§ 2.35 p.m.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have yet added to their plans for railway reorganisation and development and for road construction some measures for improving the communications of Heathrow and other principal airports in the United Kingdom.]
My Lords, I would refer to the reply to the noble Lord, Lord Rea, on March 1, 1955. In addition, work has now begun on the extension of the Cromwell Road, which when completed will greatly improve road communications with London Airport. A new railway station is to be constructed in connection with the new Gatwick Airport.
§ VISCOUNT THURSO
My Lords, have Her Majesty's Government noted the statement which has recently been made by the Chairman of British European Airways, about the urgency of improving rail communications with London Airport? Have they noticed that he mentioned that a memorandum had been submitted to the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation suggesting a spur line from Feltham into London Airport? Is that memorandum being considered, and is any action contemplated?
My Lords, more than one railway scheme has been and is being considered for this particular purpose, but each and every one of them is subject to 666 considerable snags, not the least of which is the high cost which is involved.
§ VISCOUNT THURSO
Can the noble Lord assure me that the memorandum of the Chairman of the British European. Airways Corporation has been received in the Ministry of Civil Aviation and is being seriously considered by Her Majesty's Government?
The memorandum in question, so far as my information goes, is certainly being considered by my right honourable friend.
§ LORD LUCAS OF CHILWORTH
My Lords, the noble Lord in his reply to the noble Viscount coupled the Cromwell Road extension with the necessary transport facilities to London Airport. Would the noble Lord tell us when the Cromwell Road extension is to be completed? Does it fall into the category of road which is to take ten years? Is it not necessary somehow to synchronise provision of better transport from London Airport to the centre of London with the expenditure of huge sums of taxpayers' money which is going on at London Airport?
§ EARL JOWITT
My Lords, if we are going to be able to fly to America in one hour, is it too much to ask that we should be able to travel from this House to Heathrow in a considerably shorter period than that?
Tim LORD PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY)
May I remind the noble and learned Earl that it is in a different vehicle?