HC Deb 28 April 1965 vol 711 cc443-4
29. Mr. Hunt

asked the Minister of Transport why he has refused to give priority to the first stage of Bromley Council's road-widening scheme between Knole Road and Lower Gravel Road, Bromley Common; and whether he will now advance the scheme so that it can proceed in the year 1965–66.

Mr. Swingler

My right hon. Friend did not consider the preparation of this scheme sufficiently far advanced to justify its inclusion in the 1965–66 programme. It will be for the G.L.C. as highway authority for the A.21, to propose the inclusion of the scheme in a subsequent year.

Mr. Hunt

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that his reply will cause a great deal of disappointment and dismay to many of my constituents, who are extremely concerned about the situation here? Will he bear in mind that this is an extremely busy stretch of road, forming part of the main road to the South Coast; that last autumn there were three fatalities to pedestrians in the course of five weeks, and that there are fears of further deaths on this road unless the appropriate local authority is given permission to proceed at once with the road widening and the provision of central refuges, which will cost only£35,000? In view of the modest expenditure involved, will he persuade his right hon. Friend to undertake one more look at this point?

Mr. Swingler

It is a technical difficulty. There is no question of any delay on account of lack of authority. It is a problem of the time it takes to complete the design and acquire the land. In fact, the question of including the scheme this year is entirely dependent on whether the necessary preparations have been made, and the money could be spent. We are prepared to consider an application, as soon as the design is ready and the land can be acquired, for inclusion in the programme as soon as the highway authority considers that this is necessary.