HC Deb 11 July 1956 vol 556 cc385-7
30. Mr. T. Williams

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what limitation there has been on the capital expenditure allowed for preliminary work on the proposed by-pass road at Doncaster; and to what extent this has delayed the start of the physical work.

Mr. Watkinson

None, Sir.

Mr. Williams

Will the right hon. Gentleman say why, if there has been no limitation in finance for the preliminary work, and it now being 18 months since his predecessor made a promise that this by-pass was a very necessary improvement, nothing has happened up to now?

Mr. Watkinson

Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will be kind enough to await the answer I am making later, when I will give a fuller statement on that topic.

34. Mr. Wilfred Paling

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation to give an assurance that it remains the policy of his Department to carry on the work on the Doncaster by-pass road in accordance with the undertaking given by his predecessor to a delegation from Yorkshire; and if the original time-table still holds good.

Mr. Watkinson

Yes, Sir.

38. Mr. G. Jeger

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation the estimated expenditure for the year 1956–57 on the Doncaster by-bass road.

42. Mr. A. Roberts

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what the preliminary expenses are on the Doncaster by-bass road to date; what contracts have been entered into for future work; and what is their value.

43. Mr. Wilfred Paling

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation how many persons are engaged on the work of the Doncaster by-bass road.

44. Miss Bacon

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what progress has been made with the preliminary stages of the proposed Doncaster by-bass road.

36. Mr. Sylvester

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation if he is aware of the increasing congestion of road traffic through the county borough of Doncaster; and what steps are being taken to expedite the proposed by-bass road.

37. Mr. Winterbottom

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation when a start will be made on the physical work of the Doncaster by-bass road.

Mr. Watkinson

I know the great urgency of this scheme. The preliminary survey is now done, and I am publishing tomorrow the draft scheme for fixing the line of the by-bass. I must then, as the Statute provides, allow some months for the lodging and consideration of objections. As soon as the line is fixed, the process of land acquisition can start, and at the same time the detailed engineering plans be worked out. The time taken to acquire the land depends largely on the number of objections.

All this preparatory work on this major by-bass, with its 15 miles of dual carriageways costing some £5 million, is being pressed forward as fast as possible. No construction work can start until it is finished and the contracts let. The only expenditure in 1956–57 can therefore be on preparatory work. £4,000 has already been spent on this.

Mr. Jeger

Will the Minister place a copy of the plans in the Library, so that those of us from Yorkshire who are interested may see them, together with the schedule of the time-table, with the approximate cost of each stage of the work?

Mr. Watkinson

I will certainly put any information I can in the Library showing what is being done on this most important work.

Mr. T. Williams

Will the Minister say why it has taken so long to prepare the plans, when 18 months ago we were informed by the appropriate surveyor that all the preliminary work could be completed within 12 months?

Mr. Watkinson

I think the local authorities and hon. and right hon. Members interested will remember that this Doncaster by-bass was included in the large number of schemes announced in the House by my predecessor. He told all concerned, I think, that it was hoped to authorise this scheme in the series of schemes for the period 1956–60. The scheme is not behind-hand. As I think the right hon. Gentleman knows, the by-bass has had to be completely re-drawn because all the pre-war plans have now been made abortive by building development. I do not think an excessive time has been taken in this re-drawing.

Mr. Williams

Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether he is wholly convinced that the original time-table will be carried through?

Mr. Watkinson

I have not said, anything to indicate that it will not be.

Mr. Paling

Will the right hon. Gentleman press on with this scheme as fast as possible? Is he aware that the situation on the North Road, north of Doncaster, is rapidly becoming intolerable, and that there are queues every Saturday, that last Saturday in particular there was a queue nearly four miles long, and at Whitsuntide there was a queue nearly five miles long which lasted from lunchtime until early evening? Will the Minister bear in mind that this is becoming worse week by week, and will he attend to the matter as quickly as possible?

Mr. Watkinson

That is exactly what I said in my Answer.