HC Deb 27 February 1963 vol 672 cc1245-6
30. Mr. Ridley

asked the Minister of Transport what was the average number of heavy vehicles at the last census travelling between London and South Wales, Birmingham and South Wales, and Birmingham and Bristol, respectively.

Vice-Admiral Hughes Hallett

No recent figures of through traffic are available, but an origin and destination survey taken in 1957 showed that the number of heavy vehicles travelling between these areas each day was 373, 176 and 150 respectively. The actual numbers of heavy vehicles using these roads in August, 1961, lay between 1,300 and 2,300 per day, but, of course, this included local and short-distance traffic.

Mr. Ridley

Do not these figures show that there is every bit as much need for a motorway between Birmingham and Bristol as there is for one between London and South Wales or London and Birmingham? Will my hon. Friend look at this matter again? Why is he holding up completion of the M.5? Will he, please, take a decision to bring it forward urgently?

Vice-Admiral Hughes Hallett

As my hon. Friend knows, we have accepted the need to extend the M.5 southwards as soon as completion of the statutory processes, the availability of funds, and so forth, permit. A draft sdheme for this length of the M.5 which will bypass Tewkesbury and Gloucester will be published later this year.