Letters from Readers, April 1968

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N.B.—Opinions expressed are those of our Correspondents and Motor Sport does not necessarily associate itself with them.—Ed.

The “TR” Range

Sir,
I am surprised at the apparent disinterest, in the motor world in general, at the passing of one of the best, overall, pieces of engineering that I, personally, have had the pleasure to own and work upon—namely TR engines and their whole 4-cylinder range.

My experience stems only from the TR2 unit (with its unfortunate camshaft bearing design and apparent, and only apparent!, lack of b.h.p.) to the last one as used in the TR4A with its funny, backward operating starter motor, plumbers’ nightmare manifolding and at long last a return to S.U.s and a reasonable m.p.g. I am sure that many owners, not only of Standard Triumph, but of Doretti, Morgan, Peerless, Warwick (and my 1935 Wolseley Hornet 14 saloon) and many others who use this power-piece would appreciate the experienced comments. Why was this engine replaced by that underpowered six?

Please keep Motor Sport controversial and help the few enthusiasts who are left (apparently only a quarter of a million) to fight B.C. and her bureaucratic bungling. A good TR eats 70 in 2nd (overdrive at worst).

Wednesbury. Michael T. Palfreyman.
* * *

Sapphire Appreciation

Sir,
I noted with particular interest your comments in your Editorial for February’s Motor Sport regarding “. . . a Sapphire which looks derelict standing outside a workingmen’s club opposite Hershaft Green.”

In case any would-be Armstrong Siddeley enthusiasts have ideas about renovating it. I think the position should be made clear regarding the car’s future.

Three years ago I was offered an Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire automatic for free providing I could remove the car from the gentleman’s garden.

This proved to be less of a problem than I anticipated, because all that was needed was an overnight battery charge and a press of the starter button—this was after three months of standing idle.

After much hard work on the part of myself, my parents and two close friends plus a large tin of Simonize “Kleener” the Armstrong regained much of its dignified grace.

As far as my running the car on the road was concerned, this was out of the question because at the time I was only 17 (I vaguely mentioned the possibilities of insuring this 3½-litre two-ton car to my father’s insurance broker and he just laughed and laughed).

Anyway, in due course I sold it to a gentleman and his son who were Armstrong enthusiasts and when not in use it lived outside the above-mentioned workingmen’s club (its number was SYK 774).

It has subsequently been resold and its place taken by the grey Sapphire mentioned in your Editorial. When time and weather permits, I understand that this Armstrong will be renovated by its present owners, so anyone looking for a derelict but restorable Sapphire must, I think, search elsewhere.

I have seen a similar Armstrong standing in a field on a farm near Chilworth in Surrey but I am not sure how decayed or otherwise this vehicle is.

Weybridge. R. Burfitt.

[I apologise if anyone had a wasted journey looking at this car. —Ed.]
* * *

Aston Martin Aspects

Sir,
I was most interested to read Peter Messenger’s letter in Motor Sport as it is not often that Aston Martins get a mention.

It is strange, but apart from the first two complaints I had none of those particular troubles with my DB5. Perhaps it was that they didn’t worry me. What did however were to my mind far more serious faults: a clutch which was so heavy that exhaustion set in after a few miles in traffic and needed replacing as often as the plugs; very weak synchromesh and difficulty in engaging first and second gear when cold; a noisy rear axle (I’m told David Brown has his rear axle transferred from car to car.)

Over the last few years I have owned a DB4, DB5 and now have a DB6 so there must be some good points. I think the reason why I first fell for their charms was that despite all their faults they feel right and handle perfectly at any speed above 70 m.p.h., which makes life a little difficult at the moment! Like Peter Messenger I always feel that the car has something in hand even if I haven’t. The engine has that rare quality of unburstable power, while at the same time having none of the harshness usually associated with high performance units.

Last June I took the car down to Le Mans; it went like a bird and I was able to average a little over 75 m.p.h. there and back with no trouble at all. I had hoped to see the Lola-Aston Martin coming in first and second but perhaps it was a little too much to expect and unfortunately it was the Aston half that caused the trouble.

I look forward to reading a road-test of the DBS in Motor Sport before long; that should really be something.

Godalming. T. Holland-Bosworth.

