§ Mr. Shersby
asked the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will reduce the minimum age for driving a public service vehicle with passengers aboard to 20 years of age in order to increase the number of qualified drivers and to facilitate the provision of a realistic career structure for public service vehicle drivers
(2) if he will take the necessary steps to reduce the minimum age for driving a public service vehicle without passengers to 18 years of age in order to improve the career prospects of engineers and fitters.
§ Mr. Horam
Minimum ages for driving passenger vehicles apply whether or not passengers are being carried. The Road Traffic (Drivers' Ages and Hours of Work) Act 1976 limited 17 to 20 year olds to the driving of vehicles with not more than nine seats, inclusive of the driver's. This is sensible in road safety terms. Whilst, therefore, I recognise the problems to which my hon. Friend draws attention, we would be reluctant to seek to alleviate them in the ways he suggests.