HC Deb 20 March 1973 vol 853 cc323-82

7.25 p.m.

Mr. Douglas Jay (Battersea, North)

I beg to move, That this House urges the Government to take full account of the Report of the Expenditure Committee on Urban Transport Planning in framing its future transport policies, and in particular to reject any Greater London Council motorway proposals which are in conflict with that Report.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Miss Harvie Anderson)

I have to inform the House that Mr. Speaker has selected the amendment in the names of the Prime Minister and his right hon. Friends, to leave out from ' and' to the end of the Question and to add instead thereof: welcomes the Government's endorsement of the view of the Panel of Inquiry into the Greater London Development Plan that there should be comprehensive and co-ordinated transport policies for London in the fields of public transport, traffic management and restraint and an improvement of the environment.

Mr. Jay

I believe that once again the House owes a great debt to the Expenditure Committee, in particular to its Environment Sub-Committee, for its report on urban transport planning. It is a striking report which clearly calls for some radical new thinking about urban road building policy.

Road policy has suffered increasingly in recent years from two fallacies inherited from the past. First, it has been tacitly assumed that the building of major new roads takes traffic off existing roads without increasing the total. It is now widely realised that the building of new roads increases the traffic, leads more people to buy and use cars, thereby damaging public transport, and leads to even more car traffic in the next phase.

Secondly, the often perfectly valid argument for building motorways between and round cities has been mistakenly applied to motorways within cities—for instance, Westway—which literally bring traffic right up against people's homes.

These two basic truths are emphatically endorsed as guides to policy in the Expenditure Committee's report. I point to two key sentences in paragraph 27: We do not believe that in the short term an extension of urban road building of itself represents a solution to any of the problems we have discussed in Chapter II. That is the chapter on the main problems of city transport. The arguments used in favour of road building seem to us to be in error by presuming that the roads which we already have are being used in the most efficient manner in the context of the total transport situation. The Committee therefore strikingly concludes in its "Summary of Recommendations": As an urgent priority, all trunk and principal schemes of urban road building which have not reached the exchange of contract stage should be re-examined ab initio." That is a striking recommendation.

Though conditions vary from one city to another as we all know, there have been far too many cases recently, from Portsmouth to Gateshead and from Cardiff to Edinburgh, where attempts have been made by the road interests to force unwanted and extravagant inner motorways, by the lavish offer of a 75 per cent, grant of public money, on cities in defiance of the wishes of the population.

I believe that the Expenditure Committee's recommendations apply most forcibly to London. I trust and, indeed, assume that the Secretary of State for the Environment will study their implications for London very seriously. The Greater London Development Plan, largely derived in its transport sections from days of out-of-date thinking on all this, originally proposed four major ring-ways and a number of radials at a total cost which is now admitted to be more than £2,000 million.

As against this, the principal objectors to the motorway proposals, including a number of London borough councils, have argued throughout for a constructive and, I think, moderate and far less extravagant policy substantially on the following lines. The first argument is to build one or both of the outer two ring-ways, which are far less destructive, less expensive, and tend, so far as possible, to keep traffic out of London rather than to bring it in. The second is to intensify throughout the inner area the already partially effective measures of traffic restraint and traffic management by more stringent parking controls and other measures. The third is to invest much more heavily in public transport. I believe that public opinion in London, which should account for something in this argument, overwhelmingly endorses that alternative strategy. As against that, I understand that the Secretary of State has provisionally accepted, subject to public opinion—I welcome that qualification—the exceedingly costly and grandiose project of building Ringway 1 in densely residential London and to omit Ringway 3. I urge him most strongly to think again hard and long before he irrevocably ties himself to that curious plan.

The Council on Tribunals in February 1968 ruled that because the then London Airport plan was a revised plan a further inquiry was required. The council said that it was required as a matter of justice". The proposals now put forward—both those of the GLC and those of the Lay-field Report—are revised compared with the GLDP. Does not the right hon. and learned Gentleman consider, quite apart from the rest of the argument, that a further public inquiry is required if the revised plans are to be adopted? I hope that the right hon. and learned Gentleman will now publish the report of the inspector on the West Cross Route inquiry which was held last spring and which is said to have reported against this section of Ringway 1. At any rate, we should know whether that is true.

On the merits of the case, to build Ringway 1 without Ringway 3 would be, of all the possible alternatives, the most damaging to inner London. It was advocated by virtually nobody before the Lay-field Report. There are three crucial objections. First, it would be enormously expensive in terms of resources and public money. Secondly, it would involve a huge housing loss. Thirdly, in the opinion of most impartial transport experts it would be likely to maintain traffic congestion rather than improve it. To build Ringway 1 without Ringways 2 and 3 would force the maximum of traffic on to Ringway 1 and so into residential London. In the form contemplated by this section of the Layfield Report, the project would involve not only Ringway 1 cutting through residential areas from Islington to Brixton and from Deptford to Hamp-stead, but radial motorways which have not been contemplated—I do not think that the right hon. and learned Gentle- man will deny this—namely, the M.I, M.3, M.23, M.ll, M.12 and others which will plough through Putney, Barnes, Wandsworth, Streatham, Norbury, Kil-bura, Cricklewood and a string of other areas.

The cost of Ringway I has been put officially at £600 million. At the public inquiry last spring into the West Cross Route, which is part of Ringway 1 it was admitted that the 2¾ miles would cost £64 million. That is £27 million a mile. At that rate the total cost of Ringway 1, which is about 30 miles, would be nearly £900 million. I believe that £800 million is a conservative estimate, because we are now told that wide swathes of land are to be taken on either side, which must increase the cost and housing loss still further.

It seems that the radial now proposed to go right into Ringway 1 will cost almost as much again—namely, another £700 million or £800 million. This House should not blithely and almost every month approve grandiose £800 million schemes unless convincing economic or other cases are made out.

On a matter of priorities, hon. Members may be interested in a few illuminating comparisons. The present Government's family income supplement, which is supposed to cure poverty throughout the country, is to cost a maximum of £11 million. That is the cost of about 700 yards of Ringway 1. The Government's national rebate to furnished tenants will cost £8 million. That would pay for about 500 yards of Ringway 1. The EEC's annual regional aid budget for nine countries of £20 million would pay for 1,100 yards of Ringway 1. I do not believe that it can be the right priority.

No serious attempt has been made to show that the economic return on Ring-way 1 will be large enough to pass the test which is usually applied to motorways by the Treasury before they qualify for grant. The evidence before the Layfield inquiry suggested that the return would be barely 5 per cent., or even a negative return. The Layfield Report speaks of a maximum return of 55 per cent. That does not allow for costs like damage to public transport, which I understand the Department now accepts as a legitimate cost. In this part of the argument, Layfield virtually gave up the attempt to make an economic case. The report says: We have not the resources with which to attempt to quantify all the effects. Before the West Cross Route inquiry last spring the GLC did not attempt to establish any rate of economic return. Even more serious from the point of view of costing resources is the housing loss. I find it a little odd, although I know that the right hon. and learned Gentleman is rather new to this subject, that he should have taken refuge in saying that the housing loss cannot be estimated and that it is in any case very small. Careful, although not exact, figures were given by the GLC before the inquiry, as they are also given in the Layfield Report. According to the GLC's estimate, which the right hon. and learned Gentleman will find in a notorious document known as Background Paper 158, Ringway 1 alone will swallow up rather more than 1,000 acres of land and about 7,500 homes for about 23,000 people. According to the Layfield estimate, the loss of homes from its proposals would be smaller. The losses, the report says, would be somewhat smaller than the 16,600 given by the GLC. Let us say 15,000 homes or homes for over 40,000 people. On the official estimates we would be faced with a loss of homes for 20,000 to 25,000 people on account of Ringway 1 alone, and about 45,000 if we include the radials which Ringway 1, on this plan, would make inevitable. I believe that these are under-estimates. They apply up to 1991 only and not for the whole course of these operations. However, even taking them as minimum figures, deliberately to take away homes and housing land capable of housing over 40,000 people when the GLC expects a shortage affecting 300,000 people in 1980 cannot be justified. It would make the London housing shortage insoluble for the rest of the century. That is what is at stake, as land is by common consent the limiting factor on housing in Greater London. The loss of this land is just as real and the housing loss is just as great whether the houses destroyed are old or new.

If a really convincing argument could be advanced to show that some crucial transport gain could be achieved by Ringway 1, some might think that the housing disaster was worth it, but the traffic argument has been shown by several years of debate to be completely unproved and inconclusive. Certainly— this is about the only thing that is certain—Ringway 1 would contribute virtually nothing to London's real traffic problem, the morning and evening rush hours.

Apart from that, some traditional road enthusiasts would still contend that urban motorways would relieve the existing roads, but most transport experts would now argue, with a good deal of evidence and experience on their side, that the increase in total road traffic generated would leave congestion as bad as it is and damage public transport in the process.

The truth of this issue, I believe, is that we do not know for certain what the traffic effects would be. But to spend £1,500 million or even £800 million and sacrifice homes for 40,000 people or more for the sake of an unproved hypothesis seems to most of us blatantly indefensible. One of the most striking aspects of the Layfield Report is that it plainly admits that even if these ringways were built traffic restraint and traffic management would be needed almost as stringently as if they were not.

What specific reasons does the report give for advocating Ringway 1 and its radials? One odd thing about the Layfield Report, much of whose general argument is excellent, is that, like the GLC itself, having urged the highest priorities for housing as a general proposition, when it comes to the transport section, it suddenly reaches conclusions which do not flow from the arguments and which would make such a priority impossible.

We are told in the report that Ringway 1 is desirable because commercial vehicles would be attracted by a route close to the centre. That means, in plain English, that the lorries would be drawn right down the radials into the inner ring. When it comes to the unavoidable housing loss, the author of this section of the report takes refuge in what seems to me to be plain nonsense: The Ringway 1 corridor will be more likely to assist in the re-development of housing problem areas. That is the jargon—with some hint that if the road goes through poorer areas it does not matter so much.

The reality is what any hon. Member can see for himself simply by looking at the overhead sections of Westway. an overhead monstrosity which has made whole rows of existing houses uninhabitable and living conditions a good deal worse in others not far away. In Batter-sea alone, if I may quote that just once, it would mean destroying or rendering virtually uninhabitable a number of excellent housing estates, both council and private, most of them built since the war, with a total permanent loss of 1,500 homes, or homes for more than 4,000 people. Those figures were agreed by the GLC before the inquiry.

Here, the Expenditure Committee's Report, in glaring contrast to the authors of this section of Layfield, sets out the simple truth when it says: Paradoxically, an increase in road expenditure, causing more urban building, tends to exacerbate the other urban problems of housing, health, education, etc. In London, because of land shortage, it does so, of course, worse than anywhere else, and the damage to living conditions of those living near the motorway, whose homes are not actually destroyed, would, I suspect, be as serious as the loss of homes itself.

For all these reasons, notably because of the huge cost, the housing loss and the fact that public opinion in London is, on all the evidence, overwhelmingly against this project, I believe that the building of the inner ringway and radials would be a gigantic error. I urge the Minister—who is not, I believe, committed—as strongly as I can to heed public opinion, to respect the report of the all-party Expenditure Committee and not to commit himself to another grandiose gamble of this kind.

Let us, in fact and not just in words, give the highest priority to what is, by common consent, by far the most acute problem—housing. Let us build the outer ringways, which do little damage, and tackle the inner problem by effective traffic restraint and steadily improving public transport. London, I believe, has precious and unique assets still at this day, and it now has a precious opportunity to avoid the mistakes which have mutilated other cities.

7.46 p.m.

Mr. Marcus Worsley (Chelsea)

The constituency of the right hon. Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay) faces mine across the river. On other occasions we have faced each other across microphones and other pieces of equipment, disagreeing on the issue of motorways, and we shall do so again tonight.

There was a marked contrast between the right hon. Gentleman's speech and the wording of the motion that he was supposed to be moving. The views that he exposed are well known—he is against any form of central ringway—but that is not what the motion says nor what the Select Committee said. The Select Committee said that there were many issues, like traffic restraint and public transport, which should be taken into account before urban ringways were built. It did not say that they should not be built—[Interruption.] It did not say that they must not be built. Very well, the right hon. Gentleman did not pretend that it did. What it said was that there were other considerations which should be taken into account.

