Toll Bridges

Oral Answers to Questions — Roads – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th March 1959.

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Photo of Colonel Leonard Ropner Colonel Leonard Ropner , Barkston Ash 12:00 am, 25th March 1959

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation how many bridges have been relieved of toll payments since 1st January, 1955.

Photo of Sir Richard Nugent Sir Richard Nugent , Guildford

We have not yet redeemed any toll bridges on trunk roads nor contributed to the freeing of any tolls on other bridges since 1st January, 1955.

Photo of Colonel Leonard Ropner Colonel Leonard Ropner , Barkston Ash

Will my hon. Friend please note that I did not ask about trunk roads but about all toll bridges? What is the reply?

Photo of Sir Richard Nugent Sir Richard Nugent , Guildford

The reply is in the second part of my Answer which is: … nor contributed to the freeing of any tolls on other bridges since 1st January, 1955.

Photo of Colonel Leonard Ropner Colonel Leonard Ropner , Barkston Ash

That means that the Ministry has kept very strictly to the pledge given by my right hon. Friend the present Secretary of State for the Colonies. Could my right hon. Friend give an assurance that he is really well aware of the inconvenience caused by the existence of a toll bridge between Selby and Barlby?

Photo of Sir Richard Nugent Sir Richard Nugent , Guildford

We certainly are, and we have great hopes of being able to redeem the toll there. Unfortunately, the cost is so high that we are unable to do it at present.

Photo of Mr Ernest Davies Mr Ernest Davies , Enfield East

Is not the original answer of the Joint Parliamentary Secretary shocking? Can he tell us what is the policy of the Government in regard to toll bridges, which are a complete anachronism today? No service is provided by most of them, many are kept in a poor state of repair, and the sooner they are purchased and eliminated the better.

Photo of Sir Richard Nugent Sir Richard Nugent , Guildford

We shall buy them out as and when the cost of doing so fits into the broad picture of our road programme.

Photo of Viscount  Hinchingbrooke Viscount Hinchingbrooke , South Dorset

I understood it was the Government's policy to encourage private enterprise to build bridges and to charge tolls. Could my hon. Friend clear up this misunderstanding?

Photo of Sir Richard Nugent Sir Richard Nugent , Guildford

In special cases, Sir.