HC Deb 23 April 1990 vol 171 cc6-7
5. Mrs. Gorman

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what immediate plans he has to improve the A13 in Essex.

Mr. Atkins

To the east of the M25, the trunk road section was improved in 1981 and is being further improved to accommodate the new Lakeside shopping centre. To the west of the M25, draft orders were published last month for a new dual three-lane road to Wennington.

Mr. Speaker

Is this right? The question refers to the A13 in Essex.

Mr. Atkins


Mrs. Gorman

On behalf of my constituents I thank my hon. Friend for that extremely good news. May I persuade him in his busy schedule to take a ride down that road with me—[Interruption.] and some of my colleagues one evening. We could show him that, although improvements have been made, at some of the busiest areas the traffic mostly stands still because the worst congestion is at either end of those improvements, particularly where the Blackwall tunnel crosses the A13. At night a journey from this building of under five miles can take three hours because of the congestion. Will he give an assurance that work on the two ends of the road will also begin in the near future?

Hon. Members

Be careful what you do in cars.

Mr. Atkins

I have, indeed, travelled that road on numerous occasions. I am fully aware of the anxieties that my hon. Friend has expressed. I am always happy to visit her constituency and those of my hon. Friends to see the problems for myself. But, as the hon. Member for Newham, North-West (Mr. Banks) and others said earlier, I must be careful what I do in cars with anyone.

Mr. Squire

In welcoming the draft orders published by my hon. Friend recently, may I congratulate him on moving the line of the A13 further south, in response to representations made to his Department? Does he agree that with or without the construction of Universal city in my constituency, the need for construction of the A13 relief road is immediate? It cannot come too quickly for people in my constituency or for those who use the road every day.

Mr. Atkins

My hon. Friend presses his case persuasively. I am aware of anxieties about the new development there. I shall continue to react as favourably as possible to his anxieties and those of his constituents.

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