§ 14. Mr. Hooson
asked the Minister of Transport what proposals he has for modifying the grant system for classified roads, in view of the extra demands being made on such roads through continually increasing traffic.
§ Mr. Tom Fraser
I will shortly be putting proposals to the local authorities associations as part of the general review of local government finance.
§ Mr. Hooson
In putting forward proposals to the local authorities, will the Minister bear in mind that it is because of the absence of motorways and the closure of many railways that there is an increasing amount of traffic on A and B roads and that this particularly affects constituencies and areas like mine? Has he any proposals to increase the grants available to local authorities to improve the standards of these roads, which bear such a heavy amount of traffic?
§ Mr. Fraser
The hon. and learned Gentleman is aware of the general review 448 of local government finance. Discussions have already started with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government and with the local authority associations. In the course of these discussions I shall be putting forward some proposals about further road grants, but, obviously, it is impossible for me to say, at present, what these will be.
§ Mr. Webster
Without worrying the Minister too much about ways and means, may I ask whether he is aware that, on 3rd and 10th March, he said that the road programme would be maintained in real terms? In view of what has now happened and the six months' postponement, which is probably worth about a £75 million loss to the road programme, will he now reconsider his position and his resignation?