HC Deb 09 December 1969 vol 793 cc221-2
17. Sir G. Nabarro

asked the Minister of Transport, having regard to hazards arising from single track road traffic on the over bridge, A440 Pershore to Upton-upon-Severn, and trains beneath travelling at speeds up to 100 miles per hour on the Birmingham-Bristol main line, whether he will now reconsider his earlier decision that there is insufficient priority for rebuilding this railway bridge to accommodate three streams of road traffic, with appropriate steel safety fencing; and whether he will now make a further statement.

Mr. Bob Brown

I have nothing to add to the reply I gave the hon. Member on 14th July last.—[Vol. 787, c. 1–3.]

Sir G. Nabarro

Why is the Ministry prospecting at this bridge if the hon. Gentleman has nothing to add? Is he not aware that this is the most dangerous railway road bridge in the Midlands? [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I said in the Midlands. Does the Minister want a calamity to occur before he stirs his shanks and does something about it?

Mr. Brown

From the noises around me, it seems fairly clear that other hon. Members do not accept the contention of the lion. Member for Worcestershire, South (Sir G. Nabarro) that this is the most dangerous road bridge in the Midlands. Clearly the county council does not think it is, otherwise it would have pressed for the scheme to have higher priority.

Mr. Wiggin

Having used the bridge thousands of times during the last two years, I support what was said by my hon. Friend. This is one of the most dangerous bridges in the whole of the Midlands, and I urge the Minister—

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Member must ask a question.

Mr. Wiggin

I ask the Minister to reconsider his very disappointing decision.

Mr. Brown

I have nothing to add to what I have said.

Mr. Leslie Huckfield

While reassuring my hon. Friend that this is certainly not the most dangerous bridge in the Midlands, may I also assure him that I have never come across an instance of trains travelling at anything like 100 m.p.h. on that stretch of track?

Mr. Brown

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his observation on train speeds, but frankly I do not think that train speeds have any bearing on this Question.

Mr. Maudling

If the hon. Gentleman's argument is that there are other bridges which are more dangerous, may we be told which they are?

Mr. Brown

If the right hon. Gentleman cares to put down a Question, unless the facts would be unduly expensive to produce, I shall endeavour to answer it.