Traffic Management Bill

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The Chairman: That is not a matter for me; it is a matter for Mr. Speaker, but I am sure that he will read the Official Report.

New Clause 31

Motorways (maximum speed-limit)

    'The maximum speed-limit on any motorway in the absence of any other speed-restrictions is hereby raised to 80 miles per hour.'.—[Mr. Chope.]

    Brought up, and read the First time.

    Motion made, and Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:—

    The Committee divided: Ayes 4, Noes 8.

    Division No. 50]

    Chope, Mr. Christopher
    Knight, Mr. Greg
    Redwood, Mr. John
    Wilshire, Mr. David

Column Number: 387

    Bayley, Hugh
    Jamieson, Mr. David
    McNulty, Mr. Tony
    Mann, John
    Marsden, Mr. Paul
    Merron, Gillian
    Ward, Claire
    White, Brian

Question accordingly negatived.

Mr. Jamieson: On a point of order, Miss Begg. This has been an interesting and good-humoured Committee, and an exemplar of good scrutiny of a Bill. We had a discussion—it feels like an eternity ago, but it was only just over a fortnight ago—about whether we had sufficient time for full scrutiny. I am glad to say that with the smooth operation of the usual channels, we have had full and proper time for scrutiny of the Bill and have finished our proceedings in time, before the dates sent to us by the main Chamber of the House. At one stage, reference was made to whether traffic officers would be taking rhinoceroses off the road. The next morning, I was watching BBC television and during the weather report, the reporter had a slight slip of the tongue and said, ''Those of you going out will have to brave the elephants''. Now I know what the traffic officers will be tackling.

In conclusion, I should like to thank the Clerks, the police, the Officers of the House and of course my own officials and others who have contributed enormously, as well as those who advise the Opposition parties—they probably have the toughest job of all. I should also like to thank you, Miss Begg, for the way in which you have chaired the Committee with your usual firmness, good grace and good humour. I hope that you can also pass on to Mr. Beard our thanks for his chairmanship of the Committee.

Column Number: 388

Mr. Chope: Further to that point of order, Miss Begg, I should like to endorse everything that the Minister said. I thank him and his ministerial team for having been very helpful to the Committee. I think that both you and Mr. Beard have presided over our proceedings with a light touch, which has enabled us to consider all the material in a good fashion. As the Minister said, it has been an exemplary way of scrutinising the Bill. I know that others would like to thank the Clerk and his assistant, who have been particularly helpful for the Opposition, because without the co-operation of the Clerk, it is often difficult to get one's ideas in order. I should also like to thank the police, the officials and the advisers. This Committee is probably notable for its record number of Divisions, and I do not think that we could have asked those responsible to shout the announcements any more loudly. I thank my right hon. and hon. Friends for their magnificent support on the Committee; we would never really have got started without the strength of their arguments and consistent attendance.

Mr. Marsden: Further to that point of order, Miss Begg. I thank you for your excellent chairmanship and Mr. Beard for his. I also pay tribute to Ministers for being extremely forthcoming and willing to answer debating points. We look forward to further stages of the Bill's consideration, when I hope that we shall explore the issues that have been exposed so far. Otherwise, this has been a good-humoured Committee.

The Chairman: While we are on the subject of mutual congratulations, I should like to thank the Committee for being very good-humoured, which helped to speed the work through quickly.

Bill, as amended, to be reported.

        Committee rose at one minute to Seven o'clock.

The following Members attended the Committee:

Column Number: 389

Begg, Miss Anne (Chairman)
Bayley, Hugh
Borrow, Mr.
Chope, Mr.
Jamieson, Mr.
Knight, Mr. Greg
McNulty, Mr.
Mann, John

Column Number: 390

Marsden, Mr. Paul
Merron, Gillian
Miller, Mr.
Redwood, Mr.
Thurso, John
Ward, Claire
White, Brian
Wilshire, Mr.

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