HC Deb 20 July 2004 vol 424 c142
7. Sir Teddy Taylor (Rochford and Southend, East) (Con)

What assessment he has made of traffic congestion in Southend-on-Sea; and what is his policy on the construction of a ring road around the borough. [184921]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. Tony McNulty)

The assessment of traffic congestion in Southend is, in the first instance, a matter for the borough council as the local transport authority. We look to it and to other local interested parties to bring forward proposals for a ring road if they consider that it should be a candidate for Government funding, and we will duly assess it in those terms should it ever arise.

Sir Teddy Taylor

Does the Minister accept that the residents of Shoeburyness, to the east of Southend, go through nightmares every day trying to get through the serious and worsening traffic congestion on the arterial road? Would not local authorities and others take the issue more seriously if the Government were to indicate that they would not allow more development on Government-owned land in Shoeburyness? As this is a desperately serious problem, should not the Government take the initiative?

Mr. McNulty

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his question. I know that he has written to my right hon. Friend the Minister for Housing and Planning about Shoeburyness, growth areas, east of England regional assembly transport plans, and the London to Southend study. Should those form the basis of subsequent plans and applications from Southend borough council for a ring road, we will consider that with heightened interest.