HC Deb 10 March 1965 vol 708 cc388-90
8. Mr. Gresham Cooke

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is satisfied with the progress which is being made in implementing the recommendations of the Buchanan Report; and what specific action he proposes to take to improve matters.

20. Mr. Charles Morrison

asked the Minister of Transport what proposals in the Buchanan Report he proposes to implement.

91. Mr. Bence

asked the Minister of Transport what progress has been made in his plans to implement the Buchanan Report.

Mr. Tom Fraser

My right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government and I are jointly promoting comprehensive land use/transport surveys in the conurbations and some other towns; case studies on urban problems; research at universities; and a review of the planning and grant systems.

The latest bulletin to local authorities, giving advice on town centre parking, was issued last week. A further bulletin will be issued later this year giving guidance on applying the Buchanan principles in the light of the resources likely to be available.

Mr. Gresham Cooke

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a belief is growing up that the Buchanan Report will be corrupted by the usual Anglo-Saxon fault of all talk and no action? Will he adopt the recommendation in the Buchanan Report requiring each town development plan to have a transportation development plan attached to it?

Mr. Fraser

As I have said, the latest bulletin gives some advice and a further bulletin will be issued later this year which will give the kind of advice which the hon. Member has in mind. I do not want to be guilty of shelving the Buchanan Report. Representations have been made to me which allege, rightly or wrongly, that my predecessor had done so, but I can assure the House that the Report is very much before me.

Mr. Bence

Will my right hon. Friend give an assurance that he will apply the natural genius and energy of the Scots to overcoming the negligence and apathy of the Anglo-Saxons in the last 13 years in road construction and town development?

Mr. Fraser

I can only promise to do my best.

Mr. Strauss

Will my right hon. Friend recall that in his Report Professor Buchanan says that many of the development plans which he examined showed that road proposals were quite inadequate for future requirements? Will he and his right hon. Friend see that these plans are revised and altered where necessary?

Mr. Fraser

Yes, Sir. My right hon. Friend will have observed that in recent times Professor Buchanan himself has accepted invitations to go to a good many of these towns to give them some advice on the modifications required in their plans. We now have comprehensive surveys going on in a number of places, as I said. They are London, Manchester, Birmingham, Merseyside, Tees-side, Cardiff, Leicester, Plymouth and Reading. Case studies are being made in other towns and we hope to get a comprehensive picture which will be of great help in the preparation of a further bulletin to be sent to all towns.

Mr. Morrison

Does the right hon. Gentleman envisage the introduction of proposals for the limitation of the volume of traffic in town centres?

Mr. Fraser

This is essential. If traffic generally is to move, some limitation will have to be imposed on the amount of transport which can be allowed to stop, and remain stationary, in towns. In applying the principles laid down by Buchanan there is much to be done in this direction, to enable the main arteries to continue to be used as such and to seek to provide environmental areas which will be relatively free of traffic not destined for those areas.