§ 35. Dame Irene Ward
asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation if he will give an assurance that the decisions already taken with regard to the Tyne tunnel will proceed, in view of the concern which has arisen locally as a result of the recent publication of an unofficial report on the project.
§ 54. Mr. Fernyhough
asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation when work on the Tyne Tunnel will commence.
§ Mr. Watkinson
Until I have completed, with the Tyne Tunnel Joint Committee, consideration of all the aspects of this scheme, I shall not be in a position to make a statement.
§ Dame Irene Ward
Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that the Tynemouth Corporation has sold sites for industrial expansion on the basis of the present siting of the tunnel? Will he also bear in mind that it would not be convenient for me to go to prison at the present time, as an illustrious citizen of North Shields had to do many years ago, in order to protect the interests of the mouth of the Tyne against Newcastle?
§ Mr. Fernyhough
Since the Minister has now decided that this is a very desirable project, does not he think that it would be a good thing to make an early start, and thus make possible the absorption of some of the ever-growing number of unemployed in that area under this Government?
§ Mr. Watkinson
The factual answer is that we are entirely in the hands of the Tyne Tunnel Joint Committee, the members of which are the representatives of local opinion. They are, I believe, coming to see my Ministry, and, as I have said, I am not in a position to make a further statement until they have been.
§ Mr. Short
In view of the new report from the University, will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind the suggestion I made when we debated this on the Adjournment a few months ago, when I pointed out that the solution to the communications problem on the Tyne was a tunnel and a bridge? Would he now consider the building of a bridge over the Tyne at St. Anthony's, Newcastle?