HC Deb 03 March 1965 vol 707 cc1311-2
16. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Transport, in view of the large number of concrete lamp-posts that have been knocked down on the A.2 trunk road between the Black Prince, Bexley, and Watling Street, Dartford, what is his short-term policy for minimising the danger which these present, as they are close to the roadway and in many cases there is no kerb between the road and the verge.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport (Mr. Stephen Swingler)

I regret that within the limit of resources available we cannot justify giving special short-term preference to improvements on this road. The bypass scheme, which should be started in about twelve months' time, will relieve the overloading which is the principal cause of accidents here.

Mr. Dodds

Is my hon. Friend aware that there are two more concrete posts down to-day? Is not he aware that at times this stretch of road looks like an outsize bowling alley with the pins knocked down? Is it policy to replace the same posts within a few inches of the roadside instead of putting them back several feet on the grass verge and having a longer arm at the top for the light?

Mr. Swingler

I appreciate my hon. Friend's concern. This is a matter into which we have gone very carefully. Indeed, we have had a London traffic expert to examine this part of the road and have considered the question of a speed restriction. We have discussed with the lighting authority the possibility of putting the lamp columns back. The trouble is the cost in relation to the cost of the bypass scheme. In the present circumstances, and considering the priorities, neither the lighting authority nor we ourselves are able to make funds available. I am very sorry about it.