HC Deb 22 May 1995 vol 260 cc582-3
5. Mr. Mudie

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made in the Government's review of the roads programme, following the report of the standing advisory committee on trunk road assessment. [23882]

Mr. Watts

All schemes in the planning stages are being reassessed at their next key decision stage.

Mr. Mudie

The Minister will be aware that the House welcomed the sensible conclusions of the advisory committee that continuous road building was no answer to congestion. How long will it be before the Department brings forward a serious response to the problem, particularly the pollution and environmental aspects of road building?

Mr. Watts

Last December my Department accepted the key recommendations of the SACTRA report. As I have said, we are assessing all schemes in their planning stages for the possibility of traffic generation. The committee did not conclude, as the hon. Gentleman suggests, that road building leads only to congestion.

Mr. Hicks

Does my hon. Friend agree that while it may be fashionable in some quarters not to approve of new road schemes there are two improvement schemes for the A38 trunk road in south-east Cornwall which are not only needed but for which there is unanimous support? Can my hon. Friend give an assurance that where people want such schemes, that fact will be taken into consideration?

Mr. Watts

It has become clear to me since I have had my present job that there are many more road schemes throughout the country which are welcome both to my hon. Friends and, indeed, to Opposition Members and their constituents than there are schemes which cause them concern.