HC Deb 17 July 1935 vol 304 cc1036-7
30. Captain P. MACDONALD

asked the Minister of Transport the number of toll roads and bridges, formerly the property of local authorities or railway companies that have been freed since 1930; and whether he is satisfied that existing legislation is adequate to ensure their being eliminated at an early date?


There are two toll roads owned by local authorities and 10 toll bridges. Two of the toll bridges have been freed since 1930. When local authorities free a toll bridge and this bridge becomes part of a classified highway the cost of maintenance is eligible for grant. The roads are not eligible for grant until they are freed. Grants are available for the freeing by highway authorities of toll roads and bridges owned by railway companies. There are five toll roads and nine toll bridges of this nature. None has been freed since 1930.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that some local authorities who are toll owners are the worst offenders and will he take some steps to insist upon these roads and bridges being freed instead of the tolls being used for local rates?


It is because I share the hon. and gallant Member's view that local authorities who own toll roads and bridges should free them that I answered as fully as I did. He will see that local authorities have an inducement to free toll roads and bridges, because they may then become eligible for grants, as they are not at present.


In the case of a dispute between an authority and the owner of a toll road, is there any question of compulsory arbitration?


I prefer to have notice of that question.