HC Deb 23 June 1986 vol 100 c4
2. Mr. Alexander

asked the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects work on the Newark relief road to commence; and over how long a period it will last.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. Peter Bottomley)

Work is expected to commence towards the end of 1987 subject to the completion of statutory procedures and the availability of funds. The construction period will he two and a half years.

Mr. Alexander

Is my hon. Friend aware that the bypass was the subject of a public inquiry in 1983, that the Department approved it in 1984, and that we are told that it will be yet another three years before work commences? Is my hon. Friend aware of the widespread anger and resentment felt by those who live and work in the centre of Newark in my constituency over that completely unacceptable delay? I must tell my hon. Friend that my constituents have not been well served in this matter by his Department.

Mr. Bottomley

I recognise how forcefully my hon. Friend has put forward the case for his constituency and his constituents. However, he will be aware of the various procedures that need to be completed. It does no one any good, particularly his constituents, if we take a short-cut or make a mistake on the remaining processes, and so leave ourselves open to challenge.

Mr. Kenneth Carlisle

Is my hon. Friand aware that that relief road is also of the greatest importance for Lincolonshire? Is he aware that the A46 between Lincoln and Newark is already inadequate? If there is to be proper economic development in Lincolnshire, there must be good communications with the midlands, and a relief road round Newark is essential to that end. Will my hon. Friend reconsider the matter to see whether there is any way of improving progress on that road?

Mr. Bottomley

I shall do as my hon. Friends ask. It is worth remembering that we need to maintain the strength of the bypass programme and that we are catching up on works which I am sad to say, went astray in the late 1970s when the roads programme was halved in real terms.