Sidewalks.

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport. – in the House of Commons on 27th July 1927.

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Photo of Colonel Ralph Glyn Colonel Ralph Glyn , Abingdon

33.

asked the Minister of Health whether he will empower local authorities to expend money raised for the maintenance or the improvement of roads within their areas for the purpose of making sidewalks, thus enabling the existing width of road to be used for vehicular traffic only?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley , New Forest and Christchurch

I have been asked to reply. The powers already at the disposal of highway authorities enable them to effect improvements of this character. Many authorities are availing themselves of these powers to carry out such works, which in suitable cases are eligible for grants from the Road Fund.

Photo of Colonel Ralph Glyn Colonel Ralph Glyn , Abingdon

Will the right hon. Gentleman say what is a suitable case, because there are several cases where it has been refused?

Photo of Mr Robert Richardson Mr Robert Richardson , Houghton-le-Spring

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that on many roads there is no footpath at all, and people have to take to the main roads, to their own danger?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley , New Forest and Christchurch

I am fully aware of that, but the hon. Member will appreciate that the first move in this matter must come from the local authorities, and also that there are many calls on the Road Fund, so that it is a matter of balancing advantages as between this improvement and that improvement.

Photo of Colonel Ralph Glyn Colonel Ralph Glyn , Abingdon

Who is the best judge of urgent public need, Whitehall or the local authorities?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley , New Forest and Christchurch

The local authorities certainly, and it is for them to make the move.

Photo of Colonel Ralph Glyn Colonel Ralph Glyn , Abingdon

If a request comes from a local authority, will the Minister always agree?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley , New Forest and Christchurch

I must exercise discretion and see how much money I have got.

Photo of Mr Robert Richardson Mr Robert Richardson , Houghton-le-Spring

Is it not a fact that the right hon. Gentleman transferred money to the Treasury that ought to have gone to the improving of these roads?