HC Deb 12 March 1984 vol 56 cc16-7
34. Mr. Bowen Wells

asked the Lord Privy Seal if the New Buildings Sub-Committee will consider the question of subway access to the Palace.

Mr. Biffen

I will draw the matter to the attention of the right hon. Member for Lewisham, Deptford (Mr. Silkin) who is Chairman of the Sub-Committee.

Mr. Wells

Does my right hon. Friend share my sense of shame at the filthy condition of the Bridge street underpass to this place? It is the approach that is most used by both British and overseas pedestrian visitors to the House. It is full of the most disgraceful dirt on the floor, ceiling and walls, and is rarely cleaned. It is frequently filled with faeces, both human and canine, with the appropriate smells. It is a cause for extreme shame when we are showing visitors to this country the Mother of Parliaments. Will my right hon. Friend arrange to have something done immediately about those deplorable conditions? In particular, is it possible for a subway to be built between the House and the underground in preparation for the new buildings in Parliament Street?

Mr. Biffen

My hon. Friend clearly feels deeply about these matters, but his questions go somewhat wider than the original question. I understand that the cleaning of the subway is the responsibility of Westminster city council, but I will investigate the point.

Mr. Orme


Mr. Biffen

I believe that the cleaning is part of municipal activity.

I shall take note of what my hon. Friend has said, because his question has evoked a wide response in the Chamber today. I shall write to my hon. Friend.

Mr. Tracey

In considering the matter of access to the House from remote offices, will my right hon. Friend consider the problem of access from the Dean's yard offices? Access is often blocked by large numbers of tourists in the Abbey pathways and by the lack of a pedestrian crossing to the House.

Mr. Biffen

That question definitely goes very wide of my hon. Friend's question.

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