HC Deb 05 December 1983 vol 50 cc6-7
8. Mr. Leigh

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on improvements to the Al at Hatfield.

Mrs. Chalker

We shall start work on the major Roestock to Stanborough development round Hatfield on the A1(M) next spring. It will be a very significant bypass road for Hatfield; almost three quarters of a mile of it will be in tunnel.

Mr. Leigh

I welcome my hon. Friend's statement on the start of work on the A1(M). However, does she accept that for millions of people living in the eastern counties the Al is the principal link to London? Does she further accept that they find it unbelievable that for so long there has been only one lane at Hatfield? Will something be done immediately to rectify that?

Mrs. Chalker

I realise the importance of that principal trunk road for those living on the east coast of England. However, it is a three-lane carriageway, not a single-lane carriageway. When the improvements of which I have just spoken are completed, it will be a dual carriageway for the whole of its three-mile length.

Mr. Murphy

In view of the inconvenience caused to all my constituents by the construction of the motorway at Hatfield, can my hon. Friend give me an idea of the definitive completion date?

Mrs. Chalker

At present I cannot give my hon. Friend a fixed time, but completion will probably be in about three years. It is a large contract, and there is a cut and cover tunnel, which means that it will take a great deal longer to construct than an ordinary surface road.