§ 9. Mr. Proctor
asked the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to announce his decision as to which contender has won the contract to construct a further crossing at Dartford on the M25; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Proctor
In view of the great importance to Essex and other counties and to all users of the M25 through the Dartford tunnel, will my right hon. Friend assure the House that there will be no delay in the construction of a third crossing at Dartford?
§ Mr. Squire
As one who also represents a constituency near the Dartford tunnel, I assure my right hon. Friend that, for much of the day, there are considerable delays on the north side of the tunnel. Allowing for the usual time lag between contracts coming into play and construction taking place, I can only underline the comments of my hon. Friend the Member for Billericay (Mr. Proctor). A third crossing is needed, yesterday.
§ Mr. Tony Banks
Will the right hon. Gentleman give an undertaking that any new tunnel will not carry toll charges? Perhaps the passage of vehicles could be greatly speeded up if the present toll charges for travel through the Dartford tunnel were removed.
§ Mr. Couchman
Will my right hon. Friend. in considering this important addition to the roads through Kent which affect my constituency, take note of the appalling state of the M2, which links with the M25 and the Dartford tunnel as the route to the north? Will he ensure that this important artery from the Channel is considered in some depth at an early stage by his Department?
§ Mr. Moore
I know that my hon. Friend the Minister with responsibility for roads has listened carefully, as I have, to my hon. Friend's comments. One of the few things that I have learnt in the past few weeks is that issues relating to transport movements in Kent are uppennost in the mind of any Minister in the Department of Transport.