§ 8. Mr. James MacColl
asked the Minister of Transport how many times during 1952 the Widnes-Runcorn transporter bridge has been closed; how many hours of carrying time have been lost; and what steps he takes to warn traffic to take alternative routes across the River Mersey.
§ Mr. Maclay
I am informed that this bridge has been closed four times this year for a total of 37 hours. I understand that on such occasions the bridge authority notifies the principal regular users, the police authorities and the motoring organisations and that alternative routes are signposted.
§ Mr. MacColl
Does the right hon. Gentleman not agree that it was most unfortunate for this vital transporter bridge to be closed as frequently as this in the course of only a few months, and will he take steps for the completion of the building of the new bridge, and prevent this hold up?
§ Mr. Maclay
As the hon. Gentleman knows, I am very conscious of the problems in connection with this bridge, but the great difficulty is to get the materials at a time of acute shortage. As I hope he realises, I am watching the position as closely as possible, and as soon as anything can be done it will be done, but, unfortunately, I can hold out no immediate hopes.