HC Deb 17 July 1963 vol 681 cc522-3
43. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Minister of Transport what progress he has made in his conversations with highway authorities about classification and percentage grants for the road improvements necessitated by railway closures.

Mr. Galbraith

We have been having general discussions with representatives of the local authorities' associations about changes in the system of paying grants to local authorities for work on classified roads. These discussions cover the whole field of grants for roadworks, and are not specifically concerned with the financing of any road improvements which may be necessitated by particular railway closures.

Mr. Digby

Is my hon. Friend aware that there will be quite a problem here in financing the extra roads that will be required to carry the heavier traffic? In my constituency we are losing 11 out of 14 stations, so that more road traffic will be needed to take people to the few remaining stations.

Mr. Galbraith

To a certain extent my hon. Friend's question is hypothetical, because we do not know yet what railways or stations will be closed, nor do we yet know the amount of extra traffic these closures will generate.

Mr. Strauss

Does the Parliamentary Secretary deny that a great deal of road building or road widening will not be necessary as a consequence of carrying out the closures proposed in the Beeching Report?

Mr. Galbraith

The right hon. Gentleman is, perhaps, exaggerating the effect. If all the railway closure proposals are carried out, they will result in an increase over the country as a whole of only two months' growth, which is nothing very substantial. But I do accept that in some particular areas closures may have graver effects.

Back to
Forward to