My point is that these other issues have been taken into account. When one takes them into account one sees that, in order to have a complete policy on traffic in London, one needs not only public transport and traffic restraint but a ringway as well. This is what I shall attempt to show the House.

The right hon. Gentleman rightly said that housing was London's greatest problem. Every London Member would agree with that. But he and I have in our constituencies—I suspect that the same is true of every other London Member— streets of houses which are made intolerable to live in by traffic. So it is no good simply talking about the houses which would be removed if there were to be a ringway. One must also discuss the improvement of other houses which could be effected.

In my constituency there are large areas where through traffic comes thundering along pleasant streets. This is true of the Embankment and of Cheyne Walk, opposite the right hon. Gentleman's constituency, but it is also true of that large system of one-way streets that goes from Edith Grove to Earls Court Road, on to the Cromwell Road and its extension. All those are pleasant streets and all are made frightful by the traffic. If the House and the right hon. Gentleman are really interested in London's housing, they must consider not only the destruction of some houses if a ringway is built but also the improvement of other houses. A ringway is needed if we are to have the sort of improvement in traffic conditions and the environment which will make those existing houses decent to live in.

When the Labour Party held power at County Hall it saw the necessity of a road. I make that point only briefly, because I suggest that much of the change of view is not really the sort of thinking with which we are presented by the Expenditure Committee's report and the GLC's recent discussion papers. It is really the very simple piece of voting logistics that everyone hates having a motorway near his home—of course— whereas few people understand and have thought hard about the benefits to the whole of the city which a ringway would bring.

Therefore, the conversion of the Labour Party is not so much a matter of long-thought-out conversion of ideas as a sort of feeling that there are constituencies which it may win by this change of policy. I say no more about that except that the Government have made a massive move to help those who are affected by a new motorway development. The Land Compensation Bill is evidence of a very constructive attitude in that direction. But I fully accept that no one wants a motorway near his home.

The question which the House has to settle today is whether we need one ring-way. We can talk about one ringway because the grandiose plans of the Labour GLC for two central ringways and ring-ways throughout have disappeared for ever. We are talking about whether there should be a single central ringway in London.

I can underline this from my own point of view, which I am sure is a point of view held by the GLC. No one is suggesting that a ringway alone will give the needed relief. When the right hon. Member for Battersea, North says that other things are needed, he is preaching to the converted. As he is a very assiduous constituency Member, he will have read the recent publications of the GLC "Traffic and the Environment" and " Living with Traffic ". He will know that in the GLC there has been a great deal of new thinking on this whole problem. We would all agree that the first essential is better public transport. The G.L.C. has been putting a great deal more money into public transport. I am glad to say that it has been supported in that by the Government. We are beginning to see real improvements in the rolling stock on our Underground railway and improvements in our buses.

The new paper contains many constructive ideas about traffic restraint. The right hon. Gentleman was perfectly right in saying that were we simply to build the motorway and do nothing about traffic restraint, the traffic would increase to fill the gap. There are plenty of examples of that in London. I have not been around Shepherds Bush recently but I have been told that it is as crowded as it used to be. I can well believe that. The point is that if we have both a ringway and traffic restraint, we can get the sort of environmental improvements we all want.

I mentioned earlier the Earls Court Road. One of the propositions made in one of the papers is the pedestrianisation of the Earls Court Road, that it would be possible—if we have a ringway but not otherwise—to turn that road into a pedestrian precinct. I am sure that all hon. Members know the Earls Court Road and that at present it is an unpaid acting motorway. If we are able to have a purpose-built road, we can have better, more effective and tougher systems of traffic restraint on the existing roads.

Mr. Jay

I am sure the hon. Gentleman knows that in the proceedings at the West Cross route inquiry the GLC was asked whether it could give an assurance that if the West Cross route was built, the Earls Court Road would be pedestrianised or would even revert to two-way traffic. The GLC was quite unable to give such an assurance.

Mr. Worsley

I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman has read the paper to which I was referring. The rest of us— perhaps not the right hon. Gentleman— are moving with the times in these matters. We are moving to a situation where all sorts of new thinking is taking place. Indeed, a conference was recently organised by the GLC about the pedestrianisation of streets.

Surely it is not a difficult concept that if we have a purpose-built road, that will take traffic off the residential streets. We shall then be able to control the traffic in those streets more vigorously and to have tougher restrictions. We shall, therefore, be able to control traffic better.

The GLC is currently banning big lorries from going through central London. That illustrates my point simply and well. My borough council naturally squealed, because obviously, if heavy lorries do not travel through the constituency of my hon. Friend the Member for Cities of London and Westminster (Mr. Tugendhat), they tend to come into my constituency. If they do not come through my constituency they will go through that of the right hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. Michael Stewart). But if there were a purpose-built motorway on to which that traffic could be guided —a ringway—we could ban some through traffic in central London, especially the big lorries, and perhaps even more than that.

There are examples of this in other cities. I am told that in Paris, where they have built—and completed, I think —the Boulevard Peripherique, one-third of the traffic in central Paris travels around that ring road. If one adds that to the statistics that one-quarter of the traffic in central London is through traffic, one can see the degree of improvement that can be obtained.

Mr. Leslie Huckfield (Nuneaton)

I take the point about the Boulevard Peripherique, but does not the hon. Member take the point that as one-third of the traffic uses that boulevard, the traffic congestion within that ring has got even worse? It has not decreased the congestion but has increased it.

Mr. Worsley

That is the very point which I am trying to make. If one has that type of ring road, one can have the kind of traffic restraint about which we are now talking, which is mentioned in the new paper on this matter, which is not, unless Paris has changed very much since I last visited it, applied in the centre of Paris. It is not just a matter of having a ringway; it is also a matter of applying techniques of traffic restraint and using all the methods which can be applied to control traffic.

I want to make one or two comments about the cost. It is very easy to make the sort of remark which the right hon. Gentleman made when one is putting annual expenditure against capital expenditure. Every comparison that the right hon. Gentleman made was not with an equivalent capital project but with annual expenditure. No doubt the right hon. Gentleman said so but nevertheless his comparisons, because they were annual against capital, were not fair. The true comparisons are with money being spent on other projects. The best comparison that I can give the right hon. Gentleman is the capital proposed to be spent on public transport in London over the next 10 years. I am not quarrelling with the right hon. Gentleman's figures on either housing or capital cost. I accept that they are enormous. But the £1,000 million cost is over 15 years and, therefore, it must be compared with other capital projects and not with annual expenditures. I suggest that we compare it, perhaps, to the £500 million —a very comparable figure—over 10 years proposed for public transport.

The right hon. Gentleman is on very weak ground as regards housing. He talks about 7,000 houses. Again I am not quarrelling with his figures. When compared, however, with the total housing stock of London, this is one-third of 1 per cent. The point is that if the improvement throughout the rest of the area is such—as I believe it would be with a single inner ringway—one can look at this sort of housing cost without the rather exaggerated language that the right hon. Gentleman used. He spoke as if it would prevent any solution of the problem of housing in London but the loss of one-third of 1 per cent. could not do that. Half of this housing has a life expectancy of less than 20 years.

Mr. Clinton Davis (Hackney, Central)

Is the hon. Member advocating as a corollary to that that the outer London boroughs should make substantial increases in the proportion of land and housing available to the inner London boroughs?

Mr. Worsley

The hon. Member is introducing a quite different subject. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] If it is true, and if we can get the sort of environmental gain which is claimed for the ringway, that sort of housing loss can be accepted. If it is not possible, the right hon. Member for Battersea, North is right. I do not think that the figures for housing loss when set in the whole context of London alter the argument one way or the other. I believe that to base a London traffic policy on public transport and traffic restraint only is a two-legged policy when we need a three-legged policy. We need the ringway as well. It is only if we have it that we can introduce effective traffic restraint.

8.2 p.m.

Mr. Roland Moyle (Lewisham, North)

I have followed the hon. Member's remarks with great care. It seems that if we are to get down to discussing the effect of the ringways on the urban environment, one must get down to details and show just what the plans propounded from time to time by the GLC mean for specific areas. That is what I propose to do for my own area.

Not only will I speak for my constituency but, because my right hon. Friend the Member for Deptford (Mr. John Silkin) has other responsibilities in connection with his role as social services spokesman for the Labour Party, he has authorised me to speak for him as well. This is not a difficult task for me to perform because our ideas on the subject of motorways are pretty well identical, although our consituencies are affected by different schemes concerning Ring-way 1. Although they arc affected by these differing schemes we can talk with one voice.

The background is that 11 years ago— and anybody who wants to fight the ringway scheme has to have considerable reserves of stamina and energy—it was announced that Ringway 1 was to go through Blackheath. The people there decided that they would unite to defend their attractive urban area—one of the areas that lends distinction to South-East London—and they have fought the scheme ever since. I recall the first protest meeting we had when my right hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan), who lived in the area, took the chair. The right hon. Member for Chichester (Mr. Chataway) was kind enough to appear on our platform to give his wholehearted support. I became chairman of the Blackheath Motorway Action Group in 1962, some four years before I entered the House.

I am prepared to accept that there was at that stage a misguided Labour-controlled London County Council in charge of the operation. That did not deter us. We have been fighting for 11 years and the crucial result of the battle is that at the moment the Greater London Development Plan inquiry under the chairmanship of Mr. Layfield, QC, has recommended that the motorway should no longer go through Blackheath but that the bottom right-hand corner of Ringway 1 be cut off by a road which would go from the East End of London through the Isle of Dogs and through my right hon. Friend's constituency of Deptford. It would miss Blackheath altogether.

In the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Deptford was indeed a name to conjure with. Marlowe was associated with it. Practically every schoolboy knows that Peter the Great learnt his shipbuilding in Deptford. Pepys was closely associated with Deptford. During the nineteenth century, however, represented I am sure by a number of members of the Conservative Party, the long, slow, dreary decline started and the area ended up as an architectural and environmental jewel separated by vast oceans of slumdom where large Victorian crumbling houses are in multi-occupation and, worse, there are rows and rows of Victorian working-class terraced houses also in multi-occupation. A substantial decline in the total environment took place. In 1963 the borough of Deptford amalgamated with that of Lewisham. It has always been the intention of the London borough of Lewisham to rebuild Deptford. It has started upon it and in this respect my right hon. Friend the Member for Deptford was instrumental in getting large sums of money for the purpose.

Those local community leaders, who had hoped for many years to see the resuscitation of a Deptford that would play its part in London and be a source of pride to all Londoners, at last began to think that there was a hope and a chance to fight a battle for an improved environment and to make a decent town out of what had become a bad area of London. That development roughly coincided with the election to this House of my right hon. Friend. The scheme for rebuilding Deptford began to be initiated around the middle 1960s, shortly after my right hon. Friend appeared in this House. If the Layfield proposal to put an eight-lane motorway through the area, just as it is beginning to lift its eyes from the ground to the skies again, is adopted the rebuilding will be crushed under foot by the Government's friends who preside at County Hall.

What is the solution to the problem if the inhabitants of both Blackheath and Deptford fight their considerable battles against various aspects of the motorway? It is the policy of the GLC Labour group to fight the elections on 12th April on a policy that Ringway 1 shall not be built. That is obviously the best solution, for the reasons which my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay) has put forward. But my right hon. Friend for Deptford and myself, in undertaking our responsibilities and looking after our constituents, must also consider the "worst case" solution. In particular, the right hon. Member for Streatham (Mr. Sandys) once said he thought there was virtue in an element of uncertainty attending the democratic process. He was talking at that time about Rhodesia, but it applies equally to the Greater London area.

It is conceivable that the right hon. Gentleman's friends might win on 12th April. What then is the solution that we shall have to adopt in South-East London?

