HC Deb 10 November 1954 vol 532 cc1191-3
38. Mr. H. Nicholls

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation if he will reconsider the scope of the proposed road improvement schemes for the next three years, in view of the anticipated increase in production of motor vehicles and the existing over-burdened and dangerous state of our roads.

48. Mr. P. Williams

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether the Government will consider extending the road programme to ensure safer and more efficient communications.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I would refer my hon. Friends to the answer I gave on the 3rd November to my noble Friend the Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke).

Mr. Nicholls

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the answer he gave last week did not face up to the problem? Is he further aware that every day brings irrefutable evidence that the problem of the roads is becoming more and more urgent? Is he also aware that feeling in the country is being kept in reserve, because of rumours that the Government are thinking of doing something about improving the roads, and that if those rumours are unfounded, there will be a great and warranted outcry against the Government for not facing up to this matter?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I take note of the most eloquent supplementary question from my hon. Friend, but none the less I have no statement to make at the moment.

Mr. Ernest Davies

Can the Minister inform us if there is any truth in these rumours, and, if so, how they managed to get into the Press without this House being informed?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

If the hon. Gentleman can draft that question, perhaps he will put it on the Order Paper.

Mr. Williams

Will my right hon. Friend confirm or deny that he has maintained a completely inflexible attitude to this matter of financing road development? Will he not use what, I suppose, must be a residual influence at the Treasury to try to get extra funds for roads in future years?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

There is a certain element of speculation in that suplementary question with which it is difficult to deal precisely.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Will the Minister study the experience of foreign nations in reducing road accidents by road engineering?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Nicholson

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the scheme for which there should be overwhelming priority is the Farnham by-pass.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I note the view of my hon. Friend, which he has expressed not for the first time, but I do not think that it will receive the unanimous approval of this House.

49. Mr. P. Williams

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he will make a statement on the further development of the road programme in the North-East.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I have nothing to add at present to the reply given to my hon. Friend on 30th June last.

Mr. Williams

Can my right hon. Friend make any forecast about next year or even the year after?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Not this afternoon.