HC Deb 23 June 1958 vol 590 cc3-4
Sir P. Agnew

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress has been made in arriving at a remedial scheme for dealing with the problem of River Severn erosion.

Mr. John Hare

I am glad to say that agreement has now been reached between the Severn River Board and the British Transport Commission on the financial basis of a five-year programme of work on the most seriously eroded portions of the banks, about 6½ miles in length. The total cost is estimated at £130,000, a substantial part of which will be met by a Government grant under the Land Drainage Act, 1930.

Sir P. Agnew

Is my right hon. Friend aware that that announcement of a scheme to deal with this problem will bring satisfaction to all those who occupy and use land bordering the river where this erosion has taken place? Can he say whether he has been able to come to any arrangement with the British Transport Commission about a severe limitation of speed of the barges using a river, which is believed to be a contributory cause of the present erosion?

Mr. Hare

I am very grateful to my hon. Friend for his earlier remarks, and I am glad that it has been possible to reach this agreement. The British Transport Commission is doing all in its power to ensure that the barges comply with speed limits and navigational requirements generally, but it is extremely difficult for the Commission to watch every barge.

Mr. Grant-Ferris

Will my right hon. Friend emphasise that point about the British Transport Commission, because I know from personal experience that the barges travel much too fast for the comfort of other river users?

Mr. Hare

I will see that my hon. Friend's remarks are brought to the attention of British Transport Commission.

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