HC Deb 26 October 1960 vol 627 cc2322-4
7. Mr. Janner

asked the Minister of Transport whether he has now come to a decision on the objections which were put forward in respect of his draft scheme for the Leicestershire portion of the London to Yorkshire motorway; when he expects construction to be commenced; and what funds are available for the purpose.

24 and 25. Mr. Wade

asked the Minister of Transport (1) when the draft schemes will be published for the proposed motorway extending from the London-Yorkshire motorway through the West Riding of Yorkshire to Sheffield and Leeds; and

(2) When work will commence on the extension of the M.1 from Crick to the West Riding of Yorkshire; and when this is likely to be completed.

Mr. Marples

The scheme fixing the line of route of the section extending from Crick to Doncaster has now been made. The draft side road Orders will be published shortly. Land acquisition is being put in hand. As I indicated to the House on 28th July, the funds available for long-distance routes in the next five or six years must primarily be devoted to completing the Government's five major projects. I hope nevertheless that a start can be made on the Crick-Doncaster section during this period. I also hope to publish early in 1961 the draft scheme for the remaining section extending the motorway to Sheffield and Leeds.

Mr. Janner

Does that mean that the Minister seriously thinks people will wait five or six years for this road to be constructed? He has had this matter before him for many years now, and the actual scheme which he has now adopted is the scheme which was put to him three or four years ago. Is he not prepared to see that the finances are available to carry on with this work, which has been so necessary for about seven or eight years?

Mr. Marples

The scheme has not been before me that long, and the five major projects come first.

Mr. Wade

With regard to the extension through the West Riding, is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is serious traffic congestion and serious concern over the delay? Will he give an assurance that the completion of the extension through the West Riding will coincide with the completion of the M.1 to Doncaster? If not, What delay will there be between the extension through the West Riding and the motorway up to Yorkshire?

Mr. Marples

I should like to look at that question tomorrow in the OFFICIAL REPORT and write to the hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Benn

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that he has now been in office twelve months and the road situation is worse than when he took over? [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Of course it is. Congestion is much more serious than it was last year. People demand yet another increase in the road programme.

Mr. Marples

I do not think that I had better answer in an aggressive manner. I thought that the hon. Gentleman agreed with me more than he did with most people.

23. Mr. Wyatt

asked the Minister of Transport whether, in view of strong local feeling, he will reconsider his decision not to hold a public inquiry concerning the line of route for the London-Yorkshire motorway through Markfield.

Mr. Marples

No, Sir.

Mr. Wyatt

As the Minister has just said that it will be six years before he starts building this road or before it will be ready, how can his Department now be so inflexible in its administration that it cannot consider the very reasonable claim of many people living locally for a public inquiry as to the exact line of the route through their farms?

Mr. Marples

This has been going on for a long time, and we have had bitter opposition to other routes. I have supported the compromise line of Leicester County Council, which, although from an engineering point of view is not ideal, is, I am quite satisfied, the line which causes the least disturbance to the smallest number of people.

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