Mr. Leslie Huckfield


Mr. Moyle

Let us take a look at the Blackheath situation. In my constituency the residents are opposed to an eight-lane motorway on the basis of the scheme that has always been argued by the GLC until very recently. The Greenwich borough Council believes that the ringway should not be built but believes that if it is to be built it would be best for it to go through the Blackheath conservation area in a deep-bore tunnel. Blackheath was the first conservation area to be declared in London and it is one of the best. Lewisham Borough Council takes a similar view, that the ringway should not be built. If it is to be built it believes that it should go through the Blackheath conservation area in an eight-lane deep-bore tunnel.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Grimsby (Mr. Crosland) when Secretary of State for the Environment prevailed on the GLC to put this problem to Professor Colin Buchanan. Professor Buchanan recommended that the eight-lane motorway should go through the Blackheath conservation area in a deep-bore tunnel, not a cut-and-cover tunnel. This is a crucial matter. It must go through the substrata without disturbing anything on the surface. Methods of tunnelling have substantially improved in terms of both mechanical efficiency and cost. I am happy to say that at the Layfield inquiry the GLC began to climb down and said that the best environmental solution was that the motorway should go through Blackheath conservation area in a deep-bore tunnel.

The Layfield Report said on this topic: … the route proposed in the Greater London Development Plan runs southward into Blackheath, into what is one of the most difficult areas into which to secure the satisfactory integration of an urban motorway into its surroundings. To avoid this potential environmental effect would be a substantial bonus. It came up with the idea of the Isle of Dogs and Deptford scheme.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Deptford and I are united in telling the Secretary of State that the people of Blackheath have never sought to push their problem on to the shoulders of the people of Deptford or of anywhere else. If this motorway ever has to be built, the obvious and correct solution is to put it through the Blackheath conservation area in a deep-bore tunnel using the improved techniques which are now available.

Mr. John Silkin (Deptford)

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for the splendid way in which he has defended the interests of my constituency as well as his own. He painted a correct picture of an area in which new housing and new hope is coming to an area of South London which had been in decline. Does he also agree that one of the most monumental crimes that could be committed in this area is the destruction of one of the oldest, closest and best communities in London?

Mr. Moyle

I agree with my right hon. Friend. I have always been impressed by the close community spirit which exists all along the riverside boroughs, particularly in Deptford. It would be a tragedy if London were made more anonymous by the decanting of this closely-knit population into the suburbs where those inhabitants would no longer have any great knowledge of the people among whom they live.

The argument against the tunnel in Blackheath is that it would mean extra expenditure. If the money were available to me personally, it would keep me in the style and manner of life to which I would hope to become accustomed until I departed from this world, but in terms of the enormous sums of money expended on motorways the extra expenditure on a tunnel would be infinitesimal. My calculation is that a deep-bore tunnel through the Blackheath conservation area would add only about 1 per cent. to the cost of the inner London motorway box. It would be such a relatively insignificant figure as not to prevent the GLC, and if necessary the Secretary of State, coming to a sensible solution.

There is one technical consideration which I should like to mention. Where the eastern end of the tunnel is supposed to appear there happens to be a substantial sewer. If a tunnel goes over the top of the sewer, 20 houses, some of great attraction and architectural elegance, are likely to be destroyed. Those houses can be saved at a small extra cost if the tunnel is taken underneath the sewer.

There are two other problems to be considered. At one stage Ringway 2 was to come through my constituency, but that is no longer a threat. When the proposals for Ringway 2 were announced, I called the residents together and advised them to join the London Motorway Action Group, which has been headed with such great distinction for a number of years by my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North. They were sufficiently wise to take my advice and their chairman became the treasurer of the London Motorway Action Group. They have won their battle and I hope that they will long live to enjoy their freedom from the motorway.

The corridor of opportunity, as it is so grotesquely called, stretching across the south of the borough of Lewisham, still remains. Since Ringway 2 has now been declared a non-starter by the Layfield Committee, I hope that the Secretary of State will see that the GLC remove this corridor of opportunity so that this blight will no longer cast itself over that part of Lewisham and so that the people there can live in freedom.

The Layfield Report, having done some excellent work, unfortunately went out of its way to commit a gross error. It suggested that the M20 should be brought into the centre of London via an area in my constituency known as Hither Green. Hither Green in many ways is similar to Deptford in that studies have shown that it is a stable community. It consists of a number of houses built at the turn of the century, and probably on the whole the housing conditions in Hither Green are rather better than the conditions in old Deptford. It is an area which, if properly handled, could provide a cosy environment for the next 50 years. If it is not properly handled, it could rapidly decline into slumdom.

The proposal that an eight-lane motorway should be brought into the centre of this area has thrown the entire borough of Lewisham into a state of alarm and despondency. The area is already threatened by a Government proposal which envisages the erection of a resettlement-reception centre for single homeless males. If that happens it will not help the environment—but it is quite certain if an eight-lane motorway is built in the area it will mean the destruction of 1,500 houses in a borough which has a waiting list of 10,000 families, 2,000 of which are fairly urgent cases. We in Lewisham have a serious housing problem and are fighting desperately to take care of it but, because of the effects of the London Government Act, for every house which we build in Lewisham we have to knock another down. This means, in terms of solving the housing problems in the area, a considerably slower movement than would be the case in a fringe area such as Bromley.

I hope that this appalling proposal for a motorway through the Hither Green area will be dropped. I have tendered to the Secretary of State all the advice I have at my command and I hope that he will take notice of it.

8.18 p.m.

Sir Ronald Russell (Wembley, South)

The hon. Member for Lewisham, North (Mr. Moyle) talked a great deal about a deep-bore tunnel through Blackheath and I believe that this is the only sensible way to solve the problem, if it has to be solved in that way. I am in favour of solving the traffic problem by deep-bore tunnels, all under London, not merely under Blackheath. If we cannot have that system, I am in favour of some sort of ringway system. However, this can be done on an entirely different basis, not by having a ringway system partly on the surface and partly underground but by the construction of underways at tube depth, one running north to south and one east to west. One starts with an underway north to south and one east to west and eventually ends up with three underways in each direction.

I have put forward this suggestion twice in the House in the last year and I raised this matter in the previous Parliament. As yet I have not yet received an answer from the Department. I do not blame my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State because he has not been in the chair for very long, but I hope that I shall soon be given an answer on whether such a scheme is feasible for London and also other large cities on a smaller scale.

It is a scheme produced by a London architect named A. E. T. Matthews and some other experts as partners. He put this scheme before the Layfield inquiry. I went along with him. The Layfield Report makes no reference to this scheme at all except to mention that this "objection", as it was described, was heard. It gives no opinion on it. Here we are considering a ringway plan for inner London yet this revolutionary scheme has not been considered by the Layfield inquiry. Perhaps it did not have time. I do not know.

It is time that the Department of the Environment looked at this matter from a national as well as from a London point of view. The solution which I have mentioned would solve the housing problem caused by the ringway. We would not lose anything like as many houses as with the ringway scheme. It would only be necessary to pull down houses at the entrances and exits to the tunnels. I understand further that the cost of Ringway 1 is estimated to be about £2,000 million at the date of completion in about 1981. The latest estimate I have for the underway scheme is £1,500 million to £2,000 million and it is estimated that it could be completed in about 10 years. That is one tunnel going north-south and another going east-west.

Mr. Leslie Huckfield

Following that line of thought, would it not be even cheaper if we made the cars run over the surface and force the people to live in deep-bore tunnels?

Sir R. Russell

I do not take that as a serious interruption.

It is a serious solution to our problems to take the traffic underground. Not only would it be less damaging to our housing but the effect on the environment would be considerably mitigated. I ask my right hon. and learned Friend to look at this suggestion seriously. It has been put forward in detail by Mr. Matthews in two separate booklets, one in 1966 and one last year. In the latter the plan has been brought up to date from a technical and cost point of view. It is meant to solve our traffic problems in a sensitive and less damaging way than building roads on the surface. I hope that the Secretary of State will consider it seriously and give an opinion on it before too long.

8.23 p.m.

Mr. Graham Tope (Sutton and Cheam)

I do not want to follow the arguments of previous speakers too closely except to say how delighted I am to agree with the hon. Member for Lewisham, North (Mr. Moyle) in welcoming the somewhat belated conversion of the Labour Party at County Hall to Liberal policy in opposing these ringways, which they first conceived.

In the past London has suffered many disasters—the Great Fire, plague, the blitz, the depression. We are now facing another potential disaster—a great paralysis. The growth of London has been dependent on public transport, on the growth of the railways, trams, the Underground, the buses. Just 20 years ago our public transport system had a strong foundation. That has now been seriously undermined. The railways are being allowed to become increasingly dilapidated, the quality of service, sadly, is declining, and fares are being allowed to rocket. Bus services have been practically halved in number compared with 10 years ago. Fares are rising, and services are being cut as they become more uneconomic.

More people are being forced to use cars. Further, there is a suppressed demand for private car use. The increased building of roads will release this suppressed demand. It has already been said that the more roads that are built the greater is the traffic congestion. This is a generally accepted fact, and I am surprised to hear that hon. Members opposite have apparently not yet realised that the easier it is made for cars to travel on motorways the more congestion there will be on and off those motorways. It has been calculated, to take an extreme example, that if a city were to become entirely reliant on private transport, five-ninths of its surface area would be necessary for major road use.

That is an extreme example but nevertheless a logical conclusion to the sort of policy which has been adopted by the GLC recently. Our aim must be to discourage traffic in central London and in urban areas. The effect of these motorway proposals will be to do just the opposite. We have heard of the enormous financial and social costs in terms of people being thrown out of their homes. The right hon. Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay) has quoted the figures, which have not been challenged. Thousands of people will be thrown out of their homes to make way for these motorways which will sever communities.

The Layfield Report recognises that it is unlikely that these families can be rehoused in suitable accommodation at a price or rent which they can afford. This is a major problem facing Londoners. We have spoken many times in this House of London's housing crisis. Why should we add to that crisis and at the same time increase traffic congestion? Dealing with the motorway proposals alone is bad enough, but we are not dealing only with those. We are also dealing with proposals for radial routes, primary and secondary roads. Many of these developments are already taking place.

More often than not they take place under the guise of feeder routes, secondary roads for proposed motorways; nevertheless they are major road improvements and no one is in any doubt that they are preparatory to becoming feeder routes for the motorways should they ever be built. If they are not built we shall be left with extremely costly white elephants. It is no exaggeration to say that in view of these road developments one day Londoners will wake up to find their horizons blotted out by these major motorways swathing through their communities. This technological hooliganism must be stopped before it is too late.

There can be no justification for building more urban motorways in London, particularly Ringway 1. I and my Liberal colleagues will oppose this most strenuously and will support all other attempts to oppose it.

Mr. Leslie Huckfield

When you are here.

Mr. Tope

This can probably be more effectively opposed elsewhere.

I, too, welcome the recommendation in the Layfield Report that the southern and north-western sections of Ringway 3 should not be built. I can see no justification for building two major motorways within six or seven miles of each other. Already the South Orbital Route is being built to the south of my constituency. There can be no justification either in traffic or in cost terms for building yet another major motorway within about five miles of it. I hope that the Minister will soon announce his decision on this and accept the recommendations of the Layfield Report that Ringway 3, in the south at least, should not be built.

It has been said many times in this place and other places that our future must lie with an improved public transport system, yet the Layfield Report says: The general intent of the council that is the Greater London Council— is said to be to improve public transport in all possible ways, but we heard little evidence to indicate in concrete terms how this unexceptional but extraordinarily vague aim was to be achieved. This aim should not be vague and it must be achieved.

I have to be brief this evening because there are many other hon. Members who wish to speak in this debate and, unfortunately, the time is very limited. There are many measures which can be taken to improve public transport in London, and most of them are already well known to hon. Members. First and foremost, I believe we should support the recommendation in the Layfield Report for one single public transport authority in London. That is essential to co-ordinate the bus, rail and Underground services. I hope that the Government will support that recommendation.

Secondly, we must try again, as the Layfield Report says, to make public transport far more attractive, to make it cheap, convenient, frequent and, above all, a public service, not a profit-making enterprise. The sooner a fare-free system can be introduced in London the better. I appreciate that that is not immediately realisable; nevertheless it is an aim towards which we should be working. A step towards that aim which I would very much welcome would be the introduction of a low flat-fare system in London.

