HC Deb 03 December 1993 vol 233 cc1345-6

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—[Mr. Conway.]

Mr. Norris

What I will do is prevent you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, from getting the train that you have no doubt planned to get for a long time: I have 20 pages here.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

I thank my hon. Friend for giving way. There are some people who, by their office, are unable to speak, and we all take guidance from Mr. Deputy Speaker, but I should like to speak on behalf of my hon. Friend the Member for Shrewsbury and Atcham (Mr. Conway), who has attended the debate with great interest. I suspect that he would like to get away also, so I hope that my hon. Friend the Minister will not go through all 20 pages.

Mr. Norris

I am clearly torn, but when one is being torn by a Whip of Her Majesty's Government, one knows which way to tear, so I shall not intrude on his good will for much longer.

As I have a few seconds, I shall tell my hon. Friend who has the Adjournment debate that during my visit I was pleased to see the progress made on the Thamesmead spine road and confirm that the main works can commence on phase 4 of the project with the announcment of the Secretary of State's decision on the orders public inquiry.

I saw some of the traffic problems in Crayford town centre and was interested to learn of the long-term plans for the new industrial access road. I understand that transport supplemenary grant support is being sought for that scheme. I hope that my hon. Friend will appreciate that I do not therefore want to say a great deal more about it at this stage because of the Secretary of State's forthcoming announcement on the 1994–95 settlement. He did a good job in explaining the issue to me.

We need to make the best use of existing road space. One way of doing that is to introduce red routes. By the end of next year, we expect the A2 Rochester way and the A20 Sidcup bypass to be red routes. The benefits that we have seen from the red route pilot schemes are impressive, one of the important factors being that they do not suck additional traffic on to the system, but merely regulate the flow of traffic that is there far better. That benefits business, local residents and public transport particularly. I hope that all those benefits can be brought to south-east London as the programme of implementation, in which the traffic director is engaged, unfolds.

There are two ways of approaching the debate: one is to go through absolutely every issue that has been identified by my hon. Friends and others; the other is to accept that there may be some issues that I have not fully dealt with. I shall write to hon. Members about points that they have made for which I should give an answer.

Finally, I shall say to my hon. Friend that these debates have been useful. The true function of an Adjournment debate is for a Member to raise a matter of genuine local interest. My hon. Friend is tremendously assiduous in these matters and has served his constituency well for the past 10 years. I hope that he will continue to do so for many more. I hope that what I have said will give reassurance on some of the issues that my hon. Friend has raised. I will, of course, extend the same civility to him. If there are any other issues, I will write to him.

Question put and agreed to.

Adjourned accordingly at twenty-seven minutes to Three o'clock.