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Column 860

Hamilton, Hon Archie (Epsom)

Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)

Hampson, Dr Keith

Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)

Harris, David

Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)

Hunt, David (Wirral W)

Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)

Irvine, Michael

Jack, Michael

Jackson, Robert

Kennedy, Charles

King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)

Lang, Ian

Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)

Lightbown, David

Maclean, David

McLoughlin, Patrick

Maude, Hon Francis

Miller, Sir Hal

Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)

Morrison, Rt Hon P (Chester)

Moss, Malcolm

Moynihan, Hon Colin

Neale, Gerrard

Neubert, Michael

Newton, Rt Hon Tony

Nicholls, Patrick

Norris, Steve

Paice, James

Raffan, Keith

Redwood, John

Rhodes James, Robert

Riddick, Graham

Sackville, Hon Tom

Shaw, David (Dover)

Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)

Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)

Steel, Rt Hon David

Stern, Michael

Stevens, Lewis

Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)

Summerson, Hugo

Taylor, Ian (Esher)

Taylor, John M (Solihull)

Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)

Thurnham, Peter

Trippier, David

Twinn, Dr Ian

Waddington, Rt Hon David

Wallace, James

Waller, Gary

Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)

Wells, Bowen

Wheeler, John

Widdecombe, Ann

Wiggin, Jerry

Wood, Timothy

Yeo, Tim

Tellers for the Ayes :

Mr. David Heathcoat-Amory

and Mr. Sydney Chapman.


Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)

Beaumont-Dark, Anthony

Beith, A. J.

Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)

Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)

Carlile, Alex (Mont'g)

Dixon, Don

Dunnachie, Jimmy

Fyfe, Maria

Haynes, Frank

Hughes, John (Coventry NE)

Janman, Tim

Lewis, Terry

Livsey, Richard

McAllion, John

McAvoy, Thomas

McFall, John

McLeish, Henry

Meale, Alan

Michie, Mrs Ray (Arg'l & Bute)

Nellist, Dave

Pike, Peter L.

Taylor, Matthew (Truro)

Vaz, Keith

Wareing, Robert N.

Winterton, Mrs Ann

Winterton, Nicholas

Tellers for the Noes :

Mr. Bob Cryer and

Mr. Dennis Skinner.

Question accordingly agreed to.


That this House takes note of European Community Document No. 4102/89 on units of measurement ; and welcomes the proposals as providing adequate transitional periods to enable businesses and consumers to adapt and become used to the new measurements.

Column 861

Driver Licensing

11.56 pm

The Minister for Roads and Traffic (Mr. Peter Bottomley) : I beg to move,

That this House takes note of European Community Document No. 10357/1/88 on driver licensing ; and endorses the Government's objective of negotiating satisfactory amendments with respect to the drivers of non-commercial minibuses and light goods vehicles, drivers from other Member States resident in the United Kingdom, and disabled drivers.

The ratio of risk for a passenger travelling in a minibus is less than half that of someone travelling in a car. It is one sixty fifth of someone travelling on a motor bike.

One part of the Commission's proposals on driver licensing is that minibus drivers should be required to take a public service vehicle test and after the age of 45 should be required to take regular medicals. That is unacceptable. If the British licensing system for minibuses applied throughout the European Community, instead of there being 10 million passenger journeys a year in voluntary minibuses there would be 50 million or more. The groups that benefit from the voluntary minibus system in Britain, often in buses provided by the Lord's Taverners or in the Variety Club's Sunshine coaches, would increase so that children, young people, youth organisations, Church groups, students and the elderly, including war veterans, terms translatable throughout the rest of Europe, would also benefit. That would provide extra advantages, extra mobility and, as I have emphasised, extra safety.

In considering European Community draft directives we want to maintain and enhance safety and mobility. Other countries will raise other points about this draft directive.

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