HC Deb 27 June 1962 vol 661 cc1138-9
18. Mr. Mathew

asked the Minister of Transport for what reasons he has turned down the suggestions made to him by the Devon and Cornwall Federation of Trades Councils urging the advantages of a completely new road to the north of the City of Exeter, which would relieve present extreme traffic congestion on the Exeter by-pass.

Mr. Hay

Because the terrain it would have to cross would make it a very costly project. Moreover, it would not give as effective relief as a new southern by-pass for the bulk of the traffic proceeding to South Devon and Plymouth.

Mr. Mathew

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that until the Exeter bypass is relieved, the intolerable congestion during the summer months is bound to continue? Is he aware that no amount of building of by-passes or widening of the A.30 will ameliorate the situation until that by-pass is relieved in one way or another? Will he also bear in mind that all the publicity about Honiton points only to the Exeter bypass and that none of these jams have their origin within Honiton itself, in spite of the newspapers?

Mr. Hay

That goes a little wide of the Question on the Order Paper and I have answered what my hon. Friend asked in that Question. We do not think it desirable to have a northern by-pass of Exeter. A southern route would go through easier country. It would be a shorter route to London and would connect with the A.30 and the A.38. A northern by-pass would have none of these advantages.

Mr. Wilkins

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that many of us are interested in the suggestion he now makes about the southern part of the area concerned? Why is the South-West to be the Cinderella in all the road building programmes undertaken?

Mr. Hay

That is a canard which I have often had to demolish before, if one can demolish a canard.

Mr. Thorpe

When is the southern by-pass likely to be built? Is the hon. Gentleman aware that 2½ million tourists use this area every year? Has he used it himself? If not, will he do so?

Mr. Hay

I have frequently done so. I use it practically every summer on holiday. We are getting on with this project as quickly as we can, consistent with our other obligations and responsibilities.

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