HC Deb 26 March 1984 vol 57 cc13-4
14. Sir Anthony Meyer

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is the present estimated date for completion of the dualling of the A55 road from the English border to Bangor.

Mr. John Stradling Thomas

The provisional programme envisages the substantial completion of the A55 improvement by the end of the decade. This is subject, of course, to satisfactory progress with statutory procedures and engineering design.

Sir Anthony Meyer

May I take it from that reply that there is no substance in reports from the CBI that serious delays have crept in on two sections on the road?

Mr. Stradling Thomas

I do not underestimate the difficult engineering problems of sections of the overall plan. But serious delays? I would say no.

Mr. Wigley

Will the Minister confirm that the date given by his predecessor, Mr. Michael Roberts, was mid-1987? Will he also confirm that money has been sucked into the scheme from other trunk road schemes in north Wales, resulting in projects such as the Felinheli bypass being left in abeyance indefinitely, so that a severe traffic problem has arisen in that village?

Mr. Stradling Thomas

I do not underestimate the difficulties. But serious slippage? I would say no. The allocation of resources is always hard, particularly when difficult engineering problems are involved.

Mr. Raffan

Will my hon. Friend give the estimated starting and completion dates for two stretches of the A55—the proposed Northop and Holywell bypasses?

Mr. Stradling Thomas

I think that the correct answer is late 1984, but I had better write to my hon. Friend about the details of those schemes.

Mr. Barry Jones

As one of the Minister of State's predecessors, I may be able to help him. I think that that answer was wrong. Can the hon. Gentleman tell me when the Hawarden bypass will be completed—I think that it should be this year—how much it will cost and how long it is? Does the hon. Gentleman agree that when the bypass is opened the industrial attraction of the area will be greatly enhanced?

Mr. Stradling Thomas

I would agree on the latter point. On the details, I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his helpful suggestion, but I shall write to him, too.