HC Deb 13 May 1964 vol 695 cc408-9
17. Sir B. Janner

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will make a statement on the repairs which have to be effected to the M.1 road; how long it will take for these to be completed; and, in view of the traffic on this road being impeded progressively in consequence of these repairs, if he will now use portable steel highways to ease the congestion.

Mr. Galbraith

The repairs are part of the £1½ million programme of repairs and improvements announced in 1962. Repairs to lengths of slow lane totalling 13½ miles began last autumn and will be completed in July, 1964. The renewal of a further 11 miles of slow lane carriageway is due to begin this summer. We are continuing with the reconstruction and widening of the hard shoulder and other improvements. We will consider the use of temporary steel highways in the future if undue congestion seems likely.

Sir B. Janner

Does not the Minister realise that there is already undue congestion? Has he considered the position prevailing around Luton? Is he aware that the repairs will take several years and that some 40 lane-miles out of a total of 400 have had to be reconstructed on this road? Why does not the Minister use this simple device, which could effect a considerable saving in time and expenditure? Will he reconsider the matter and see that it is done as speedily as possible?

Mr. Galbraith

We are certainly always looking into the matter. I understand that in Germany, where portable steel highways have been used, they have been used when the whole of both carriageways is closed, whereas in this country the most that is ever closed is two out of three lanes at non-peak hours. We are, however, keeping an open mind on the matter.

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