National Roads Mr. Hore-Belisha, the Minister of Transport, is to
be congratulated on his plan, announced to the House of Commons on Monday, for the taking over by the State of the 4,500 miles of trunk roads at present adminis- tered by the county councils. There is no ground at present for making local ratepayers responsible for roads that are now used by, and meant for, through traffic ; both the roads and the local authorities have suffered by this anachronism. The transfer will involve considerable financial changes ; and it is hoped that the assumption of this new responsibility by the Exchequer will leave the county councils with funds they can apply to improving subsidiary roads in their areas. Mr.Hore-Belisha is fulfilling Mr. Neville Chamber- lain's pledge that the extinction of the Road Fund would not mean- neglect of the roads. By obtaining uniformity of width, surfacing and lighting on the trunk roads, his plan should earn for him once again the gratitude of road users.