[The reason you haven’t read a DB6 road-test is that we are not permitted to do the test abroad and short runs in speed-scared Britain would scarcely do justice to a car in this price/performance class.—Ed.]
———

Sir,
I was most interested to read Peter Messenger’s account of his experiences with an Aston Martin. Having read the two opening paragraphs I was rather afraid that it would be on the same theme as the experiences of an acquaintance of mine who bought a Maserati Mistrale which didn’t seem to like central London and so was exchanged for an E-type and an aeroplane—both secondhand, but quite a fair bargain.

In 1965/66, living in Essex and entirely dependent on a car for business and pleasure I bought a second-hand 1963 E-type. It was a superb car in spite of the slow gearbox and uncomfortable seats and in 11 months and 16,000 miles of completely trouble-free motoring I do not remember any large bills or replaced parts except for a radiator header tank and usual pads, plugs, etc. It was completely rust free when I sold it when I resettled in London and I had no difficulty in getting the fairly high cash price I wanted.

After a pause of a few months I decided—perversely perhaps— that because I was now less dependent on a car and doing a smaller annual mileage I would depart into even more high-powered exotica. I tried one of two Aston Martin DB4s which I found at first brief acquaintance rather disappointing, they seemed too big and heavy. This was particularly disappointing as I was already hooked on Aston Martins having come under the beneficial influence of A.M.O.C. members in Essex. I then saw an advertisement for a 1960 DB4 GT at a price less than a good second hand M.G.-B GT. I was on a train North the next day and one view, one ride produced a snap decision about which I had no doubts or second thoughts. The car, bright red with white leather, was very early No. 12 out of 100, it had already had four owners, had been raced and rallied, had caught fire and had been resprayed, nothing was guaranteed and at least one owner, so I was told, had kept it in his garage most of the time because he couldn’t get it to go—hence the small mileage! On this basis it may seem surprising that I even got this complex, temperamental monster back to London. Now, over a year later and 20,000 more miles on the clock including a trip to Le Mans and another to the Riviera, I have not been stranded by the side of the road once. This is not to say that it has been an inexpensive year or that I have not had my problems.

First, who was to look after it? I rang Aston Martin’s in Piccadilly who gave the names of their two main agents in London but refused to recommend any other garages who could be counted on as being reliable. I was thus forced to go to one of the agents. As I feared they were slow, expensive and uninterested. The last straw came when they insisted on overhauling the braking system. They kept the car a week and within an hour of collection the brakes seized solid in the middle of Mayfair. Eventually they cooled down enough to allow me to drive back to the agent on the handbrake where the car sat for another few days. Completely unnerved by this I rang Aston Martin’s in Newport Pagnell who are a good deal more helpful than the rather posh London office. The technical department gave me the name of a wizard in West London, ex-Aston Martin’s, who has probably forgotten more about the innards of high performance machinery than most so-called experts ever learn. The first five minutes with him proved the point. The central London agent had diagnosed an ugly knocking from the back axle as either universal joints or differential. They advised me that it would cost me something just to have the exploratory stripping down carried out. The expert diagnosed it is loose wheels and a couple of taps on the Borrani three-eared hub caps did the trick.

The first major failure was the clutch which gave out slowly giving me plenty of time to decide what to do. I was recommended to put in a standard DB6 Laycock clutch modified with a Bosch centre plate which is supposed to be a good deal stronger—that cost £78. The only other major job was a complete top overhaul which cost £130. This was brought on by a huge leap in oil consumption—from 90 miles to the pint to 22 miles to the pint with hard motoring. There was also the attendant severe oiling up of the narrow 10 mm. plugs (two per cylinder). The Dykes rings were replaced by DB5/6 rings which meant machining new grooves in the pistons. Instead of having highly expensive new valves and valve guides the worn valve guides were reamed out oversize, the valve stems were chrome plated and machined down to an exact fit. Labour and material worked out at 30s. per valve.

Aston Martin’s disapprove of this but won’t say why—perhaps they like selling expensive new valves. The con-rod bearing shells were replaced with new ones for £9—the old ones showed very little wear. The whole job was done without taking the engine out, something that Aston Martin’s again will not do.

This whole job would have cost well over £200 at Aston Martin’s or any main agent. My consumption is now over 500 miles to the pint and I am able to run the car in central London on 100s—hot racing plugs. The only other serious problem I have had is low oil pressure and high oil temperatures on extended runs at between 110 and 130 m.p.h. This we have now partially resolved by the staggering discovery which has taken over a year to make that the engine has a capacity of 17 pints of oil not 13 as we thought and that the dipstick reads full when there is another 4 pints to go. This means that on some of my long runs when the oil level has been allowed to get down below “Low” there may have only been about six pints of oil in the whole engine—no wonder it got hot. Luckily I obey the instruments and when the pressure drops below 75 lb/sq. in., I let off, otherwise results could have been disastrous. On reflection it seems extraordinary that such a sophisticated complex, expensive piece of machinery could have been endangered by something as simple as an incorrectly calibrated dipstick.

