HC Deb 03 July 1974 vol 876 cc362-3
2. Mr. Pardoe

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he is satisfied with arrangements to combat holiday traffic congestion in the South-West and Cornwall this summe[...].

The Under-Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Neil Carmichael)

Yes, Sir. The holiday route system has an inbuilt flexibility which has responded to changing conditions since its inception in 1969 and I am satisfied that the arrangements made for this summer utilise to the full the various options available for the management of holiday traffic.

Mr. Pardoe

Is the Minister aware that the inevitable cuts in public expenditure, both past and present, will mean that road building in the South-West, particularly new bypasses, cannot keep pace with the increase in holiday traffic? What plans has his Department worked out to ensure the easing of road congestion through the better use of the existing rail system?

Mr. Carmichael

This matter was fully dealt with in the debate on the railways a week ago last Monday when every encouragement was given to them through the extra money being put into the rail network to improve services. On routes and bypasses, I think that the hon. Gentleman should await an announcement which is to be made fairly soon.

Mr. Fox

Would the hon. Gentleman care to enlarge on the announcement regarding the consultation paper? May we take it that it will include the reduction of 400 miles and the effect that that will have on the bypasses about which we are talking?

Mr. Carmichael

The hon. Gentleman would be better advised to wait until the paper comes out. It is a somewhat lengthy matter to deal with in a question-and-answer session like this. The paper should be out fairly soon.