HC Deb 22 June 1955 vol 542 cc1296-7
36. Mr. Bellenger

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he is aware of the hardship and inconvenience caused to motorists and pedestrians using the Dunham Bridge on the A57 road from Nottinghamshire to Lincolnshire by the imposition of tolls; and whether he will meet the wishes of the Nottingham County Council by abolishing these tolls.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I am aware of the existence of this toll bridge, about which the Nottinghamshire County Council has been good enough to write to me. I am at present, however, concentrating on physical improvements in our highway system, and have no funds available for the redemption of tolls.

Mr. Bellenger

Does not this Question and the next Question on the Order Paper in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for Barkston Ash (Sir L. Ropner) show the irritation which exists among the motoring and pedestrian public at the continued imposition, in this modern age, of tolls which may have served a good purpose in the past? Will the right hon. Gentleman not take steps immediately to get rid of this anachronism while he can do it cheaply?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

As I said in my main answer, I am concentrating on actual road construction all the funds that are available. The right hon. Gentleman may recall that a decision to do that was taken by the Administration in 1949, of which I think he was an ornament.

Mr. de Freitas

Is it not a fact that vehicles have to slow down at this bridge in order that tolls can be collected and that that adds very greatly to the traffic congestion?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

That may well be so, but as the hon. Member knows well, there is a great deal of work to be done on our highways system, and I think that I must concentrate the funds that are available on the construction of roads in preference to redeeming tolls.