HC Deb 18 May 1960 vol 623 cc1270-1
39. Mr. Mayhew

asked the Minister of Transport what encouragement he is giving to local authorities to construct automatic multi-storey garages as a means of solving town centre parking problems.

Mr. Marples

I am always ready to view sympathetically applications by local authorities for loan sanction and compulsory purchase orders for the purpose of providing off-street parking facilities. These may include automatic multi-storey garages where appropriate.

Mr. Mayhew

Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been drawn to the pioneering work done in this matter, without the Ministry's encouragement, by Woolwich Borough Council, a much more enterprising body than the Ministry of Transport? Will he circularise other local authorities with the results of the Woolwich experiment?

Mr. Marples

I agree that Woolwich is to be commended on this multi-storey garage, but it is untrue to say that the Ministry has been unhelpful. We have tried to help Woolwich in this respect, and we will try to help all local authorities which wish to provide multi-storey parking, because I think that it is extremely important in the stream of traffic today.

Sir W. Wakefield

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is not much point in asking local authorities to erect multi-storey garages or any other garages unless adequate notices are provided so that motorists know where the garages are? Will my right hon. Friend do his utmost to emphasise to local authorities the importance of providing adequate directions for motorists to enable them to park their cars in garages?

Mr. Marples

I will bear that in mind, and I am sure that Woolwich will, too.

Mr. Mellish

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, while on the one hand he says that he wants to encourage local authorities to build multi-storey garages, in a Standing Committee he has refused to allow local authorities which are building garages to sell oil and petrol? How can he justify that?

Mr. Marples

Local authorities cannot trade in oil and petrol, but they can provide the facilities. There is no reason why a local authority which wants to provide off-street car parking should be given entitlement to do a whole heap of other things as well.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Garages for the rich; no houses for the poor.