HC Deb 19 January 1970 vol 794 cc7-8
9. Mr. Roy Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many dual-carriageway trunk road schemes are expected to start in Wales before the end of the financial year 1970–71; and what is the estimated total cost.

Mr. George Thomas

Nine schemes at an estimated cost of nearly £35 million.

Mr. Hughes

Does my right hon. Friend appreciate that that figure is encouraging, but, in view of the urgent employment needs of Wales, will he make every effort to extend the motorways westwards as soon as possible? Does my right hon. Friend further appreciate that this can be done only by increased public expenditure, to which the Conservative Party is so much opposed?

Mr. Thomas

I agree with every word of my hon. Friend's statement.

Mr. Gower

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether any steps are being taken to expedite the completion of the South Wales Motorway, the part which is under-developed between Reading and Chippenham, and also whether he will bring forward, if possible, the extension of that motorway to the west, to Swansea?

Mr. Thomas

I am giving urgent consideration to the question of the extention of the M4 on my side of the Severn Bridge. If the hon. Gentleman had read the newspapers recently, he would have noticed that my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport had let contracts for the other side of the bridge.