HC Deb 23 February 1960 vol 618 c164
8. Mr. P. Noel-Baker

asked the Minister of Works for how many weeks the firm of contractors has now been at work on Birdcage Walk; and how many more weeks it is estimated that it will be before it completes its task.

Lord John Hope

Work has been in progress for nineteen weeks. The completion date for the contract is 12th June, 1960, but I hope that work may in fact be finished by mid-April.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Is there nothing more the Ministry can do to persuade this firm of Lavender McMillan to curtail the period during which great public inconvenience is caused?

Lord John Hope

The fact that it might well be possible to finish by mid-April shows that the firm is doing its best to get this job finished. One reason why it has taken longer than might appear on the surface to be necessary is that we have had to keep a right of way open all the time. We could have done it much more quickly if we had shut the whole road.

Mr. Russell

Could the Minister say how many men are employed on the work? Is it not possible sometimes to employ more men and get the job done more quickly without incurring more cost?

Lord John Hope

I will look into that and let my hon. Friend know. I have not got the figure.