§ Mr. Stan Thorne
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment has been made of the effect upon the level of goods traffic being carried by rail of the introduction of 44-tonne lorries on British roads.
§ Mr. Fowler
British Rail has told me that it would not expect rail freight traffic levels to be affected significantly by the introduction of heavier lorries, provided that the terms of competition between road and rail were fair, and in particular that the heaviest categories of lorry met their full track costs. I have already said that the Government will not be putting forward any proposal for a maximum weight as high as 44 tonnes.