§ 7. Mr. Ellis Smith
asked the Minister of Transport if he will allow preliminary work to proceed at once on the proposed high level bridge at Barton, Eccles; and if he will allow Taylor Brothers Steelworks and Partington Steelworks to tip their slag to form the embankment for the bridge.
The Lancashire County Council, who are the highway authority, are at liberty to undertake the preparation of plans and similar preliminaries on their own responsibility. My right hon. Friend's approval has not been sought for any constructional work.
As regards the tipping of slag, I understand that the ground concerned has not yet been purchased for highway purposes.
§ Mr. Smith
Does the Minister not agree that the County Council are of the opinion that in the national interest the building of this bridge should have the highest priority? Is he not aware that it is very desirable that this road should be repaired as soon as possible, and will he not agree to give a yearly grant to enable the preliminary work to be done?
§ 8. Mr. Ellis Smith
asked the Minister of Transport what is the estimated total cost of a high level road bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal at Barton, Eccles; and if this urgently required construction will receive high priority in the allowance of capital expenditure.
The estimated cost of this bridge is about £2 million. Its priority in relation to many other schemes will be decided when it again becomes possible to undertake highway works of this magnitude.
§ Mr. Smith
Bearing in mind the previous very disappointing reply, may I ask the Minister if he is aware that there has not been one new bridge built over the Manchester Ship Canal in 60 years, whereas there have been eight built over the Thames? Will he receive a deputation 1557 from the Lancashire County Council and other representative people so that he may reconsider his reply?
I shall be only too happy to receive any deputation which the hon. Gentleman may bring. I trust that he was equally active between the years 1945 to 1951.