HC Deb 08 February 1956 vol 548 cc1647-8
12. Captain Pilkington

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation the length of the Basingstoke by-pass; how long it has been under repair; and how much longer it is expected to remain under repair.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation (Mr. Hugh Molson)

The length of the by-pass is about 2.4 miles. The work of reconstruction has been carried out in stages as the annual allocation of funds has permitted. The first section was started in February, 1953, and subject to funds being available in the coming financial year, the last section should be started in September, 1956, and completed by June, 1957.

Captain Pilkington

Does my right hon. Friend consider that this is the rate of progress contemplated for the future road plan development in this country? Why is money being spent on putting kerb stones along both sides of this already narrow by-pass?

Mr. Molson

It is inevitable that there should be delay when the amount of money available is not as large as we should like for this particular job. Secondly, great delay has been occasioned by the acute shortage of labour in that part of the country. Replying to the second question, when this by-pass was begun it was built to the width of 20 feet, which was then the standard width. Since then, the standard width has been raised first to 22 feet and then to 24 feet. Where possible, when kerbs have been put in, they have been put in to these wider limits.