HC Deb 18 May 2004 vol 421 cc812-3
7. Mr. Jonathan Dangly (Huntingdon) (Con)

If he will make a statement on the progress of the Cambridge to Huntingdon A14 multi-modal study. [173499]

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

The two major projects recommended by the multi-modal study are progressing as follows. As the hon. Gentleman will know, following the receipt of objections, the guided bus system being developed by Cambridgeshire county council is to be examined at a public inquiry, which begins on 28 September. A public exhibition of the options for the A14 is expected to begin in September, and will include exhibitions in Cambridge and Huntingdon. It is expected that an announcement on the preferred route will be made in spring 2005.

Mr. Dangly

My understanding is that if every private vehicle travelling between Huntingdon and Cambridge were left at home and public transport were used instead, the traffic flow on the A14 between those locations would be reduced by only some 5 per cent. Can the Minister therefore confirm that, whatever the outcome of the public inquiry into the proposed guided bus system, the road improvement scheme will certainly stay in place? Moreover, could he please give a date for completion of the roadworks?

Mr. McNulty

I have outlined the two major projects emerging from the multi-modal study, both of which remain in the system and are being developed. The Al4 improvements form part of the programme of targeted improvements, and one set of improvements is not dependent on another. The outcome of the inquiry depends somewhat on how the objections to the guided bus system are dealt with in the first instance, but as I said, the preferred route for the Al4 will be announced in spring 2005.