HC Deb 11 December 1950 vol 482 cc787-8
4. Mr. Black

asked the Minister of Transport how many toll bridges and toll roads remain in the United Kingdom; and in how many cases the tolls are collected and received by British Railways and by other nationalised undertakings.

Mr. Barnes

On the latest information available to me there are in Great Britain 41 bridges carrying roads, and 40 roads, which are subject to daily tolls. In the case of 10 bridges and five roads the tolls are collected by nationalised undertakings.

Mr. Black

Are steps being taken to bring to an end the inconvenience caused by toll bridges and roads?

Mr. Barnes

I am desirous of following that policy. Hon. Members may remember that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when making a statement some months ago on financial difficulties, indicated a cessation of that policy and that he looked to my Department to achieve economies. That statement was not in any way contested or altered by Parliamentary decision.

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

Does the right hon. Gentleman not recall that upwards of a year ago he expressed the view that toll bridges should go? Has he made any advance at all during the past year in getting rid of them?

Mr. Barnes

My previous reply covered that point.

Sir Peter Macdonald

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that 20 years age, I piloted a Bill through the House which authorised the abolition of toll bridges and roads and that it was incorporated in the Road Traffic Act of that year? Why should so many toll bridges and roads still be operating when the Minister has power, through local authorities, to abolish them?

Mr. Barnes

That question rather suggests that the previous Administration of the hon. Gentleman's party took no action in this respect.