HC Deb 01 June 1960 vol 624 cc1426-7
30. Mr. H. Hynd

asked the Minister of Transport when he proposes to improve the main road A.56 between Manchester and north-east Lancashire.

Mr. Hay

We are investigating proposals for the comprehensive improvement of this road, but much preparatory work has yet to be done and it will inevitably be some years before construction can be started.

Mr. Hynd

In view of that reply, is the Parliamentary Secretary satisfied that "some years" is a sufficiently quick time to be getting on with the work? Is he fully seized of the importance of this key road in the plan to bring new industry to north-east Lancashire, where the cotton industry has been run down?

Mr. Hay

I am very well aware of the case, as the hon. Member for Burnley (Mr. D. Jones) discussed it with me at some length a few weeks ago. The position is that this road carries a lighter volume of traffic than do many other industrial roads. For that reason, it was not included in the first phase of the road programme, but that does not mean that we shall not be able to include it in the next phase.

Mr. S. Silverman

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this road carries a lighter volume of traffic than some other roads precisely because it is unfit for more traffic than it now carries? Is he aware that of the 30 miles of this road between Manchester and Colne more than 20 miles are subject to a 30 m.p.h. speed limit? As this is the only road communication between Manchester and north-east Lancashire, and as northeast Lancashire depends on improving its communications to attract new industries, will he bear in mind that if we are to wait a few more years in addition to the quarter of a century that I have waited already there will be nothing at all left of industry in this part of Lancashire?

Mr. Hay

I am afraid that we still have a number of roads that are not fit for the volume of traffic that we would like to see on them, but that is a situation that we are trying to deal with as quickly as possible. We shall certainly keep in mind the claims of this road, for the very reasons mentioned by the hon. Gentleman.

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