§ 21. Mr. Worsley
asked the Minister of Transport why it is necessary to close road A.6034 between Steeton and Silsden for 18 out of 20 days before Easter; and why no consultations took place with Silsden Urban District Council before this decision was taken.
§ Mr. Hay
I understand that the Yorkshire (West Riding) County Council proposes to close this road under the powers granted to highway authorities by the Road Traffic Act, 1930. The purpose 1285 of the closure is to enable British Railways to repair points and signalling equipment at a level crossing. Advance copies of the notices to be posted on the highway were sent to the Silsden Urban District Council on 3rd February.
§ Mr. Worsley
Is not nearly three weeks a totally unreasonable time for a level crossing to be closed? Does not my hon. Friend realise that it is absolutely vital for the small town of Silsden that the crossing should be opened as soon as possible? Will he give instructions for speeding up the operation?
§ Mr. Hay
No, Sir. I am afraid that we have no power to order the speeding up of this operation, even if it were desirable to do what my hon. Friend requires. The local highway authority is the county council, which is fully aware of the difficulties caused to traffic, because in the notice which I mentioned it gave details of alternative routes which would be available.