HC Deb 26 May 1976 vol 912 cc431-2
13. Mr. Christopher Price

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement about the extension of the Fleet Line to South-East London.

Mr. Marks

The case for the Fleet/ River Line is being examined in the context of the total strategy for docklands redevelopment, on which my right hon. Friend hopes to make a statement before the Summer Recess.

Mr. Price

Is my hon. Friend aware that wherever the Fleet Line eventually ends up, and however it gets there, an announcement is urgently needed on this matter if a great deal of human expertise and equipment is not to be wasted? Is he also aware that the building of this line as far as Fenchurch Street and beyound should not only benefit the redevelopment of the docklands but should help South-East London and the Lewisham area in particular, which traditionally has been the poor relation to London's public transport system?

Mr. Marks

Greater London is now awaiting comments on a document which has been issued for discussion between the Department and the Greater London authorities. The question as to which part of the Fleet Line should have priority is a matter for the Greater London Council, but it is part of local government responsibility to ensure that public money is well spent.

Mr. Stanbrook

Will the Minister bear in mind that the harassed commuters of South London, including those in Orpington, have no other form of public transport on which to rely than that provided by the Southern Region of British Rail, which unfortunately is often insufficient and unreliable?

Mr. Marks

In the discussions on transportation matters between the Greater London Council and other authorities and the Department, full cognisance will be taken of that mater.