§ 7. Sir B. Janner
asked the Minister of Transport what is the present position with regard to the Leicestershire portion of the London to Yorkshire motorway; and if he will make a statement.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport (Mr. John Hay)
As my right hon. Friend told the hon. Member on 2nd May, we hope to let contracts for the first 26 miles of the M.1 extension this summer. This will 1133 take the motorway to its junction with A.50 at Markfield. Tenders for the first three contracts have already been invited. The aim is to complete work within two years from the letting of the contract. Progress with the remaining section in Leicestershire will depend on detailed preparation and availability of funds.
§ Sir B. Janner
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that people who are watching the whole process of providing this road consider that it is being carried on in a fiddling manner? Has he read the report by the County Surveyors' Society on the road system of our country in which It is said that 1,700 miles are immediately necessary and that, at the rate we are going at present, we shall take 30 years to do it? What does the Minister propose to do? Why will not he regard the whole situation from a general point of view, realising that the economic situation demands that these roads shall be built rapidly, with a radical approach to the whole problem, and that the sooner they are built the better it will he for the country's economy?
§ Mr. Hay
The answer to the hon. Gentleman's first supplementary question is, "No, Sir". The answer to his second supplementary question is, "Yes, Sir". The answer to the third is that one cannot argue from the general to the particular. In this case, we have an extremely complicated and difficult operation covering a large area of territory. It is not as simple as the hon. Gentleman so frequently seems to think.
§ Sir B. Janner
Is the Minister aware that everyone, apart from himself, who has examined this situation is convinced that the expenditure of money now will save a considerable amount in the future? Why does not he regard the system as a whole and carry on with this extensive task?