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Pity Me, Durham (By-Pass)

Volume 645: debated on Monday 2 October 1961

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asked the Minister of Transport why the Pity Me by-pass on the A.1 road in Durham has not been constructed with a double carriageway.

This by-pass is on the section of A.1 which will be replaced as a principal through route to the North by the Durham motorway. A three lane carriageway should be adequate for the traffic when the motorway is in use.

Would it not have been much better when he was building this road to have made it a double carriageway? Is it not the only part of A.1 built in recent years which is not a double carriageway and will it not be many years before the Durham motorway, apart from the Durham by-pass, is constructed?

No, I think this motorway when constructed will be adequate. It would have been folly to have put a motorway down and to have spent money on it when it was not needed, and I am sure that the Durham by-pass and motorway will draw the main traffic now using this road.

asked the Minister of Transport why he was unable to accept the Durham Council's invitation to perform the opening ceremony of the Pity Me by-pass.

While recognising the importance of this scheme, I regret that the many demands on my time prevented me from accepting the county council's invitation.

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that, while not discrediting the person who actually performed the ceremony and indeed paying a tribute to him because the visit was very well received, there is still a wide expression of opinion in Durham that either the right hon. Gentleman or his Parliamentary Secretary should have accepted this invitation? Is he also aware that this is not only because there is a general feeling about his not coming but because there is a feeling that he was rather mean in making this a three-lane carriageway instead of a dual carriageway when in the previous two years 107 miles of dual carriageway have been built right up to Durham and then the right hon. Gentleman begins to do something different?

I did not intend any discourtesy. It was merely that there was no time to accept the invitation.