HC Deb 04 May 1966 vol 727 cc1612-3
43. Mr. Pym

asked the Minister of Transport upon what basis she assesses the relative urgency of proposed new bypasses; and how the order of priority for constructing them is arrived at.

Mr. Swingler

Priorities are based on relative levels of congestion, accidents, volume and character of traffic and the cost of improvement in relation to benefit.

Mr. Pym

What special weight is given to special factors such as holiday traffic? Would not the Minister agree that in such a place as Newmarket, which becomes intolerably clogged up for miles on either side at weekends in summer, there is a very urgent need for a bypass there? What weight is given to such factors?

Mr. Swingler

All traffic is taken into account. The volume all round the year is assessed. I think I know what lies behind the hon. Gentleman's Question. We are considering very seriously the case for a bypass at Newmarket, but he will appreciate that it is a very expensive scheme, and we have to be very sure about the benefits of it by comparison with certain other schemes which have been programmed.

Sir H. Legge-Bourke

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the East Anglian Regional Economic Development Council is already considering the question of the roads, but can we have an assurance that the Minister will, nevertheless, take action which may become necessary before bodies of that sort can report?

Mr. Swingler

My right hon. Friend has asked regional planning councils to consider the road priorities of their regions and to report to her, and they will be reporting shortly, and the hon. Gentleman can rest assured that she will take into account fully the views of the priorities which they put forward.

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