§ 32. Mr. Gwilym Roberts
asked the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to make a statement on the study he has made of recent serious coach accidents; and if, in view of these accidents, he will now speed up provision for improving coach safety by increasing roof strengths and improving braking arrangements.
§ 34. Mr. Durant
asked the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to be able to make a statement on progress in improving coach safety.
§ Mr. Horam
Notwithstanding recent tragic accidents, records show that coaches are by far the safest form of travel on the roads. Nevertheless, various measures are in hand to improve coach safety. In particular, we are now considering the adoption of new requirements on roof strengths without waiting for international agreement on the related test procedures. New requirements on braking are also being drafted. However, this is no substitute for operators properly maintaining their vehicles under the existing requirements of the law.
§ Mr. Roberts
Does my hon. Friend agree that it is now nearly two years since he outlined to me the additional regulations to improve braking and increase roof strengths? Does he agree that in this long period we have had a series of tragic accidents? Is it not time that something was done quickly to try to reduce this toll?
§ Mr. Michael McNair-Wilson
Does the Minister agree that the installation of tachographs in the cabs of coaches will ensure that coach drivers are not asked to work excessive hours and are thus always fresh for driving?
§ Mr. Crouch
Is it a requirement that coaches be fitted with a dual braking system? If it is not, does the Minister think that it should be?