HC Deb 27 June 1962 vol 661 cc1144-5
32. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will arrange for his traffic engineers to study evidence abroad in regard to the relative merits of roundabouts and other forms of traffic intersection.

Mr. Marples

My engineers are already given opportunities to keep themselves abreast of the latest thinking on traffic problems and highway constructional methods in other countries. The relative merits of roundabouts and other forms of traffic intersection are well known, and are taken into account in deciding the form of intersection to be used at any junction.

Mr. Digby

Is not my right hon. Friend aware that in the United States they have ceased building roundabouts as we know them? Would it not be a good idea if my right hon. Friend's traffic engineers were to have a talk with the experts in America and hear from them at first hand their reasons for reaching this decision?

Mr. Marples

That is quite true, because they have grade separations and all sorts of things in America, where I have been. If my hon. Friend has in mind any particular case where he thinks that a roundabout which is proposed ought not to be built, perhaps he will send me details and we will look into the case.

Mr. Popplewell

Will not the right hon. Gentleman consider ceasing to build any new roundabouts except where there is a special case for them? It is pretty well known that to ease traffic flow roundabouts are completely outmoded in modern road traffic conditions.

Mr. Marples

The physical conditions of a town sometimes make the construction of an efficient flyover system impossible. We can only plan according to the ground that we have available and the density of the population. It is a question of circumstances in each case. As I say, if there is an individual case where any hon. Member thinks that a roundabout which is being proposed is the wrong solution and if he will let me know, I will have a look at it.

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