HC Deb 10 November 1980 vol 992 cc6-7
4. Mr. Hooson

asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he has considered ways in which the effects of trunk road development on the farming industry can be mitigated; and whether he will make a statement.

The Under-Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Michael Roberts)

Officials of the Welsh Office met representatives of farming interests in June and September this year to discuss the effects of trunk road improvements on the farming community. The discussions have drawn attention to the problems to which trunk road improvement can give rise, and the Welsh Office will be endeavouring to minimise them.

Mr. Hooson

Will my hon. Friend ensure that there is a regular exchange of views on this subject with representatives of the farming industry?

Mr. Roberts

My right hon. Friend attaches the greatest importance to the preservation and protection of agricultural land, as I know my hon. Friend does. Officials of the Welsh Office will be ready to meet representatives of the farming industry whenever there are problems relating to trunk road improvements that a meeting will help to solve.

Mr. D. E. Thomas

Will the Minister and his Department look at the standards for trunk road construction in national parks with a view to establishing whether it is possible—although clearly the road widths must be maintained—to construct roads in a way that does not take so much land and does not damage the environment within the national parks?

Mr. Roberts

In the construction of roads, particularly in the national parks, we are very concerned not to cause any more visual obtrusion than is necessary. We try to buy just sufficient land to make the road and the essential services that go with it.