HC Deb 11 December 1928 vol 223 cc1899-900
62. Sir D. NEWTON

asked the Minister of Transport the average cost of erection of an overhead transmission line in rural areas in England; and how it compares with the cost of erection of a line used for similar purposes in Sweden?

Colonel ASHLEY

I am not in a position to give comparative figures, but I would remind my hon. Friend that this question is discussed in the recent Report of the proceedings of the Conference on Electricity Supply in Rural Areas.

Lieut.-Colonel RUGGLES-BRISE

Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman say when the form of way-leave agreement is likely to be made public?

Colonel ASHLEY

If the hon. and gallant Member had been present earlier, he would have heard the answer which I gave to a question on that point.

63. Sir D. NEWTON

asked the Minister of Transport how many inquiries respecting the erection of overhead transmission lines have been held during the past two years; and the average delay between the date of application, the holding of such inquiries, and the announcement of a decision upon the matter?

Colonel ASHLEY

There have been 75 such inquiries since the beginning of 1927. The average time which has elapsed between the date of the application and of the inquiry is about five-and-a-half weeks, and between the date of the application and of the announcement of my decision about 17 weeks. It not infrequently happens that at an inquiry both the applicants and some of the objectors express their desire that the Minister's decision should be deferred pending further negotiations between the parties with a view to effecting an amicable settlement.


Is the Minister of Transport aware that these delays are causing great inconvenience, add to the ultimate cost of the erection of the lines, 'and consequently increase the price of current to the consumer; and will he take steps to strengthen the panel which deals with these inquiries?

Colonel ASHLEY

I am obliged to my hon. Friend for bringing this matter to my notice, and I am going into the matter personally in order to see whether anything can be done.

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