HC Deb 09 December 1969 vol 793 cc217-8
13. Mr. Barnes

asked the Minister of Transport what estimate he has made of the progress that will have been made towards the completion of London's primary road network by the end of the 1970s on the basis of the money which his department is planning to commit during this period.

Mr. Mulley

Schemes in preparation could provide about 50 miles of new primary roads during the 1970s. Improvements to the North Circular Road and some other existing primaries are also planned. I cannot at present say what other primary schemes might be completed during the period.

Mr. Barnes

Does my right hon. Friend think that the money is ever going to be available to complete the network in anything like the time-scale envisaged by the G.L.C? Would not it be better to complete those parts of the network which are under construction, and then carry out a much more thorough reappraisal of the whole situation?

Mr. Mulley

I think my hon. Friend knows that the Greater London Development Plan, which is the prime responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government, has been submitted, and that inquiries will be made into its proposals. As at the end the Government will decide, it would be wrong for me to comment on the merits of the plan at present.

Mr. Lubbock

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that if we had an adequate public transport system in Greater London many more people would use it instead of bringing their cars into the metropolis? Will he consider sympathetically the proposals which have been put to him by the Southern Region for greatly improving the services which it provides for the general public?

Mr. Mulley

That is a rather different question, but I have been informed by British Railways of their proposals, and my officials are studying them in conjunction with the Railways Board. I am not at the moment able to make a statement about the Southern Region's proposals.

Mr. Jay

As my right hon. Friend said in a recent answer to me that he does not yet know what these motorway projects will cost, will he undertake that his Department will at least find out and tell the House before he gives any approval to these extravagant projects?

Mr. Mulley

As a leading objector to these proposals, my right hon. Friend would not want me to say anything which could be deemed as prejudicing the outcome of the inquiry for which he is agitating.