§ Mr. LANSBURY
(by Private Notice) asked the Minister of Transport whether, in view of the national importance of the trunk roads and of the Government's expressed desire for the adoption of an improved lay-out of important roads, in the urgent interests of safety, he is prepared to make grants from the Road Fund in excess of normal rates for schemes of improvement of trunk roads, and for schemes involving the provision of dual carriageways and cycle tracks included in the highway authorities' five-year programmes?
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
Yes, Sir. With the approval of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I am prepared to make grants at rates in excess of the normal for the improvement of trunk roads and, where circumstances warrant, the provision of dual carriageways and cycle tracks. For trunk roads, the existing flat rate of 60 per cent. for 2833 Class I roads will be increased and the new rates will range from 75 per cent. to 85 per cent. The rates for dual carriageways and cycle tracks will range from 60 per cent. to 75 per cent. The council of each county or county borough will be informed at once of the rates which will be available for these works in its area. I hope that this additional assistance which the Government has decided to offer will enable highway authorities to put in hand a substantial volume of useful work of this character as part of their five-year programmes.
§ Mr. THORNE
Does the Minister think that he will be able to persuade the Chancellor of the Exchequer to give back that £4,500,000?
§ Mr. CLEARY
Can the Minister say whether such a work as the Everton Tunnel will come within the category mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman?
§ Mr. CLEARY
But would it come within the classification mentioned in the right hon. Gentleman's statement?
§ Sir HERBERT SAMUEL
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the cost of these improvements comes out of the growing produce of the Road Fund?