The new Road Traffic Bill

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Sir,

It would appear that we (the British) are a long-suffering nation. Excellent this may be, in some ways, but it has its disadvantages. Despite our democratic form of Government, we are frequently being shackled with unnecessary rules and regulations pushed through Parliament -as the easiest solution to a particular problem that has arisen.

Attention has been drawn, in some measure, both editorially and by Mr NH Fowler, in the July issue of Motor Sport, to the plight this country is likely to be in if the new Traffic Bills become law. Mr Fowler mentions the uneducated public prejudice likely to be produced by the Government’s attitude to older cars. This prejudice is confirmed by a letter from Mr Edward Russell of Glasgow, appearing in the Sunday Express. He wishes to scrap 50 per cent of all vehicles built previous to 1947, declaring, I quote, them to be “unsafe, a menace to drivers and public alike.” He also claims among other things that this will stimulate demand for the products of the British Motor Industry.

This claim is not only ignorant but false. Let the BMI be quite clear on this ; if the Bill before Parliament becomes law, the motoring public of this country will be drastically reduced. Thousands will no longer be able to afford a car, whose value will deteriorate so rapidly, being completely worthless in nine or ten years and very difficult to sell in five or six years. Also. they will have to pay extravagant fees for parking, because once established in London, parking meters will spread rapidly over the country. This will make most trade representatives, to mention one section of the public only, car-less, as what firm is going to pay 12s, or more for parking expenses every day ?

Those who do buy a 10-year-old car for next to nothing will soon find the cost of maintaining it in “official” condition so crippling that they will be forced to give in.

The Bills will undoubtedly clear our neglected, congested roads of private cars and force transport on to the railways, but at what cost to the nation’s trade it is dreadful to contemplate.

Motoring will again become the prerogative of the rich and “motoring for the millions” a forgotten dream.

Therefore not only must the Motor Industry strongly attack these Bills, but also British Industry as a whole, for costs will rise steeply.

Can we not get together somehow? What are the RAC and the AA doing about it ? Where are our great organisers ? This threat must not become reality !

I am, Yours, etc,

HP Wright, Lewes.