HC Deb 04 February 1959 vol 599 cc54-6W
52. Mr. Ernest Davies

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he will now state when the Preston by-pass will be open to traffic; and what is the cost of the reparation during its closure.

86. Mr. G. Jeger

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation when the repairs on the Preston by-pass will be completed; and what arrangements are being made for the reopening.

Mr. Watkinson

Repairs to the road are now proceeding as fast as frost conditions will allow, but the date by which they will be complete depends on the weather. The cost of the repairs will be about £5,000. In addition, in order to draw off the water which had collected in the road and as an insurance against any further damage, the Lancashire County Council with my approval decided to instal additional drainage alongside the carriageway where necessary. This work is now complete and I am advised that its cost will be about £90,000.

78. Mr. Ernest Davies

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation how many counties the local divisional engineer for Lancashire has to look after; how large is his staff; and how frequently he or members of his staff visited the Preston by-pass during its construction.

Mr. Watkinson

The Divisional Road Engineer for the North Western Division is responsible for four counties, and twenty-two county boroughs. He has an engineering staff of sixteen. The Divisional Road Engineer, or his representative, visited the Preston by-pass during its construction on an average once every two weeks. It is not the Department's policy to supervise its agents in a contract in detail.

70 and 71. Mr. Lewis

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation (1) whether he is aware that in Moscow and Siberia roads have been constructed for many years in weather conditions worse than those experienced during the construction of the Preston motorway, without any damage being caused to these roads by frost, moisture or other causes, as was the case with the Preston Motorway; and whether he will take steps to obtain from the appropriate Soviet authorities details of their methods of road construction in areas of extreme climatic conditions so that they may be used in future road construction in this country;

(2) why, if the damage to the Preston motorway was due to frost, excess moisture and other climatic conditions, this only affected 1 per cent. of the carriage- way surface and not the 99 per cent. of the remainder of this roadway.

Mr. Watkinson

The investigations which have been made do not show that there is anything wrong with the design of this road and damage seems to have been confined to certain small areas of the top surface under which excess moisture had not completely drained away. The implication concerning foreign experience is not therefore relevant.