Driving the DB4GT on the road is a unique and exhilarating experience. It is a combination of the road-holding of a Lotus, the kick of a Cobra and a solidity and strength all of its own. If this seems like an exaggeration it is worth remembering that while the latest four-camshaft GTB Ferrari does 0-100 m.p.h. in 15 sec., a motoring magazine’s road test on a standard DB4GT recorded 0-100 m.p.h. in 14.2 secs. There is no bottoming in this car on Continental roads and the very hard springing allows one to cruise at over 100 m.p.h. over most French roads without any low frequency bouncing.

In spite of my total devotion to this remarkable car I would not buy another Aston Martin, neither the DB5, DB6 or the dreary DBS have quite the fire of the GT (though I think Aston Martin’s were quite right from a marketing point of view to produce a more luxurious and convenient car). As far as I am concerned a car much closer to the GT in character is the 275 GTB which from looks alone is worth every penny of six and a half thousand—it’s just that I haven’t got that kind of money at the moment. The only alternative I can think of at the moment is to drop a 4-litre Vantange engine and a 5-speed ZE box into a DB4GT; I think it would make a very potent but very pleasant motor car.

The DBS worries me a lot. It’s a sad, ugly car. In their quest for clean lines designers have forgotten how exciting full flowing curves are—in a car, in the hull of a boat, in a woman. The Aston Martin designer could take a few lessons from Oldmobile’s treatment of the back of the Toronado which in my very personal view is the only really beautiful back ever put on a car and in his treatment of the air extraction slots from (again) those on the 275 GTB which put to shame the skimpy, under-nourished little things on the DBS.

London, W.11. C. Chadwyck-Healey.
* * *

Peerless Progress

Sir,
May I take this opportunity to thank you for the mention given in your publication for November 1964, concerning the formation of a Peerless Register. Since our first meeting in December of that year, we have moved from strength to strength, and have become Peerless Warwick Owners’ Club, boasting some 70 members. When it is remembered that Peerless Cars of Slough produced only about 300 cars, we feel that our membership shows a keen interest in the marque, many of our members having joined as a result of advertisements in your excellent magazine.

This year, to celebrate the one outstanding landmark of the car, we are arranging a pilgrimage to Le Mans, it being the tenth anniversary of the one and only entry in this race by Peerless Cars. For those who may not be aware of the facts, two cars were entered by the factory in 1958, standard apart from slight modifications to the engine and a large fuel tank fitted in the boot, together with other minor alterations to save weight. One of these cars was, we understand, used in practice, the other being entered. The entered car finished 16th, having climbed from 41st place at the end of one hour’s running. The car averaged 86 m.p.h. and returned 24 mpg. Chassis No. was GT2/0008; race No. 24.

We understand that the mechanics in the Peerless pit became very bored having only to check oil, petrol and tyres throughout the whole period. Not bad for a first outing. We would he most interested if anyone can quote any other make entered for the first time at Le Mans with such a record!

Sawbridgeworth. D. G. Brooke Boulton,
(Past-Chairman, Registrar)
Peerless Warwick Owners’ Club.

[We are glad to learn that this very specialised club is doing well, and hope those of its members who go to Le Mans will enjoy themselves thoroughly, but we must disappoint them about the Peerless saloon in the 1958 Le Mans race, driven by Jopp/Crabb (P); it proved reliable, with its Triumph TR3 components, but was too slow to be classed as a finish; 16th place went, in fact, to the 714 c.c. Stanguellini driven by Sigrand/Nicol, the only other car to be placed being the Stacey-Dickson 741 c.c. Lotus.—Ed.]
* * *

Austin-Healey Aspects

Sir,
Since I own a Healey Silverstone for fun, and an Austin-Healey for the family, I feel confident in offering unbiased comment on Mr. Trickett’s views on the “Real Healeys.”

If the Austin-Healey is a Special, so is the early Warwick Healey; the only difference between them is that the Riley cars were expensively hand-assembled, and cost a lot of money—the Silverstone sold for £1,200 in 1949, which must be around £3,000 at today’s values. The result was performance which only a few could afford.

