HC Deb 15 November 1967 vol 754 cc437-8
44. Mr. Onslow

asked the Minister of Transport what expenditure has been incurred in each of the last three years in improving road communications to British airports; and what expenditure is planned for the purpose in each of the next three years.

Mr. Carmichael

Airport traffic needs are only one of a large number of factors taken into account in selecting schemes for road improvements. It is not possible, therefore, separately to identify such expenditure.

Mr. Onslow

Does not the hon. Gentleman think it might be worthwhile trying? Does he not understand the importance of developing air communications for passenger and freight?

Mr. Carmichael

As I said earlier, the total needs of an area, when a new road is required, are taken into account and decided upon. Obviously an airport generates a fairly large amount of traffic, and this weighs heavily in the decision whether the road should be progressed and the speed at which it should be progressed.

Mr. Raphael Tuck

What about rail communications to British airports; for example, extending the line west of Hounslow?

Mr. Carmichael

The line west of Hounslow and other communications with airports are continually taken into account when the total needs of the travelling public are looked at and the most economic and convenient ways for the public to reach the airports are considered. Sometimes it is a road, sometimes it is rail, and sometimes it is a combination of both.