HC Deb 06 December 1976 vol 922 cc14-6
12. Mr. Cledwyn Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what proposals he has for improving communications in North Wales.

Mr. Barry Jones

We propose to concentrate resources on the improvement of the A55 as soon as possible and will continue to support local authorities in maintaining a basic network of public transport services.

Mr. Hughes

Is my hon. Friend aware that good communications are absolutely crucial for industrial and commercial purposes? Will he say, first, when my right hon. and learned Friend is likely to pronounce on the prolonged public inquiry that took place on the Colcon route and, secondly, can he confirm that the work on the new road span over the Britannia Bridge is likely to continue on schedule?

Mr. Barry Jones

The work on the bridge is likely to continue on schedule. Work should begin next year and should take £10 million of resources over a period of years. I have to tell my right hon. Friend that the inspector's report on the Colcon route has to be carefully considered. I am aware of the desire for an early decision. That makes it even more important to consider the report fully before we give such a decision.

Mr. Wigley

Will the hon. Gentleman at long last get a move on with the Caernarvon inner relief road scheme, the lack of which is causing untold embarrassment and dereliction in the town, and is creating a hideous sight in what is a major tourist centre? Is he aware that the people there are getting so fed up that they could not tolerate another summer under these conditions?

Mr. Barry Jones

The Department has already spent in excess of £1 million on this scheme. The hon. Member should be pleased to know that the construction of the Twthill school replacement is expected to start early in 1977.

Mr. Geraint Howells

Is the Minister aware—I am sure that he is—that it is not possible to travel from North Wales to South Wales by rail without crossing the border into England? What plans has he to improve rail and road communications between North and South Wales?

Mr. Barry Jones

My right hon. and learned Friend looks at this aspect of our affairs with keen devotion. So do I. If the hon. Member has any views or complaints about the train service, he might usefully in the first instance direct those views to the Transport Users Consultative Committee.

Sir A. Meyer

Will the hon. Gentleman care to read his brief for Question No. 5, which was not answered, and then ask himself whether the Government have got the balance right as between the construction of advance factories which stand empty to this day and roads which urgently require to be built?

Mr. Barry Jones

I would like to take the opportunity provided by that question to say that about 12 miles of dual carriageway have already been provided on the A.55, much of the funding going to the constituency of the hon. Member for Flint, West (Sir A. Meyer). We plan a further 45 miles, costing about £150 million.

Mr. Wyn Roberts

Will the Minister confirm that his right hon. and learned Friend has received the inspector's report on the Colcon inquiry? Will he also confirm that the report will be published, before or after the Secretary of State has taken a final decision?

Mr. Barry Jones

I can confirm that the report has been received. It is being studied.

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