HC Deb 01 December 1965 vol 721 c1400
21. Mr. Thorpe

asked the Minister of Transport what plans he has for improving the Barnstaple to Torrington road, in view of increased road traffic consequent upon railway closures.

Mr. Swingler

Devon County Council, the highway authority for B.3232, the direct route between Barnstaple and Torrington, has a number of improvements in mind, which will be carried out as soon as funds are available. The additional bus services using A.386 and A.39 are likely to have only a marginal effect.

Mr. Thorpe

May I ask the hon. Gentleman specifically about the funds available? When increased traffic is placed on the roads consequent upon rail closures, are not special grants available? Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this is a very dangerous road and that even. with careful driving I have twice nearly caused a by-election in the last three months? Will he see whether this very narrow and dangerous road could not qualify for some special Ministry assistance to make it safer to take the additional traffic?

Mr. Swingler

Devon County Council is entitled to grants for improvements on this road. It is for the council to put its suggestions to us. There has not been any substantial change in the traffic situation on the road, but I recognise that there is a need for improvements and we shall very sympathetically consider any proposal put by the county council.