Orders of the Day — Surrey County Council Bill.

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons on 17th February 1931.

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Photo of Mr George Sherwood Mr George Sherwood , Wakefield

I beg to second the Motion.

One has heard so much to-night about the amenities of Surrey that one is almost inclined to feel jealous. I cannot speak on this matter from the point of view of the expert. The only place where I have lived in Surrey is Barnes, and I know the High Street. I do not wish—and here my hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) will agree with me—that Part IX of the Bill should disappear altogether, but I think that the simpler way is to do the widening in the High Street itself. After all, there is a great deal in sentiment. You have here an old, historic road, with, on one side, old and crumbling property which ought to Dome down, where every house and every shop has sufficient background to enable the road to be set back without going right through the middle of other property. The hon. Member for Richmond (Sir N. Moore) referred to a school, but, if the proposed new road is taken straight through what is known, I believe, as Vinyard Park—though there is no vine in it—it simply means that that very important school is brought to the side of the main road, which is not the place for a school; they are building schools off the main road now. It involves going round the back of High Street and leaving a narrow strip of an island with three cross sections in a distance of less than 400 yards—streets converging on to the very street that the Surrey County Council are trying to escape. Moreover, if there is one danger in the parish of Barnes and Mortlake, it is the level crossing, but the proposed new street that will run out behind the High Street will come out on to the Lower Richmond Road close to Sheen Lane crossing, still leaving the crossing intact. Sheen Lane is one of the two connecting roads between the Lower Richmond Road and the Upper Richmond Road, but the level crossing is still to be left, and also a blind corner turning into the Lower Richmond Road. Already it has been agreed to cut off the green—a corner of the park, as I call it—in the Lower Richmond Road, and I submit that the simpler and more economical way is the widening of the southern or western side of Mortlake High Street. I would like every Member of the House to go down and walk along Mortlake High Street towards the Lower Richmond Road and out towards Richmond, and there see the proposal. You have two connecting roads—White Hart Lane on the one hand, and Sheen Lane on the other—between the two main roads, namely, the Lower Richmond Road and the Upper Richmond Road, still leaving the level crossing and bringing the proposed new street nearer to the crossing. I submit that the most economical and efficient way from the point of view of traffic is to wipe out the western or southern side of Mortlake High Street from the end of Avondale Road in Barnes to the green and the corner of the park. That would give a good road without demolishing good property, but only rotten property that ought to have been pulled down years ago.