HC Deb 24 July 1963 vol 681 cc1448-9
35. Mr. Dudley Smith

asked the Minister of Transport if he will issue instructions prohibiting all night work on motorways and other major road constructions where residential areas are likely to be affected.

Mr. Marples

I sympathise with people disturbed by construction work at night. In particular cases I have asked contractors to help and they have done so. I will do the same in other appropriate cases. But night work could not be prohibited altogether because by their nature some operations may, on occasions, have to be continuous or carried out only at night. Moreover, night work must at times be accepted because on balance it is more economical or reduces dislocation to day-time traffic.

Mr. Smith

Is my right hon. Friend aware that because he happened to be away recently it took over four days of urgent representation to stop all-night work on the new M.4 motorway at Brentford where it was disturbing the rest of over 500 people? Despite all considerations of urgency in various roadworks, does he not consider that the needs of the private individual should always be given greater consideration than any construction work which may be going on?

Mr. Marples

The difficulty is to balance two conflicting interests, one of amenity and one of proceeding ahead with the work as fast as we possibly can. Sometimes it is necessary, particularly in pile driving, to proceed continuously, and that is why this was carried out at night, especially over Whit week when there was night work by the subcontractors, Marples, Ridgway and Partners, Ltd. This has been stopped, and I hope that my hon. Friend is now satisfied.

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