HC Deb 23 December 1964 vol 704 cc1230-2
22. Mr. van Straubenzee

asked the Minister of Transport what proposals he has for installing a controlled pedestrian crossing with lights in the Wokingham Road at Reading.

44. Mr. Peter Emery

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware of the need for a controlled pedestrian crossing in the Wokingham Road at Reading; and what action he proposes to take to provide it.

Mr. Swingler

We are aware of the representations that have been made for a signal-controlled pedestrian crossing here but on present information a crossing is not justified. However, a comprehensive review of pedestrian crossing policy will take place during the coming year. My right hon. Friend hopes to be able to make an announcement about this shortly.

Mr. van Straubenzee

Does the hon. Gentleman realise that that reply will inevitably cause disappointment in the part of Reading to which the Question refers? Will he take into account the very restrained and responsible representations which have been made, particularly by the body of parents represented in the school which is very much affected? Does he not feel that this is a very special case in the Borough of Reading which ought to be dealt with ahead of the major review that he has indicated will take place?

Mr. Swingler

The Answer that I have given is based on the information that we have had to date. We appreciate the local feeling on this subject. Our representatives are awaiting certain new information from the Reading Borough Council about traffic flows and the problem at this place, and it may be that in the light of that information we shall take a different view. On the basis of our study of the traffic flows at the moment we consider that a pedestrian crossing is not justified, but when we receive the new information I will let the hon. Gentleman know the results of our further study.

Mr. Emery

Does the hon. Gentleman realise that the information that he requires from the Reading Borough Council has been sent to his Ministry? Does he realise that, although the original application was turned down in February of this year, because of the growth of public feeling the council resubmitted the application? Would he, therefore, be willing to receive a deputation of people from Reading who feel so terribly strongly about this situation in an area where accidents happen very regularly?

Mr. Swingler

I appreciate the anxiety. I think the best thing would be for us first of all to consider the new information which has not yet been studied and discuss the matter further with Reading Borough Council. We shall be very pleased to receive a deputation if the matter continues to be felt unsatisfactory.