HC Deb 19 June 1968 vol 766 cc1074-5
4. Mr. Galbraith

asked the Minister of Transport what action he intends taking on road pricing in the light of the Road Research Laboratory's recent Report No. L.R.165.

Mr. Bob Brown

The report is an exploratory theoretical study of the effects of changing the mode of travel of people working in central London from cars to buses of various types. It does not have any special relevance to road pricing and therefore does not call for special action from my right hon. Friend in that field.

Mr. Galbraith

But it involves the possibility of road pricing. Will the Minister guarantee that if road pricing is introduced it will not be used as a method of fleecing the motorist further, but that any money gained from it will be used to improve roads?

Mr. Brown

No, Sir. I am not prepared to give any such guarantee, because road pricing at the present time is simply a theoretical possibility. We do not even know yet whether it is technically feasible, and we certainly do not know what such a system would cost and whether the benefits would be worth while in terms of cost.

20. Mr. Campbell

asked the Minister of Transport what are the alternatives to road pricing which the Road Research Laboratory are considering in their investigations into this matter.

Mr. Bob Brown

More extensive parking control and the reservation of road space for buses at peak hours are techniques which could result in a better use of town roads. The Department, including the Road Research Laboratory, is undertaking general research and taking part in studies of particular areas which will help to define the scope for these techniques.

Mr. Campbell

Is the Minister still prepared to consider all possible ways of minimising congestion, or has he now reached a conclusion in favour of one or more methods for further examination or trial?

Mr. Brown

Studies of congestion in every respect are being continued and my right hon. Friend has not made up his mind on one final solution.

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