The Healey 100 (later mass produced as the “Austin-Healey 100/4”) was designed to the same basic criterion as the early Healeys. This criterion was defined by Donald Healey and the late James Watt when their new sports car (they thought then it would be a Triumph!) was plotted during the war—a minimum power-to-weight ratio of around 100 b.p.h. per ton. Just because the Austin car made Healey performance available to a great many more people through swopping two cams for one, roller bearings and machine alloy castings for shackles and steel pressings, there is no justification to stop calling it a Healy.

Since Mr. Trickett does not think the Austin-Healey 3000 compares very well for performance with its contemporaries, it is only fair to point out that a Healey was not really a match for a Frazer Nash, an Aston Martin (except when D. Hamilton was driving) or a Jaguar. Nevertheless the Healey is a beautiful car to own and drive, and can still outpace any ordinary M.G., TR or Austin-Healey (excepting the 3000). My own Austin-Healey admittedly improved by inheriting the odd bit from a successful works car, is able to show a clean pair of bumpers to almost anything on the road up to an E-type, whilst the babe sleeps peacefully in the back and the push-chair rattles on the luggage rack. (I can assure Mr. Trickett that Elans get tired of it after about 115 m.p.h.)

The Austin-Healey which is not a Healey is surely the Sprite. It is this car which is badge-engineered and overtaken by the next rep. in a Cortina. Let us settle for calling a “Silverstone” a Healey, an Austin-Healey 100 or 3000 a (Big) Healey and a Sprite a “Spridgefire.”

Henley. B. Dermott.
———

Sir,
On reading Mr. Trickett’s letter concerning Healeys and Austin-Healeys he stated one of the biggest falsities of the year. Only LOVI and DAD 10 could have out-sprinted a Mk. 3 3000, which is as quick as an S2 Elan. Certainly no untweaked Elite could touch a Healey 3000. Has he ever driven or even travelled in either of these cars, I wonder? (We have owned both, the Elite bought new in 1962 and the Healey with 8,000 miles on the clock last year.)

Godalming. P. Darwall-Smith.
* * *

Action!

Sir,
Being a Motor Sport outfit you support your cause and put forward a good case concerning the value of the British Motor Industry to Britain’s economy and general reputation as a manufacturing nation.

When we can win Grand Prix and Monte Carlo Rallies with fair regularity it backs your cause; when we can produce Minis, Rover 2000s, E-types, Elans, and Rolls-Royces it backs your cause; and when the admiration and pride of owning a vehicle in England is compared with the contempt for cars (except to get to “B” and back) on this side of the Atlantic it should back your cause.

People get the Government they deserve but when the British Motor Industry and the “deranged” mind of the guy who loves his car is insulted by the present “batch” containing a non-driving Transport Minister and headed by a man who tells sophisticated U.S. bankers that Britain will “knock hell” out of them, and to De Gaulle “we won’t take no for an answer,” the time comes to speak out from all corners that are affected.

You are admirably doing your bit, for the Motor Industry is being insulted, and you have at least 280,000 written approvals of your report. (Mine, I’m ashamed to say was on that occasion absent.) I’d like to suggest that more organised complaints are lodged with some assurance that they are not ignored and called extremes; for the Englishman loves his car (a generalisation which I hope isn’t an unfair one) and doesn’t want to be hampered, victimised, trodden on and then ignored when he has something to say.

I’ve assumed that the Motor Industry in Britain is an important aspect of the economy and therefore write to you (you are an excellent magazine and I would like to praise, having never heard it remarked before, your very fine type face). But since I’m a “temporary” deserter (as long as Wilson and his “amazing dancing bears” are temporary) I cannot back Britain with much effect, but I buy tea, Scotch, Robertson jam, M.G.-B, and Ilchester cheese instead of too many cans of coke, peanut butter, instant breakfast, pancakes, and Chevrolet.

If the Englishman loves his car—he is badly treated—then let’s make something happen. This is my meagre contribution to the Back Britain crusade.

