§ 4.30 p.m.
§ [The question was as follows:
§ To ask His Majesty's Government the reason for the continued enclosure of a large area in Regent's Park, and what steps it is intended to take to restore to the public their right of access.]
§ LORD AMMON
My Lords, this area in Regent's Park, which was allocated before the war for playing cricket and football, was used during the air attacks on London as a dump for debris from bomb-damaged buildings. The debris has since been covered with soil, and grass sown. In the result an improved sports 441 ground, with better drainage, should eventually be available for public use, but traffic over the grass at this stage would delay and prejudice this. Moreover, the paths in this area, which were much damaged by the vehicles transporting the debris and soil, need to be remade to the level of the games ground and to be properly drained. It was not possible, owing to shortage of labour, to put this work in hand when the work on the games ground was completed. A limited amount of labour has recently become available, and the noble Lord may rest assured that public access will be restored as soon as the paths are fit for use. It is hoped to complete this work by Easter next, but it is not possible to give a guarantee at present.
§ LORD BRUNTISFIELD
My Lords, I should like to thank the noble Lord for the trouble he has taken in coming here to answer my question, but may I remind him that although Regent's Park is the basis of my question it is by no means an isolated instance of the public being excluded from large areas of public parks. May I ask him to urge His Majesty's Government to consider this matter and see that parks which are grossly overcrowded are made available efficiently to the public and that we should not have to wait for a year after the close of the war before that happens?