§ Mr. Iain Mills
asked the Minister of Transport if he is satisfied that his Department has taken sufficient interest in the encouragement of car and truck tyre developments in the areas of grip on wet roads, road damage and protection from blowout punctures.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
The Department has in hand various work on tyres. The Transport and Road Research Laboratory is examining the wet-grip performance of a range of truck tyres and, based on earlier work at the laboratory, we have put proposals to the United Nations134W Economic Commission for Europe for possible international standards for the wet-grip performance of motor-cycle tyres. The laboratory has also investigated the influence of tyre size and design on road damage, but concluded that this was slight. I welcome development and use of "run-flat" tyres and devices to maintain deflated tyres on the wheel-rim while a damaged vehicle is brought to a halt. The Department is assessing various of these in co-operation with the industry.