HC Deb 02 March 1960 vol 618 c1213
38. Mr. Gower

asked the Minister of Transport if he will expedite the improvements in road communications between South Wales and the Midlands; and if he will make a statement.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport (Mr. John Hay)

Work will start this spring on the first twenty-eight miles of the Bristol to Birmingham motorway, which will join the Ross Spur motorway now under construction and due for completion before the end of the year. Between Ross and Newport the existing trunk road will be provided throughout with dual carriageways and we hope to start the first schemes in this comprehensive improvement during the next financial year. Preparatory work on the Newport by-pass is now actively in hand. Construction started in January last on the first stage of the Heads of the Valleys road and this will be followed by other schemes to complete the improvement of the trunk route between Raglan and Neath.

Mr. Gower

In view of the efforts now being made in South Wales ports to find other trades to take the place of the coal exports, will my hon. Friend appreciate the very great urgency of this question of improving road communications with the Midlands?

Mr. Hay

Yes, we are well aware of this. This set of projects constitutes one of the five major projects which my right hon. Friend's predecessor announced as long ago as 1956.