HC Deb 10 June 1959 vol 606 cc964-5
24. Mr. Wade

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what progress he has to report on the construction of the new motorway from London to Yorkshire.

29 and 33. Mr. A. Roberts

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation (1) when he expects the London-Yorkshire motor road to be completed;

(2) what further progress has been made in determining the route of the London-Yorkshire motor road through Leicestershire.

Mr. Nugent

We expect that the carriageways of the London-Birmingham motorway, which is the first section of the London-Yorkshire motorway, will be completed by the end of October. As far as the extension to Yorkshire is concerned, I cannot yet add to my right hon. Friend's reply on 13th May to the hon. Member for Leicester, North-West (Mr. Janner).

Mr. Wade

In respect of Yorkshire, does the Minister appreciate that his Ministry appears to be progressing backwards? In the first place, it was proposed that there should be a new road through the West Riding, to be linked with the new London-Yorkshire motorway. I understand that that has been dropped from the Minister's scheme. Now we have a serious setback with the London-Yorkshire motorway. Can the Minister state a specific date by which time some progress will be made from Birmingham onwards, either by the original or by some alternative route?

Mr. Nugent

First, we have to decide what will be the line of the motorway and, as the House knows, we have had great difficulty in fixing the line through Leicestershire. Until that is done it is quite impossible to take a view as to when the work may start, but we are proceeding as fast as we can in order to try to decide where that line should be.

Mr. Roberts

Does not the Minister agree that this delay is causing great consternation in the West Riding? Does he realise that it is no use talking about 100 m.p.h. motorways when we have a 5 m.p.h. Administration? Will he consider routeing the London-Yorkshire motorway through the western part of the Charnwood Forest? If the Government will accept that route a commencement could be made during the coming November.

Mr. Nugent

It could not, because we have many statutory obligations to fulfil before that. The western route through the Charnwood Forest, as I have said previously, has grave objections in regard to its alignment both vertically and horizontally, and also because of the extra cost involved over other routes. For those reasons, I am afraid that I cannot encourage the hon. Member to think that his suggestion can be regarded as an easy solution.

Sir M. Stoddart-Scott

Will the Minister knock the heads of the local authorities of Leicestershire together and, if they cannot come to an agreement, make the decision himself in order that the North shall not be deprived of the advantages of having a motorway?

Mr. Nugent

My hon. and gallant Friend has already derived some advantage from the improvement in the Great North Road.

Mr. Roberts

On a point of order. In view of the Minister's very unsatisfactory reply, I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter at the earliest opportunity on the Adjournment.