§ 23. Mr. Blaker
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will now place in the firm programme the Preston northerly by-pass.
§ Mr. Graham Page
Preparatory work has not yet reached the stage at which a firm programming decision can be taken.
§ Mr. Blaker
Is my hon. Friend aware that the economic rate of return on this road would be the highest so far of any major road project in Lancashire and that the reduction in the number of accidents would be very great? Is he therefore treating the project with the urgency that it deserves?
§ Mr. Page
I shall press ahead with this road because I believe that it will result in a considerable reduction in the accident rate. The basic features are now being considered. The proposals for the route will be published in the spring. When the work actually starts depends on programming, about which I hope that a decision will be taken about the end of this year.