HC Deb 12 February 1964 vol 689 cc347-8
1. Sir B. Janner

asked the Minister of Transport what arrangement he is making for increasing the width of new motorway central reserves to permit the effective use of rosa multiflora japonica bushes to prevent serious accidents on the motorways; and if he will make a statement of the progress so far made in relation to other central barriers which have been provided and are to be provided on motorways.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport (Mr. T. G. D. Galbraith)

Motorway central reserves would need to be increased to about four times their present width to accommodate a worth-while thickness of this bush. We could not justify this. It would add considerably to construction costs and would take up further valuable agricultural land.

As regards progress on other types of central barriers, I cannot add to the reply my right hon. Friend gave my hon. Friend the Member for Bromsgrove (Mr. Dance) on 27th November, 1963.

Sir B. Janner

What does the Minister mean by the width which, he says, is required for the purpose of these bushes? Is he aware that that is not the case in countries where these bushes are used? As to expense, is it not extremely important that we should use devices which will save life and limb, even though they might cost somewhat more? Is the Minister aware that the use of rose bushes for these purposes is being increased in many countries? Cannot he do something about it here?

Mr. Galbraith

While I agree with the hon. Member that we must do everything we can to prevent accidents, the central reserves in this country are 13 ft. wide and our information is that, for bushes of this kind to grow satisfactorily, the reserves would have to be about 52 ft. wide, or four times as great. This would add over £110,000 a mile to the cost of roads and I do not think that this would be justified.

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