HC Deb 16 November 1955 vol 546 cc404-5
17. Mr. Gresham Cooke

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether the London County Council has now agreed to construct the flyover at Hammersmith on the Cromwell Road Extension, for which it took special Parliamentary powers in 1948.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

No, Sir.

Mr. Gresham Cooke

Is it not a pity that on this splendid new road there should not be the benefit of a flyover at Hammersmith? Will not a lot of congestion still arise from the two conflicting streams of traffic which will continue south of Hammersmith?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

As I have said in this House three times, although I would prefer to see the flyover included, this is a scheme which I have to conduct in partnership with London County Council, which holds very strong views to the contrary. In order to get ahead with the scheme as a whole, I have thought it right to come to a compromise in order that the scheme shall proceed, but it is so designed that this flyover could be provided later.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Are the views to the contrary of London County Council based on lack of Government financial assistance? If they are, cannot my right hon. Friend consider the suggestion of my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Mr. Gresham Cooke) that there is little point in building this double carriageway road to serve London Airport and other centres of great importance to the west of London if all the traffic is canalised in the bottleneck at Hammersmith?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The views of London County Council, as I understand them, are not affected by lack of Government assistance with finance. This scheme attracts a 75 per cent. grant as a whole. The view of London County Council is that it is not necessary, and that its share of the money—4¼ million—would be better spent elsewhere. My view is that this flyover will have to be constructed eventually but I am anxious that the argument over it should not hold up construction of this vitally needed road, on which work has now started.

Mr. Stokes

If a flyover is not possible, will the right hon. Gentleman consider whether a flyunder is?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I think all the experts who have examined this site agree that if there is to be anything other than a surface roundabout a flyover is the right answer, on the physical layout.