HC Deb 08 February 1956 vol 548 cc1665-6
39. Mr. Beswick

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation to what extent the proposed air terminal in the Cromwell Road is to be a permanent or temporary undertaking; how the passengers will be conveyed from that terminal to the London Airport; and what function will be then served by the rail extension from Waterloo or Victoria, surveys of which are about to start.

Mr. Watkinson

The construction and operation of the London Air Terminal is a matter between Air Terminals, Ltd., and the airlines concerned; but I understand that the scope of the development would be reviewed if it were decided to build a rail link from central London to the airport.

Mr. Beswick

Surely, a capital expenditure of this kind is one with which the Minister must be in complete agreement. Would he not agree that any large capital expenditure on the Cromwell Road scheme ought to be made in the light of a firm decision about the rail extension? Can he, therefore, hurry up a decision about the rail extension?

Mr. Watkinson

I think that the real answer, with which the hon. Member, with his considerable knowledge, would not disagree, is that the traffic at London Airport will increase at such a phenomenal rate that we shall want certainly more than one way of communication between London and the airport.

Air Commodore Harvey

Has my right hon. Friend considered running the rail link from Olympia or St. Paul's, which is almost adjacent to the new site?

Mr. Watkinson

I will certainly look at that suggestion.