§ Mr. Cryer
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what research has been undertaken on the use of 16.5 m articulated lorries in the United Kingdom; what alterations will be required to existing tractor units, what design requirements will be needed for compatible tractor units for the 13.6 m trailer; and if he will make a statement;
(2) when he expects to lay the order allowing 16.5 m articulated lorries in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement;
(3) why he is advancing by 12 months the implementation of the EEC directive permitting 16.5 m articulated lorries; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Atkins
Once the EC date was imposed on us, there was a serious risk of detriment to the interests of British manufacturers. We therefore advanced implementation to January 1990 from January 1991.
The order will be laid as soon as possible, subject to the completion of the necessary detailed consultation. No specific research was carried out on the proposals leading to the EC directive. The new 13.6 m semi-trailer will require the use of a tractor unit slightly longer than the 344W shortest units now in use: some already exist. The shortest tractor units can still be used with semi-trailers slightly shorter than 13.6 m.