We should have better interchange facilities between bus and rail services and co-ordination of timetables and coordination of bus lanes properly separated so that buses can move quickly about London and not be held up by traffic congestion—congestion which will be worsened if these motorway proposals go ahead. We need a reappraisal of many miles of unused or little-used railway lines throughout the London area. Perhaps the better known is the North London line. This could be used much more extensively. Every effort should be made to put as much freight as possible back on to the railways and off the roads, particularly in urban areas.

In this connection I should like to see a much greater use made of waterways for carrying freight wherever possible. Far more beneficial than widening a stretch of the Ml would be for the Government to have a feasibility study of restoring the Grand Union Canal as a major traffic artery linking the Ml at Watford to the Thames Estuary. A 500-ton barge can carry as much cargo as 35 articulated lorries.

I am being brief in deference to other hon. Members who wish to speak in the debate, but it is measures of this sort that we should be taking if we are ever to solve the increasing transport problem in London. The future of London transportation is amenable to a political decision. It can no longer be left to experts to produce through endless permutations of plans which are usually out-of-date before they are published. It is a political decision, and we should resist the insidious interference of powerful motor and road lobbies. Parliament should have the power to take such decisions with due regard to public opinion.

Other hon. Members have made clear the opinion of the public in London and outside London on these motorway proposals. Parliament should be able to make these decisions and should not be presented with fails accomplis. Parliament should take the decisions with due regard to public opinion and show that it is serious in transferring transport from the private to the public sector.

8.34 p.m.

Mr. Guy Barnett (Greenwich)

Inevitably in a debate on a subject of this kind a number of us are bound to find ourselves making constituency-type speeches and referring to the problems of our constituencies. The hon. Member for Chelsea (Mr. Worsley) and my hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, North (Mr. Moyle) have both done that. In some degree inevitably I shall want to refer to my constituency.

The hon. Member for Chelsea, in his moving speech about his constituency, referred to the stresses which are made intolerable by traffic. He spoke about traffic thundering along pleasant streets. He was right to refer to those problems, but when he recommended the building of Ringway 1 he may perhaps have overlooked to some degree the consequences that would have, not only for constituencies such as that of my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay), but the constituencies of many other London hon. Members.

I think that that can best be illustrated by quoting from the Greenwich and Blackheath Study published in April 1971. At one point, in describing South-East London—the area which my hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, North, my right hon. Friend the Member for Deptford (Mr. John Silkin), I and others represent—it said: the road pattern of the study area is essentially the inherited eighteenth-century structure, with the main arteries formed by the radial roads leading to and from the centre of London. If Ringway 1 is built, inevitably it will draw more and more traffic towards itself. If that happens, it will clog up roads all the way around London, whether they are radial roads which have been built as part of the primary road system, which will presumably have to be built, or secondary roads.

One of the problems which Professor Buchanan was tackling when he was dealing with the problems of my constituency and the surrounding areas was the fact that so much traffic travelling along these roads towards central London destroys the environment in which people live, go to school, go to work and enjoy themselves in places such as Blackheath and Greenwich Park.

I shall refer in a moment in greater detail to one or two problems as they affect my constituency, but it is important to make one general point which has not so far been made and which has received scant attention in the Press. It is common for hon. Members—it has been done on several occasions recently —to talk about the environmental effects of heavy lorries. Indeed, I think that most conservation societies in London— there are three in our area—refer continually to the detrimental effect of heavy lorries parking on and passing along London streets.

What interests me is that very few people appear to refer to the damaging environmental effects of the private car. I think that it is perhaps a reflection on us as Members of Parliament, on civil servants, on planners and on local government officials of one kind and another that we have such a deep vested interest, if one likes to put it that way, because most of us are owners of private cars, that we tend to ignore the environmental effects of private cars, which can often be very serious.

I travelled up by bus today, as I do on many occasions. When I do so, I am able to look out of the window and compare the number of heavy lorries travelling up the A.2 with the number of private cars on the road.

Mr. Jay

Ten to one.

Mr. Barnett

My right hon. Friend says 10 to 1, and I think that he is probably right, because what is clogging up our roads is the private car. We have the evidence of last week.

Mr. Hugh Dykes (Harrow, East)

Would the hon. Gentleman concede that the difference between the heavy lorry and the private car is that it is possible to establish rational route definitions for the former in a way that it is not possible to do for the latter? Although we would all like to see more limitations on both, it is easier in a sense to do it with heavy lorries than with cars.

Mr. Barnett

I am glad that the hon. Gentleman made that point. It is one with which I agree wholeheartedly. One can establish definite lorry routes. In fact, one can, as part of a planning decision, ensure that such routes are laid out to suit particular needs of lorry journeys which take place regularly.

The situation in the Trafalgar Road and Woolwich Road area in my constituency is different from that on the A.2 to which I referred earlier. According to Buchanan, the figure for heavy lorries there is 30 per cent. to 40 per cent. That seems to me to be a problem that needs solving and could conceivably be solved by building a bridge across the River Thames between, say, Deptford and the Isle of Dogs. That might be the answer to the problem, because I believe the Layfield Report says that the reason why so many lorries drive along that road is that they are driving between the industrial area of Deptford and the industrial area north of the Thames; but they have no need to go through Greenwich. In fact their destination is on the other side of the river and could easily be reached by a direct bridge across the river at a more convenient point.

Essentially, the point I am making— it is one which the hon. Member for Harrow, East (Mr. Dykes) has just reinforced—is that at present the proportion of vehicles on the roads which are heavy lorries is relatively small compared with the number of private cars; and secondly, one can to some degree control and plan to suit the kinds of journeys that heavy lorries make. It has often occurred to me that if we were to remove private cars from the centre of London and from the constituency of the hon. Member for Chelsea, that would go an enormous way towards solving the problem.

The difference between heavy lorries and private cars is that with very few exceptions private car journeys could be unnecessary with the proper provision of public transport, whereas in a majority of cases heavy lorry journeys are unavoidable because they are connected with a business operation, the movement of merchandise from one place to another. I know it has been argued, rightly, that we ought to transfer a greater proportion of freight on to the railways, but no one seriously believes that the vast majority of freight nowadays could be carried by rail without appalling inconvenience. We have to accept the heavy lorry as part of our environment. That being the case, if we were able to do something about the private car the whole environmental situation could be much altered for the better.

Private car journeys, in contrast to the situation concerning heavy lorries, could in most cases be dispensed with if public transport was sufficient. There are exceptions such as disabled people, doctors and perhaps the old and infirm. We might make certain exceptions but we as a society, particularly those who hold responsible positions, have a vested interest in the use of the private car for business journeys. Many people who hold positions of responsibility, whether as Ministers, chairmen of public boards, senior civil servants or in other capacities, use private cars. Therefore, it does not seem to me surprising that as a consequence, when reports are drawn up and debates take place, there is very little mention of this traffic and of the need to restrict—I choose my words carefully—drastically the use of private cars in central London, if not to ban them completely.

I went to Oxford Street, as no doubt many hon. Members have done, and saw the immediate and startling improvement in the environment as a result of the banning of private cars from that area. I was enormously impressed. I would like to see that principle extended much more widely so that only buses, taxis, vehicles carrying disabled persons and heavy lorries needed to deliver goods to large stores would be able to use an area.

I have one very important constituency point that I would like to raise. It concerns the Dover radial road. The Lay-field Report, as my hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, North has pointed out, is proposing a rerouting of Ringway 1. What my hon. Friend did not point out—I do not blame him, because this lies in my constituency and not his—was that this makes that piece of motorway which is already being constructed from the Blackwall Tunnel up to Kidbrooke completely irrelevant to whatever motor ringway plans may be adopted. There is no proposal about what is to be done about that. I know it is the subject of an inquiry but there are many families, in both my constituency and that of my hon. Friend the Member for Woolwich, West (Mr. Hamling), who are deeply concerned and worried about what is to happen, because the environmental conditions in which they are now living, with traffic pouring off the motorway at colossal speeds straight into a shopping centre and a residential area, have for years caused great distress and worry.

I believe that, given the Layfield Report or, what I hope for, the abolition of Ringway 1, there should be no delay in the continuation of the Dover radial road now that it has been begun in the way that it has. If the Under-Secretary of State is in a position to give an announcement about that tonight, my constituents will be grateful. If not, no doubt he will try to do it as early as possible.

I admired enormously the speech of my right hon. Friend the Member for Batter-sea, North. He spoke with feeling about the area he represents and similar constituencies in the centre of London which are liable to be affected by the ringway. It is right for those who live in the middle area of the suburbs to point out the damage which would be done by extending the radial routes towards the centre of London—damage to the environment and to communities like Deptford which would be broken up and their personalities and souls liable to be destroyed.

8.46 p.m

Mr. Toby Jessel (Twickenham)

I want first to revert to a point made by the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam (Mr. Tope) about Ringway 3. He said that he was against it. I want to stress how strongly I disagree. I am very much in favour of the construction of Ringway 3, the outer London ringway. I am sorry that the Liberal Party's spokesman should have decided to oppose it, as I believe that the need for it is most compelling.

The great growth in the volume of traffic in the Greater London area has not been so much in the radial traffic in and out of London, which has remained largely stable in quantity over the last decade, but rather in the orbital traffic moving around London between one suburban area and another. The growth in movements of that kind has been very great.

In outer London, and in my constituency in particular, the movement of orbital traffic is sharply limited by the position of bridges over the River Thames. Hampton Court Bridge is the only high capacity bridge in the area to cater for orbital traffic. There is nothing upstream until Walton, four or five miles away, and nothing downstream for four or five miles, except Kingston Bridge. But Kingston Bridge points in a different direction and, indeed, straight into a town centre. Consequently, an enormous amount of orbital traffic is directed to Hampton Court Bridge, and this does tremendous harm to the environment of Hampton and the Hampton Hill area. The overwhelming opinion in my constituency, as expressed by local residents' associations and public opinion surveys, is that Ringway 3 should be constructed.

The case for Ringway 3 in essence is not very different from that for Ringway 1. I want to quote from a pamphlet produced by the Greater London Council. It is called "Motorways for London". The pamphlet says: We need—and are going to need even more —urban motorways for fast, safe travel, avoiding residential roads and shopping centres The motorways planned by the GLC will be separate from local roads. The GLC plans the building as early as possible of the motorway box. Hon. Members opposite will be interested to learn that that pamphlet was published in October 1966, when the Greater London Council was controlled by the Labour Party. I believe that the Labour Party was right then, and I regret that it is weakening from that position. I believe that its first thoughts on the subject should be supported.

The case for providing for orbital movement in the Greater London area is not very different from the case for providing facilities for traffic between one provincial city and another 10 or 20 miles apart. No one suggests that there should not be a good road between Liverpool and Manchester, Southampton and Portsmouth, Coventry and Birmingham, Bradford and Leeds or Glasgow and Edinburgh. Greater London is a region 30 miles across containing 32 London boroughs with populations of 200,000, 300,000 or 400,000. Yet it is suggested that it is not essential for traffic to be able to move freely between one part of that area and another.

It has been said that no cost-benefit analysis has been carried out on congestion. The Greater London Council carried out such an analysis which showed that the cost of congestion in terms of time wasted and man hours lost was about £150 million a year. That kind of measurement is likely to be woolly and inexact, but a large part of the benefit to be derived from the provision of urban motorways cannot be measured. The environmental improvement obtained from routing heavy traffic so that it does not go past houses cannot be costed. No money value can be put upon that. Therefore, this is a value judgment which ca-not be accurately measured.

There is an enormous amount of public dissatisfaction about the large number of heavy vehicles which go past houses in which people live. Traffic increasingly tends to do so when the main roads get clogged up because they were not built to cater for such a heavy volume of traffic. An ordinary London shopping street has in it shops, houses, pedestrians, buses, cyclists and so on and cannot cope with large quantities of long-distance heavy traffic. It is essential to provide purpose-built roads for it.

