HC Deb 27 February 1862 vol 165 cc794-5

said, he wished to ask the First Commissioner of Works, When Westminster Bridge will be completely open for public use, and when the houses on the south side of Bridge Street will be removed; and whether there is any objection to a Carriage Entrance from the foot of Westminster Bridge to the House of Commons?


Judging, Sir, from the present state of the works at Westminster Bridge, I think there is every reason to hope that it will be open for public use early in the month of May. The houses on the south side of Bridge Street are pulled down as they come into the possession of the Office of Works. I am not, however, able to state any precise date at which the whole of that number of houses will be in our possession. With reference to the proposal of the Member that carriages shall be allowed to enter New Palace Yard from the bridge, I can only state, that when the ground has been levelled which was previously occupied by the houses near the Clock Tower, there will be no difficulty I apprehend, as regards the ground, in admitting carriages. Whether it would be convenient to do so, as regards the approaches to the Houses of Parliament, is a matter on which I should be anxious to consult you, Mr. Speaker, before giving any answer.


said, he would beg to ask the right hon. Gentleman the First Commissioner of Works whether he has determined to allow the leases of those houses to run out?


The leases are for various terms— some for two years, some for a longer period. I am anxious, in deciding on the mode of dealing with the tenants, to consider both economy and utility. I am not at present aware to what use the ground on which the houses stand will be put, and therefore I should not be inclined to give any unnecessarily high price for the land. But negotiations are going forward both with regard to the freehold and also the interests of tenants in the houses.

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