HC Deb 04 November 1959 vol 612 cc1015-6
12. Mr. Strauss

asked the Minister of Transport why the construction of the Bristol-Birmingham motorway is being held up for six months.

Mr. Marples

Difficulties over statutory processes prevented the start expected in September, 1959. Meanwhile, experience on other motorways suggested some changes in specification. These required revision of the contract documents.

Tenders have now been invited. They are returnable by 8th January. I expect construction to begin next March.

Mr. Strauss

Was there not some miscalculation of the length of time the statutory requirements would take to fulfil? It would seem to be a very unfortunate start to the great road-building campaign which we were promised at the General Election that the first thing to happen is that this major motorway will be delayed for six months in its initial operation.

Mr. Marples

I do not think that it will be delayed for as long as that. Tenders are already out now, which is just after the election. One cannot do more than that.

Mr. Speaker

Mr. George Strauss, Question No. 13.

Sir P. Agnew

May I ask a supplementary question—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—in view of the fact that the road in question runs through my constituency?

Mr. Speaker

No. I called Mr. George Strauss to ask Question No. 13.

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