HC Deb 27 January 1970 vol 794 c1194
20. Mr. Manuel

asked the Minister of Transport what is the average time taken for the construction of a motorway, from the start of the feasibility study on the project until the motorway is opened for traffic.

Mr. Murray

The period varies widely according to the complexity of individual schemes, but under current procedures major motorway schemes are expected to take, on the average, about seven years from the start of feasibility study or initial preparation to completion.

Mr. Manuel

Although conceding the right of any individual or organisation to object to or appeal against a decision, is not a period of 6–7 years far too long? We can never cure the great and growing problems that face the country unless we considerably shorten the present procedures.

Mr. Murray

It would be difficult to shorten the procedures, because major motorway schemes are very complex. Any Government must ensure that all the procedures are followed so that individuals' rights are safeguarded.

Mr. Michael Heseltine

If it takes seven years to go through the procedures, will it not be impossible, in view of the small number of roads now being planned, to continue the road building programme after 1972?

Mr. Murray

No, Sir.