HC Deb 31 July 1963 vol 682 cc428-30
40. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Transport whether he has studied the report on Motor Vehicles in National Parks, a copy of which has been sent to him by the Ramblers' Association; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Marples

Most of the recommendations in the Report, which I received on the 22nd July, are a matter for the local authorities concerned, and the National Parks Commission. But I will let the Association have some comments about those which affect my responsibilities and will send the hon. Lady a copy.

Mrs. Castle

As a cyclist and walker himself, would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the growing invasion of the National Parks by motor cars should not be allowed to ruin the pleasure of those of us who are prepared to use our muscles? Will he therefore resist any applications for road widening and for the building of new roads in National Parks, and will he also take steps to divert commercial traffic from them?

Mr. Marples

I have a great deal of sympathy with what the hon. Lady says, because there will be a great clash of interests between the motor car and amenities. Somehow, someone has to hold a balance. Whoever it is will be wrong, and I am afraid that it will be some future Minister of Transport.

Mrs. Castle

Well, do your job.

Sir J. Eden

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the great success in Germany, for example, and will he study what has been achieved there and try to emulate it?

Mr. Marples

I have done that. I have been there myself. I have taken a car there, and I have walked a great deal in Germany as well as climbing rocks. I have done exactly the same in America, in the Rockies, where they are very fortunate in having different physical conditions—I only wish we had the same conditions.

I am very disturbed about what might happen in the Lake District when, for example, the new motorway really links with Manchester. That will mean that millions of people will be able to get to the Lake District very speedily, and the question is what they will do with their motor cars when they get there. They should not destroy the amenities, or their enjoyment, by others.

Mr. Warbey

If the Minister is so genuinely concerned about this problem, will he maintain access to the National Parks by railway trains, which do not require parking space?

Mr. Marples

There is no point in doing that if everyone goes by car.

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