HC Deb 18 April 1973 vol 855 cc476-7
11. Mr. Clinton Davis

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what further representations he has received concerning the inner ringway and radial motorways proposed by the Layfield Committee and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Rippon

I have received various representations from members of the public and interested bodies. There will be a formal opportunity to make representations about my proposed modifications to the Greater London Development Plan when I publish them in draft.

Mr. Davis

Has the Minister included in the representations he has received the most forceful possible representations from the electors in Greater London last Thursday? Are not the schemes now finally dead and buried?

Mr. Rippon

Various representations are made in various ways. No doubt the new Greater London Council's majority will have views to express in due time. At this stage I can act only in a formal capacity in regard to these matters.

Mr. Wilkinson

Has my right hon. and learned Friend read the comment of the new Leader of the GLC about new motorway construction in London? Has he noted the effect that that will have upon access to the proposed new third London airport at Maplin Sands, which, apart from the high speed link, will be very dependent on road communications?

Mr. Rippon

In regard to all these matters it would be wise to give the new majority party on the GLC an opportunity to consider its position. It will have to take matters rather further than its election statements.

Mr. George Cunningham

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman give us an assurance that there will be no question of the Government's trying to browbeat the new GLC into accepting Ringway 1 when it has declared itself completely against it?

Mr. Rippon

In my original statement I said that phasing and timing are matters for the GLC.

21. Mr. Jay

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment, in view of past reports by the Council on Tribunals, including that on London Airport plans in February 1968, what further public inquiry he now proposes to hold into the revised plans for London motorways put forward by the GLC and the Layfield Panel.

Mr. Rippon

Any modifications which I propose to make to the original motorway proposals in the Greater London Development Plan will be published in draft and an opportunity given for public comment. There will be a further inquiry or inquiries only if objections to the proposed modifications raise issues not already considered by the Layfield Panel.

Mr. Jay

As these proposals have been plainly and drastically modified and the inner ringways abandoned, will the Minister assure us that any proposals for radial motorways to be brought into London will be the subject of an overall public inquiry in each case?

Mr. Rippon

The right hon. Gentleman has shown that he is hopelessly muddled about the legal position—which I have tried to explain to him in this House and in letters—just as he was hopelessly muddled in his question about the relevance of the Stansted inquiry. I shall do my best to write him another letter to try to explain the situation, but it seems a pretty hopeless task.

Mr. Jessel

Will my right hon. and learned Friend now be willing to reconsider the possibility of constructing Ringway 3—the outer London ringway?

Mr. Rippon

I cannot at this stage add to the statement I made when the report was published. I shall make further statements in due course about the whole or part of the proposals.