HC Deb 15 December 1971 vol 828 c451
25. Mr. Crawshaw

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give extra financial assistance to the Mersey Tunnel Joint Committee to help it meet the extra cost imposed by his Department's requirement to investigate and if necessary carry out remedial work on box-girder bridges.

Mr. Graham Page

The costs of the remedial works will be shared between my Department, the Mersey Tunnel Joint Committee and the local authority concerned in the same way as costs were allocated with respect to the original construction works.

Mr. Crawshaw

Would the hon. Gentleman agree that the Mersey Tunnel Joint Committee has been involved in considerable extra expense, first, because one of its predecessors changed a junction which cost an extra £1 million for a viaduct and, second, because it is having to find £4 million for the approach roads? Is it not possible for the hon. Gentleman's Department to do something similar to what was done at Ronan Point when a Government decision changed the whole code of practice for those constructions?

Mr. Page

There is no parallel between this case and Ronan Point. The cost of the complex interchange leading to the tunnel was shared between the three parties concerned and the Mersey Tunnel Joint Committee is a little better off than most local authorities, because under the loan conditions it can borrow 75 per cent. of the amount of the share which it has to bear.