HC Deb 03 April 1974 vol 871 cc1250-1
19. Mr. Giles Shaw

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the latest position with regard to the proposed Pudsey-Dishforth motorway link, in the light of recent cuts in public expenditure.

Mr. Carmichael

The Pudsey-Dishforth route is at a very early stage of preparation and is not directly affected by the recent expenditure cuts. Work already in hand to collect essential traffic information is continuing.

Mr. Shaw

May I ask the Minister for further enlightenment on this matter? Does his answer mean that it is not in the programme as offered by the previous Government and that it is further postponed, or is it a matter upon which the Minister has not yet decided?

Mr. Carmichael

No. There is still a great deal of information to be obtained before a final decision in this area may be made.

Mr. Ford

Is my hon. Friend aware that in the Bradford area, where great steps have been taken, backed by local resources, to diversify in industry, there is much anxiety that there should be adequate access to the motorway network, particularly to the North-East and to the North-West?

Mr. Carmichael

That is part of the reason for the fact that studies are being undertaken on the need for this road.

Dr. Hampson

Will the Minister consider establishing a planning inquiry commission so that there may be full public scrutiny of the whole road strategy of the area between the Mersey and the Humber, as there are so many road projects for this area? In fact, individual planning inquiries cannot take account of the change of traffic flow that each of them has on neighbouring areas or areas in the middle such as mine.

Mr. Carmichael

The established procedures will provide a wealth of information and provide plenty of opportunity for the public to make their views known. I do not believe that any other special consideration need be given to this matter.