HC Deb 08 March 1972 vol 832 cc1419-20
4. Mr. John E. B. Hill

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many prosecutions there have been for breaches of the speed limits on the River Yare in Norfolk in the last three years; and with what result.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Eldon Griffiths)

This is not a matter for which my right hon. Friend is responsible. I suggest that my hon. Friend gets in touch with the Great Yarmouth Port and Haven Commissioners, the navigation authority concerned.

Mr. Hill

I am grateful for that suggestion, but does not my hon. Friend accept that his Department has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that careless or dangerous navigation does not inflict damage upon river banks and walls especially where these afford the sole and often precarious protection to the adjacent farmland, which is often at a much lower level than the tidal river waters?

Mr. Griffiths

I agree with my hon. Friend to this extent, that it demonstrates the need to put all the authorities concerned with water under the same umbrella, as is proposed in my right hon. Friend's suggestions for the water industry

6. Dr. Stuttaford

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if the height of any new bridge over the river between Yarmouth and the Port of Norwich will allow the river to take the same size ships as hitherto.

The Minister for Local Government and Development (Mr. Graham Page)

Any proposals for new bridges between Great Yarmouth and Norwich would be advertised in accordance with the statutory requirements, which also provide that any objections could be the subject of a public inquiry.

Dr. Stuttaford

Is my hon. Friend aware that the Port of Norwich is still very busy and that we should like to see any bridge over the River Yare high enough to enable ships to go beneath it or should like it to be a swing-bridge?

Mr. Page

There have been discussions between the harbour authority and the Norfolk and Norwich joint structure plans team on the future of the Port of Norwich. The harbour authority's view, which is that Norwich's port activities cannot be transferred anywhere else, has been accepted by the team.

Mr. Fell

I thank my hon. Friend for his very good answer. May I say in passing how grateful I would have been had my hon. Friend the Member for Norwich, South (Dr. Stuttaford) informed me that he was about to ask a question about my constituency?

Dr. Stuttaford

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I say to my hon. Friend that it has nothing to do with his constituency?

Mr. Speaker

That is not a point of order.