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Christ Church Green, Victoria Street

Volume 529: debated on Wednesday 7 July 1954

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12.

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General, in connection with his proposal to build a new post office on the site of the bombed church at Christ Church Green, Victoria Street, S.W.1, whether he will preserve the footpath connecting Caxton Street and Victoria Street; and if, in view of the car parking problems in Caxton Street and adjoining thoroughfares, he will provide for a car park adjacent to the new post office for the use of General Post Office vehicles, and, on a fee-paying basis, for motor cars owned by persons working in nearby business premises.

The footpath is outside the site the Post Office is buying. The whole site will be used for a telephone exchange, a public post office, and a small yard to accommodate such post office vehicles as may call. We have considered the possibility of an underground garage for general public use, but I regret that the basement and sub-basement must be used to lead in telephone cables and for other Post Office purposes.

Does my hon. Friend anticipate that the acute traffic congestion which already exists in the streets adjoining the site is likely to be made any worse by the erection of this large Government building?

No. We shall not make it any better but we shall not make it any worse.

I should require notice of that question. Off hand, I think it is to be a three-storey building.

13.

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General whether he will furnish the hon. Members for Croydon, East and Kidderminster with a plan of the proposed new post office on the site of the bombed church at Christ Church Green, Victoria Street, S.W.1, showing arrangements for incoming and outgoing persons and vehicles, and proposals for dealing with General Post Office vehicles in congested thoroughfares.

I will gladly send copies of the plans to the hon. Members when they have been agreed. Meantime, I can say that the public entrances will be on Broadway and that, as the few Post Office vehicles calling at the building will use a yard entrance in Caxton Street, they will not need to park in the streets.

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that Caxton Hall is rather a popular spot for matrimonial purposes? There is often a complete blockage of traffic in Caxton Street, and is it not a fact that this post office, notwithstanding the yard, will make it nearly impossible for persons intending matrimonial ventures to get in or out of Caxton Hall?

I hope that it will never be a charge made against the Post Office that we prevent people from getting married. There will be a yard into which Post Office vehicles using the building can go.

Has my hon. Friend received representations from either the Minister of Transport or any other Government authority to make sure that the proposed new building does not extend as near to the public roadway and pavement as its predecessor? It is highly desirable that all buildings in the Metropolitan area today should be withdrawn a certain distance from the footpath and roadway.

Speaking from memory, I think we have consulted the Ministry of Transport, but if my hon. Friend wants a definite reply perhaps he will put down a Question.

Will the Assistant Postmaster-General take great care to ensure that nothing done on this site will adversely affect the interests of the people of Kidderminster?