HC Deb 05 December 1983 vol 50 cc4-5
6. Mr. Proctor

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received regarding the Greater London council's proposed ban on lorries over 7½ tonnes in the London area; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ridley

The quarter to which such representations should be—and are being—directed is the GLC itself, but I have received over 100 letters expressing concern from members of this House, organisations and individual firms likely to be affected. I have made it clear to the GLC that I share the view of the Select Committee on Transport that a general ban would severely damage the commercial and industrial life of the capital.

Mr. Proctor

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is considerable concern in the borough of Thurrock about GLC's proposals? Is he further aware that they will increase road haulage costs by about 175 per cent. and mean that there will have to be about three and a half times the number of lorries? Does he agree that the correct way to proceed is to get the M25 completed as soon as possible and have selective lorry routing, rather than impracticable blanket bans?

Mr. Ridley

I agree with my hon. Friend that the proposal has caused an enormous amount of, in my opinion, justified alarm. It seems absolutely right that we should, first, get the M25 completed and then, if there is a case for restrictions or bans in certain areas or during parts of the week or day, consider those on their merits. But great care must be taken to preserve the commercial and industrial life of the capital.

Mr. Eggar

Is my right hon. Friend aware that it is almost three years since the GLC refused to implement a lorry ban in the Enfield, Finchley and Barnet areas of London, and that that was a purely political decision? Will he urge the GLC, with the coming of the opening of the M25 from South Mimms to the M11, to look again at that option and, if necessary, bring strong pressure to bear on it?

Mr. Ridley

Practically evey decision of the GLC nowadays seems to be politically motivated. I shall look at the point that my hon. Friend raised — I am not familiar with it—and write to him in response.

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