HC Deb 18 March 1959 vol 602 cc398-9
31. Captain Orr

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what plans he now has for the improvement of the transport facilities between London Airport and Central London.

Mr. Watkinson

I hope very soon to authorise a grant of over £1 million towards the cost of the Hammersmith flyover. This, and the completion of the Chiswick flyover, will greatly shorten road journey time. A proposal has also been published for a new London-South Wales motorway which will provide still further improved connection with the airport, and I am considering the objections which have been made.

A scheme has been submitted to me for a fast surface electric rail link from Victoria to London Airport, and monorail and other systems have also been proposed, but no decisions have been taken on these proposals.

Captain Orr

Can my right hon. Friend say how long it will be before we may expect a decision on these proposals?

Mr. Watkinson

The first task is to get on, and to provide London Airport with a fast motor road. Provided objections are not too serious, I hope that that scheme can go forward. As to the monorail, in particular, there are still a good many technical matters to be cleared out of the way.

Mr. Strauss

Is it the fact that these proposals have now been before the Ministry for years—both the fast electric train service for Victoria and the monorail? Is not it time that we got some decision as to whether either or both—or neither—of these proposals should be proceeded with?

Mr. Watkinson

The monorail proposals are not in front of me but with the proposers, who have to answer a good many technical points that my railway engineers have put to them.