HC Deb 05 February 1941 vol 368 cc921-2
21. Mr. Rhys Davies

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that road traffic conveying munitions and other essential goods was seriously impeded in several parts of the country during the recent snowfall; and will he urge all local authorities to keep the highways clear of snow in future?

Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon

Yes, Sir. Both my officers and highway authorities have made special efforts, within the limits of labour available, to keep roads clear for traffic after the recent snowfall; and in this they have been given valuable assistance by the Military in many instances. Hitherto, Road Fund grants have only been available towards the cost of cutting a track through accumulated snow, and not towards snow clearance. In order to encourage expeditious clearing of snow, I have informed highway authorities that for the current year and for next year the cost of snow clearance will be admitted for grant on all classified roads.

Mr. Davies

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that during the recent snowfall it took about four times as long for lorries to go from Lancashire to South Wales?

Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon

I know there were very considerable delays.

Mr. Lipson

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that local authorities say they cannot get labour for this work, and will he take steps to get labour?

Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon

If there is no labour, of course I cannot get it. The military authorities, however, are quite prepared to help us.