Mr. Ronald Brown (Shoreditch and Finsbury)

What happens when the lorries, after going through the streets the hon. Gentleman has described, finish up in my constituency? That is where they end, and they are parked outside people's houses every night of the week, seven days a week. What will the hon. Gentleman do about this?

Mr. Jessel

The problem of lorries parked outside houses all night is extremely difficult. Although the Greater London Council and many of the London boroughs want to prevent it, it is difficult for the Metropolitan Police to provide enough officers to enforce bans on the parking of lorries all night. That is an enforcement problem.

We must bear in mind that part of Ringway 1 has already been completed. The East Cross Route—the Blackwall tunnel southern approach—has been constructed and is in use. The northern part is nearly complete and is shortly to be opened. The part of the West Cross Route from White City to Shepherds Bush is already in use. The southern part of the West Cross Route mainly follows the alignment of a railway line, which means that the housing loss will be much less.

As to the North Cross Route and the South Cross Route, the GLC has already said that it is prepared to defer the construction of the North Cross Route and instead to link the East and West Cross Routes with the North Circular, which would be improved and would be what was previously known as part of Ringway 2. The most contentious remaining part, about which naturally the right hon. Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay) was concerned, is the South Cross Route. Hon. Members who say they do not want a South Cross Route to be built are implying that they are prepared to tolerate indefinitely the present South Circular Road and other roads across South London as being the provision for traffic wanting to go across South London. The South Circular Road is a hopelessly higgledy-piggledy road. It is not a road at all; it is just a lot of pieces of road strung together, which causes enormous environmental disadvantage in surrounding areas. It is hopelessly inefficient and wastes a great deal of the time of the people using it.

My hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea (Mr. Worsley), as well as hon. Members opposite, referred to the housing aspect. The number of houses involved would be about 7,000, and this would be spread over 10 or 12 years, which would be the time taken to construct the whole of the motorway box. Seven hundred houses a year is a tiny fraction of the total rehousing demand in the Greater London area. It amounts to about one-third of 1 per cent. of all the requirements of people who move house each year, and it should surely not be impossible for the GLC and the borough authorities to provide for this very marginal additional need.

The housing shortage in London, to which hon. Members opposite are obviously right to draw attention, is inextricably linked to the employment situation in London, because people come into London from outside to look for jobs, and that makes the housing situation worse. In this context, the hon. Member for Acton (Mr. Spearing), whom I see in his seat, urged on 15th December that action be taken to increase the number of jobs in London. I believe that if we were to restrain the increase in the number of jobs in London and allow it to diminish, the problem of the housing shortage in the London area would be much more quickly solved and it would be quite possible over the next 12 years to provide for people to be rehoused in consequence of the construction of Ringway 1.

Mr. Nigel Spearing (Acton)

I apologise for intervening but I think the record ought to be put right. In that debate I did not say that jobs should be increased. I advocated that the departure of manufacturing industries should be slowed down so that we might maintain the right balance of employment in London. I should like to get that clear.

Mr. Jessel

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman, but the consequences are the same. If the number of jobs were allowed to slow down rather than an attempt being made to curb that effect, if would be easier to deal more quickly with the housing shortage in London.

8.58 p.m.

Mr. John Horam (Gateshead, West)

I hope that some of the London hon. Members will forgive a non-London hon. Member for speaking very briefly. I am sure they will not, but I will ask them to, because I think I have some right to speak in this debate, for two reasons. First, I was actually a member of the Environment and Home Office Sub-Committee of the Expenditure Committee which made the famed—or ill-famed —report we have heard so much about tonight. Secondly, I should like to point out that road problems do not exist only in London. If some hon. Members come to Newcastle, which is my regional capital, they will find similar problems being as badly coped with by a Tory administration up there as no doubt they are being coped with by a Tory administration down here.

I want to comment particularly on the remarks of the hon. Member for Chelsea (Mr. Worsley), who most persuasively argued the case for the inner London ringway—Ringway 1. I recognise that he is a long-standing advocate of this particular route, and I think that the way he put his argument is the way many people put it. In particular, they argue, as he did, that Ringway 1 does not conflict with the findings of the report on urban transport planning and other similar documents; that in fact it is in tune with this modern, up-to-date thinking. Obviously, the Committee did not consider Ringway 1 in particular because it was considering not particular motorway schemes but the arguments in general. I am sure the hon. Member would accept that.

In my view, Ringway 1 runs counter to the general spirit of the Committee's findings. What is more, it runs counter to two or three of the most crucial general arguments put forward by the Committee. The first is that the most important step that we must take is to shift resources from road spending to spending on public transport. In saying that, the Committee had in mind that, whereas at the moment the proportion of spending of the total transport budget in our major conurbations is roughly 75 per cent. on roads and 25 per cent. on public transport, we should like to reverse that and have, as they do in Hamburg, about 30 per cent. only on roads and 70 per cent. on public transport or, as they do in Munich, as little as 10 per cent. on roads and 90 per cent. on public transport. To suggest starting a scheme costing at the minimum £600 million and, if my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North is correct, possibly £800 million makes it impossible to achieve the shift in resources about which the Committee was talking.

Another matter about which the Committee felt strongly and had some rather sharp comments to make concerned the social and environmental costs of road building and the social and environmental factors involved. We pointed out that very little account had been taken of them so far. Ringway 1 is extremely bad from this point of view in that it passes through very sensitive areas when seen from the environmental and social aspects. It must be borne in mind that environmental and social damage is not lessened by shifting the route from Blackheath to Deptford. On the contrary, it increases it, since it takes it through areas which have the least environmental goodness about them and from which a roadway would take away even more.

A third crucial argument of the Committee was that, before any more substantial road-building could take place which in certain circumstances obviously is justified on a selective basis, we had to use our existing road space more efficiently. Efficient users of road space like buses and taxis which can pack in a lot of people should have more of the existing space than the private car which uses road space inefficiently, very often carry-only one person on the typical journey to work. It cannot be argued that we use our existing road space in London efficiently when only 10 per cent. of the total number of people travelling to central London come by private cars and take up 85 or 90 per cent. of the total road space. Ipso facto we must make some changes on this score before thinking about building new roads.

For all those general reasons, as a member of the Committee which produced that report, I believe that Ringway 1 flies totally in the face of its general philosophy.

9.4 p.m.

Mr. Hugh Dykes (Harrow, East)

The contribution of the hon. Member for Gateshead, West (Mr. Horam) was welcome in two senses. First it cast a refreshing light on the reality that many of these themes are not party political in the normal sense. Secondly, the hon. Gentleman conceded the contention of my hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea (Mr. Worsley) that the Committee's report bore no direct and specific relationship to the idea of Ringway 1. There may be a generalised proclivity against the concept, but it does not go further than that.

It was very welcome to hear a number of my hon. Friends reminding the House that the extraordinary conversion or seeming volte-face of the Labour Party on all these motorway proposals in London, with the honourable exceptions of a number of individuals in the Labour Party, is probably due to the proximity of this debate to an important event on 12th April, namely the local elections in the Greater London area.

Naturally, the public are more likely to be beguiled by the proposition that there are sufficient doubts and uncertainties about these enormously expensive schemes as to transcend the narrow party political base. Therefore, it ill behoves Members of the Labour Party, at their eleventh hour conversion, to claim that they have been thinking about this matter all along and that their environmental propensity is greater than that of many hon. Members on this side of the House. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Unfortunately the Liberal spokesman said that, although the Russians had invented everything throughout history, the Liberal Party had plans for everything even in advance of the Russians. That is not true either.

Despite the party political equations, there are none the less growing long-term doubts about all these matters affecting great urban areas like London. I am not suggesting that in narrow terms we can easily come down for or against the idea of Ringway 1. It is to some extent easier to make the resolute decision now about Ringways 2 and 3 bearing in mind that there are still some areas of doubt about the routes to be selected. But regarding Ringway 1 it is difficult to come down strongly on one side or the other.

There is enormous attraction in the argument put forward by my hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea. In order to relieve congestion on roads between the areas bounded by this kind of urban motorway, the idea espoused by the notion of Ringway 1 is attractive. At the same time, the long-term environmental transportation revolution must be that the public are beset by growing doubts about the rationality of this proposal. Put another way, we are concerned about protecting the private motorist, but the mood and atmosphere in recent years has changed. Increasingly, we as a Parliament, the experts outside and other people are moving towards the idea of physical restrictions on private motorists in urban concentrations, at the same time accepting the firm principle that this kind of future policy, so long as it is drawn up in a careful and cautious way and does not mean a massive upset of existing patterns, would meet public approval if people were given the opportunity to enjoy the fruits and benefits of policies of restraint on the private car.

Furthermore, I do not think that the motor car manufacturers need panic that as a result of that future restraint they will not find it so easy to sell motor cars. I believe that the propensity to own a motor car is sufficiently strong to overcome the restrictions which might in future be imposed on it in certain areas.

I welcome the Oxford Street scheme. I believe that in future a balance may be achieved between motorway structures of a certain kind in urban areas and at the same time saying that the quid pro quo is to restrict far more the use of the private car. We may restrict other vehicles, but that is a separate argument.

We have an increasingly urgent obligation because the public are no longer prepared to listen to expert planners saying "We need a road here. We know better than the public. We are having an inquiry, but, even when the inquiry has completed its exercise, we, the experts in a collective sense, will reach the decision on your behalf."

I am not decrying what Layfield has done. It is a massive and excellent document. However, the public in the overall area encompassed by London are increasingly saying "We demand from our legislators, be they local or national, the environmental protection which has only just begun in terms of specific policies". I believe that this revolution is most welcome.

9.10 p.m.

Mr. Raphael Tuck (Watford)

What is the use of having a report from the Expenditure Committee on road transport if no heed is given to its recommendations? I refer the Secretary of State to paragraph 107, which is in thick type and says, We recommend that, as an urgent priority, all trunk and principal road schemes of urban road building which have not reached the exchange of contract stage should be re-examined ab initio." Why will the right hon. and learned Gentleman not give effect to that recommendation, particularly with reference to the scheme which he has for the A.405 and A.41M in Watford, which is creating alarm and despondency among thousands of Watford people. It will create havoc in Watford. First, it will box in large sections of Watford. Secondly, it will bulldoze or drive a road through two schools which are near Watford. Thirdly, at one point it will spill seven lanes into one lane with all the resulting chaos.

I have had over 1,000 letters from Watford residents protesting about the scheme. I have sent them to the Secretary of State. I hope that they will choke or drown him. I have had no response from him. However, I want him to give effect to these protects. I have asked him many a time if he will allow a deputation from Watford composed, for example, of the town clerk, the borough engineer, the chairman of the highways committee and myself to meet him and to explain its alternative proposals. Such a deputation would know what it is talking about. It would not be like the Minister, who is merely rubber-stamping decisions which his civil servants have made.

To this request I have received nothing more than a curt brush-off from the right hon. and learned Gentleman. I ask him now at least to have the courtesy to give a deputation 20 minutes of his valuable time so that it can put its case to him and so that he may be able to re-examine the scheme ab initio within the proposals which the Expenditure Committee recommend.

9.12 p.m.

Mr. Nigel Spearing (Acton)

For seven years I have been a member of the GLC committee which has been concerned with these proposals. It is right to say that for the Opposition on the GLC there has been no sudden conversion. At the beginning a high proportion of Labour members of the GLC doubted the expert official plan. Let us be under no illusion, that that is what it was. The original plans were produced by the GLC road engineers as a means of fulfilling what they considered would be the road traffic demand in London. In fact, the demand will not be as great as was once thought. The London Traffic Survey, Vol. II, Tables 17–18, estimated that from 26.8 million vehicle miles a day in 1962 the demand would increase to 65 million vehicle miles a day in 1981. The increase has now slowed down. The original estimated increase of 5 per cent. has now reduced to 2 per cent. The GLC now says that there will be about 50 million vehicle miles a day in 1981.

That reduction is due to a whole host of factors, including a reduction in population and the fact that people are not using cars to the same extent. A point that has been forgotten is that the number of vehicle trips made in London is about 7 million a day, and the number of trips by public transport is about the same. Thus, the figures are roughly equivalent for the movement of people. Of course, vehicle trip movements include freight vehicles, and as there is an average of 1.5 people in a car we have a rough physical balance.

