HC Deb 20 December 1967 vol 756 cc1260-1
38. Mr. Biggs-Davison

asked the Minister of Transport whether she will make a statement about the danger of flooding in the London underground, and counter-measures being taken.

Mr. Swingler

Floodgates and watertight doors installed as civil defence measures would help to protect parts of the underground system from flooding caused by damage to tunnels. The need for protection against flooding due to a high Thames tide is being investigated in the wider context of flood defences for London.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

How serious is the danger, in the view of the Ministry? Are not there schemes before the Minister at this moment for building protection against this danger, and when will a decision be made on these schemes?

Mr. Swingler

This is a matter which my right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government is now investigating together with a considerable number of authorities, including London Transport, the Greater London Council and the Port of London Authority. It is very difficult to assess what the degree of risk is, but I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the matter is being urgently investigated.

Mr. Wellbeloved

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that the danger of flooding in London is very serious? Will he undertake to use his influence at Government level so that the building of a Thames retractable barrier at Purfleet can be undertaken as a matter of grave urgency?

Mr. Swingler

That, together with several other proposals, is being urgently examined by the authorities I have mentioned, which include my right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government.

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