§ 14. Mr. Brotherton
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what is the latest estimate of the cost of the Humber Bridge.
§ Mr. Brotherton
Is the Minister aware of the concern, which almost amounts to despair, on the south bank of the Humber at the way in which millions of pounds have been hurled in to try to satisfy this white elephant, while at the same time no progress at all has been made in completing the M180 from Brigg to the ports of Immingham and Grimsby? Will he assure the House that the Government will undertake this most important job, because Immingham is the sixth largest port in the United Kingdom and has no decent road structure? Although it is too late to stop the Humber Bridge, should we not now build the necessary roads in order to look after these two most important ports?
§ Mr. James Johnson
Is the Minister aware that the intemperate comments from the Opposition Back Bench are typical of the vendetta that is being waged by a small number of people on the south bank who still think in terms of East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire? Does he accept that the bridge will confer enormous benefits to those living on both sides of the estuary, not least people such as I, who will pay 80p to take their cars over to the old Lincolnshire—now South Humberside—thus saving 70 miles of journey via Goole? Is the Minister also aware of the invisible benefits in the form of tourism for this part of the world?
§ Sir P. Bryan
Will the Under-Secretary of State bear in mind the effect that the new Humber Bridge traffic will have on the trunk roads north of the river and the consequential need for a Market Weighton bypass?
§ Mr. John Ellis
Will my hon. Friend ensure that until the bridge is opened the ferry service will continue? Is he aware that the "Lincolnshire Castle" has been laid off? Does he agree that it should be brought back into service? Is he aware that a clause in the Humber Bridge Act provides for the cost to be met in this situation? Should not this be done? My constituents should have some type of service until other decisions are taken after the bridge is opened.
§ Mr. Brotherton
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of the totally unsatisfactory nature of the reply I beg to give notice that I shall seek to raise the matter at the earliest possible opportunity under Standing Order No. 1.