HC Deb 31 July 1924 vol 176 cc2244-5

asked the Minister of Transport whether, seeing that county highway authorities have no power, save by agreement with adjoining owners, to improve dangerous corners, including the removal or alteration of buildings, fences, or other obstructions which obscure the view of approaching traffic, he is prepared to take early steps for the promotion of legislation to remedy this condition of affairs?


As far as main roads are concerned, county councils, failing agreement with adjoining owners, can invoke the compulsory powers conferred by the Development and Road Improvement Funds Act, 1909. There are in addition the special powers conferred by the Unemployment (Relief Works) Act, 1920, in the case of works put in hand for the relief of unemployment. The question of the fixing of a building line, apart from the actual improvement of the road, is covered by my answer to the hon. Member's next question.

73. Sir D. NEWTON

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that the county councils, as the authorities responsible for the maintenance and improvement of the greater part of the main roads of the country, have no power to prescribe building and consequently are unable to prevent the erection of buildings likely to interfere with the road widenings and other highway improvements which modern traffic conditions render necessary to a constantly increasing extent; and whether, seeing that the foregoing circumstances will undoubtedly have the ultimate effect of increasing the cost of road improvements, and even of preventing such improvements in some cases, he is prepared to introduce immediately a Bill for the purpose of extending the powers of county councils in the direction indicated, and thereby to facilitate and cheapen the cost of road improvements?


I am fully aware of the inadequacy of existing powers with regard to the prescription of suitable building lines on important roads. As I stated on 15th July, in reply to a question from the hon. Member for the Tamworth Division, I am considering, in conjunction with the Minister of Health, what additional powers are required.