The need for movement by car is frequently from one facility to another— for example, from home to work or from a social facility to somewhere else. The difficulty is that if the ringway is built— the Secretary of State has not yet favoured us by moving the amendment, so that we do not know what he will say— and the Government go ahead with Ring-way 1 on the Layfield proposals, the amount of traffic generated in the inner area of London will increase considerably.

At the moment even with the high cost of public transport in London there is a rough balance between the number of people using public transport and those using private vehicles. The cost of public transport is roughly £150 million to £200 million a year but, assuming that there are 40 million vehicle miles per day and assuming the cost per vehicle mile to be only 5p—that is under-estimating—the cost of movement of private vehicles is £700 million a year at least, and it may be far more. So our difficulty is that we have a rough physical balance between the two modes but that the financial difference for the people who pay to go by public transport and those who drive vehicles is not in balance at all.

The Government say in paragraph 43 of their statement on Layfield that they want to build the ringways to relieve congestion. In a previous debate on the Greater London Council (General Powers) Bill, I said categorically that there were no official records of considerable congestion. In fact the official GLC documents show that vehicle speeds have risen and my statements in that debate have not been challenged. So the right hon. and learned Gentleman is mistaken in claiming that ringways would relieve congestion.

The right hon. and learned Gentleman may say that we need these new roads for lorry traffic and that employers and industrialists need them. Of course they do, but in Acton, which is close to the Great West Road, Western Avenue and the North Circular Road, many factories are empty. So it is not necessarily a question of industrialists requiring road access, because there are many empty factories in London close to existing trunk roads.

If new ringways are built they will undoubtedly increase the generation of car transport well above its present level. We need an integrated public transport system, so that while the actual vehicle mileage per day may rise it will be on relatively short trips and people in those vehicles will be able to interchange with public transport. It is unfortunate that we have not heard the reasons for the amendment, and I shall listen to the Secretary of State's speech with great interest.

9.17 p.m.

Mr. Clinton Davis (Hackney, Central)

The Labour Party in London was chided by the hon. Members for Twickenham (Mr. Jessel) and Harrow, East (Mr. Dykes) for, in my view prudently, having second thoughts about the wisdom of these motorway schemes. The reason why they did was that they listened to public opinion, heard the evidence and rightly changed their minds. But it ill becomes hon. Members opposite to make this sort of charge when, after all, they have performed somersaults more acrobatically than Olga Korbut at her best on almost every important issue of the day.

The hon. Member for Twickenham referred to the East Cross Route, when he talked about our not being able to count the cost in pounds and pence. My constituents lived with the building of that route for years. Day in and day out they suffered from the misery of the pollution, the dirt and the noise and they are still suffering now that that road is in operation. Much more vehicular use is now made of the secondary roads in nearby areas, the whole community has been cut in half, ripped to pieces, and what kind of happiness can people enjoy living in that kind of area?

The hon. Member seemed to dismiss this as of no acount. I can tell him that the failure of the GLC to take account of the real misery which has been heaped upon the lives of these people will not be lightly forgiven. It is misery not only to the elderly but to mothers with young kids, who now have to go great distances to shop. Coupled with this, it has to be remembered, they are deprived also of an effective transport system.

Mr. Jessel

Is the hon. Member aware that, when the southern half of the East Cross Route, the Blackwall Tunnel Southern Approach, was completed, the local residents were so grateful to the GLC's resident engineer for the consideration care and courtesy that he had shown them that they had a collection to buy him a present?

Mr. Davis

That is very touching. As a result of that intervention, I must offer the hon. Member a fortnight's free holiday on the Kingsmead Estate.

What is quite extraordinary is that the acceptance of this single item by the Secretary of State, as a matter of principle, when he ignores everything else in the Layfield Report represents a complete capitulation, a rather squalid capitulation, to commercial interests. The Government do not really talk about the humane considerations involved, to which I have alluded, and the considerations for serious transport planning. After all, this is an integral part of a sensible traffic system for London in order to get rid of the chaos which is clogging the arteries of our city at the present time. There must be an effective system of restraint on the motor car, but that is hardly mentioned by the Conservative Party. Private transport on the present scale cannot be accommodated in central London without imposing impossible, insuperable burdens on our whole public transport system. That point has been made with considerable emphasis by the Expenditure Committee. I had wished to quote some extracts from its report, but time does not permit that.

One of the questions which the Expenditure Committee posed was whether our roads are being used at present in the most efficient manner. It is clear that they are not. I agree with the Committee's conclusions that we must have more rapid transit systems where the cost is justified, that there must be an allocation of a much greater proportion of road space to physically separated bus lanes, that the Department of the Environment must make provision for operating subsidies to public transport on a much greater scale than is happening today, and that there must be much greater restriction and control of parking space. My hon. Friend the Member for Shoreditch and Finsbury (Mr. Ronald Brown) alluded to that latter point in an all too brief intervention.

The alternatives available seem to have been totally ignored by Conservative hon. Members tonight. We have an opportunity for developing public transport systems in deprived areas such as Hackney. We have the North London line, which some people are thinking of closing down. The people who promote the idea —mostly Conservatives—say that there will be a saving of about £400,000. But what is the social cost of depriving passengers of that service? If that could be measured in terms of pounds and pence, it would be bound to be in excess of £1 million. Passengers will have to find other means of transport. But this factor is simply ignored.

I read with interest recently that London Transport has certain plans for developing a new express bus service in my constituency and in that of my hon. Friend the Member for Shoreditch and Finsbury. But that seemed to me something that we were likely to have for the future. We have had in Hackney all too many plans for the future. There may be an underground system in Hackney one day, perhaps 20 years ahead. But Hackney is a deprived area, a stress area and a forgotten area. It is impossible for the hon. Member for Twickenham to understand the frustrations of the people and the denial of elementary rights, which they see others enjoying.

Other hon. Members have mentioned the cost in terms of pollution, loss of amenity and inconvenience. I have referred to the situation at Eastway about which so many of my constituents complain to me vigorously. It is interesting that at page 262 of the Layfield Report, when speaking about secondary roads, it says The picture presented to us of the composition of the secondary road network was somewhat confused. That reflects so many of the arguments we have heard from the Government benches tonight. Unless we have an effective secondary road system the whole argument is totally bogus.

The Government have gone mad. They have gone mad over Maplin and over defence. But is it too late to hope that on the issue of Ringway 1 they may still have a lucid interval?

Mr. Marcus Lipton (Brixton)


9.25 p.m.

Mr. Peter Shore (Stepney)

I must at this stage disappoint my hon. Friend the Member for Brixton (Mr. Lipton), who I know, like many others would have wished to take part in this all too brief debate. However, I have rationed myself to only 15 minutes and I hope that my hon. Friend will forgive me. I wish to allow the Minister as much time as possible to answer fully the points that have been made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay), who opened the debate with his usual clarity and force, as well as by the many other hon. Members from both sides in support of him in the debate.

I must begin by declaring a double interest in the subject. My own home in Putney is, or was—who can be sure?— directly threatened by the original proposals of Ringway 2. Secondly, the borough of Tower Hamlets, representation of which I share in this House with my hon. Friends the Members for Poplar (Mr. Mikardo) and Bethnal Green (Mr. Hilton), is now to face a new threat of a motorway driving through the middle of the Isle of Dogs. I am grateful to my hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, North (Mr. Moyle), who spoke so clearly and so strongly against the new proposal to route a major motorway through a working-class community and away from one of the best-endowed areas in London.

I do not think that my interests in this matter are strange for a London Member. I have a feeling that most Members who represent London constituencies, as well as Members who represent constituencies elsewhere, know, either from their own direct experience of those places where they live or through close friends or members of their families and constituents, one of the most appalling problems of our time. That is the problem of coping in our cities with motor traffic, with the enormous disturbance it can create and the damage it can do to settled communities.

I must say a few words about what the urban motorway means to a community through which it passes. My hon. Friend the Member for Hackney, Central (Mr. Clinton Davis) referred to part of his community being cut to ribbons. That is a graphic description of what a motorway can do to a community when it passes through. I am not thinking only of the people who are physically displaced because their home lies directly in the path of a motorway—because they may be the more fortunate. I am not thinking either—and they are much more numerous—of those who are sufficiently near the motorway to suffer all the attendant disadvantages of noise, fumes, dust and the like.

I am referring to the still larger numbers who find their lives cut in two by a great wall of concrete. It may be that their homes and shops lie to one side and their schools and hospitals on the other. The vast disruption of the life of a community is made inevitable if an urban motorway is built. If it is built at ground level people in the area have to climb up high on bridges, which is not easy for the elderly, the infirm and mothers with young children. Alternatively they are to be forced to go underground through what all too often appears to be a damp, poorly-lit, evil-smelling passageway, the kind of place that many of us have experienced at the Elephant and Castle or Marble Arch.

Mr. Raphael Tuck

With the risk of being mugged.

Mr. Shore

That is another growing problem too. If the community is not faced with that it is faced with a motorway which soars high in the air casting its great shadow over neighbouring houses and streets and blighting the landscape and the visual aspect for miles around. Let there be no doubt in anyone's mind that an urban motorway is an offence, an imposition, an act of aggression on a community. It is something which can be contemplated only if there is overwhelming justification for building it.

That brings me to the heart of the argument and the debate. We believe that the necessary justification has not been produced either in the GLC's own report or in the two-volume report produced by the Layfield Panel. Most of us have found the Layfield Report a puzzling document. I join with other hon. Members in commending the Layfield Panel on its analysis of London's traffic problems—and it did not confine itself, as the original GLC plan did, simply to the question of roads. It heavily concentrates on and gives priority to the need for adequate, fast, comfortable public transport systems as its number one priority in this great city. Secondly, it emphasises strongly the crucial rôle of traffic management and control, and this is absolutely right.

The report also shows that it is aware of the great costs involved—not only in financial terms, but in terms of the poor rate of return on investment, the effect on housing, the community and so on. Because the report shows its sensitivity to these problems—a sensitivity similar to that which underlay the analysis made by the Sub-Committee of the Select Committee on Expenditure which considered urban motorways—we find its conclusions so perverse. Its conclusions do not flow from the analysis but contradict it.

This is what I find so puzzling, and I wish to offer an explanation. I believe that the Layfield Panel was influenced, I believe wrongly, by two factors. First, it has taken an optimistic view of the possibilities of avoiding environmental damage in new road construction. There may be certain possibilities which we have not yet fully developed in this country. There may be something in the suggestion about tunnelling which has been referred to by several hon. Members. But the cost would be enormous and would carry to astronomical heights the figures which have been bandied around. Unless something of that kind is attempted, it is almost impossible to avoid substantial environmenntal damage in the form of new road construction. This is where the optimism of the panel has betrayed it.

Secondly, the Layfield Panel made a great error in believing that a motorway box would canalise traffic and that it would siphon off and away from other roads the traffic which previously used them, thus improving the environment of the areas so relieved. That was the kind of vision which was offered to the House by the hon. Member for Chelsea (Mr. Worsley).

I have seen no evidence—either in the real world of road-building or evidence of a desk kind argued in the report— which would lead me to believe that this happy result would follow from new road building. On the contrary, there appears to be good reason for believing that only a small part of the traffic aimed at would be canalised. Indeed, a distinguished road economist puts at no higher than 13 per cent. the figure for the traffic aimed at in the inner London area which might be attracted to an inner London motorway box. On the other hand, a substantial increase in private car traffic could well be generated among inner London car owners.

In addition, by proposing that the existing national motorways which now peter out at the edge of our conurbation should be carried forward by radials into the inner London box, it seems certain that much more traffic will be brought in from outside London than would otherwise have been the case. This point has not seriously been disputed. We hope that the Secretary of State will be able to say something about it.

The doubts which I have expressed in summary form and which have been expressed by hon. Members on all sides are too widely held and too substantial, simply to be shrugged off. A full and informed discussion and examination is needed before any of these proposals are adopted. It is crucial that we should get this right because it is an irreversible decision. Our children and grandchildren will have to live with this for as far ahead as we can see. It is also important to have this examination to win public acceptability of what is proposed.

