§ Mr. Home Robertson
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many fords there are in England where public roads cross watercourses; how many fatal or serious accidents have occurred in each of the last 10 years as a result of vehicles failing to negotiate water on fords on public roads; if he will list fords which have been closed to traffic following such accidents; and what is his Department's policy towards fords and the provision of warning to motorists when water conditions may be dangerous.
§ Mr. Kenneth Carlisle
No information is available centrally about the number of fords in England, accidents at or near fords, or fords which have been closed to traffic following accidents. Fords are normally on minor roads which are the responsibility of the local authority. The signs prescribed in Traffic Signs Regulations for use as necessary include triangular signs to give advance warning of the ford and the need to try brakes after crossing, gauges to show the depth of water and "Unsuitable for motors" plates for use with the warning signs where the water is normally too deep. Warning signs can be used where floods occur at fairly regular intervals but should be covered or removed unless the hazard is present.