must accept the decision.

I shall shortly open consultations with the employers' organisations and the trade unions on an appropriate timetable to achieve full implementation of Regulation No. 1463/70. I shall also be consulting the Commission, as I am obliged to do under the terms of the regulation. In due course I shall lay the necessary regulations before the House for its consideration.