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Transport Supplementary Grant (Greater London)

Volume 981: debated on Wednesday 19 March 1980

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asked the Minister of Transport if he will make a statement on the transport supplementary grant for Greater London.

In the 1980–81 settlement announced last December I accepted £232 million local transport expenditure for Greater London on which I allocated £103 million grant. It is for Greater London Council to decide how to employ the resources available to it for transport.

Does the Secretary of State believe that that sum is anything like adequate to cope with the problems of economic and industrial revival in the inner city areas of London, particularly in dockland? Is the Minister aware that the construction of the M25, though welcome, will act as a magnet for industrial development, drawing that industrial development out of London? Does he appreciate the vital importance of building roads such as the southern relief road in dockland which will enable that area to attract the industry which it needs so badly?

The GLC received a marginally bigger share of expected expenditure than in 1979–80. We have made it clear that we put the greatest priority on the development of dockland. Clearly, one part of that development must be the construction of better road links.

The Minister said that the GLC will receive marginally more. How does that compare with 20 per cent. inflation? Is it 20 per cent. more?