HC Deb 30 January 1957 vol 563 cc992-3
39. Mr. Langford-Holt

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what acreage of land is contained in between the carriageways of the new London—Oxford road just south of Oxford; and what is the distance between the carriageways at the widest point.

The Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation (Mr. Harold Watkinson)

About 12½ acres. In order to use the existing carriageway as much as possible, the width of the central reserve had to be increased from 26 ft. to 125 ft. at a few points.

Mr. Langford-Holt

Would my right hon. Friend agree that, broadly speaking, this is a serious wastage of agricultural land? In the case of future long-distance roads like this, will he ensure that there is the minimum of wastage? Even in Germany, where the autobahn is probably the most elaborate system of its kind in the world, there is only 11 ft. between the two carriageways.

Mr. Watkinson

I take the point made by my hon. Friend. In building new roads as quickly as possible, however, where we can use the existing carriageway for one part of the dual carriageway we can make much quicker progress.

Mr. Langford-Holt

Will my right hon. Friend look at the second point, that even the second figure he mentioned, which is normal, is probably excessively wide, because it can be done with much less use of land?

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