HC Deb 15 January 1990 vol 165 cc7-8
6. Mr. Dykes

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has received any representations on the implications of the traffic assessment studies for London on traffic congestion in the outer London boroughs following his Statement on 14 December 1989, Official Report, columns 1184-1202.

Mr. Atkins

Not yet, but any such comments received by 28 February will, of course, be considered carefully.

Mr. Dykes

I thank my hon. Friend and the Department for handling this matter flexibly and creatively. Does my hon. Friend agree that, after so much waiting, hesitation and uncertainty, it is essential that we proceed rapidly? Does my hon. Friend further agree that we could call Marsham street Robert Atkins avenue if he said that the period of consultation would be completed as rapidly as possible?

Mr. Atkins

My hon. Friend is right to suggest that the proceedings have gone on too long and that there should be early completion of the consultation. I am grateful to him for his kind remarks, but of course I should defer to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State in these matters.

Mr. Chris Smith

The Minister will be aware that the proposals in the east London assessment study for a major highway from Archway through the heart of my constituency to King's Cross are causing my constituents enormous concern. Can he assure me that the consultation exercise, which ends on 28 February, is not simply a cosmetic exercise, that the Department will listen to the representations that are made and that, if it becomes obvious that the overwhelming majority of people in my constituency are opposed to the road going past their doorstep, he will abandon the proposals?

Mr. Atkins

The hon. Gentleman is to raise the matter on the Adjournment later this week, and I look forward to debating it with him in detail then. He may or may not know that the Archway road saga and related developments have been going on since 1947, if not before. As someone who served on that local authority, I understand only too well the concerns about the Archway road. The hon. Gentleman's point about consultation was well made and I can assure him that any representations will be listened to most carefully and that, depending on what the consultations show, we shall take appropriate action.

Mr. Jessel

Would not traffic congestion on the west side of outer London be increased by the construction of a fifth terminal at Heathrow?

Mr. Atkins

I know that that subject is dear to my hon. Friend's heart. He could possibly tempt me into making a long comment about it; suffice it to say that his views are well known and that we shall consider them carefully when we consider the question overall.

Forward to