HC Deb 16 April 1934 vol 288 cc701-2
45. Sir W. DAVISON

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to a statement recently issued by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners that, as any scheme for a new bridge at Charing Cross now appeared to have been finally abandoned, the Commissioners have decided to develop their property on the south side of the river, including the Lion Brewery and the adjoining area, which would have been affected by a new traffic bridge at Charing Cross; whether he is aware that the Royal Commission on Cross-River Traffic, the London County Council, and other public bodies are of opinion that a new bridge at Charing Cross in the near future is essential for the proper development of London; and whether, having regard to the improved financial position of the country, he will request the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to stay their hands a little longer before commencing their proposed development scheme on the south bank of the river?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Ramsay MacDonald)

The Minister of Transport understands that the Ecclesiastical Commissioners own a substantial amount of property on sites which may be said to be key positions in connection with any scheme for constructing a road bridge at Charing Cross, but he has no information either from the Commissioners or from the London County Council as to the nature of any plans for developing this property, although it is believed that certain discussions have been proceeding regarding a local clearance scheme north of the New Cut.


As this proposal was previously turned down, in view of the large expenditure which it was thought would have to be incurred, is the Prime Minister aware that an authoritative opinion based on estimates has been expressed, to the effect that a new bridge could be put up, on the downstream side of the Charing Cross rail way bridge, including new approaches on each side of the river, for a sum of under £2,500,000; and that this would not interfere with the further work suggested by Royal Commission being put in hand if and when the funds are available?


I think that is a point which could best come up when the subject is debated, as it must be, later on in the House.

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