Toronto. C. T. Spencer-Phillips.
* * *

The 3½-Litre “Leyverick”

Sir,
Although there appear to be some grounds for the creation of bigger and better mergers, one cannot help regretting the disappearance of yet another honoured name, the departed on this occasion being The Rover Co. Limited. Together with the company has gone the famous 3-litre Rover which, so recently as the 1966 Show, was presented as being masterpiece of motor engineering not likely to be improved upon for some time. Senility seems to have overtaken it with unprecedented speed, the motoring public now being asked to believe that it was, in essence, a “Grannie” and had held the stage for too long. Such are the marvels of modern science and the all-powerful effects of modern advertising. The reduction of 200 lb. weight at the front end and the addition of half-a-litre to engine size should ensure increased maximum speed and superior acceleration, but the new car will have to be very good indeed if it is to earn and keep a reputation equal to that so deservedly held by the 3-litre. In my view, the old company’s engine was a really fine piece of work, being extremely reliable, almost silent, possessing outstanding longevity and requiring the minimum of attention. To those mesmerised by the magic of modern brain-washing, the mere 105 m.p.h. or so of the 3-litre borders on the pedestrian, but to me, a back number now in my 65th year, it is more than adequate and even if the 70-m.p.h. speed limit were not in existence, would seldom be used even on a Motorway. Externally the “Leyverick” is very much the same as its predecessor, but why on earth has its appearance been spoiled by the fitting of such shockingly ugly wheels? I am all for change that is plainly an improvement, whether it be on the technical or aesthetic plane, but it seems to me that in motor cars, as in so many other things of the present day, the straining after originality is often a proof of paucity of this quality.

Neath. N. Paddison.
* * *

Kill “Transport Bill”?

Sir,
May I draw to your attention some aspects of the Transport Bill which is soon to be brought before the House of Commons. The passage of this Bill is likely to be difficult and protracted. It is probable that, whatever happens to it in the Commons, it will not reach the Statute book until some time next year at the earliest. There are indications that both opposition parties will attempt to make life very difficult for the Government on this matter. The Conservatives are already beginning to stir up public opinion at the local level and some bodies who will be affected, if this Bill becomes an Act, have begun an opposition publicity campaign. However, there are some sections which particularly concern the future of the private motorist, and which may, possibly, be overlooked during the debates on the Bill.

The Bill sets up transport boards dealing with different spheres of transport, such as the National Freight Corporation, the National Bus Company and the Scottish Transport Group (these being concerned with road transport). In Part IV clause 45 sub-section 2 (a) the Bill states that any board may commence “to manufacture for sale to outside persons (that is to say, to persons other than an authority to whom this section applies or a subsidiary of such an authority) and to repair for outside persons, anything which the authority consider can advantageously be so manufactured or, as the case may be, repaired by the authority by reason of the fact that the authority or a subsidiary of theirs have spare materials or facilities for, or skill in, the manufacture or repair of that thing in connection with some existing activity of that authority or subsidiary.” In this subsection the Bill is authorising state-owned public services to manufacture anything that could be manufactured by them and to sell their products to the public. There is virtually no limiting factor, for if the authority does not have the facilities to manufacture a particular commodity, there is no stated reason why they should not acquire those facilities. The phase “in connection with some existing activity” is so loose one could drive a P.T.A. bus through the loopholes. Authorisation to commence manufacture depends on the Minister, and, if the present Minister remains, then one can foresee permission being freely granted.

Under the terms of subsection 2(a) it is possible for the Transport Boards to manufacture road vehicles. In fact, later in the Bill, the clause is repealed in the 1962 Transport Act, which prohibited transport authorities building road vehicles. How long would it take before an authority producing large vans, turned to light vans and thence to private cars?

In clause 45 subsection 5(a) the Bill states “each of the authorities to whom this section applies shall have power, at any place where the authority, (in the exercise of their powers under that section) provide a car park, to sell to outside persons (whether’ or not persons using the car park) petrol, oil and spare parts and accessories for motor vehicles and for that purpose to purchase any of these things.” This subsection permits the authorities to set up a chain of state-owned garages with full facilities on any of the authority’s car parks. What constitutes a “car park”? It could be the forecourt of a garage. Without precise definition, this would allow any transport board to build a forecourt under the name of “car park” and then build the garage to accompany it. If this was the case, I believe it would be the thin end of the wedge. It is possible to visualise the private motorist, possibly with a state-manufactured car, having to have his car serviced at a nationalised garage. Although this is an attempt to reduce the burden nationalised industries and services place upon the taxpayer, in that sense private enterprise in competition with state services is really putting up the rates, the example set us by the other already-nationalised industries is a sorry omen. Can you imagine the delay in getting urgently needed spares? Whatever may be our individual political belief, we should all, as private motorists, oppose this particular aspect of the bill.

