§ Mr. Greg Knight
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what efforts are currently made to phase repair and maintenance work on motorways so as to cause the minimum of inconvenience and delay to members of the public; and whether he is satisfied with the results.
§ Mrs. Chalker
Major maintenance work on motorways is carefully phased to minimise inconvenience and delay to members of the public. There has to be a gap of at least six miles between major sites. The length under repair at any one time is limited to two miles wherever possible. Contract periods are fixed to achieve completion in the shortest reasonable time. Where it is necessary to have a contra-flow system, the crossovers have been redesigned wherever possible. This ensures that they are more gradual and allow traffic to maintain a higher speed consistent with safety.
Night-time and weekend work are permitted whenever possible. Minor maintenance works need less detailed planning because they are usually completed quickly. I think that the results of these efforts are generally satisfactory, but we are constantly seeking improvements.