HC Deb 05 July 1972 vol 840 c542
19. Mr. Raphael Tuck

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how maintenance costs of black top and reinforced concrete on motorways compare on a lane-mile basis in the first five years after construction and in the last five years, respectively.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Keith Speed)

I regret that information is not available which would enable this comparison to be made. Maintenance costs are affected by many diverse factors which can vary greatly between different motorways.

Mr. Tuck

Is the Under-Secretary aware that a recent answer he gave me shows that there is a vast discrepancy between the maintenance costs of black top and those of reinforced concrete, showing the vast superiority of reinforced concrete? Is he aware that we all hope he will bear that in mind when deciding in future between black top and reinforced concrete?

Mr. Speed

Yes. The Transport and Road Research Laboratory is carrying out a very full study of this question. I hope to have the report early next year.

Mr. Sydney Chapman

Although my hon. Friend should bear in mind the economic costs, should he not also bear in mind the environmental issue, remembering that black top is far superior visually to reinforced concrete which easily scars and is dreadful in appearance after a period?

Mr. Speed

This shows that very great differences of opinion exist. All these matters are being investigated.