HC Deb 14 June 1961 vol 642 cc417-8
33. Mr. Jeger

asked the Minister of Transport whether he has yet reached any conclusion from the census of traffic over Boothferry Bridge taken last October; and what action he proposes to take to relieve congestion on this main route between the West Riding and Hull.

36. Mr. Coulson

asked the Minister of Transport what proposals he has to make for the relief of traffic congestion in the area of the Boothferry Bridge.

Mr. Hay

The conclusion we have reached from the census is that the advantages of using the abandoned Barnsley-Hull railway track for a new road between Howden and the Great North Road would not be commensurate with the cost, and would offer only limited relief to the route via Boothferry Bridge. In any case, the British Transport Commission have now decided to withhold negotiations for disposal of the abandoned track because they may want it for the supply of coal by rail to a new power station to be built in the area. Our future plans will therefore be based on the comprehensive improvement of the present Doncaster-Howden trunk road via Boothferry Bridge.

Mr. Jeger

Can the hon. Gentleman indicate when these plans are going to be looked at again, because this census has taken him a considerable time to consider? He may remember that on 15th March he said that the Ministry were about to announce a decision, and it is now three months since then?

Mr. Hay

Improvements to existing trunk roads have a very high place in our order of priorities, but I am afraid it is too soon for me to say when they can be put in hand.

Mr. Coulson

While thanking my hon. Friend for that new information, may I ask him if he can give an assurance that the use of part of the northern section of the disused railway will be considered possibly as a by-pass for Howden? Will he give further urgent consideration to the need for a widening or replacement of the existing Boothferry Bridge?

Mr. Hay

With regard to the first part of my hon. Friend's question, this point will be examined when we know for certain whether the British Transport Commission will be able to make that particular section of track available. In regard to the reconstruction or replacement of Boothferry Bridge, my hon. Friend will realise that it will be a very expensive undertaking. We have formulated no specific scheme, but we will examine the point in the light of the main decision which I have announced today.