HC Deb 03 February 1954 vol 523 c334
10. Mr. G. Williams

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation if he is satisfied that his advice to county councils to substitute by the gang system the use of lengthsmen on the maintenance of roads has been successful.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation (Mr. Hugh Molson)

We have not given any advice to county councils about this. Many councils have decided to adopt the gang system because of the shortage of labour. On the whole, the system appears to work satisfactorily.

Mr. Williams

Whilst appreciating the Minister's desire for economy and to move with the times, may I ask whether he is aware that the county councils are not getting the desired results? The lengthsman has pride in his length of road and can deal with things which crop up sometimes overnight. Is my hon. Friend aware that the lengthsmen kept the roads in better condition than has been the case so far under the new system?

Mr. Molson

This is really entirely a matter for the county councils, and 79 of the 95 councils responsible for road maintenance have adopted this system. I think it results in the better supervision of the work that is being done. On the whole, my impression is that it is working satisfactorily.

Mr. Baldwin

Is my hon. Friend aware that the hon. Member for Leominster had an opportunity of looking at the costing of these maintenance teams, that the result is a great saving in cost, and that very good work indeed is being done.

Mr. Molson

That is entirely in accordance with the information that my Department has received.

Back to