§ Lord Sandford
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will provide details of the investigations, studies and surveys that were undertaken for the public consultation exercise on the line of the A.1/M.1 link past Naseby and which enabled the 441WA Minister of Transport to decide in favour of the "southern line" in August 1975.
§ The Earl of Avon
The M.1-A.1 Link Road was one of the first schemes on which the Department of Transport went to public consultation and it did so at a very early stage in the scheme development. The investigation carried out prior to public consultation was essentially a transportation study. It involved an examination of existing traffic conditions, predicted urban development and proposed major improvements to the road network in a general area between the M.1 and the A.1 embracing Leicester, Peterborough, Huntingdon and including Milton Keynes. This led to a broad comparison of possible strategies and corridors which could be used, taking into account factors such as areas of high landscape value and top quality agriculture land, major engineering constraints arising from existing structures (e.g., motorways and their junctions), general planning and environmental restraints, and areas of special usage (e.g., mineral workings).
These studies, together with further traffic and economic analyses, identified the four possible corridors, incorporating north/south options at Naseby, which were put to public consultation in 1974.
It is not the department's practice to carry out a detailed geo-technical survey of possible routes prior to public consultation. It would not normally be cost effective to do so. At that stage, investigations are confined to a general study of the area through which the routes would run.