HC Deb 24 February 1970 vol 796 cc975-6
27. Mr. Ridsdale

asked the Minister of Transport what progress has been made in the two stages of the Dovercourt bypass.

Mr. Bob Brown

The highway authority, Essex County Council, will shortly be submitting a programme report on stage 1 and a preliminary report on stage 2. When we have received these reports we will be able to consider the programming of stage 1 and the inclusion of stage 2 in the principal road preparation list.

Mr. Ridsdale

Have not the Government stated that roads to the ports should have priority? When are they going to stop playing this game of shuttlecock with the county council? Why does not the Minister give a directive that both stages of this road should be proceeded with forthwith?

Mr. Brown

Clearly, the Government recognise the importance of good road communications to ports, but, when the county council has prepared stage 1, the starting date will depend, first, on the funds available for road programmes and, second, on priority compared with other schemes which are ready to start. There are other ports as well.