The Government have made a serious mistake here. The Layfield Panel spent well over two years examining the GLC proposals. It heard thousands of proposals. The right hon. and learned Gentleman took just over two months to make a major decision upon it. This is wrong. It is not only that many of us suspect that he needed more time to think about it; it is also that no opportunity has been given to the people of London to consider and react to the Layfield Report in whole or in part.

The hon. Member for Harrow, East (Mr. Dykes) made the point about the lack of confidence in the diktat or views of bureaucratic planners in some anonymous room in County Hall. He spoke of the scepticism with which such decisions are greeted. This is all too true. I will make my one constituency point here. What does the Secretary of State believe is the reaction in a community like the Isle of Dogs? There had previously been no possibility of a giant motorway being brought across. Suddenly a panel which had been set up to consider the Greater London motorway plan and other matters came up with the bright idea that it might be a good thing to relieve the people of Blackheath of the prospects of a motorway running through their area by putting it through North Deptford, across the river and through the Isle of Dogs. Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman believe that these people will have any confidence that that decision was rationally arrived at or was the result of a fair and impartial analysis of all the factors concerned? I do not think they believe that for a moment.

What they would say to the right hon. and learned Gentleman if he went to speak to them—maybe they will come to this House and tell him what they think, because they are people of that kind—is "We suspect that the people in Blackheath hired a better man, or a more expensive man." They would say that the people of Blackheath hired the intellectual resources available to argue their case and put the best possible alternative to the Minister. It is important that long before decisions of principle or of any other kind are taken the people in the affected community, the people of London as a whole, should be allowed to consider, to debate and to make up their minds and let the Minister know what they think about what is not now the original Greater London Plan but an entirely new document.

Even if the right hon. and learned Gentleman does not allow a reference to democracy it is surely surprising for him to come out flat-footed in the way he has done when only three or four months ago the Greater London Council made a radically different proposal about the motorway box system, a proposal which has not been submitted to the Layfield Panel for its consideration. As he must be aware, there is a very good chance that there will be new tenants in County Hall on 12th April and they have already made clear that the Labour Party in London will not have the inner London motorways, either Ringway 1 or Ring-way 2, and that their thinking on these matters is entirely different from that of the Minister and of the Tory council.

I commend our motion and inquire of the Minister what is the meaning and purpose of the amendment. We deliberately phrased our motion so that it could be acceptable if the Minister accepted the proposals in the Select Committee's Report and if he was genuinely prepared to submit all future GLC motorway proposals to the criteria established in that report. He has tabled an amendment which simply reaffirms his general acceptance of the conclusions in the Layfield Report There is no mention at all of the Inner London Motorway Box. We must know whether he will reaffirm his acceptance of the Inner London Motorway Box which he appeared to accept and endorse in his statement two or three weeks ago. If he does, I assure him that we shall vote against him not merely on the motion but also on the amendment.

9.42 p.m.

The Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Geoffrey Rippon)

I beg to move to leave out from 'and' to the end of the Question and to add instead thereof welcomes the Government's endorsement of the view of the Panel of Inquiry into the Greater London Development Plan that there should be comprehensive and co-ordinated transport policies for London in the fields of public transport, traffic management and restraint and an improvement of the environment. The right hon. Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay) opened this debate forcefully and with feeling, and I think it is a matter on which hon. Members on both sides of the House have shown that they are deeply concerned. My difficulty with the motion to which the right hon. Member for Stepney (Mr. Shore) referred—I appreciate that it was put down in a conciliatory mood—is that it would be impossible for me as Secretary of State to bind myself to a whole series of planning decisions which flow from the report. The House should bear in mind that I met its wishes by publishing the Layfield Report as soon as was possible. When the London County Council produced its first plan, that plan sat on the Minister's desk for two years and was then produced with a thousand modifications. I felt it right in this case, where so many matters are to be considered in the light of the very detailed analysis to which the right hon. Member for Stepney referred, that we should have a full and ample discussion.

I believe the hon. Member for Lewisham North (Mr. Moyle) said that he fought for 11 years against a series of local authorities, London County Council and the Greater London Council, with both parties at various times in the majority. I do not want to make a party political point on this occasion, but I think that what has been said by many hon. Members shows that it is much easier to be a negative planner than to be a positive one.

I have tried to make such decisions as would throw the debate open and would remove uncertainties wherever I can. I think I have removed uncertainties with reference to Ringway 2. It is clear that the southern part is not to be approved, and I have opened the way to the GLC to suggest that the North Circular road could initially be regarded as part of Ringway 1. I could not so do myself because as Secretary of State I can consider only what is before me, and, as the right hon. Member for Stepney has said, modifications might have to come forward in due course which I would have to consider formally. The Ringway 3 proposal is very controversial, and I thought it right to leave that on the side for the time being. I thought it right to indicate approval in principle of Ring-way 1 because it is essentially part of a three-part programme. One has to consider ringways in the context of traffic restraint, traffic management and public transport. This is the difficult decision to which the Layfield Panel had to come. It put its first emphasis, as the GLC has done, upon public transport and traffic management and restraint, but it said that even if we took all the measures recommended we would still, in principle, need Ringway 1.

As I said in my initial statement, there is no commitment on precise alignments or on phasing. I cannot prejudge what detailed objections may come forward and have to be considered at a whole series of further public inquiries if necessary. This is the difficulty about estimating the number of houses that might be affected, or the cost. There are certain figures on the record and, as the right hon. Member for Battersea, North said, set out in various public documents, and if there were an inquiry into detailed alignments those are the kind of factors which would have to be further considered. One would have to consider what replacements would have to be made of houses affected.

Then there is the whole question of tunnels. The hon. Member for Lewisham, North spoke of the advantages of tunnels in certain circumstances, as did my hon. Friend the Member for Wembley, South (Sir R. Russell). The GLC has spoken of the possibility of having tunnels if the North Cross route as originally proposed is ever brought forward, but it has said that this can be postponed until we see what happens if Ringway 1 is constructed on the basis of using the North Circular Road. There is the problem of expense if tunnels are used, but that may be the right thing to do.

I ask the House to believe that there is a genuine concern by the Government as well as by everyone else to make the best judgment that we can about these extremely difficult problems. For my part, I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea (Mr. Worsley) that there is no point in considering road proposals piecemeal without regard to their ultimate purpose. There is no point in moving traffic from one bottleneck to another, just a little faster.

As the right hon. Member for Batter-sea, North said, new urban motorways do not of themselves reduce traffic, and I think that that must be accepted. On the other hand, they may, in certain circumstances, as my hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea said, improve the environment in other residential parts of the city. What we have to try to do is to put these matters into perspective and take a judgment over a period of years, and not just perhaps in the context of one local election.

In the 10 years during which I have been concerned with these matters the wheel has turned full cycle. To be a conservationist now is to be progressive, and to be planner is to be something of a reactionary. I think that both the right hon. Member for Stepney and my hon. Friend the Member for Harrow, East (Mr. Dykes) were on a good point when they said that, even if we are not anti-planners or non-planners today, there is a deep scepticism about many traditional claims of planners to be able to deal with finality and absolute confidence with the unknown future.

Mr. Hugh Jenkins (Putney)


Mr. Rippon

The hon. Member was not here earlier, and I have a number of points to answer in a short time.

I find that the Press and public are very much concerned about these matters. We are agreed on a large number of things. We are trying to think of the city as an environment for the individual. We are trying to think of the city as a place in which to live, as well as a place in which to move about. But we have to move about in it, and this is the thinking behind the ringway philosophy. Mr. George Gardiner, in his good book which can be recommended to the House, "The Changing Life of London", says: All traffic studies show that what London needs is not new roads into the centre but new roads round it. It is significant that 20 per cent. of the traffic in Central London does not want to be there at all. It wants to go out on the other side but there is no way for it to go". Our estimates are that probably the number of cars and lorries in that position is nearer 25 per cent.

This is very relevant to our whole consideration. We have tended to build up London on the basis of radial roads coming right into the centre without sufficient regard for the need for orbital roads. I tried in the statement I made on 19th February to stress what the amendment refers to, the need for a co-ordinated approach. As I said in paragraph 30 of that statement: The Panel stress the need for a comprehensive and co-ordinated transport policy in four major fields: public transport, traffic management and restraint, improvement of the environment and road building and improvement generally". It is not, of course, possible to introduce a complete and final set of policies at once. Policies need to be kept under review, and some decisions—for example, on the shape of the primary road network —take effect over a longer time span than others. What is accepted as important is that individual decisions should be taken in the context of decisions for the whole range of relevant topics.

I set out in paragraph 33 the Government view on the subject of public transport. I said: The Government agree with the Panel that public transport in all forms should be given higher priority than proposed in the Plan, since it uses fewer resources, serves more people and does less damage to the environment than the private car. They also agree that if it is to do its job properly it must be reliable, convenient and comfortable. They have already recognised the urgent need for better public transport by such measures as committing nearly £125 million in grants for major improvements to London rail services, for new London Transport buses and for new bus lanes, and offering grant for a Thames hovercraft service". That is also dealt with at very great length in the statement.

Mr. Lipton

What about homes?

Mr. Rippon

I agree that housing is properly London's No. 1 priority as the Greater London Council says, but we are now discussing transport problems which are no less difficult in their way. I went on to deal with traffic management and restraint in paragraph 37: The Government accept that improved public transport and new road building on any realistic scale will still need to be accompanied by better traffic management which will canalise traffic on to the most suitable routes and by increased traffic restraint. Such measures will reduce the demand for road space, relieve congestion, and protect the environment. I went on to deal with parking controls and other matters with which Layfield deals.

Only when one has dealt with the public transport aspect and traffic restraint and management, which come first in the time scale, can one come on to consider these very controversial road proposals. Here one has to accept, as I say in paragraph 42: London's system of mainly radial roads is ill-adapted to orbital movement, which is particularly important to much commercial traffic. Among the consequences of this deficiency are heavy congestion of the radial system, especially in the centre and at other nodal points, severe economic penalties through inefficient movement of goods and people, and great environmental damage from traffic using residential streets. That was a point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea. The panel found after exhaustive consideration of a great volume of evidence"— it is worth remembering that this panel set up by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Grimsby (Mr. Crosland), was very different from the ordinary inquiry under a single inspector, a very powerful panel which sat for over 200 days— that some ring roads were essential. They took the view with full regard to their recommendations for much greater restraint of traffic for many improvements in public transport and in the light of their view about the likely future levels of population and employment. In the Government's view they were plainly right to do so. It was a difficult decision for the panel to take, and inevitably controversial, but we should pay tribute to the obvious care it took in reaching its conclusion.

The motorway box was only part of the package of recommendations by the panel. I am sure that the hon. Member for Hackney, Central (Mr. Clinton Davis) was right to talk about restraint on private cars, but wrong in saying that his views were not shared by anyone else. Whether one is on this side of the House or on the other side, or on one side or other of the GLC, it is fundamental that we cannot deal with the situation in the inner area of London without some further restraint on private cars.

The aim of the GLC, announced in the excellent document it has just produced called "Living with Traffic", is to reduce the amount of traffic in central London by at least 10 or 15 per cent. The hon. Member for Greenwich (Mr. Guy Barnett) paid tribute to what has been done in Oxford Street. The GLC says: Without the inner ringway for London, schemes such as Oxford Street will become increasingly difficult to achieve and the development of quiet residential areas well nigh impossible. It is no more than most other cities have faced, but even so the main body of its recommendations concern traffic management and improved public transport.

Mr. Shore

I understand what the right hon. and learned Gentleman has said about the need for London to have more possibility for orbital movement. That is one thing. But he said when he made his statement something much more specific, more definite and more worrying to many of us in London about accepting in principle that Ringway I should remain in the plan. Can he clarify this and relate the two?

Mr. Rippon

I said that the Government agreed with the Layfield Report in principle, for the reasons I have given, that it was right to have a ringway on the lines of Ringway 1, although not necessarily following exactly the same lines as proposed. In the case of the North Cross Route, of course, the GLC has certain modifications in mind.

