HC Deb 22 February 1988 vol 128 cc9-10
6. Mr. Jack

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport by how much transport supplementary grant will be increased in 1988–89 vis à vis 1987–88.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

By £11 million—6 per cent.

Mr. Jack

I note my hon. Friend's reply, but he will know of the concern in Lancashire over this year's transport supplementary grant application. Will he do all that he can in the financial year 1989–90 to ensure that the projects in the transport planning programme for Lancashire, which his Department has seen, are adequately funded, as they contain many much-needed road improvements, particularly in west Lancashire and my constituency of Fylde?

Mr. Bottomley

I will do the best that I can for my hon. Friend, as I would for any other hon. Member. It is worth recognising that if everyone knew how well Lancashire did on occasion, I would face much more pressure from around the House.

Mr. Flynn

Is the Minister aware that large lorries cause at least £200 million worth of damage annually to roads, and the effect of the increase in the weighings of lorries by 50 per cent. at ports, to which the Minister referred, will mean that only 1.5 per cent. of lorry movements inwards and outwards from Britain will be subject to weight checks? In view of the damage caused by lorries to our roads, is it not about time that the Government stopped being permissive and started getting tough?

Mr. Bottomley

I shall try to bear that in mind when considering the transport supplementary grant next year.

Mr. Soames

I thank my hon. Friend for the courtesy and help that he has always shown to West Sussex with regard to transport supplementary grant, but is he aware of the very serious problems that exist on the roads, particularly around Crawley and beyond, caused by the M25? Will he assure the House that he will do all that he can to confer the same benefits on my constituency as he intends to confer on the constituency of my hon. Friend the Member for Fylde (Mr. Jack)?

Mr. Bottomley

I congratulate my hon. Friend on managing to get me to visit Sussex to see the work that is going on and the work that needs to be carried out. I hope to visit Sussex next week, but I am not sure whether I will be spending much time in his constituency.

Mr. Speaker

Mrs. Fyfe to ask question 8.

The Minister for Public Transport (Mr. David Mitchell)

Mr. Speaker, would it be in order for me to answer question 7?

Mr. Speaker

That would not be in order, because I have already notified the Government Whip that question 7 has been unstarred. We will have question 8.