§ Dame Irene Ward
asked the Minister of Transport why the target completion dates for two schemes in Northumberland which, owing to the Government's economic measures in July, 1965, were deferred for six months now have target completion dates showing a deferment of 17 and 11 months; and if she will date the schemes deferred.
§ Mr. Swingler
, pursuant to his Answer [OFFICIAL REPORT, 8th March, 1967; Vol. 742, c. 1518] supplied the following information:
Scheme 1: West Mains Diversion, A1—Revised completion date May, 1968
Delay has been due to difficulties concerning the removal of G.P.O. 268W apparatus in the length of road intended to be superseded. It was originally intended that Northumberland County Council should close the length of superseded road under Section 108 of the Highways Act, 1959, but this could have involved the Council in expenditure on the removal of the apparatus as a result of the Minister's scheme. To overcome this an Order under Section 9 of the same Act had to be made by the Minister; this action delayed land negotiations and tender procedures.
Scheme 2: Weldon Bridge Diversion, A697—Revised completion date October, 1968
This is a classified road, for which the highway authority is the Northumberland County Council. The delay has been caused by unexpected land acquisition difficulties, which made it necessary for the County Council to promote a Compulsory Purchase Order.