Suburban Stations (Car Parks)

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th December 1957.

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Mrs. Butler:

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation if he will publish in HANSARD the detailed items of his request to the British Transport Commission in relation to the provision of car parks around suburban stations.

Photo of Sir Richard Nugent Sir Richard Nugent , Guildford

Our requests to the British Transport Commission to provide more car parks around suburban stations have been in general terms. I am glad to say that considerable progress has been made by the Commission and that it is now actively considering further measures.

Mrs. Butler:

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Commission has recently sold to a private building developer land which was designated as a car park adjoining Bounds Green underground station, despite the fact that cars are parked on both sides of the adjoining road and despite the increasing need for car parking space in outer London? In view of this, would he discuss with the Commission the possibility of its consulting with himself, with the police and with the appropriate local authorities before disposing of any further land suitable for car parks in the London area?

Photo of Sir Richard Nugent Sir Richard Nugent , Guildford

I thank the hon. Lady for letting us know of this incident. I find that, in fact, the agreement to sell this plot of land was made as far back as April, 1955, before we started to press the Commission to develop these car parks for underground stations. I should say, to the credit of the Commission, that it has made good progress in recent years, having raised the car parking space from 1,280 to over 1,900 spaces since 1955, and it has under consideration and in hand a number of other schemes which will finally raise the figure to about 2,500. It will be seen that the Commission is making good progress, and we are continuing to press the matter upon it.

Mr. Slater:

Can the Minister say what consultation his Department has with the municipal and local authorities about the setting up of car parks throughout the country? Is the matter just left to local authorities to act on their own initiative without any form of consultation with his Department about recommendations?

Photo of Sir Richard Nugent Sir Richard Nugent , Guildford

The provision of car parks in towns other than the Metropolis is the direct responsibility of local authorities, and they do consult us, naturally, if they are considering doing anything; but it is for them to initiate proposals.