HC Deb 01 July 1964 vol 697 cc1325-6
17. Mr. Channon

asked the Minister of Transport if he will take powers to require local authorities to provide adequate off-street parking facilities where these do not at present exist.

Mr. Marples

No, Sir. Though there is, in my opinion, an urgent need for greatly expanded off-street parking facilities in this country generally, local authorities will, I hope, take action on their own initiative and in their own interests and those of the motoring public.

Mr. Channon

Will my right hon. Friend keep this closely under consideration, because there is a tremendous lack of off-street parking facilities? If local authorities are not prepared to provide them, will he consider at a later stage taking powers to make sure that they do so?

Mr. Marples

We shall see where we get to at a later stage, but some local authorities have not yet planned for the future for car parks as they should. I intend to send out a planning bulletin on parking giving general instructions and guidance to local authorities, and we shall see where we go from there.

Mr. Harold Davies

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that while it would be unfair to blame him for this problem of living with the motor car—and I should have nothing to do with that foolish suggestion—nevertheless it is of definite importance that in these days of pressure on local authorities the Government should have the courage to do something about compulsory powers of land purchase in order to find parking places off the roads which are overloaded with cars at the price of life and limb?

Mr. Marples

The powers are there if local authorities wish to use them. The point is that a county or county borough must decide how much parking space is available in relation to the other uses of land. County and district councils must decide how space is to be provided and controlled. There are adequate powers for that. The difficulty is to get some local authorities interested in the subject.