HC Deb 16 March 1987 vol 112 cc682-3
9. Mr. Soames

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on investment by Her Majesty's Government in the road infrastructure in West Sussex.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

The M23 and its associated Gatwick link were completed in 1974 and 1975. Apart from a short length of the A3, the other trunk roads in West Sussex are the A23 and A27. Actual and planned expenditure since 1979 amounts to more than £70 million at 1983 prices. In addition, £18 million has been made available to the county council through transport. supplementary grants over the past five years.

Mr. Soames

I thank my hon. Friend for his great help, but does he agree that the increase in vehicle miles arid traffic in and around my constituency has been dramatic in the last few years? Is he also aware that the traffic congestion is unacceptable to my constituents? Although my hon. Friend has been down to see this for himself, will he do whatever he can to assist 'Nest Sussex county council in resolving this problem, to the betterment of my constituents and local industry?

Mr. Bottomley

I should like to pay tribute to my hon. Friend, not only for inviting me to meet those primary school children and to see at first hand the problems of the growing amount of local and longer-distance traffic. It is the Government's determination to put figures on the help given to county councils, rather than fresh directions, which do not. We intend to go on trying properly to meet the needs of both commercial and domestic road users. I look forward to associating myself with my hon. Friend's efforts towards that achievement for many years to come.

Mr. Gow

Does my hon. Friend agree that East Sussex is adjacent to West Sussex, and will he—[Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker

Order. The question is about roads infrastructure, not adjacent to, but in, West Sussex.

Mr. Gow

Will my hon. Friend accompany me on that part of the A22 which is the London to Eastbourne road, which passes through West Sussex? If he makes that journey he will realise that great though is the need of my hon. Friend the Member for Crawley (Mr. Soames) and his constituents, the needs of my constituents are even greater.

Mr. Bottomley

If I am allowed, Mr. Speaker, I shall quote from my briefing, which states: also applies to East Sussex, if raised.