HC Deb 01 March 1978 vol 945 cc227-8W
Mr. Marten

asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will hold an inquiry into the Banbury link road to the proposed M40 extension in view of the strength of feeling among the residents that the so-called north link road should be adopted; how will the cost be apportioned between the county council and the Government for any such link road; what are the estimated costs of the north and south link roads, respectively; when a decision on the link road must be taken; and what factors are taken into account in deciding which link road is to be adopted.

Mr. Horam

I am not aware that the Oxfordshire County Council, the highway authority, has yet reached any decision about the route of the proposed Banbury link road. However, any public inquiry in relation to the granting of planning permission would be for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment.

Cost-sharing between the county council and the Government is likely to be limited to the provision of the junction with the Oxford-Birmingham road. The remainder of the scheme would be for the county council to finance within the framework of its transport policies and programme.

The respective estimated costs for north and south link roads are not available. A figure of £2.3 million for an east-west link, with no location specified, is given in Oxfordshire's transport policy and programme for 1978–79.

It is desirable that the county council should reach a conclusion on the alignment of the link road fairly soon, taking into account all the factors which it considers relevant, so that provision may be made in the design of the associated section of the Oxford-Birmingham road for a junction at the appropriate location.