HC Deb 16 February 1955 vol 537 cc380-1
48. Mr. K. Robinson

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation the estimated cost of reconstructing the Albert Bridge; and if he will give his reasons for awarding this scheme so high a priority.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

About £1,100,000. The present bridge is weak and narrow and its reconstruction is necessary to improve the flow of cross-river traffic.

Mr. Robinson

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this bridge does not form part of any main traffic route at all? Does he not agree that there are at least a dozen similar schemes in London which merit a higher priority?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

According to the statistics which I have, a very great increase has been shown in traffic over this bridge. Traffic has increased by about 100 per cent. since petrol was derationed. The bridge is weak and unable to take adequate loads. From that point of view the scheme is rather urgent.

Mr. Wyatt

Is the Minister aware that this bridge is almost the only piece of Victorian architecture in London, perhaps almost anywhere in the world, which is at all beautiful, and that it would be rather a pity to remove it?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

It would be still worse if it fell into the river.