Motorways (Shrubs and Trees)

Oral Answers to Questions — Land and Natural Resources – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th May 1965.

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Photo of Sir Albert Costain Sir Albert Costain , Folkestone and Hythe 12:00 am, 10th May 1965

asked the Minister of Land and Natural Resources if he will take steps to encourage the planting of shrubs and trees on new motorways.

Photo of Mr Arthur Skeffington Mr Arthur Skeffington , Hayes and Harlington

The Forestry Commission, for which my right hon. Friend is responsible, already provides extensive assistance to the Ministry of Transport in its very large programme of planting and maintenance of trees on motorways and trunk roads. He will be pleased to continue or extend this service in consultation with his right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Wales and the Minister of Transport.

Photo of Sir Albert Costain Sir Albert Costain , Folkestone and Hythe

Does not the Parliamentary Secretary agree that this is an excellent way to avoid dazzle from headlights on dual motorways? May we have an assurance of an early development in this connection?

Photo of Mr Arthur Skeffington Mr Arthur Skeffington , Hayes and Harlington

The Ministry of Transport takes decisions on the materials which are used to combat dazzle. The Forestry Commission is very willing and anxious to discuss with the Ministry of Transport the production in large quantities of any species which are thought suitable for this type of operation.

Photo of Mr Barnett Janner Mr Barnett Janner , Leicester North West

Would my hon. Friend consult with the Ministry of Transport on this very important matter? Is he aware that the Minister of Transport previously stated that the reason why rose bushes, which are so important in the prevention of accidents in this context, have not been planted before is that not sufficient land was provided between the two carriageways? Will he see that something is done in this direction? Is he—

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

Order. Would the hon. Member for Leicester, North-West (Sir B. Janner) not agree that it might be wise to stop his supplementary there in order to avoid trespassing on his later Question, No. 57?

Photo of Mr John Tilney Mr John Tilney , Liverpool Wavertree

Will the hon. Gentleman look particularly at the new spur from London Airport, which is the modern gateway to London?

Photo of Mr Arthur Skeffington Mr Arthur Skeffington , Hayes and Harlington

I do not mind looking at anything, but I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will realise that my responsibilities are limited in this sense only to providing the material.

Photo of Mr Barnett Janner Mr Barnett Janner , Leicester North West

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In respect of the statement you have just made, I was referring particularly to the provision of trees, which do come within the scope of the Minister's duties. I do not know whether the Minister of Transport himself can provide the trees without my right hon. Friend's assistance; that is why I asked the question.

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

I do not wish to mislead the hon. Member. I heard so much about the roses. We will have to exclude them. Meantime, I call Mr. Geoffrey Wilson, and will come back to the hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Geoffrey Wilson:

Will the Cabinet be very cautious about any policy of planting trees on the edges of the motorway, because German experience was that such trees were apt to have a soporific effect, and caused a number of accidents?

Photo of Mr Arthur Skeffington Mr Arthur Skeffington , Hayes and Harlington

I do not think that I should comment on the subject any further. I have defined the limitation of my interest in it.

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

Sir Barnett Janner—if he will dodge the subject of rosa multi-flora Japonica bushes, and the progress made relative to central barriers.