HC Deb 02 November 1938 vol 340 cc192-4
20 Sir Reginald Clarry

asked the Minister of Transport (1) whether detailed plans have been prepared for carrying out the scheme for the south circular road which was proposed more than 20 years ago and has been adopted by Sir Charles Bressey in his report on highway development in Greater London; and whether, in view of the rebuilding of Wandsworth Bridge now in progress, he will undertake to expedite preparations for carrying out the south circular road scheme;

(2) whether he is proposing to make a larger grant out of the Road Fund than 60 per cent. towards the cost of schemes for new roads and road improvements in the county of London suggested in the report on highway development prepared by Sir Charles Bressey;

(3) whether the preparation of plans for carrying out road improvement schemes in the county of London suggested by Sir Charles Bressey's Report has been delayed through want of agreement with the London County Council and other authorities as to the proportion of the expenditure to be provided by means of Road Fund grants; and whether, in view of the urgency of some of these schemes, he is prepared to increase the percentage of the grant in cases where the construction of the road will facilitate the movement of through traffic?

The Minister of Transport (Mr. Burgin)

I have not yet received detailed plans for the south circular road scheme, but I understand that their preparation is in an advanced stage.

The normal rate of grant to improvement schemes in built-up areas is 50 per cent. of the approved net cost, including the cost of acquiring property, but in view of the exceptional magnitude and traffic importance of this and certain other schemes recommended in Sir Charles Bressey's report, I have offered grants on the same basis at the exceptional rate of 60 per cent.

Sir R. Clarry

May I inquire whether the south circular road scheme will be started in time to connect with the Wandsworth Bridge by the time that is completed?

Mr. Burgin

That is a matter into which I should like to look before I gave a definite answer, as, the hon. Member will understand, I have not yet received the plans for the scheme at all.

24. Mr. Paling (for Mr. Mathers)

asked the Minister of Transport what amount has been expended, to the latest date for which particulars are available, and what commitments have been made in pursuance of the Government's declared policy of spending on additional road schemes the sum of £130,000,000 in five years?

Mr. Burgin

Up to 30th September schemes had been provisionally approved under the Five Year Programmes of highway authorities of a total estimated cost of over £99,000,000 of which over £58,250,000 will be found by grants from the Road Fund. Payments made on account of these grants amounted to about £15,750,000 at the date mentioned. It was never contemplated that the work included in the programme could be completed in five years.

Mr. R. Gibson

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what proportion of these sums is being expended in Scotland?

Mr. Burgin

Certainly not without notice.