HC Deb 01 July 1997 vol 297 cc99-100
32. Sir Teddy Taylor

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will initiate an inquiry into the congestion of roads in and around Southend-on-Sea; and if he will consider a bypass road linking Shoeburyness with the A 127. [4695]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Ms Glenda Jackson)

No, those are both matters for Essex county council and the new Southend unitary authority which becomes fully operational next April.

Sir Teddy Taylor

Although there has been a huge improvement in the efficiency of rail transport in Southend-on-Sea, is the Minister aware that genuinely—I am not trying to make any political point—the nightmare of congestion in Southend appears to me to be infinitely worse than in any comparable borough and causes especial problems for the people of Shoeburyness and Thorpe Bay, which are the furthest from London? Will the Department be able to offer any help or advice in solving the complex problem, which sadly, despite their efforts, both the county council and the borough council appear unable to resolve?

Ms Jackson

The advice that the Government would offer seems to be being incorporated in Southend already. It is a properly integrated transport package which lays particular emphasis on properly integrated public transport, cycle lanes and walking, so that there is an alternative to an over-dependence on car usage, which cannot be the way forward.