HC Deb 08 May 1963 vol 677 cc409-10
16. Sir D. Robertson

asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware of the traffic congestion in Lower Thames Street, Monument Street, Fish Street Hill, and adjacent streets in London while vessels are, discharging and loading cargoes at New Fresh Wharf, and of the use of these streets for parking purposes; and what action he proposes to take to remedy the situation.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport (Vice-Admiral John Hughes Hallett)

We believe that a comprehensive control of street parking would be the best solution to the special problems created here by the market and the docks. I understand that the Common Council is of the same view, and intends very shortly to apply for a parking meter Order for the area.

Sir D. Robertson

Why are ships of 10,000 tons allowed to discharge their cargoes on to old, narrow City streets at London Bridge, which must cause traffic chaos? And why is the City Corporation's car park which adjoins the New Fresh Wharf allowed to remain empty and unused each day from 11 a.m. onwards?

Vice-Admiral Hughes Hallett

With regard to the second part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question, we have not yet seen the Common Council's proposals but when we do, we will consider all their aspects, and the objections. We still think that a parking meter scheme is the best solution. As to the first part of the supplementary question, neither my right hon. Friend nor, I understand, the Port of London Authority, has any power to regulate the size of vessels using the Upper Pool.

Mr. Mellish

Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that many thousands of men get their livelihood on the River Thames? With great respect to motorists who use that part of the City, certain priorities should be given to those who live and earn their living on the waterfront.

Vice-Admiral Hughes Hallett

This goes beyond the question of the ordinary motorists. At present, important commercial traffic going to the docks is being held up.