Cycle Ways

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th March 1983.

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Photo of Mr Andrew Bennett Mr Andrew Bennett , Stockport North 12:00 am, 16th March 1983

asked the Secretary of State for Transport how many cycle ways have been created using old railways.

Photo of Mrs Lynda Chalker Mrs Lynda Chalker , Wallasey

During last year, after publication of the consultant's report, 10 schemes totalling 25 miles were completed. At present, work is under way on a further 27 schemes totalling 91 miles, and more schemes are planned.

Photo of Mr Andrew Bennett Mr Andrew Bennett , Stockport North

I am sure that people who use bicycles regularly will welcome that small initiative by the Government. Will the Minister also give urgent consideration to the Tiviot Dale line in Stockport, from which British Rail is intending to remove all traffic? It would be an ideal example of a cycleway of a longish distance, and would be a safe route, particularly for youngsters who wanted to ride out of Manchester to the more attractive parts of the Peak district.

Photo of Mrs Lynda Chalker Mrs Lynda Chalker , Wallasey

I am well aware of the hon. Gentleman's interest in the Tiviot Dale railway line, but freight trains are still using the line. The Department has not yet received an application from British Rail to close the line, but I am quite sure that decisions on its conversion, which is a matter for the local authority, will be taken as soon as any initial step has been taken by British Rail.

Photo of Anthony Steen Anthony Steen , Liverpool Wavertree

Rather than spending ratepayers' money on putting traffic lights at Hyde Park corner, which has snarled up the traffic and is no use to anyone, will my hon. Friend lean on the Greater London council to spend a comparable sum on establishing cycleways in and out of London, bearing in mind that about 90,000 commuters cycle into and out of London each day?

Photo of Mrs Lynda Chalker Mrs Lynda Chalker , Wallasey

I am well aware of what the GLC has done at Hyde park corner, but it knows that if it has schemes for cycle ways within London and it puts them in its TPP they will get the Department's support.

Photo of Frank Dobson Frank Dobson Shadow Spokesperson (Education)

Does the Minister accept that unless the Government swiftly reject most of the lunatic options in the Serpell report there will be far too much surplus railway and a large opportunity for the expansion of cycle ways?

Photo of Mrs Lynda Chalker Mrs Lynda Chalker , Wallasey

It is important that as Britain's traffic patterns change we should put those lines that are no longer used into use as cycle ways.