§ 23. Mr. Iremonger
asked the Minister of Transport what plans he has for providing swift access to airports from central London; and what bearing these plans will have upon the policy of Her Majesty's Government concerning the development of helicopter sites in central London.
§ Mr. Hay
Access to Heathrow has been improved by the work already completed on the route from central London. It will be further improved by the completion 400 of the motorway from Chiswick flyover. Work has started on this motorway which will incorporate a spur to the airport.
Access to Gatwick from Central London must continue to be mainly by rail.
The extent to which these factors will influence the development of helicopter sites in central London is a matter primarily for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Aviation.
§ Mr. Iremonger
While thanking my hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask whether he is aware that the last part of his remarks is the whole point? Will he undertake to make representations to his right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government, and when applications are made for planning permission will he impress on him that the development of helicopter sites in central London is monstrously uneconomic, and that it would be very much more to the public benefit if surface transport were more adequately developed?
§ Mr. Hay
With respect to my hon. Friend, I find the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport in this matter a little tenuous. I will study what my hon. Friend has said and see whether there is any way in which we can help him, but we are providing the speediest method of surface transport that we can find to airports, in one case by the motorway, and in the other case by existing rail access.
§ Mr. Lipton
Is it not a fact that despite the improvements to which the hon. Gentleman has referred in connection with surface transport, the Government have made up their mind to establish a helicopter site at Nine Elms Goods Yard, and that that decision has been taken despite very strong protests from the Lambeth Borough Council, the London County Council, and all other local authorities in central London who will be adversely affected by it?
§ Mr. Channon
Has my hon. Friend seen the letter in The Times today which referred to the enormous amount of 401 movement from Southend Airport? If so, why has he not given information about swift access to that airport?