HL Deb 04 February 1970 vol 307 cc621-2

2.48 p.m.


My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the construction of the second carriageway for the Whalley-Clitheroe by-pass, at least for the length running west from Clitheroe, can be started without delay, in view of the fact that the land has been purchased, and that otherwise the by-pass will have only a single 24-foot carriageway and will be heavily congested as soon as it opens.]


My Lords, the decision to build a single carriageway road was taken after very careful consideration. The timing of the second carriageway is dependent on decisions about road improvements in the Calder Valley which would affect the traffic pattern on A.59 and the Whalley—Clitheroe by-pass.


My Lords, would the noble Lord agree that a dual carriageway is much safer than a single carriageway, especially when there is very heavy lorry traffic, as is the case here? A single carriageway will, I regret to say, be a death-trap, which I think should be avoided. The cost of making a dual carriageway in two or three years' time—which is what will happen—would be infinitely greater than making it now.


My Lords, I think this point has been grasped by my right honourable friend. The actual engineering will be done so as to enable dual carriageways to be introduced in the future. There will be no additional costs arising for civil engineering when the second carriageway is built. As regards safety, I think the noble Lord will probably agree that by-passing two small towns will probably add to the safety of traffic passing this way, although, as the noble Lord has said, the safety is probably less than on dual carriageways.


My Lords, I am much obliged to the noble Lord. Would he represent to the Minister that the work of excavation, and of going under the railway bridge, is not at present being proceeded with? I think that a grave mistake is being made.