HC Deb 18 February 1991 vol 186 cc7-8
6. Sir Anthony Meyer

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is his present estimated date for completion of the dualling of the carriageways of the A55 from the Welsh border to Bangor.

Sir Wyn Roberts

Dualling of the whole of the A55 route in north Wales is expected to be achieved in 1994.

Sir Anthony Meyer

My hon. Friend and I have represented north Wales constituencies for longer than any other hon. Member in the House. Does my hon. Friend realise—I am sure that he does—how dramatic has been the transformation of the north Wales scene as a result of the progress made on the A55, especially during the past 12 years? Does he think that the public authorities along the route are taking the maximum advantage of the huge potential for development represented by this corridor of opportunity?

Sir Wyn Roberts

My hon. Friend will agree that the plans outlined in our document. "The A55: Road of Opportunity" showed a tremendous amount of activity on the part of local authorities and I certainly look to those authorities to develop opportunities along that magnificent corridor into north Wales.

Mr. Geraint Howells

The Minister will be aware that there are more than a quarter of a million of us living in mid-Wales. We have been very tolerant over the past 10 years. We have looked north and south and have watched the Welsh Office spending millions of pounds on the motorway in south Wales and the dual carriageway in north Wales. Will the Minister assure us that, after 1994, he will consider dualling the carriageway between Shrewsbury and Aberystwyth to make sure that we in mid-Wales see fair play at last?

Sir Wyn Roberts

Our strategy for roads in Wales is set out in "Roads in Wales", which covers the whole of Wales. Not only are we providing the M4 in the south and the A55 in the north; we are spending a considerable amount on links to those two roads. On the north-south route, for example, we are due to spend £100 million on the A470 alone. We shall also be spending on the A483 from Manchester to Swansea and, in addition to Welsh Office spending, we are supporting extensive spending by local authorities on their county roads.

Mr. Martyn Jones

Does the Minister agree that the rural hinterland of north Wales requires links to the A55 if the benefits are to be felt deeper into the areas that really require them, including Denbigh and the Vale of Clwyd? Can the Minister tell me when there will be a link— perhaps bypassing St. Asaph, with which I know he is concerned? That would add a link from the Vale of Clwyd into the A55 corridor.

Sir Wyn Roberts

Clwyd county council is the responsible highway authority for St. Asaph. On the broad principle, as I said earlier, we are spending a considerable amount on links to the A55. I can tell the hon. Gentleman now that we plan to spend £175 million on those links, which include the A5, the A470, the A487 and the A494.