§ 46. Sir A. Hurd
asked the Minister of Transport why he has asked the Berkshire County Council to treat as a secret document the map showing alternative routes for the M.4 motorway; and if the district councils now being consulted are also bound to secrecy.
§ Mr. Hay
Preliminary surveys have suggested several possible lines of route. Before my right hon. Friend can make a scheme he is required by the Highways Act to give due consideration to the requirements of local as well as national planning. We are therefore consulting the local authorities to see which route would command the greatest measure of acceptance among them. Unless we can146W have confidential discussions of this nature before we publish firm proposals, we cannot avoid causing unnecessary alarm to many who will not in fact be affected by whatever route is finally chosen. If the county council is consulting district councils, my right hon. Friend would expect those consultations to be confidential.