HC Deb 10 July 1928 vol 219 cc2071-2W

asked the Minister of Transport if he will state approximately how Jarrah-wood blocks and granite setts compare for cost and durability as surfacing material for roads carrying heavy traffic; and whether, in view of the drawbacks of setts in the matter of noise, he can arrange for their replacement by wood blocks in all urban roads undergoing repair?

Colonel ASHLEY

Jarrah-wood blocks have not been laid down on any Class I or Class II road in the London area for some years, but creosoted block paving is extensively used owing to its more even wear, The cost of laying Jarrah-wood blocks and granite setts, inclusive of concrete foundation, would be about 20s. and 25s. per superficial yard, and the life under heavy traffic approximately 10 and 20 years, respectively. Granite sett roads are gradually being replaced by other surfacings, except in heavily trafficked roads in industrial areas.

Brigadier-General CLIFTON BROWN

asked the Minister of Health what is the average cost to the ratepayer of the unclassified (scheduled and unscheduled) roads now administered by rural district councils; and whether a grant of at least 25 per cent. of these expenses will be included in any block grant made to counties under the new proposals?

Colonel ASHLEY

I have been asked to reply. The estimated gross expenditure per mile by rural district councils on the maintenance of scheduled roads for the year 1927–8 is £134. Of this expenditure 25 per cent. falls to be met from the Road Fund. I regret that I have not sufficient information to enable me to estimate the cost of improvement of scheduled roads or to give figures in regard to unscheduled roads. The basis on which the block grant will be made is given in detail in the Memorandum which has recently been issued explaining the Government's proposals for reform in local government.