Установите безопасный браузер
PART OF A NEWS BULLETIN
Thirty five vehicles were involved in a multiple collision on the M. 1 motorway this morning. The accident occurred about three miles south of the Newport Pagnell service area when an articulated lorry carrying a load of steel bars jack-knifed and overturned. A number of lorry drivers and motorists were unable to pull up in time and ran into the overturned vehicle, causing a m ajor pile-up. Some of the steel bars from the load were flung by the impact across the central reserve into the southbound carriageway, which was restricted to single-lane working because of repairs and resurfacing, causing several minor accidents. With both carriageways blocked, police closed the motorway for a time, and diversion signs were posted at the nearest slip roads. Breakdown vehicles and ambulances had considerable difficulty in reaching the scene of the accident because of fog. This was dense in places, and the flashing amber light signals had been switched on for most of the night. So far there are no reports of anyone seriously injured in the accident.
This accident, the fourth involving a multiple pile-up of vehicles in the last month, comes just as the first National Conference on Motorway Use is getting under way. At the opening meeting in London last night, Sir John Stone, the Metropolitan Area Traffic Adviser, criticized the standard of motorway driving in this country. He said that there was evidence that many of the basic disciplines of motorway use had yet to be learned by British drivers. Lane discipline was much worse in this country than in America; and the habits of drivers when overtaking were particularly bad. One saw far too much dangerous pulling-out without an adequate signal having been given, and there was a similarly dangerous tendency for drivers to cut in after overtaking. Perhaps the commonest form of misuse however, was the reluctance of drivers of private cars to move int o the inside lane whenever it was possible to do so. Sir John said that far too many were determined to stay in the middle or even the outside lanes, regardless of traffic conditions, with the result that drivers wishing to overtake became impatient and tr ied to follow too closely behind the vehicle in front, thus making accidents more likely. The conference is continuing.
Now, the Common Market negotiations. Mr. Geoffrey Rippon, the chief negotiator, flew to Brussels last night. It is thought that the object of his journey is to attempt to reduce the disagreement between this country and the European Economic Community on what Britain's contribution to the Community budget should be. Britain has put forward the suggestion that a reasonable contribution wou ld be thirteen to fifteen per cent, built up in a series of equal yearly steps over a period of five years. But the Council of Ministers is considering a recommendation that the British share should be twenty one point five per cent throughout the five yea r period of transition, or, alternatively, a contribution of between ten and fifteen per cent in the first year rising to between twenty and twenty five per cent in the fifth year.
There have been signs that some European leaders are reluctant to take the present British offer seriously, and it is widely felt in Whitehall that Mr. Rippon's main task at the moment is to make it clear to the Six that the offer is viewed in this country as a reasonable and realistic one.
The Common Market issue was also taken up today by officials of the National Farmers' Union, when they commented on a pamphlet issued by the Conservative Central Office. The pamphlet claims that on balance farmers would be better off if Britain joined the Common Market. The National Farmers' Union, however, points out that while farmers in Europe receive more for some products, such as barley, wheat, cattle and sugar, they get less for milk and pigs. In addition, says the Union, the pamphlet fails to mention horticulture, which constitutes an important part of British agriculture, and which is likely to be badly hit in the event of a link-up with the Common Market. The officials said that in their view the pamphlet tended to over-emphasize the benefits of joining the EEC, and to leave out of ac count many genuine difficulties.