HC Deb 16 June 1937 vol 325 cc360-1
40. Brigadier-General Spears

asked the Minister of Transport when the arterial road to Dagenham from the Beckton Road will be widened and cycling tracks provided?

The Minister of Transport (Mr. Burgin)

A grant has been made from the Road Fund towards the cost of providing a second carriageway and cycle tracks along a mile and a quarter of the East Ham and Barking by-pass (in Barking), and the Essex County Council hope that work will be started this year. I am in touch with the West Ham and East Ham Corporations as to the section west of this length, but no scheme has yet been submitted to me. Proposals are under discussion with the Essex County Council for widening the eastern continuation in the direction of Dagenham.

Colonel Sir Charles MacAndrew

Does the right hon. Gentleman not think that when these cycle tracks are made some steps should be taken to make the cyclists use them?

Mr. Groves

Is it not a fact that the reason that our road is not proceeded with is that the Minister of Transport has laid down terms at West Ham that we cannot meet?

Mr. Burgin

In regard to cycle tracks, I think we must wait until we have a considerable continuous length of tracks before we talk about the obligation to use the track.

Sir C. MacAndrew

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that where there are cycle tracks they are very largely not used by cyclists?

Mr. Burgin

That is so, but there are not yet continuous cycle tracks which will permit of the matter being dealt with comprehensively. I hope that every encouragement will be given to cyclists to use the cycle tracks, and I am anxious that long and continuous cycle tracks should be made available before we go into the matter on a large scale.

Mr. Sorensen

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that intense resentment will be expressed at any attempt being made to use compulsion?

Mr. Maxton

Has the right hon. Gentleman received representations from cyclist organisations on this matter? If he has not, is he prepared to meet them and to discuss the whole question?

Mr. Burgin

Deputations have been received, and the views of the cyclists are perfectly well known. I wish to encourage cyclists to use these tracks. I am anxious to get more long and continuous tracks before we deal with the matter comprehensively.