§ 29. Mr. A. J. Irvine
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what estimate he has received of the cost of a tunnel under the proposed road through Christ Church Meadows, Oxford.
§ Mr. Sandys
I am advised that the capital cost of such a tunnel would be upwards of £7 million. Ventilation and pumping might cost about £100,000 a year.
§ Mr. Irvine
Why has not the right hon. Gentleman available for the House a firmer estimate than that of a method which will avoid the proposed appalling damage to Oxford? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that estimates have been made of a figure under £2 million, which have not been entirely guesswork, but which have been based upon careful preliminary investigation which has taken into account the character of the soil and other relevant factors?
§ Mr. Sandys
I am assured that the latest technical information has been taken into account in arriving at the estimate which I have given, but I shall be very happy to arrange for the hon. Gentleman's figure to be checked by the experts.
§ Sir R. Boothby
Will my right hon. Friend give the House an assurance that he will countenance no prodigal expenditure on tunnels in Oxford, and stick to his present proposals, which are by far the best?