§ Mr. Butterfill
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he proposes to take to improve coach safety; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
New regulations, laid before Parliament today, will require all new single-decked coaches registered in Britain from 1 April 1990 to be built to a new European safety standard governing the strength of coach roofs to reduce the possibility of the roof collapsing in a roll-over accident.
From the same date, double-decked coaches will be required to be fitted with a means of escape in both halves of the upper deck. From 1 October 1988 seat belts will be required to be fitted on most front passenger seats and centre rear seats in coaches and to the front passenger seats of minibuses, ambulances and motor caravans. Seat belt anchorages will be required on the seats of heavy goods vehicles.