§ Mr. Robert Banks
asked the Secretary of State for Transport how many road bridges have been inspected since the advent of heavier lorries; and how many have been found to be defective.
§ Mrs. Chalker
Of the several thousand trunk road and motorway bridges in England inspected since 1 May 1983 as part of the routine inspection programme, none has been reported to have been damaged as a result of the introduction of the heavier lorries permitted from that date. No such damage would have been expected as the axle spacing on the new vehicles has been restricted in such a way as to make their loading on bridges no greater than that of other heavy lorries, except for a marginal increase of about 3 per cent. on a small minority of short span bridges.416W
changeover. This should improve radio control of bus operations which includes use for emergencies by bus crews.