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South-West Motorway

Volume 649: debated on Wednesday 22 November 1961

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24.

asked the Minister of Transport when work on the south-west motorway is to start.

Work has already been put in hand on four sections of the London-South Wales Motorway, one of which, the Maidenhead By-pass, is open to traffic.

The proposed motorway from London to west of Basingstoke is still at an early stage of planning. I cannot say when we shall be able to make proposals for its route.

Is my hon. Friend aware that the South-West feels that it is very neglected in this matter? If he will look at his own pamphlet, showing where the new roads are to go, he will see that they go to the north, the north-west and the west but not to the south-west. Will he take action about this because there is very heavy traffic on the roads leading to the south-west?

This was a policy decision taken a number of years ago to concentrate our main effort for a number of years ahead on the improvement of the communications between the main industrial centres of the country. I am quite sure that this is still the right order of priorities, but we have not forgotten the claims of the south-west and, as my Answer indicated, we have long-term proposals for a London-Basingstoke motorway.