§ Mr. Coombs
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if, in the light of the reduction of capacity of the Severn bridge, he will give priority to substantial improvements to the alternative route via the A417, A419 and A48.
§ Mrs. Chalker
Priority is already being given to substantial improvement to these sections of the A417 and A419, and the A48 in Chepstow, in that preparation is already in hand on the forward trunk road programme schemes listed in the recent White Paper. On the other section of the A48 in question improvements from trunk road funds would not be justified, but I am aware that Gloucestershire county council is planning a bypass for26W Lydney. Depending on the priority given to this in its TPP, the Department will give serious consideration to assisting in the financing of it through TSG.
In any case, the present restrictions on the Severn bridge are to be reviewed during the next week, and I expect to come to conclusions on whether the reductions in capacity resulting from the latest restrictions need to continue, and if so, for what period.
§ Mr. Roy Hughes
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will now publish the independent assessment by Messrs. Husband and Company into the substructure of the Severn bridge.
§ Mr. Ridley
Husband and Company's checks on Flint and Neill's appraisal of the substructure of the Severn bridge is complete and a summary of its findings is expected shortly. I understand that the two independent firms are in close agreement. I will put a copy of the summary in the House of Commons Library and the full report as soon as it is available.