§ 62. Mr. Solomons
asked the Minister of Transport if he will now make a statement on the Humber Bridge project.
§ 67. Mr. James Johnson
asked the Minister of Transport if he will now make a statement about the Humber Bridge project.
§ The Minister of Transport (Mr. Tom Fraser)
I have agreed to discuss the project with the Humber Bridge Board later this month. This project and the related question of a new trunk road network between Hull and the Great North Road are also being discussed with the local authorities concerned. I will make an announcement as soon as I can after these discussions are completed.
§ Mr. Fraser
I appreciate the fact that improvement in bridge-building techniques have brought down the relative cost of building bridges, but a suggestion has been made that Hull could be as well served by improving the links with the A1 and the M1. What I am doing at present is to put the different projects before local authorities and invite their comments upon them. I would have thought that that was the right thing to do.
§ Mr. Solomons
When my right hon. Friend is giving further consideration to this matter, will he remember that a bridge over the Humber would improve the economic potential of the area—[HON. MEMBERS: "Reading."] I am not, you know—would improve the economic potential of the area and, therefore, increase the employment catchment area? Furthermore, if, as we hope, Hull is made a sub-region, will not that provide an opportunity for a larger number of people to use the recreational, educational and industrial facilities of the city?
§ Mr. Fraser
I have reason to believe that when the Humber Bridge Board comes to see me later this month it will put some of those points strongly before me.
§ Mr. Johnson
I thank my right hon. Friend for his most helpful answer. Is he aware that as far back as 1931 the then Mr. Herbert Morrison gave permission for this bridge to be built, with a 75 per cent. grant in aid? We in Hull are hoping that my right hon. Friend will also give his permission in the very near future.
§ Mr. Fraser
I am fully aware that the proposition that a bridge should be built across the Humber has been discussed over a long period. I am hoping that very soon we shall reach finality in the discussions which have gone on.
§ Sir C. Osborne
When the Minister looks at this matter, will he remember the claims of the port of Immingham, in my constituency, on the southern part of the river and see what can be done to 1305 improve the road from Immingham to the Midlands?