HC Deb 14 January 1991 vol 183 cc606-7
10. Mr. Corbyn

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what monitoring of the effect of red routes is planned by his Department.

Mr. Chope

There will be a full programme of monitoring for the pilot red route scheme.

Mr. Corbyn

A happy new year to you, Mr. Speaker.

Is the Minister aware that red routes are being introduced in Islington and in part of Haringey despite the total opposition of people in the area and their local authorities, that when I cycled along the red route this morning it was in its normal traffic-jammed state, with the usual levels of pollution, and that when the red routes were introduced last week the police tried to remove a post van which was emptying a mail box and threatened to remove a disabled person's car? Are not the red routes really a system of bringing more traffic, more danger and more pollution in central London, when what we need is a restriction on private cars going in and out of central London?

Mr. Chope

I do not agree at all with what the hon. Gentleman says. Indeed, a letter in The Times today confirms that some of the principal beneficiaries of red routes are buses and their passengers. When I visited the red routes last Wednesday, there was certainly evidence that traffic was flowing much more freely. So far, the red routes seem to have been generally well received and when Islington council has got its act together and completed the red route, I am sure that they will be even better received.

Mr. Jessel

As red routes are an excellent idea, and as experience in Paris shows that they will improve the traffic flow, will my hon. Friend get on with it and not have too full a programme of monitoring?

Mr. Chope

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that extra encouragement. We shall do our best to get the Road Traffic Bill enacted as quickly as possible.

Mr. Bowis

Does my hon. Friend agree that the red routes will prove of great value to people in London, not least to people who are currently plagued by rat runs? Does he also agree that red routes should not be seen as a single item, but as part of a package with improved public transport—which we hope will come shortly in the London assessment study announcement—and with greater park-and-ride facilities on the edges of London?

Mr. Chope

I very much agree with the points that my hon. Friend has made. The red routes are at heart a very comprehensive transport strategy for London.