HC Deb 16 January 1974 vol 867 cc536-7
23. Sir Robin Turton

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will announce the date of starting work on the Malton bypass on the A64.

26. Mr. Wall

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what effect the new financial retrenchment will have on the M18 and M62 into Hull and on the Humber Bridge.

32. Sir G. de Freitas

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the value of road projects in the East Midlands and in the Kettering parliamentary constituency, respectively, which were planned for 1974 and 1975 and which will now be cancelled or deferred.

Mr. Peyton

Work on existing major road contracts including that for the Humber Bridge will continue. It is too early to say what the detailed implications for future schemes will be.

Sir Robin Turton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there will naturally be disappointment at his inability to fulfil the promise made by his hon. Friend on 14th November? In reaching his decision, will he bear in mind that the York bypass scheme is due to start this year and will accentuate the problems in Malton? Unless the two schemes are synchronised there will be a standstill not only of traffic but of development in the whole area between Malton and Scarborough.

Mr. Peyton

I am aware of the need for the Malton bypass, but if a major cut in expenditure is made it is important that the necessary adjustments to the road programme should be made with the utmost care. I will bear in mind what my right hon. Friend said.

Mr. Edwin Wainwright

Will the Minister take into account that people from South Yorkshire find great difficulty in getting to the East Coast for their holidays, especially to places like Scarborough, due to the roads being congested and of a low standard? Will he do what he can to ensure that there is a better road to the East Coast for people in South Yorkshire so that they can get there quickly?

Mr. Peyton

Considerable progress has been made in the North-East, as the hon. Gentleman knows. I acknowledge that we have not yet got a perfect road system. I hope that we shall make good progress towards one.

Mr. Michael Shaw

Does my right lion. Friend accept that not only holiday makers, which is bad enough, but developing industries in Scarborough and Whitby are suffering very much? This year the queues I have seen outside Malton extending in both directions have been absolutely intolerable.

Mr. Peyton

Yes. I should not seek to deny what my hon. Friend said. I realise the need for an adequate road system.

Mr. McNamara

When exactly are we to know about the details of the Government's cut-back? This information is of tremendous importance in terms of local planning in the areas concerned. It is essential that we should know the precise date when we can expect the Government to make their decision—and we hope that it will be before 7th February.

Mr. Peyton

I accept everything that the hon. Gentleman said. I want to make as much progress as I can with such a statement.

Mr. Arthur Jones

Will the deferment of the East Midlands coast route involve the cessation of the necessary planning requirements and possible land acquisitions, or will the planning work still go ahead?

Mr. Peyton

There will be no interruption in the planning, as far as I know ; but I should like to write to my hon. Friend on that point.