HC Deb 24 February 1970 vol 796 c972
22. Mr. Michael Heseltine

asked the Minister of Transport if he can now state when he intends to publish the White Paper on Roads.

Mr. Mulley

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Cheltenham (Mr. Dodds-Parker) on 28th January, 1970.—[Vol. 794, c. 367.]

Mr. Heseltine

Is it not deplorable that the Minister is unable to give a date for the publication of the White Paper on Roads, an answer about the channel tunnel, an answer about the Heathrow link, and, indeed, about the problems of speed limits for light vehicles? Is it not time that we had a Government which took decisions, not only consultations?

Mr. Mulley

The hon. Gentleman overdoes his synthetic indignation. The fact is that the more decisions we take—and we are taking decisions all the time—the more the hon. Member complains.

Mr. John Lee

Disregarding the synthetic indignation of the hon. Member for Tavistock (Mr. Michael Heseltine), may I ask whether the White Paper could include some reference to the under-usage of roads at particular times of the day? There is a considerable difference between peak usage and trough usage within a 24-hour cycle. We would be interested to have this information because it indicates that in some cases roads are possibly not used as well as they could be.

Mr. Mulley

The usage of roads over the whole day is a factor which we take into account when deciding whether there is a need for expenditure. I cannot undertake, in a White Paper setting out the strategy of roads of the future, to include an appendix about roads that I think are currently under-used.