HC Deb 28 March 1956 vol 550 cc2135-6
33. Mr. Russell

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what is being done about motorways in the new roads programme.

Mr. Watkinson

The acquisition of land for the Ross Spur is about to start, and preparation of contract details for the London-Birmingham section of the London-Yorkshire motorway is proceeding.

Work preparatory to the publication of a draft scheme under Section 1 of the Special Roads Act, 1949, is in hand for the second section of the London-Yorkshire motorway and for the Preston-Birmingham motorway.

I will, with permission, circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT a detailed statement on the first section of the London-Yorkshire motorway.

Mr. Russell

Can my right hon. Friend say when the first section of this highway will be opened? Will the statement which he is circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT give any idea of the stages at which this road will be completed?

Mr. Watkinson

The statement deals mainly with the methods of land acquisition, and that is the first step. We are trying to press on with that as fast as we can. I cannot say anything concrete until we have bought the land.

Following is the statement: I have decided to make the scheme for the first section of the London—Yorkshire motorway under the powers conferred on me by paragraph 6 of the First Schedule to the Special Roads Act, 1949. Before coming to this decision I most carefully considered all the objections which had been registered and all the representations which had been made. I also took note of the fact that no objection was sustained by any highway authority or other body upon whom I am bound by Statute to serve notice of my proposals. The majority of the objections related to matters of access, compensation and accommodation works on particular properties. They are relevant to the later stages of the statutory procedure, either when the Order under Section 3 of the Act, dealing with proposed alterations to side roads and private access, is published in draft, or when detailed constructional and land plans are available and negotiations for entry onto land begin. At the Order stage all persons affected by the proposed alterations to side roads and private access will have their full statutory rights of objection Furthermore, all persons affected have statutory rights of objections and of appeal, if necessary, to an independent tribunal for assessment of compensation when negotiations for entry on to, or acquisition of, land begin. Detailed letters of explanation are being sent to all persons who objected or made representations on these matters. In respect of the small number of objecttions of which the effect was to propose alterations to the provisional line of route—for the purpose of establishing which the draft scheme was published—I am making immediate arrangements for my officials and representatives of the consulting engineers to get into touch with the objectors in order to discuss their suggestions in detail. If, in the light of these discussions, it is practicable to make any of the minor modifications proposed on the line of route in order to reduce yet further the interference with private property, I am prepared to consider making them under the powers referred to above.