asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that over four months have now elapsed since the official announcement that it was intended to widen the Great West Road; when this work will be actually started; and whether he is aware that the slowness of such widening work is causing anxiety as to the methods of the Ministry of Transport in regard to the trunk roads of the country which it has just taken over?
The Middlesex County Council, who are acting as my agents, have the preparation of plans in hand, and I anticipate that work will start towards the end of the year. My hon. Friend will appreciate that there is a great deal of preparatory work to be done, and I can assure him that there will be no avoidable delay either in this or in any other case relating to trunk roads.
asked the Minister of Transport whether he has any statistics showing an increase or decrease in the accidents to cyclists on the Great West Road; the number of such accidents which were caused to cyclists not making use of cycle paths at all or using the roads where the paths merge into the public thoroughfare; and how these figures compare with any recent corresponding period before the creation of the existing cycle paths?
asked the Minister of Transport whether he has considered the danger created by the cycle tracks on the Great West Road merging at cross roads into the main thoroughfare instead of continuing across such side roads; whether this policy of thus merging the paths is advocated by the officials of his Department, or whether it has been carried out on the recommendations of the police; and whether, in either case, he will give the reasons for it?
The decision to bring the cycle tracks on the Great West Road into the main thoroughfare at junctions with side roads was taken after consultation with the Commissioner of Police. The object is to bring cyclists under the control of the traffic signal installations. This is considered essential for the general safety of road users.
Is this going to be the lay-out of all the main trunk roads; and would it not be better to have special lights in front of the cycle tracks, so that cyclists would see those lights and not go on to the main highways, which are so very dangerous?
That raises rather a large point, and perhaps my hon. Friend will allow me to look into it a little more fully, because it raises the question of policy in regard to trunk roads in general.
In my view, no such question would even arise for consideration until the lengths of cycle tracks were sufficiently continuous and sufficiently great to make them really a proper alternative.