§ Mr. St. John-Stevas
asked the Secretary of State for Transport when the scheme to bypass the A12 at Chelmsford was first proposed; what stage the scheme has now reached; when the statutory procedures should be completed; and when work is expected to start.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
This scheme was first included in the trunk road programme in 1968 and draft orders for a southern bypass were published in 1974. Following a public inquiry in 1975 the inspector recommended that the Department should re-examine the possibilities of a central route. The then Government accepted this, made no statutory orders and postponed the road. In October 1979, however, we announced our intention to proceed with a southern route and design work has continued since then. We intend to publish fresh draft orders this summer. Subject to the satisfactory completion of the statutory procedures, including a public inquiry, and to the availability of funds, work could start early in 1984.