Skip to main content


Volume 640: debated on Wednesday 17 May 1961

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

South Wales Motorway


asked the Minister of Transport what are his plans for improving the A.40 road to South Wales.

The South Wales Motorway is planned as the major artery between London and South Wales. However, substantial improvements have been and are being carried out on the A.40 and others are planned—notably the High Wycombe by-pass.

As my right hon. Friend has been to the by-pass at High Wycombe on this road, he must give it considerable priority in his mind. Will he have a look at the other towns and bottlenecks on that road which are causing considerable restraint, and, in particular, try to expedite the by-pass at Northleach, which is the worst bottleneck further to the west?

I will look at that particular case, but I am quite certain that when the motorway is built it will relieve this road in the same way that M.1 relieved A.5.

Can the Minister say what degree of priority is being given to expediting motorway No. 2? Can he tell us whether he is able to hurry up operations on that dangerous part of the motorway between Chepstow and Gloucester, to which his attention has been drawn in correspondence?

I cannot answer the second half of the Question without notice. On the first part, we shall shortly let the viaduct over the Great West Road, which will form the first part of the extension from the Chiswick fly-over.

Imber, Wiltshire


asked the Minister of Transport when a public inquiry is to be held into the proposals to close public roads and rights of way in the area occupied by the Army at Imber, Wiltshire.

Progress has been made towards the satisfactory settlement of a number of the objections to the proposed order which I hope to refer to the War Works Commission before the end of June. It will then be for the Commission to fix the date of any inquiry they decide to hold.

The Minister will be aware that in the whole of Wiltshire and throughout the country there is very great anxiety about this whole problem of Imber. Apart from the arrangements which he is making about an inquiry, will he have a talk with his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War and those immediately concerned in the Government to see whether the whole question cannot be looked at again?

We are trying to meet the objections. Fifteen objections were received during the objection period of three months. I think we shall go some way to meeting the majority of those objections. Then it is up to me to send the case to my right hon. Friend, when the War Works Commission will be holding an inquiry.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the hon. Member for Westbury has had talks with his right hon. Friend on this subject and that I think matters are progressing satisfactorily?

I am obliged to my hon. Friend. I am sure that is so, because he has from the beginning taken a great interest in this question.

Double White Line System


asked the Minister of Transport what have been the results, to date, of the operation of the double white line system and its restriction on overtaking; and if he will make a statement.

From the information so far available, it is not possible to say, with any certainty, what effect the double white line system has had on the accident rate. The Road Research Laboratory is making a survey of the behaviour of drivers on roads marked with double white lines: I hope to have its report shortly.

Can my right hon. Friend say whether he has had any police reports on the degree to which it is observed?

We have had certain reports, but the difficulty, from what I have received, is that these are not comprehensive enough upon which to come to a decision. I should prefer to wait until the reports are complete.

Estimated CostWork StartedCompletion Date

Trunk Roads

A.465 Heads of the Valleys Road. Stage I—Brynmawr to Abergavenny1,500,000March, 1960December, 1962
A.148 Port Talbot By-Pass. Stage I—Briton Ferry to Baglan475,000July, 1960September, 1961
A.494 Queensferry By-Pass832,000July, 1960July, 1961

Classified Roads

A.483 Swansea East side Approach Road: Section 5—Fabian Street420,000September, 1960April, 1962
Section 6—York Street to existing New Cut Bridge618,000October, 1960March, 1963