§ Mr. Gwilym Roberts
asked the Minister of Transport what progress has been made in providing new regulations for emergency exits on coaches, on strengthening coach roofs, in improving seat strength in coaches and providing energy absorbing backs, in the installation of seat belts for vulnerable seats, in enforcing a minimum standard for brake performance and the licensing of operators and the testing of vehicles; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
I hope to be able to proceed shortly with regulations on emergency exits. Following further tests and consultations we are having to revise the draft regulations on strength of superstructure, but I am glad to say that, without waiting for legislation, manufacturers are already designing stronger superstructures. I expect to start formal consultations soon on draft regulations on braking standards for new vehicles. I am pursuing the questions of seat strength and seat belts for vulnerable seating positions in international discussions.
As regards licensing and testing, the current Transport Bill includes provisions to ensure the continuance of proper safeguards for the condition of public service vehicles.