HC Deb 20 January 1965 vol 705 c190
33. Sir R. Thompson

asked the Minister of Transport by what date he expects to conclude his discussions with the local authorities as to the precise line of the London-Crawley motorway, within the approximate limits published on 15th December, 1964.

Mr. Swingler

This will depend on the issues which the local authorities wish to raise.

Sir R. Thompson

While thanking the Joint Parliamentary Secretary for that not very informative reply, may I ask him if he realises that the objectives of the Government in providing more houses and better development in the under-developed areas on the fringe of London are being frustrated until we get finality on this point? Does he not think it is about time that certain decisions were taken to enable catholic planned development to go ahead?

Mr. Swingler

I do not think that the hon. Gentleman would wish us to assume dictatorial powers. I assume, therefore, that he considers that the local authorities have a right to be consulted in the matter. How rapidly they can give us their views and enter into consultation is a matter which depends on them. We are awaiting those consultations and we will give a decision as soon as we possibly can.

Mr. Powell

While appreciating that these consultations must be careful and detailed, can the Government not deal first with those questions the settlement of which would leave the local authorities free to undertake developments which are urgently required? Can they not establish an order of priorities in their consultations about these roads?

Mr. Swingler

We are establishing such an order of priority and that is why we must make really rapid progress on this question.