HC Deb 19 April 1926 vol 194 cc846-7
66. Lord ERSKINE

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that the owners and occupiers of many houses, shops and premises in the village of Langford, Somerset, have petitioned the Somerset County Council against the proposed diversion of the main road at Langford, on the ground that such diversion will injuriously affect the trade and prosperity of that village; and will he, before sanctioning such diversion, direct that a local inquiry shall be held at which the views of the inhabitants could be expressed.

The MINISTER of TRANSPORT (Colonel Ashley)

The improvement which the Somerset County Council are effecting at Langford, with assistance from the Road Fund, forms part of the comprehensive reconstruction of the trunk road between Bristol and Exeter Owing to the narrow and tortuous character of the village street and the very restricted sight line, the county council considered it advisable to construct a by-pass rather than incur the much heavier outlay involved in re-modelling the old road and demolishing the buildings fronting it. I have concurred in the council's proposal, which will, I believe, conduce to the comfort and convenience of residents in the village. As the contract has already been let, I think my Noble Friend will agree that a local inquiry would serve no useful purpose.


May I ask the Minister of Transport if he has any power to hold a local inquiry in circumstances such as these, or whether it is not a fact that the power lies with the road authority?

Colonel ASHLEY

I do not like to answer legal questions without notice, but. I think I have the power to hold an inquiry if it be applied for.


I will put another question down.

Captain HUDSON

Is it not a fact that any by-pass would take business away from the town?

Colonel ASHLEY

Not necessarily; that must be a matter of opinion.