HC Deb 28 July 1965 vol 717 cc456-7
21. Mr. Mitchell

asked the Minister of Transport what he estimates would be the cost of providing dual carriageways on the existing main road between Popham and the Winchester Bypass.

Mr. Tom Fraser

About £650,000.

Mr. Mitchell

Is the Minister aware that parts of this road are now narrower than in Roman days, when the road was first put down? Will he consider with his Department the possibility of extending the M.3 from Popham to the Winchester Bypass, for I fear that if he does not do so now he will have to do so ultimately at greater expenditure of money than is otherwise called for?

Mr. Fraser

I think that the part of the road which the hon. Gentleman has asked me to extend as a motorway—that is, south of Popham to the Winchester Bypass—is the most lightly loaded part of the whole of the London-Southampton road. I should have thought that the proposition which has just been made for the expenditure of resources on it is one which I could not reasonably pursue.

Rear-Admiral Morgan Giles

Does the Minister realise, in the context of the statement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer yesterday, that this road, to which my hon. Friend the Member for Basingstoke (Mr. Mitchell) refers, is an essential link with the Port of Southampton and is vitally necessary for exports through that port?

Mr. Fraser

Yes, Sir. I did not say that we would not spend any money on this road. Indeed, we shall spend money on it.