HC Deb 27 January 1960 vol 616 cc144-6
26 and 27. Mr. A. Roberts

asked the Minister of Transport (1) if he will consult with the local authorities of Yorkshire concerning the route of the London-Yorkshire motorway through the County of Yorkshire;

(2) if he will now make a further statement on the completion of the London-Yorkshire motorway.

59 and 61. Mr. Wade

asked the Minister of Transport (1) what progress he has to report on the construction of the London to Yorkshire motorway from Crick to the West Riding of Yorkshire;

(2) what progress he has to report on the extension of the London to Yorkshire motorway in the West Riding of Yorkshire towards Sheffield and Leeds.

Mr. Hay

The draft scheme showing the proposed route of the motorway from Crick to the Doncaster by-pass was published on 8th January. The local authorities affected have already been consulted, in accordance with normal practice. Until the period of three months allowed for objections has ended I cannot forecast future progress on the remaining statutory processes.

Proposals made by the West Riding County Council for the further extension of this motorway to Sheffield and Leeds are being examined. A draft scheme showing the route of this extension will be published as soon as possible.

Mr. Roberts

May we have an assurance from the Minister that the extension of the London-Yorkshire motorway will proceed as fast as possible?

Mr. Hay

yes, indeed. We are pressing on as fast as the statutory procedure laid down by Parliament will allow us.

Mr. Wade

When does the hon. Gentleman expect the extension as far as the Doncaster by-pass to be completed? Secondly, in view of the traffic congestion in the West Riding, can he give any assurance that the extension through the West Riding towards Leeds will be completed as soon as possible after the extension to the Doncaster by-pass?

Mr. Hay

I cannot at this stage forecast exactly when we shall complete the section of the road to which the hon. Gentleman refers, but, as I said earlier, we are pressing on with this as quickly as we possibly can.

Mr. Gresham Cooke

Is this extension of the motorway to have three lanes in either direction, because from the point of view of safety and traffic flow it is very important that the three lanes of the London-Birmingham section should be extended up to Yorkshire?

Mr. Hay

Yes, I think it is. I would not like to give a categorical answer without notice, but I think that in this case it is three.

Mr. Mellish

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that what is really needed today is a national road plan so that hon. Members from constituencies all over the country can be satisfied that some effort will be made to carry out the necessary road improvements? Is he aware that one of the problems is that when a labour force is built up to build a road it is disbanded afterwards and that it takes a long time to build up the labour force again? May we have some assurance about the future as a whole?

Mr. Hay

What we are trying to do is to make up for many years' neglect of the roads of this country, particularly in the years between 1945 and 1951. We are getting on as quickly as Parliament will allow and as quickly as funds will permit.

Mr. Paget

Can the hon. Gentleman give us any indication of the cost of dispersing the organisation and machinery and the manpower at Crick because his Ministry had been so dilatory that it had not got any further plans?

Mr. Hay

I cannot without notice give any estimate of the cost to which the hon. and learned Gentleman refers. As to the second part of his supplementary question, all this was debated very fully in this House in November, and I think it was pretty clear to any unbiassed person that any delay there had been was not due to my right hon. Friend's Ministry or to my right hon. Friend's predecessor.