HC Deb 18 June 1973 vol 858 cc25-7W
Mr. Farr

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what estimate he has made of the effect on the historic town of Market Harborough of the Department of the Environment's circular 56/71 entitled "Historic Towns and Roads";

(2) if, in view of the fact that Market Harborough has been listed as a conservation area by the Leicestershire County Council and until recently was the only one in that county, he will expedite progress to bypass the town;

(3) if he will make a statement on the view taken by his Department on Market Harborough as an historic town and as a showpiece of historic architecture in the light of the criteria laid down for bypasses; and if he will take account of the threat to ancient fabrics there by the passage and proximity of heavy goods vehicles in considering the need for placing a by-pass for the town in the road programme;

(4) when he will announce the further instalment of road improvement schemes, foreshadowed in his Press release of 23rd June 1971 for June 1973; and if this list of schemes will include the by-passing of Market Harborough;

(5) when he hopes that his Department will be in a position to discuss with the relevant local authorities the bypassing in one comprehensive scheme of the town of Market Harborough and the villages of Lubenham and Theddingworth for traffic using the A6 and A427 roads;

(6) if he can now disclose the provisional route which has been selected for the Market Harborough bypass scheme;

(7) what is date of the latest traffic census in Market Harborough;

(8) what is the traffic flow through Market Harborough, east to west, in the latest traffic census; and what proportion of these vehicles exceeded 20 tons goods;

(9) what is the traffic flow through Market Harborough, north to south, in the latest traffic census; and what proportion of these vehicles exceeded 20 tons goods.

Mr. Speed

The report on the results of the study carried out by Leicestershire County Council has been received only recently. Until this report has been adequately considered, it is not possible to reach a decision on the best way of dealing with Market Harborough's traffic problems. The historic importance of the town will be taken into account. The latest information on through traffic flows in the town is for June 1970 as follows:

  • North—South: a maximum of 5,459 pcus per 12 hour day.
  • East—West: 3,280 pcus per 12 hour day.

Figures for heavy goods vehicles are not available separately.

I will be writing in more detail to my hon. Friend.