HC Deb 03 April 1957 vol 568 cc383-4
19. Captain Pilkington

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he will make a statement on easing the traffic b congestion in and around Hyde Park at rush hours.

30. Mr. G. R. Strauss

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he has yet concluded his discussions with the Minister of Works about the layout of the proposed Hyde Park Corner Road Improvement Scheme.

Mr. Watkinson

I regret that I cannot yet add anything to the reply I gave my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Poole (Captain Pilkington) on 13th February, when I said that discussions were proceeding about road improvements at certain points in and around Hyde Park.

Captain Pilkington

My right hon. Friend knows that this consideration has been going on for months and years. Can he give an indication when he will be able to pronounce on this question?

Mr. Watkinson

Yes, before very long.

Mr. Langford-Holt

Has approval now been given or a decision reached by the Royal Fine Art Commission, which has had this under consideration for a very long time?

Mr. Watkinson

The answer to that is that we have now agreed with the Royal Fine Art Commission on some of the difficulties which arose over the Decimus Burton Screen and one or two other difficult architectural problems, and I think we are now making some progress.

Mr. Strauss

Although the right hon. Gentleman is not able to make an announcement today and says that he hopes to be able to do so before very long, can he say whether there is an agreement in principle reached with the Minister of Works on the sort of layout there is to be there and that he is merely delaying the announcement of it?

Mr. Watkinson

That is not quite so. The position, as I think all hon. Members know, is that the whole area of Hyde Park is the heart of the West End of London's traffic problem. Therefore, whatever we do there will have immense repercussions, and I am most anxious that what we do shall be the best possible solution. The right hon. Gentleman is quite correct in saying that I have now agreed with my right hon. Friend on some of the architectural difficulties which were holding up the complete scheme. I hope, therefore, that I can now get ahead with settling some of the more technical details