HC Deb 26 January 1953 vol 510 cc653-4
13. Captain Ryder

asked the Minister of Transport what measures are being taken to improve the traffic conditions in the London area by means of circular roads, increased car parking facilities and road widening, &c.; and the annual expenditure on these improvements.

Mr. Braithwaite

In present economic conditions road improvement schemes have had to be confined to accident spots. About 50 such schemes have been authorised in the London County Council area, eight being for road widenings and the rest mainly for refuges. The estimated cost of these is £93,000, most of which will be spent this year.

The car parking problem is being specially studied in the light of the report referred to in my right hon. Friend's answer of today to my hon. Friend the Member for Wembley, South (Mr. Russell).

Captain Ryder

In view of the ever-increasing cost of transport in the London area and the economic effects this has had, will my hon. Friend bear in mind the great importance of trying to reduce this traffic congestion? Does he not think that the sum of £93,000, which he has just mentioned, is very small compared with the fact that, quite apart from the sum paid in respect of private vehicles, the London Transport Executive alone is paying some £6,000,000 in taxation, and that a far greater effort should be made in this direction?

Mr. Braithwaite

My right hon. Friend discussed many of these problems informally on Friday last with the London and Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee. I am sure that my hon. and gallant Friend will be glad to learn that the experimental unilateral waiting scheme commences tomorrow.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Was it not determined by the London police, many years ago, that the annual cost of traffic congestion in London amounts to many million pounds a year, and is not an allocation of £93,000 really derisory in view of the problem?

Mr. Braithwaite

Our predecessors were equally derisory in this respect.