§ Lord Sefton of Garston
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will examine the arrangements already made and about to be made for motorway repairs with a view to reducing the mileage of any one section of repair work and so help to reduce the incidence of delay to all vehicles, particularly commercial ones.
§ The Earl of Avon
Considerable care is taken when planning motorway repairs to ensure that delays are kept to an absolute minimum, and that the work is arranged in practical and economical packages for the contractor involved.
The suggestion of reducing the lengths of individual repairs is an interesting one, but practical experience has shown that this would not, by itself, reduce disruption. I understand that computer programmes have been developed to model traffic delays at road-works. These and direct observations show that the layout details of the site—width of lanes, the gradient and the way streams of traffic are channelled—all affect flow; length is only one of the factors.
My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Transport is continuing to examine possible ways of reducing the disruption to traffic, especially to commercial and industrial road-users. Particular emphasis is being placed on improving the information given to road-users, and on streamlining traffic management techniques, so that drivers know what to expect when they arrive at repairs, and are then channelled smoothly past them.