§ Mr. Alton
asked the Secretary of State for Transport why the M4 motorway was constructed with its hard shoulder no more than 25 yards from windows of houses in the West Drayton estates; and whether it is policy to build motorways so close to new estates.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
The M4 was constructed in the early 1960s. Most of the properties alongside the section at West Drayton were built at about the same time in the knowledge of the motorway route which was published in 1958. Standards have changed since then and I cannot believe that any planning authority would nowadays permit the building of houses so near to a planned motorway.
I shall certainly seek to avoid the construction of motorways so close to houses 182W wherever possible. All relevant factors have to be considered before reaching decisions on routes for new roads and the proximity of housing is only one of them, although usually a very important one.