HC Deb 03 February 1960 vol 616 cc981-2
15. Sir W. Wakefield

asked the Minister of Transport if he will consider, as a temporary expedient, the immediate use of Bailey bridges to hasten the flow of traffic; and, in particular, if he will cause to be erected such a bridge across the Edgware Road to carry the ring road traffic from Marylebone Road to Sussex Gardens.

Mr. Marples

I am prepared to consider the use of Bailey bridges wherever they prove suitable. In London such matters are the responsibility in the first place of the London County Council and the metropolitan borough concerned.

A Bailey bridge would not be practicable at the junction of Marylebone Road and Sussex Gardens because the carriageway is not wide enough to permit a full installation.

Sir W. Wakefield

Is the Minister aware that the carriageway could be widened, if necessary? Is it not a good thing to have some of these Bailey bridges put up for experimental purposes, so that statistics can be obtained and opportunities provided for research and development on the use of these bridges before any permanent structures are put up anywhere?

Mr. Marples

I have gone very carefully into the question whether there should be temporary arrangements, with Bailey bridges, or permanent arrangements, and I have come down in favour of permanent arrangements being made. It was a very difficult decision. We looked at sites such as Lambeth Palace Road, Kennington Triangle, Temple Mills Bridge, Bow Bridge, Roehampton Vale, and the Toby Jug junction on the Kingston By-Pass. I can assure the House that on balance it is better to concentrate on permanent improvements, but if there are any sites where a Bailey bridge could help out temporarily I will certainly consider them, if hon. Members will give me particulars.

Mr. Lipton

Is not the cheapest way of dealing with the traffic congestion in Central London to keep private cars out of Central London?

Mr. Marples

I do not think this Government would ever suggest that the private motorist should not be allowed to come into the capital city.