§ Mr. Knox
asked the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what estimate his Department has made of the cost to industry of the hold-ups on the southbound lane of the M1 south of the Watford Gap Service Station on Monday 10th January 1977;
(2) in view of the repairs being done to the southbound lane of the M1 south of the Watford Gap Service Station, why arrangements were not made on Monday 10th January to close one lane on the northbound lane and so enable two lanes of traffic to move south.209W
(3) what instructions he has issued to ensure that traffic hold-ups on motorways are kept to a minimum when repairs are being undertaken.
§ Mr. Horam,
pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 18th January 1977; Vol. 924, c. 89], gave the following information:
Instructions are that delays be kept to a minimum by means of switching traffic from one carriageway to the other as traffic flows and site conditions permit.
The length of carriageway being maintained on 10th January was considered too long to enable the traffic to be switched to the other carriageway with safety. In the event, the decision proved wrong and delays to traffic were excessive. Steps are being taken to avoid so far as possible such an event happening again. There is insufficient information available to determine the cost to industry of the hold-ups that occurred on this occasion.