HC Deb 01 August 1962 vol 664 cc84-5W
51. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Minister of Transport whether, in building motorways, he will allow for the addition of extra traffic lanes in the future by starting with a wide central strip between the carriageways, part of which can later be turned into metalled road, if necessary.

Mr. Marples

The number of lanes initially provided on motorways is determined by the estimated future traffic needs. It would in general be wasteful, because of the high cost of bridges, embankments and cuttings, to provide for an extension of road capacity beyond that estimated to be needed in the foreseeable future. Where the need is foreseeable, such provision is made.

Sir T. Moore

asked the Minister of Transport if he will now specify a target date for the completion of the whole of the present Government motorway programme of 1,000 miles and forecast the likely completion dates of the main sections.

Mr. Marples

I aim to complete a 1,000 mile network of motorways by the early 1970's. I cannot be more precise at present.

Completion dates of the main sections under construction or due to start shortly are:—

Birmingham-Preston Motorway 1963
Preston-Lancaster Motorway 1965
Medway Motor Road 1963
London-Yorkshire Stage II
Crick-Markfield 1964
London-South Wales 1963
Slough By-pass 1963
Chiswick-Langley 1964
Newport By-pass 1965
Severn Bridge 1966

I am not able to forecast completion dates for later schemes at this stage: so much depends on the time taken by the procedures laid down by Statute.

Dr. Bennett

asked the Minister of Transport why, when calling for tenders for motorway construction, he does not take into consideration the cost of the future maintenance of the surface selected.

Mr. Marples

The specification now in use for motorway construction is, on present evidence, considered to give an equal expectation of life for the alternative forms of construction. The cost of future maintenance does not, therefore, need to be taken into account when considering tenders.

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