§ 50. Mr. GILBERT
asked the Minister of Transport whether the committee set 1498 up by his Department, representing the London County Council and the motor omnibus combine in London, for the purpose of arranging fares and preventing unnecessary competition between tramcars and omnibuses, has made any report to his Department, or if he expects them to report to him as regards its decisions; and will he report to the House any conclusions this committee agrees to?
§ Sir E. GEDDES
The committee to which the hon. Member refers was not set up by me. As a result of a conference between representatives of the London County Council and the Underground group of railways, which I arranged by request, it was decided by the two parties to set up the committee on which representatives of both sides would sit to discuss the relationship between L.C.C. Tramways and other forms of London traffic with the object of seeing whether it was possible to arrive at an agreement for co-ordinating and improving transport facilities in London. I suggested an outside chairman, but both parties requested that I should allow an official of the Ministry to act. The committee will not report to me. My only function is that, as requested, I brought the two parties together and found a chairman to preside over their deliberations.
§ 51. Mr. GILBERT
asked the Minister of Transport whether the Government propose to introduce a Bill this Session to carry out the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on London Traffic to set up an authority to control the traffic in the greater Metropolitan area; and, if so, can he state when the Bill will be brought in?
§ 56. Sir PARK GOFF
asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware of the public disappointment at the delay in the production of the promised Bill creating a traffic authority in London; and whether, as the need increases daily, he can accelerate the preparation of the masure and ensure its introduction before Christmas?
§ Sir E. GEDDES
I am unable to state whether it will be possible to introduce this Bill during this Session. It is now being drafted, and will be considered by the Cabinet when it is ready. In this connection I would refer to the reply- 1499 given to the hon. Member for Hammersmith North on the 11th of this month. I am sending the hon. Members copies of that reply and the reply referred to therein.
§ 57. Viscount CURZON
asked the Minister of Transport whether the experiment of painting or otherwise marking parallel lines on the roadways of the more congested streets for the guidance of traffic of varying speeds has ever been considered; and, if not, whether a trial will be given to such an idea?
§ Sir E. GEDDES
The suggestion has been carefully considered on several occasions by the Metropolitan Police authorities, but under existing conditions it is not regarded as practicable.
§ 59. Mr. GILBERT
asked the Minister of Transport whether he has received any applications from London road authorities for grants towards the cost of maintenance of main roads carrying through traffic; whether such applications have been granted and, if so, to what extent; has any proposal been made by his Department towards helping road authorities finance loans for the same purpose; and whether, in view of this kind of work being suitable for the unemployed, he can make any statement giving approximately the money to be spent on construction of the new proposed arterial roads and on the maintenance of other roads in London?
§ Sir ERIC GEDDES
Applications have recently been received from several Metropolitan Borough Councils for assistance from the Road Improvement Fund towards the cost of strengthening and repairing roads carrying through traffic, and grants amounting to £125,149 and loans of £77,724 have been indicated. Schemes have also been discussed with other Metropolitan authorities and favourable consideration promised on the receipt of details of the works proposed. In reply to the last part of the question, I may say that arrangements are far advanced for putting in hand the construction of five or six sections of arterial roads within the London County Council area. It is proposed to make grants up to 50 per cent. of the initial cost of construction of these roads, and in many cases assistance will be given by way of loan 1500 towards the remaining half of the cost. It is impossible at present to give an estimate of the total grants to be made towards arterial roads in the Metropolitan area, but it will certainly amount to a very considerable sum. As regards maintenance, when the proposals with regard to the classification of roads are complete, the Metropolitan boroughs will receive assistance towards the cost of maintenance of classified roads in the same way as other highway authorities.