§ Mr. Conlan
asked the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what tests have been carried out by the Transport and Road Research Laboratory on skinny, non-standard motor car spare wheels; and what conclusions the laboratory has arrived at;
(2) if he has had any discussions with the Commission of the European Economic Community on the use of skinny, non-standard motor car spare wheels; and if he will make a statement;
(3) what representations he has received on the use of skinny, non-standard motor car spare wheels; and if he will make a statement;
(4) what estimates have been made of the number of cars currently in use in the United Kingdom that are equipped with skinny, non-standard spare wheels.
§ Mrs. Chalker
We estimate there are 60,000 cars on our roads supplied with a temporary use spare wheel/tyre. The Transport and Road Research Laboratory has carried out tests which have shown a car's braking and cornering abilities remain satisfactory under normal conditions, but if the car is driven at its limits of braking or cornering it could be more difficult to control than if fitted with a normal wheel.
The European Commission has not to our knowledge held any recent discussions on this subject. Recent international work has taken place under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe which has now published regulation 64 containing safety requirements for temporary use spare wheels.
In the near future we shall be consulting on draft regulations which would permit the temporary use of these spares on our roads providing the vehicle is not driven at a speed exceeding 50 mph. New vehicles supplied with a temporary use spare wheel would have to meet the safety requirements of ECE regulation 64. Some representations have already been received, but this consultation exercise will allow all the organisations concerned to study our proposals in full and to make representations.