HC Deb 14 February 1973 vol 850 cc1270-1
17. Mrs. Castle

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will speed up his decision on the line of the North Lancashire motorway where it runs through Blackburn.

Mr. Peyton

I will do my best.

Mrs. Castle

Will not the Minister tell us when we can expect his decision? Is he aware that the Blackburn borough engineer has forecast that there may be a 12 months' delay before it is known'? Is it not grossly unfair to leave those affected in uncertainty about the future of their businesses and homes, particularly with the rise in property values going on all the time, so that those who lose their own homes and have to get others may find that they have been adversely hit by this intolerable delay?

Mr. Peyton

Nobody knows better than the right hon. Lady the real difficulties involved. When I said that I would do my best I meant it. I would rather not give the right hon. Lady an answer at the moment. I will write to her as soon as I am in a position to do so.

Mr. Waddington

Will the Minister personally do everything he can to hurry on the project as a whole, it long having been accepted that it is vital to the industrial survival of North-East Lancashire that the road should be completed right through to Colne before the new town begins to grow.

Mr. Peyton

I will do exactly what my hon. and learned Friend has said. I am rather relieved to be encouraged to get on with a road rather than to hold one back.