HC Deb 23 February 1966 vol 725 cc401-2
11. Mr. Henry Clark

asked the Postmaster-General what steps the Post Office are taking to remove the unsightly telegraph posts, telephone wires and cables which follow the County Antrim coast road and mar its natural beauty.

Mr. Joseph Slater

The route between Larne and Glenarm has to be redeveloped, and most of the wires for a distance of about 12 miles will be put underground during the next 18 months.

Mr. Clark

Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that the North Antrim coast road extends for 40 miles along which are poles on one or both sides of the road? Will he take action to clean up a worthwhile beauty spot with great tourist potential?

Mr. Slater

I am not indifferent to natural beauty, but we must have regard to all the circumstances. The hon. Member should be aware that the subsoil is rocky and overhead construction is the most economical. Our resources must be devoted to meeting soaring demand and the high levels of traffic.

Mr. Stratton Mills

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the coast road extends beyond Glenarm to Cushendun and that his answer is satisfactory so far as the first part of the road is concerned but it does not cover the second part?

Mr. Slater

We have no further plan at present, but if redevelopment becomes necessary we shall consider whether the cables right along the road can be put underground.