(2) approximately, how much the construction of the Eastern Avenue Extension will cost; when it is estimated that construction work will begin and the construction be concluded, in view of the line now being settled; when it will be known what houses and other properties will be affected and demolished; and what compensation will be available to house-owners in those thoroughfares affected by the diversion of traffic through them while Eastern Avenue extension work is proceeding.
We are now considering the objections received to the proposed line of the Eastern Avenue Extension, which was published in draft last October. A detailed investigation of these objections is required and we have not yet decided whether to hold a public inquiry. Which houses will eventually be affected cannot be known until an order has been made. The present estimated cost of the scheme is about £2,000,000. Constructional work is not likely to start for some years. There are no powers to pay compensation to people living in streets used by diverted traffic.
Is the Minister aware that this matter has been prolonged for many years and that it has caused a great deal of embarrassment and apprehension to a large number of my constituents? Will he not at least guarantee that there will be a public inquiry at which they can present their case, which would at least to some extent mollify their disturbance? Secondly, is he aware that traffic is increasing in my constituency, which is a kind of bottleneck or funnel, and will he therefore consider providing some means to alleviate the pressure on this district?
Of course, we are well aware of the traffic difficulty. That is why we contemplate this road improvement. With regard to a public inquiry, I would ask the hon. Member to give us a little longer to consider the objections, and then we can consider generally the problem of the line before we decide whether or not to have a public inquiry. I am certainly well aware of the large number of house tenants and owner-occupiers affected, and I will bear in mind his request.