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Maintenance Work (Reduced Grants)

Volume 437: debated on Monday 5 May 1947

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68.

asked the Minister of Transport whether, in view of the fact that the number of vehicles on the roads of Great Britain is now greater than in the prewar period, he will reconsider the recent decision to insist upon a drastic reduction in road maintenance expenditure; and whether any estimate has been made of the long-term consequences of interfering with the original programme of road repairs and maintenance in this country.

The grants to be made available for highway maintenance and improvement must be kept within the limits imposed by the grant in aid of the Road Fund. Some curtailment of expenditure which might otherwise have been incurred this year on these purposes is inevitable, but the provision made will be sufficient to enable essential work to be undertaken. In selecting the maintenance works to be carried out on trunk roads every effort will be made to avoid excluding those, postponement of which would be likely to have any serious effect upon the long-term position. I am confident that the highway authorities will act similarly in respect of other roads.

70.

asked the Minister of Transport what cuts have been imposed on the estimates for road maintenance in Cheshire during the current financial year; and whether, in view of the increased repairs which are necessary owing to the adverse winter conditions and the increase of traffic on the roads, he will reconsider his request for such a reduction.

I would refer the hon. Member to the statement which I have made below in answer to other questions today. I regret that I can hold out no hope of increasing the grants available for road maintenance.

72.

asked the Minister of Transport on which of the by-pass schemes work is to be stopped or retarded as the result of the recent steps taken by his Department to effect reduction in expenditure on road maintenance and improvement.

The only by-pass scheme already authorised on which I have found it necessary to stop work is one on the Carlisle—Sunderland trunk road at Halt-whistle. For the rest, timing must depend on the money available.

74.

asked the Minister of Transport if he will give figures indicating the estimated expenditure by each of the highway authorities in Great Britain for the current financial year so far as road maintenance is concerned; and what reduction is to be made in this expenditure as a result of instructions issued by his Department.

81.

asked the Minister of Transport which local highway authorities have been informed that grants will not be available towards the full amount of their estimates for the maintenance of classified roads in 1947–48; and upon what basis grants will be made to these authorities.

Grants towards road maintenance expenditure are made only to county councils in respect of classified roads. The following table shows, for councils which have submitted maintenance estimates for 1947–48, the amount of the estimates and the amount towards which Road Fund grants will be available.

County Council.Class I and II RoadsClass III Roads.
Estimate submitted by County Council.Amount towards which grants will be available.Estimate submitted by County Council.Amount towards which grants will be available.
££££
Derbyshire363,630315,418208,44297,100
Lincolnshire (Parts of Holland)78,26260,30966,19040,130
Lincolnshire (Parts of Kesteven)116,05783,299127,52153,500
Lincolnshire (Parts of Lindsey)197,271170,000148,42683,800
Leicestershire189,035164,448159,85887,228
Northamptonshire196,197164,092199,43198,076
Nottinghamshire 221,411202,400121,90655,500
Rutland32,33527,48428,73517,278
Northumberland 341,257242,000228,58480,000
Durham443,663368,500214,749100,000
Yorkshire, North Riding276,600186,500334,000120,000
Yorkshire, East Riding 187,000133,000128,00060,000
Yorkshire, West Riding942,234766,000489,053200,000
Cheshire366,434302,846228,95787,892
Cumberland91,64278,935158,10161,658
Lancashire1,066,687679,657367,844143,456
Westmorland52,50844,27169,29327,000
Warwickshire336,297190,300241,17048,700
Worcestershire287,174246,530136,36648,400
Staffordshire414,557314,900209,71042,000
Shropshire229,913125,640206,02366,400
Herefordshire128,19487,630113,32924,500
Brecknockshire40,00038,80070,00034,520
Cardiganshire73,14070,64067,60033,320
Carmarthenshire 160,197155,897143,78971,413
Glamorganshire326,646310,679183,74691,394
Monmouthshire154,187149,98761,32930,186
Pembrokeshire74,47172,62177,72438,383
Radnorshire46,32544,82534,52616,784
Anglesey29,58326,13619,5045,002
Caernarvonshire117,73593,85456,17225,600
Denbighshire108,16395,86298,90734,906
Flintshire 84,84683,24651,24920,367
Merionethshire47,85344,33734,9079,065
Montgomeryshire54,00051,87094,00039,060
Cornwall332,556269,000322,229145,424
Devonshire403,120268,940349,400169,620
Dorsetshire303,323175,338221,47074,122
Gloucestershire333,515215,142251,705110,076
Somersetshire388,068250,228262,163139,670
Wiltshire312,791191,954268,66881,182
Berkshire 219,208170,000125,85092,000
Hampshire523,129412,667351,933208,000
Isle of Wight85,84066,00038,23222,000
East Sussex247,741214,000239,711152,000
West Sussex264,015198,667112,19664,000
Kent580,461449,623236,56084,000