§ Mr. John Lee
asked the Minister of Transport if he will make a statement on the accident hazards on the eastern section of the M4.
§ Mr. Mulley
Motorways have proved to be our safest roads. The eastern section of the M4 is now our most heavily-trafficked motorway, but its accident rate per vehicle-mile is of the same order as for other motorways.
Nevertheless, in seeking to make it safer, this year we have provided lighting and safety fences between Chiswick and the London Airport Spur. These facilities are being extended to Maidenhead as part of the work now in progress for widening to dual three lanes the length between the Langley and Bray interchanges.
A system of warning signals, controlled by the police, has been provided between Chiswick and Langley to enable motorists to be warned of dangers ahead and this, too, will be extended.
The elevated section of the road and that part between the London Airport Spur and the Langley interchange which had become polished, have been surface-dressed to reduce the risk of skidding. Some troubles are being experienced due to loose chippings but a close watch is 111W being kept on the condition of the surface and further sweeping will take place if necessary.