HC Deb 24 July 1974 vol 877 cc1572-3
3. Mr. Rathbone

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he can now give his decision regarding the method for relief of South Street in Lewes.

The Minister for Transport (Mr. Frederick Mulley)

At present I can add nothing to the answer given to the hon. Member on 1st July 1974.

Mr. Rathbone

Is the Minister aware that many people will deplore this further delay in announcing the course of action that will be taken to relieve South Street? Many people feel that all the technical details have been available as a basis for this decision for a very long time.

Mr. Mulley

It is true that we have had the details for some time, but one of the proposals involves a tunnel. That is a very costly job which needs careful examination in conjunction with the traffic figures and other matters. Many people throughout the country want new road schemes, and we have very limited resources.

Mr. Fox

In the Minister's recent speech at the annual conference of the National Union of Railwaymen he said that the financial obligations entailed in the Railways Bill might mean that other transport services would be cut or contracted. Is it in relation to the services in question that he envisages economies being made?

Mr. Mulley

I am not making any comment about a particular scheme. As the hon. Gentleman knows, in the present year I am on a road programme which we took over which was very much cut by the previous Government. I think the House knows that there are great pressures on public expenditure in general, and the fact that we are rightly finding more money for the railways is undoubtedly a factor that the Government must take into account.