HC Deb 24 June 1974 vol 875 cc971-2
11. Mr. Alec Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he can now outline his future plans for the roads programme in Wales; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Morris

My objective is to secure the progressive improvement of the road network in Wales. Top priority will be given to the M4 and high priority to the A55, but the needs of other roads in all parts of Wales will receive continuing attention.

Mr. Jones

Has my right hon. and learned Friend seen the answer given last week by the Minister of Transport in which he indicated that there would be alterations in the standards of certain roads being constructed in England—namely, that dual two-lane roads would be substituted for three lanes and in some cases single lanes would be substituted for dual carriageways? Can my right hon. and learned Friend say whether we in Wales are likely to follow that pattern and whether it will have any effect on the proposed M4?

Mr. Morris

The change announced by my right hon. Friend will have no effect on the M4. Secondly, when we are considering the position in Wales the situation may be different.

Sir A. Meyer

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that those who have learned to read between the lines know that when the Minister talks about high priority for the A55 it means that nothing will be done by this Government, as by previous Governments? Are the Government preparing plans to provide employment for the tens of thousands of Welsh workers who will be out of work if the Government continue their economic policies on the vast programme of road building?

Mr. Morris

The hon. Gentleman knows that that matter does not arise on this Question. I am confident of one thing, namely, that the Government will take the best action in the interests of the whole nation to deal with any contingency that may arise. The road programme is of vital importance to Wales because of the neglect of previous administrations of which the hon. Gentleman was a supporter.