The House must see the decision against the background of other proposals for traffic restraint and traffic management. The GLC and Layfield concluded that one cannot have this traffic restraint with all its benefits in the central area without at any rate one ring-way. There are 32 recommendations in

"Living with Traffic" and I will quote only four of them: Large lorries with no business there should be banned from central London. The possibility of further bus and taxi streets must be urgently investigated. A programme for the creation of relatively traffic-free areas must be drawn up. A programme for reserving busy shopping streets wholly or partially for pedestrians should be developed.

All these things would, in the view of the Government, the GLC and Layfield, create a better environment for the great majority of people living in the centre of London.

The hon. Member for Watford (Mr. Raphael Tuck) referred to the report of the Expenditure Committee on urban transport planning, which the Government welcome. It is a valuable contribution to our thinking and we shall take it into account in framing future policy. It covers a vast range, and I cannot deal with it tonight.

The hon. Gentleman referred to the recommendation that we should re-examine ab initio everything We cannot go as far as that, but we have accepted the recommendation of the Urban Motorways Committee and are applying it in full, which means that we are having regard to the need to look at all these matters very carefully in the context not only of Layfield but of the Select Committee's report. All this shows that we are thinking very much more on the same lines than many right hon. and hon. Members are prepared to accept.

Mr. Lipton: Ringway

I will involve the destruction of 1,600 buildings in Lambeth.

Mr. Walter Harrison (Wakefield)

rose in his place and claimed to move. That the Question be now put.

Question, That the Question be now put, put and agreed to.

Question put accordingly, That the Amendment be made: —

The House divided: Ayes, 277, Noes 266.

Division No. 88.] AYES [10.0 p.m.
Adley, Robert Awdry, Daniel Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)
Allson, Michael (Barkston Ash) Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Balniel, Rt. Hn. Lord Benyon, W.
Archer, Jeffrey (Louth) Batsford, Brian Biffen, John
Astor, John Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Biggs-Davison. John
Atkins, Humphrey Bell, Ronald Blaker, Peter
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Haselhurst, Alan Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally
Body, Richard Hastings, Stephen Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)
Boscawen, Hn. Robert Havers, Michael Page, Rt. Hn. Graham (Crosby)
Bossom, Sir Clive Hawkins, Paul Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Bowden, Andrew Hayhoe, Barney Parkinson, Cecil
Braine, Sir Bernard Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward Percival, Ian
Bray, Ronald Heseltine, Michael Pink, R. Bonner
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Hicks, Robert Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Higgins, Terence L. Price, David (Eastleigh)
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Hiley, Joseph Proudfoot, Wilfred
Bryan, Sir Paul Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.) Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis
Buchanan-Smith, Alick(Angus,N&M) Hill, James (Southampton, Test) Quennell, Miss J. M.
Buck, Antony Holland, Philip Raison, Timothy
Bullus, Sir Eric Holt, Miss Mary Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James
Burden, F. A. Hornsby-Smith, Rt.Hn.Dame Patricia Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Howe, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Redmond, Robert
Campbell, Rt.Hn.G.(Moray & Nairn) Howell, David (Guildford) Reed, Laurance (Bolton E)
Carlisle, Mark Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.) Rees, Peter (Dover)
Channon, Paul Hutchison, Michael Clark Rees-Davies, W. R.
Chapman, Sydney Iremonger, T. L. Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Chichester-Clark, R. Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Churchill, W. S. James, David Ridsdale, Julian
Clark, William (Surrey, E.) Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffery
Clegg, Walter Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)
Cockeram, Eric Jessel, Toby Roberts Wyn (Conway)
Cooke Robert Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Coombs, Derek Jopling, Michael Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Cooper, A. E. Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith Rost Peter
Corfield, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick Kaberry, Sir Donald Russell Sir Ronald
Cormack, Patrick Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine St. John-Stevas Norman
Costain, A. P. Kershaw, Anthony Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.
Critchley, Julian Kimball, Marcus Scott, Nicholas
Crouch, David King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Scott-Hopkins, James
Crowder, F.P. King, Tom (Bridgwater Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Kinsey, J.R. Shelton, William (Clapham)
d'Avigdor-Goldsmld.Maj.-Gen.Jack Kirk, Peter Shersby, Michael
Dean, Paul Kitson, Timothy Simeons, Charles
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. Knight, Mrs. Jill Sinclair, Sir George
Digby, Simon Wingfield Knox, David Skeet, T. H. H.
Dixon, Piers Lament, Norman
Dodds-Parker, Douglas Lane, David Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Drayson, G. B. Langford-Holt, Sir John Seref, Harold
du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward Le Marchant, Spencer Speed, Keith
Dykes, Hugh Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Spence, John
Eden, Rt. Hn. Sir John Lloyd, Ian (P'tam'th, Langstone) Sproat, Iain
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Longden, Sir Gilbert Stainton, Keith
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Loveridge, John Stanbrook, Ivor
Elliott, R. W. N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.) Luce, R. N. Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)
Emery, Peter McAdden, Sir Stephen Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)
Eyre, Reginald MacArthur, Ian Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.
Farr, John McCrindle, R. A. Stokes, John
Fell, Anthony McLaren, Martin Stuttaford, Dr. Tom
Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Maurice (Farnham) Sutcliffe, John
Fidler, Michael McNair-Wilson, Michael Tapsell, Peter
Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton) McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest) Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Maddan, Martin Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)
Fookes, Miss Janet Madel, David Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Foster, Sir John Marten, Neil Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)
Fowler, Norman Mather Carol Tebbit, Norman
Fox, Marcus Mawby, Ray Temple, John M.
Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret
Fraser, Rt.Hn.Hugh (St'fford &Stone) Maxwell-Hystop, R. J. Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)
Gardner, Edward
Fry, Peter Meyer, Sir Anthony Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)
Gibson-Watt, David Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Thompson, Sir Richard
Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) Miscampbell, Norman Trafford, Dr. Anthony
Glyn, Dr. Alan Mitchhell, Lt,-Col. C. (Aberdeenshire, W) Trew, Peter
Goodhart, Philip Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Tugendhat, Christopher
Goodhew, Victor Moate, Roger Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin
Gorst John Money, Ernie Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Gower Raymond Monks, Mrs. Connie Vickers, Dame Joan
Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.) Monro, Hector Waddington, David
Gray, Hamish Montgomery, Fergus Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Green, Alan More, Jasper Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)
Grieve, Percy Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm. Wall, Patrick
Grylls, Michael Morrison, Charles Walters, Dennis
Gummer, J. Selwyn Mudd, David Ward, Dame Irene
Gurden, Harold Murton, Oscar Warren, Kenneth
Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Nabarro, Sir Gerald Weatherill, Bernard
Hall, John (Wycombe) Neave, Airey Wells, John (Maidstone)
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Nicholls, Sir Harmar White, Roger (Gravesend)
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael Wiggin, Jerry
Hannam, John (Exeter) Normanton, Tom Wilkinson, John
Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Nott, John Winterton, Nicholas
Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Onslow, Cranley Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard Worsley, Marcus TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R. Mr. Tim Fortescue and
Woodnutt, Mark Younger, Hn. George Mr. Kenneth Clarke.
Abse, Leo Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)
Allaun, Frank (Sallord, E.) Foot, Michael McNamara, J. Kevin
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) Ford, Ben Mahon, Simon (Bootle)
Armstrong, Ernest Forrester, John Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)
Ashley, Jack Fraser, John (Norwood) Marks, Kenneth
Ashton, Joe Freeson, Reginald Marsden, F.
Atkinson, Norman Galpern, Sir Myer Marshall, Dr. Edmund
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Garrett, W. E. Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy
Barnes, Michael Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury) Maude, Angus
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Gourlay, Harry Mayhew, Christopher
Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton) Grant, George (Morpeth) Meacher, Michael
Baxter, William Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Griffiths, Will (Exchange) Mendelson, John
Bennett, James(Glasgow, Bridgeton) Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Mikardo, Ian
Bidwell, Sydney Hamling, William Millan, Bruce
Bishop, E. S. Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill) Miller, Dr. M. S.
Blenkinsop, Arthur Hardy, Peter Milne, Edward
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Harper, Joseph Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)
Booth, Albert Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Molloy, William
Bottomley. Rt. Hn. Arthur Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)
Boyden, James(Bishop Auckland) Hattersley, Roy Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Bradley, Tom Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Broughton, Sir Alfred Heffer, Eric S. Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)
Brown, Robert C. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne,W.) Hooson, Emlyn Moyle, Roland
Brown, Ronald(Shoreditch & F'bury) Horam, John Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Buchan, Norman Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Murray, Ronald King
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Oakes, Gordon
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Huckfied, Leslie Ogden, Eric
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey) O' Halloran, Michael
Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.) Hughes, Mark (Durham) O'Malley, Brian
Cant,R. B. Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.) Oram, Bert
Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield) Hughes, Roy (Newport) Orbach, Maurice
Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles) Hunter, Adam Orme, Stanley
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur (Edge Hill) Oswald, Thomas
Clark, David (Colne Valley) Janner, Greville Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)
Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Padley, Walter
Jeger, Mrs. Lena Paget, Walter
Cohen, Stanley Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Paget, R. T.
Coleman, Donald Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Palmer, Arthur
Concannon, J. D. Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Parker, John (Dagenham)
Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.) Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)
Crawshaw, Richard Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.) Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Cronin, John Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Pendry, Tom
Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Jones, Barry (Flint, E.) Perry, Ernest G.
Grossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Jones, Rt. Hn, Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.
Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.) Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) Prescott, John
Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven) Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.) Price, William (Rugby)
Dalyell, Tam Judd, Frank Probert, Arthur
Davidson, Arthur Kaufman Gerald Radice, Giles
Davies, Denzil (Llanelly) Kelley, Richard Rankin, John
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Kerr, Russell Reed, D. (Sedgefield)
Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Kinnock, Neil Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)
Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove) Lambie, David Rhodes, Geoffrey
Deakins, Eric Lamborn Harry Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Roberts, Rt.Hn.Goronwy(Caernarvon)
Delargy, Hugh Lamond, James Robertson, John (Paisley)
Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Latham, Arthur Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Brc'n&R'dnor)
Doig, Peter Lawson, George Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)
Dormand, J. D. Leadbitter, Ted Roper, John
Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.) Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick Rose, Paul B.
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Leonard, Dick Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)
Driberg, Tom Lestor, Miss Joan Rowlands, Ted
Duffy, A. E. P. Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Sandelson, Neville
Dunn, James A. Lipton, Marcus Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Dunnett, Jack Lomas, Kenneth Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Eadie, Alex Loughlin, Charles Short, Rt.Hn.Edward(N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
Edelman, Maurice Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Sillars, James
Ellis, Tom McBride, Neil Silverman, Julius
English, Michael McCartney, Hugh Skinner, Dennis
Evans, Fred McElhone, Frank Small, William
Ewing, Harry McGuire, Michael Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Faulds, Andrew Machin, George Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)
Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E. Mackenzie, Gregor Spearing, Nigel
Fisher, Mrs. Doris(B'ham, Ladywood) Mackie, John Spriggs, Leslie
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Mackintosh, John P. Stallard, A. W.
Fletcher, Raymond (Likeston) Maclennan, Robert Steel, David
Stoddart, David (Swindon) Tuck, Raphael Whitehead, Phillip
Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John Urwin, T. W. Whitlock, William
Strang, Gavin Varley, Eric G. Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R. Wainwright, Edwin Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints) Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Taverns, Dick Walker, Harold (Doncaster) Williams, W. T. (Warringion)
Thomas,Rt.Hn.George (Cardiff,W.) Wallace, George Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery) Watkins, David Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
Tinn, James Weitzman, David
Tomney, Frank Wellbeloved, James TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Tope, Graham Wells, William (Walsall, N.) Mr. John Golding and
Torney, Tom White, James (Glasgow, Pollok) Mr. James Hamilton.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Main Question, as amended, put and agreed to.


That this House urges the Government to take full account of the Report of the Expendi- ture Committee on Urban Transport Planning in framing its future transport policies, and welcomes the Government's endorsement of the view of the Panel of Inquiry into the Greater London Development Plan that there should be comprehensive and co-ordinated transport policies for London in the fields of public transport, traffic management and restraint and an improvement of the environment.

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