HC Deb 29 January 1958 vol 581 cc365-6
25. Sir F. Medlicott

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation to what extent he is examining the possible use of monorails between London Airport and Central London and also in other congested areas; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Watkinson

So far as London Airport is concerned, I have nothing to add to the Answer I gave to the hon. Member for Feltham (Mr. Hunter) last week. I will certainly consider other proposals for the use of monorails, but I have not received any so far.

Sir F. Medlicott

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there are immense possibilities in this system in a congested country like ours for saving both time and money? Could he give it some real priority in his consideration?

Mr. Watkinson

I have already done that.

Mr. Woodburn

Would the right hon. Gentleman consider providing some form of quicker transport from the nearest underground station? The underground provides a very quick form of transport from London and it would be much more economical, as a short-term policy, to provide some efficient form of transport from the nearest underground station.

Mr. Watkinson

I will look at what the right hon. Member has said.

46. Mr. Lipton

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation how much it will cost to construct a monorail between London Airport and central London.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation (Mr. Airey Neave)

Costs cannot be estimated until a scheme has been worked out.

Mr. Lipton

Does that mean that in the traditions of the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation we shall have to wait several years before any rapid, non-stop communication will be provided between London Airport and Central London? Is it not beginning to appear that the monorail system is likely to prove the cheapest and quickest method of communication?

Mr. Neave

What the hon. Gentleman says is not in the tradition of the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, and never has been. In the debate on the Airways Corporations on 27th January, my right hon. Friend said: We are examining the fascinating project of a monorail, but I cannot give any views about that until the Chief Inspecting Officer of Railways has pronounced on whether he feels that it is a safe form of passenger carrying at the very high speeds which we shall require."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 27th January, 1958; Vol. 581, c. 42.] Therefore, the economics of that will have to be worked out later.

Mr. D. Jones

About a year ago, the right hon. Gentleman told me that he was referring the technical reports on a rail link between Victoria and London Airport to the British Transport Commission. Can the hon. Gentleman say whether anything has come out of the consideration of the B.T.C.?

Mr. Neave

If the hon. Member is referring to a rail link as distinct from the monorail, we have just received a report and we are examining it.