§ 2.38 p.m.
§ LORD WOLVERTON
My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have for a by-pass road for Newmarket, in view of the ever-increasing traffic through the town by the two trunk roads (A.11 and A.45) which may become damaging to the bloodstock industry and a danger to race horses, and those who ride them, and the probability of further increased traffic to the East Coast ports if this country enters the Common Market.]657
§ THE JOINT PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT (LORD CHESHAM)
My Lords, I can hold out little hope of a by-pass being approved in the foreseeable future. To avoid the areas used by the blood-stock industry, it would need to be perhaps eleven miles long and cost several million pounds. Traffic congestion in Newmarket is acute only on summer Saturdays when there is a race meeting. It does not merit such large expenditure, when there are so many other more urgent schemes to be dealt with. The junction of A.11 and A.45 at Stetchworth Toll has, however, been improved and an improvement of the junction at Bury Toll Bar is under consideration.
§ LORD WOLVERTON
My Lords, while thanking the noble Lord for his reply, may I ask him a supplementary question? Traffic on these two trunk roads, I am credibly informed by a recent census, has increased enormously—I think on the A.11 by some 80 per cent. and on the A.45 by some 70 per cent.—in the last six or seven years. It is not only the summer race traffic; the problem is very acute during many months in the year. I hope my noble friend can reconsider the question of some sort of alleviation of the traffic at a not too future date. Locally, we are all concerned about it.
§ LORD CHESHAM
My Lords, may take leave to interpret that as a question? We are aware of the traffic situation, but having regard to what we find that situation to be, I am afraid that I can add nothing to my original Answer.