HC Deb 12 February 1964 vol 689 cc348-9
9. Mr. Woof

asked the Minister of Transport when he expects work to commence on the western bypass through Gateshead County Borough and Whickham urban district linking up with the new Scotswood Bridge.

Mr. Galbraith

A scheme to provide a better link between the A.1, the Team Valley Trading Estate and Scotswood Bridge is included in the special additional roads programme for the North East announced in the Government's White Paper last November.

Our divisional road engineer is discussing with the Durham County Council the programming of this scheme. A good deal of survey and design work has to be done. Land will have to be acquired. But all concerned will press on with this as quickly as possible and we hope that work can start within four or five years.

Mr. Woof

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the best available assessment for this project is that it is likely to cost £4 million and will provide bady needed employment in that area? Does not he agree that it is urgent to develop this road programme in order to enable the authorities to raise the standard of urban environment and traffic planning? Does not he also agree that such effective development is also urgent to give inducement to new industrial and commercial interests and for achieving better access to industrial sites, particularly in the Blaydon area? Will he undertake to bring this programme forward to a much earlier date?

Mr. Galbraith

I do not think that I disagree with practically anything the hon. Gentleman has said, but while I am fully sympathetic with his point of view, I regret that we cannot bring this forward any faster than we are doing.