HC Deb 07 November 1979 vol 973 cc378-9
2. Mr. Ford

asked the Minister of Transport if, in view of the serious backlog of road repairs in the West Yorkshire county council area and the consequent cost to the industrial economy, he will take special measures to enable the highway authorities to reduce these arrears of work.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport (Mr. Kenneth Clarke)

I accept that there may be a backlog of road repairs in the county, but that should be considered within the normal transport supplementary grant arrangements.

Mr. Ford

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that his reply will be most disappointing to the Conservative dominated authorities of West Yorkshire? They are hoping to recoup the backlog of road repairs by virtue of the fact that they have been seeking strenuously to attract industry from both home and abroad. They are inhibited from doing so by the state of the roads in West Yorkshire. Will the hon. Gentleman please reconsider his answer?

Mr. Clarke

I have said already that that problem will be considered as part of the transport supplementary grant arrangements. In finalising this year's transport supplementary grant settlement, we realise that many counties face difficulties with highway maintenance. If they make that a priority in their bids, we shall reflect that to some extent in the grants.