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New Traffic Bill Coming: Hope of Bigger Road Programme

17th June 1955, Page 34
17th June 1955
Page 34
Page 34, 17th June 1955 — New Traffic Bill Coming: Hope of Bigger Road Programme
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AN amended version of the Road Traffic Bill is to be introduced again in this session of Parliament and will not long be delayed. In the Queen's Speech to Parliament last week, it was linked with the Government's road programme, which Sir Anthony Eden said they hoped to expand as the country's economy improved. Work on some of the London schemes would, he added, begin "quite soon."

The report of the Monopolies Commission is expected in three weeks and will be highly Controversial.

The Queen's Speech said: "My Government will press forward their far-reaching programme of road construction and improvement and their plans to ease the flow of traffic and reduce danger on the roads. A measure will be laid before you to amend the Road Traffic Acts."

The new Bill is not expected to differ greatly from the one which attracted so much criticism in the House of Lords, but there may be some changes. The Minister of Transport has studied the debates and'has been trying to work out ways of meeting some of the views expressed by the Lords.

More Vehicles In the debate on the Address last week, Sir Anthony said he was informed that there were likely to be another lim. vehicles on the roads in the next three years.

The next three weeks will see the report of the Monopolies Commission on exclusive dealing and collective boycott and the use of private trade courts. On this point the Queen's Speech says: " My Ministers will take such further action as may be required in the public interest to deal with abuses in the field of monopolies and restrictive practices."

Sir Anthony said that the report was of great public moment. It would give rise to a great deal of discussion and much controversy.

Any action in this field is, I understand, more likely to be administrative than by legislation.

Safety Measures

A Bill is to be introduced to lay down safety and working conditions in agriculture and forestry, and a separate measure may be promoted in relation to the railways. Other fields will be examined later. Bus terminals were included in an abortive Private Member's Bill promoted in the last Parliament.

The Clean Air Bill is part of this session's programme and will have widespread repercussions on the railways and industrial establishments. Localgovernment reform also has a place and will bring pressure from the Labour Party for the inclusion of re-rating of industrial premises.

During the debate, Mr. Attlee attacked the Government for having added to the confusion on the roads by A32 breaking up the co-ordinated system introduced by the Socialists. "What is equally serious,v he said, "is the steady lowering of the standard of employment of the workers. There are instances of the old abuses creeping back."

Of the Road Traffic Bill, he said: " We shall expect something at least better than that curious abortive Bill that was so mangled in the House of Lords. That kind of Bill will not do. It requires something much more comprehensive to deal with this growing problem."

The main flow of big Bills is expected to start in the autumn. From now until the summer recess will be spent in passing some of the small measures which were killed by the Election. The Road Traffic Bill may be one of them, but its committee stage is expected to be postponed until the autumn, because it will be lengthy.

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