B.R.F. Makes Close Study of Motorways
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TIIE British Road Federation has, for many years, been one of the principal advocates of the 'construction of a system of motorways in Great Britain. Now that the principle has been accepted by -the Government at a time when reconstruction and post-war planning are exercising the minds of all those responsible for the industrial and social welfare of the country, it is more than ever necessary that the needs of the road-carrying industry should be kept to the fore.
Throughout the country • there are conflicting claims by local interests, and one of the chief problems which will face the legislature in the post-war years is the co-ordination of parochial interests into an economically sOund national plan,
The British Road Federation has set an exampleto all bodies interested in post-war planning, by studying the varied interests in different parts of the country. It recently sent an official to South Wales to discuss the subjectof road construction with various prominent business men and local authorities. As a result of this visit, considerable interest was aroused throughout the west country on the question of the need for adequate road communication between the Principality and England.
Under the County Surveyors' Society's scheme for motorways, one of the projected roads would run from a point north of Swansea to England, passing south of Neath, north of Bridgenel, Cardiff arid Newport, via the proposed Severn crossing, north of Bristol [We understand that this will be between Beachley and Aust.—Eo.1 to London. Just to the north of Bristol this motorway would be linked to another, running to the industrial heart of the country, and thence connected to Scotland, the west coast, Newcastle and Hull„ It was felt, by informed opinion in Wales, that such a road should be conltructed in conjunction with a North/ South road running from Holyhead to Swansea, via Bangor, Builth, Merthyr and Cardiff. It is envisaged that after the war, if the spectre of unemployment is to be banished from the valleys of Wales, light industries must be established along the belt lying between the mouths Of the valleys and the sea. It is through the heart of this district that, the proposed motorway would run.
Motorways and Industry Col. Sir Gerald Bruce, Lord Lieutenant of Glamorgaushire, Senior Regional Commissioner for the Welsh Civil Defence Region, and chairman of the South Wales and Monmouthshire Trading Estates, Ltd., agreed that the establishment of these light industries would be materially assisted by the construction of motorways linking Wales with the remainder of the country, and affording easy access for British industries to the Welsh ports of Swansea, Newport and Cardiff. Consequently he endorsed the Federation's demand for motorways.
There is a strong section of opinion which believes that, in order to exploit the natural wealth of Wales, it is necessary to open up the centre of the Principality—a country of unrivalled beauty—to tourist traffic. The construction of these two roads would bring this magnificent mountain country within easy reach, by car or motor coach, of all the main centres of population in England.
Among those who agreed with the principle of motorways were Councillor Barter, Mayor of Newport; Professor Rees, principal of Cardiff University; and Sir Robert Webber, J.P., D.L., managing director of the Western: Mail and Echo, Ltd,, director of •the Press Association, Ltd., and Allied Newspapers, director of the South Wales and Monmouthshire Trading Estates, Ltd., and member of the Government Advisory Council on Post-war Reconstruction for Wales and Monmouthshire. Sir Robert particularly stressed the need for linking north and south -Wales with 'the western extremity of the projected motorway.
In -the past, certain sections of opinion have felt that the needs of the Principality have been overlooked in this country. Whether or not there be any foundation for such an assumption, it is to he hoped that the example of the British Road Federation in studying the particular questions appertaining to this vital part of the country will be followed by other bodies .interested in the reconstruction and development Of Great Britain after
the war. M. C . H.