Canterbury. K. V. Prichard-Jones.
* * *

Persecution

Sir,
I read with interest the letters in the December and January issues concerning “Police Persecution.”

Some 18 months ago I was summoned on a charge of using a motor vehicle in a “dangerous” condition. I own a TR4A and the front offside wing was slightly damaged. Which, by the way, did not affect the running of the car. I was informed that it was dangerous to pedestrians (in the middle of the road?). The incident took place the evening before the car was due to go into the garage for repair, a fact that the police (and subsequently the magistrate) chose either to ignore or disbelieve.

I pleaded guilty, mainly because of lack of finances for legal representation, and also because I was under the mistaken impression that the Court would take mitigating circumstances into consideration. The magistrate was just not interested in anything except conviction. I was fined £5 with licence endorsed. I hate to think of the consequences of pleading not guilty, which is virtually calling the police liars.

I wish the correspondent in the December issue the best of luck; he will need it.

Finally, to the gentleman who considers police drivers the only safe drivers at speed, I would say just one word—”Rot.”

[Name and address supplied—Ed.]
* * *

Good Service in Britain

Sir,
I recently had the misfortune to have inflicted upon one of my Mark II 1½-litre Aston Martins what can only be called “a crushing blow.”

The front end was flattened and headlamps, horns and spots were almost unrecognisable. Replacement impossible. So I approached Joseph Lucas who suggested I sent them the “remains” and while making no promises, they would see what they could do. Within a fortnight the parts were returned as new. If it was not for certain identifying marks I would say they were new.

I have no connection whatsoever with Lucas but would like to give great credit to a large firm for excellent service and difficult work superbly carried out.

Beckenham. R. O. Wilson-Kitchen.
* * *

Act On This!

Sir,
By invoking the “no advertising” clause in its charter, the B.B.C. appears to be discriminating against Formula One motor racing and could, indeed, contribute to the eventual cessation of all racing in this country.

May I, therefore, appeal to all enthusiasts to make it their duty to write and complain to the B.B.C. whenever they detect the slightest semblance of advertising in any of their programmes, sending a copy to the Postmaster General to draw his attention to the manner in which the Corporation flagrantly violates the same charter when it suits its own purpose.

Ealing. E. Smith.
* * *

That Reply To Our Petition

Sir,
As one who helped in the petition against the 70 limit I felt that this should have been presented just as indicating the amount of opposition which the Minister said did not exist.

To discuss what a speed limit might do is as vague as to try to vindicate it and this has given the Ministry an opportunity to brush off the legitimate fears and objections of 280,000 people.

It is impossible to get a politician (particularly a woman) to back down when covering up for someone else, in this case Fraser who resigned after putting the limit in operation.

Let us analyse the Ministry reply without the suggestions which the Ministry “cannot accept.”

The Minister accepts the conclusion that the R.R.L. puts forward that in 1966 with the limit in force there were 480 casualties less “than would have been expected without a speed limit.” This last sentence gives the whole policy in a nutshell. A policy not based on facts derived from the data of each accident but what might have been expected (with suitable bias).

The information required by a proper scientific research (not the political piffle accepted by the R.R.L.) would include:—

1. The speed at which each accident was caused, with and without a speed limit in force on the particular road section.
2. Whether the driver was aware of exceeding the speed limit before becoming involved in an accident.
3, Whether the existence of a speed limit has to his knowledge prevented a driver becoming involved in an accident.
4. The exact speed at which a driver should have been driving under the road conditions then existing in order to have avoided the accident in which he was involved.

From the above it sould be obvious that a speed limit to suit all the road conditions cannot be decided by Ministry regulation.

The fact that the speed limit is the same on high motorways and ordinary roads indicates that either the motorways were a waste of money in that they provide no more safety than other roads, or the speed limit has no relevance other than the use of fear of prosecution instead of skill as the deciding factor in driving.

I regret the low standards which are being brought about by the substitution of rules and regulations for driving skill. Haying a Minister and Parliamentary Secretary who are not drivers makes this almost inevitable. Our next petition should call for their resignation and their replacement by people who know what they are talking about. There appears however to be a shortage of these in every section of this Government.

Stockport. J. C. Armstrong.

[We may soon get a 60 m.p.h. limit on nice quiet roads from which traffic has been drawn off by the expensive motorways, unless a real protest is made—Ed.]

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