HC Deb 25 July 1963 vol 681 cc1828-9

Lords Amendment: In page 22, line 10, at end insert: (3A) Where a new highway to be constructed by virtue of the said section 26(2) by a London borough council or the Common Council will communicate with a metropolitan road, the communication shall not be made unless the manner in which it is to be made has been approved by the Greater London Council.

Mr. Galbraith

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

The effect of this Amendment is to require a London borough to obtain the consent of the G.L.C. as to the way in which any new road is made to communicate or link with a metropolitan road. This is achieved by applying to the London authorities in respect of metropolitan roads, a requirement similar to that in Section 26 of the Highways Act, 1959, where the consent of the Minister has to be obtained as to the way in which a new road is to communicate with a trunk road.

In respect of metropolitan roads the Amendment puts the G.L.C. in the same position as the Minister in respect of metropolitan roads. This is right since the construction of an entirely new road linking with a metropolitan road might be expected to affect the traffic pattern on the metropolitan road, so that the G.L.C. should have some say in the matter. Although the desire was expressed in another place to go rather further, the Amendment was welcomed and I trust that it will also be welcomed in this House.

Mr. Mellish

I make a prediction that when the Bill becomes law it will not be long before an Amendment is necessary to avoid the ridiculous position which will be created because of the division of road responsibilities. Some are in the control of the Greater London boroughs and some in the control of the Greater London Council and the Ministry, and all will be consulting each other to work out a scheme. I think that a great chance has been missed because the G.L.C. has not been given an overall responsibility as it should have been, except in respect of minor roads. I would give the Council all the powers necessary to control all roads and take away from the Minister a lot of his present powers.

Mr. Barter

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman would accept that the purpose of the Amendment is to ensure that a road going through a borough would come from somewhere and would go somewhere and that that is wholly desirable.

Mr. Mellish

I do not think that we need an Amendment to prove that a road comes from somewhere and ends somewhere else.

There are arguments about what consultation should take place and how it should be done. In the end this situation will have to be amended. I do not blame the Parliamentary Secretary, because I am sure that had he been in office at the time it would not have happened. But we shall have to do something about the division of responsibility for roads.

Question put and agreed to.

Subsequent Lords Amendments agreed to.