§ Mr. Alton
asked the Minister of Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the generation of road transport by new trunk road construction in relation to a policy of energy conservation;
(2) whether it is his view, as expressed by his Department's representatives at certain public inquiries into trunk road schemes, that building trunk roads and motorways generates traffic.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
The effect of new trunk roads on the volume of traffic and fuel consumption depends on the nature of the scheme. There is some evidence that roads which open up new opportunities may result in increased total travel mainly because some trips are made to more distant destinations. Other schemes serve those already using that route or attract to it drivers making the same journeys by alternative routes. Some new routes are shorter and reducing congestion saves fuel. The overall effect of these changes on the consumption of fuel is likely to be marginal.