HC Deb 16 February 1970 vol 796 cc4-5
6. Mr. Gower

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is the value of road schemes for Wales which are now in the preparation pool.

The Under-Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Edward Rowlands)

£78½ million.

Mr. Gower

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that reply. Does he appreciate that there is a fairly widespread feeling that the need in parts of Wales is so great that the Government's objective should be to exceed the figures now contemplated?

Mr. Rowlands

Yes, but a very large proportion of the schemes in the preparation pool will be completed by the mid-1970s. Unlike hon. Members opposite, we are not saying that we shall cut public expenditure but still build miles and miles of road.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

When we had responsibility for these matters, did we not adopt a different system? We had the rolling system, which was very successful and which this Government have abandoned. What percentage of the amount now in the preparation pool will be completed by the date the hon. Gentleman has mentioned?

Mr. Rowlands

I do not know the exact percentage. It is a very large proportion. We shall have about 23 miles of motorway and about 45 miles of dual carriageway completed by the mid-1970s. This is an impressive record. The whole purpose of the preparation pool is to prevent the programme's falling back, which is what happened when the part of the motorway that came into Wales was completed. Our system is better.