§ Mr. Alton
asked the Minister of Transport (1) what is his assessment of the sort of fuel, in what quantity and at what price, that would be available to 455W meet the demands of a 75 per cent. increase in road traffic between 1977 and 1999;
(2) whether it is his assessment that road traffic will increase by 75 per cent. between 1977 and 1999.
§ Mr. Fowler
In planning the trunk road system my Department uses a range of traffic forecasts, of which the upper limit shows a 75 per cent. increase over that period, and the lower limit a 36 per cent. increase. The increase in the three years since the base date of 1976 is already 10 per cent.
The upper limit assumes that the supply of motor fuel will continue to meet demand, that the pump price of petrol will increase by 50 per cent. in real terms,
Predictions Actual For 1976 For 1991 1978 M23 North of Gatwick Link … … … … 35,500 65,000 33,700 M23 South of Gatwick Link … … … … 31,000 52,700 28,900
The predictions assumed two conditions that have not yet been fulfilled, namely, the completion of the whole of the M25 south of the Thames and the building of the M23 as far north as Mitcham. It is, however, possible to give the predictions for 1976 that would have been made for the present situation with the northern terminal of M23 at Hooley and the M25 uncompleted. These would have shown 25,700 vehicles per day on the M23 north of Gatwick link and 23,300 on the M23 south of that link. The 1978 actual figures thus show that more traffic is using the road than would have been predicted for the present incomplete system in 1976.